Morocco

“Informal labor is not a marginal issue in Arab countries. It is a core component of modern Arab economies and the distribution of work therein and is doomed to expand under current policies,” explained Samir Aita, lead researcher of the Arab NGO Network on Development (ANND) at the launch of the 2017 edition of the Arab Watch on Economic and Social Rights, last May 8 in Beirut.

The report, launched publicly at the American University, concludes that the “highest percentages of lack of formality are in countries with the least strict laws and bureaucracies, and vice versa. This goes against the stereotype that says that informality is a result of strict laws and bureaucracies.” It also concludes that “informal labor in Arab countries is mostly waged labor, except in rare cases, which contradicts another idea that says that informal labor is a choice, as young people entering the job market have no choice but to find any type of livelihood, no matter how fragile or temporary.”

In the framework of its critical engagement in the 2030 Agenda, ANND launched an effort to document national programs for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and socio-economic reform initiatives in the Arab region. This effort takes the form of national assessment reports and seeks to check if such implementation is made within a comprehensive rights-based development strategy, adopted with an inclusive, participatory and transparent approach.

The assessment reports link between monitoring and evaluation by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) of the implementation of Agenda 2030 and other similar human rights monitoring mechanisms. They shed light on the necessity to adopt an inclusive social dialogue for policy making at the national level. With the limited resources available, the reports shall be made on a few countries (namely Jordan, Egypt and Morocco) and shall focus on 3 SDGs only:

Photo: UNDG

During the last few years Morocco has adopted some public policies that might help meet the 2030 Agenda objectives, but many challenges have to be confronted in order to ensure to proper and effective progress towards sustainable development.

The 2030 Agenda, negotiated by Member States, lays out goals and targets at the global level. Like other countries, Morocco needs to translate these into the national context, with a strategy designed to achieve local priorities. Efforts to achieve the SDGs may be hampered by the government’s persistence in carrying out neoliberal policies (privatization of public services such as education and health for example, austerity and public spending cuts) as part of its commitments to the International Monetary Fund. Similarly, monitoring and evaluating the action plans set out for delivery of the 2030 Agenda is crucial in achieving successes. Unfortunately, this practice is still uncommon in Morocco.

As one of the 22 countries that volunteered to be reviewed at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York in July 2016, Morocco presented a concise report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. These brief comments on the report endeavor to assess the ability of the Moroccan Government to meet its commitments towards its citizens and the international community. Morocco’s Report to the HLPF contains two main sections: one is devoted to contextualizing the Agenda 2030 while the other highlights the requirements to be met in order to effectively implement it.

For the fourth successive year, a delegation of human rights and development civil society organizations from the Arab region will be visiting the European institutions in Brussels between the 8th and the 12th  of December 2014. The Arab delegation includes civil society representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Lebanon.

This visit seeks to provide a platform for dialogue and exchange between civil society organizations from the Arab region and European policy makers at the Parliament and Commission around the EU’s support and involvement in the region.

Following the groundless statements of the Minister of the Interior in front of the representatives of the legislative power against associations and human rights movement on 15 July 2014, and on the basis of his conspicuous tendency to lead invalid accusations against Moroccan associations and organizations working in the field of human rights and democratic development, in an attempt to disparage its efforts in advancing and protecting human rights.

Civil society organizations warn of potential negative effects on development, human rights, and the future of productive sectors as a result of the negotiations between Morocco and the European Union (EU) about a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, and demand full transparency in the negotiations course.

The first round of negotiations between Morocco and the EU about a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement started in Rabat on April 12, 2013. The second round of the negotiations was held in June 2013.

The negotiations will include an expansion of the trade agreement already existing between the EU and Morocco to include, in addition to tariff reduction, regulations on services trade, investment and investor protection, government procurement liberalization, competition policy and intellectual property protection. These negotiations will address areas that are at the heart of the structure of national economic sectors and may directly affect the state’s ability and sovereignty in terms of regulating the economy in line with national development goals.

In terms of gender equity Morocco is below the Middle East and North African average, and in far worse situation than all of its neighbours. Morocco’s is one of the largest gender gap in the region.

(Photo: Associated Press)

Sources: IPS, Al Jazzeera, Los Angeles Times

Thousands poured into the streets of Rabat, the capital of Morocco, on Sunday Jun. 5 and also in Casablanca to condemn the death of a protester and to demand the country-wide government crackdown on peaceful demonstrations reaches an end. The protesters are part the February 20 Movement, led largely by young people demanding pro-democracy reforms and an end to government corruption and repression – as well as an end to poverty and inequality.

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