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HRW: Morocco should revise new labor law to comply with international standards

Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] issued a letter [text] Thursday to the Labor Minister of Morocco, Abdeslam Seddiki, imploring the Moroccan government to revise a draft law before the Moroccan parliament, regarding legal protections for domestic workers, to comply with international standards. The letter, while praising Morocco's reduction in the rates of child labor, expressed the view that Morocco's proposed labor law does not reach the internationally accepted level of labor protection as articulated in the International Labor Organization (ILO) [official website] Convention 189 [text] on Decent Work for Domestic Workers issued in 2011. The letter outlines HRW recommendations to ensure the law reaches this standard including, "The prohibition on tasks that will jeopardize the safety, exceed the capacity, or compromise the morals of a domestic worker," and "monetary penalties for employers who hire underage workers, fail to sign a contract, fail to obtain guardian permission for employing children between 15 and 18, or fail to observe other specified provisions of the law." HRW also encouraged the Moroccan government to request the aid of the ILO in drafting the law. In November of last year HRW produced a 73-page report [text] on child domestic labor in Morocco.

Last week the UN General Assembly elected [JURIST report] Morocco as one of 14 countries [press release] to a three-year term on the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] beginning January 1. In June the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons urged Morocco to adopt a victim-centered approach [JURIST report] to combat human trafficking [JURIST news archive] in the country. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo [official profile] said [UN News Centre report] "[v]ictims of trafficking are most often not being identified or being misidentified as smuggled and/or irregular migrants due [to] the absence of appropriate tools and protocols for victim identification." Also in June HRW called for reform [JURIST report] of the Moroccan judicial system contending that the courts are relying too heavily on coerced confessions and delaying trial proceedings

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