Morocco: the OPCAT a key response to the global scourge of torture

Monday, May 18, 2015

Morocco will establish its National Preventive Mechanism against torture and ill-treatment in the coming months. The National Council for Human Rights of Morocco (CNDH), in cooperation with the APT, organised a workshop in Rabat on May 12, 2015, during which main Moroccan stakeholders discussed their expectations and their vision concerning the institutional design and the operations of this important body.

In the opening remarks, the APT reiterated its congratulations to Morocco for adhering to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) on the eve of the Second World Forum on Human Rights, held in Marrakech in November 2014.

"In choosing the occasion of the Global Forum to become a full member of the growing global movement for the prevention of torture, Morocco positioned the OPCAT as key response to the global scourge of torture”, APT’s representative said.

The OPCAT is a practical and innovative way to significantly reduce torture. It's focus on the establishment of National Preventive Mechanisms gives a primary role for national actors. The fruitful discussions at the workshop, with national and international experts and practitioners, brought to light some of the most important success factors for such a mechanism:

  • the independence of its members and their expertise, (including in the medical field);
  • a well-functioning interaction between the future mechanism and the civil society;
  • a preventive approach empowering the authorities to take ownership of the recommendations of the mechanism and, finally;
  • the implementation of the recommendations thanks to a strong political will.

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More information on the workshop can be found on the website of the CNDH (in French): Séminaire international sur les mécanismes nationaux de prévention de la torture (MNP): Défis et bonnes pratiques.

The CNDH further published a study about the issue (in French and Arabic): Réflexion sur la mise en place au Maroc d’un Mécanisme national de prévention de la torture au titre du Protocole facultatif à la Convention contre la torture et autres peines ou traitements cruels inhumains ou dégradants.