Rabat – The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) released its annual report that assesses and recommends on human rights development in Morocco.
The CNDH started its annual report with opening remarks from its President Amina Bouayach, who described 2020 as a “tragic” year due to the repercussions of the global COVID-19 crisis.
Bouayach said it would not be an exaggeration to acknowledge that Moroccans experienced a series of events that will be “engraved in human memory forever.”
CNDH argued that COVID-19, despite its challenges, prompted solidarity and a shared responsibility among Moroccans.
The chairwoman of the human right institution additionally emphasized that some people were surprised to see a country like Morocco, with limited resources, winning the battle against COVID-19 day after day thanks to the contribution of all citizens and their patience.
The report covered loopholes in several sectors, including the health and education system.
The chairwoman of CNDH said COVID-19 highlights to a great extent the crisis that Morocco’s health sector continues to suffer, along with issues in scientific research and education.
“If there is any lesson that should be drawn from the COVID-19 context, it must be the urgent need for reforms in the health system to build a comprehensive system that is free of access, accessible to all,” Bouyach said. She emphasized the need for “educational institutions capable of embracing the elements of national supremacy in the race for innovation and technology.”
Amid institutional reforms and a barrage of statements celebrating “sectoral accomplishments,” many officials acknowledge that the country is still suffering from significant deficiencies in several sectors.
Just a few days ago, Morocco’s Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb said Morocco is in dire need of 32,000 doctors and 65,000 nursers to strengthen the health sector.
Over the last few years, doctors and nurses have rallied in the street repeatedly to protest against challenges, including a lack of human resources and a lack of appropriate conditions to exercise their duties.
CNDH acknowledged that Morocco has launched several socio-economic projects that aim to tackle such issues, reflecting a new vision in the country during the time of the pandemic.
The report, however, admitted that the human rights situation in Morocco has been “affected by multiple negative impacts.”
The document explained that public authorities found themselves facing challenges to confront COVID-19-induced crises with solutions that are not in line with regular laws or common institutional recommendations.
The situation underscored Morocco’s“great constraints in terms of providing health services for the crisis and respect of rights and freedoms amid the exceptional measures that accompanied the state of emergency.”
Morocco announced a state of emergency in March 2020 as part of preventive measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 and its accompanying public health crisis
The government’s measures resulted in several crises, hitting the country’s economy while also resulting in an increase of poverty and social issues.
Thousands of people lost their job or had their activities suspended due to lockdown measures, including the night curfew.
The ministry also expected that unemployment could rise to 14.8%.
New data from the High Commission for Planning (HCP) said earlier this week that the unemployment rate moved from 10.5% to 12.5% between the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2021.
Unemployment affected both rural areas and cities, the data shows.
For the CNDH, a strong economy is not only restricted to annual GDP growth but also takes into account the economy’s ability to reduce the gap between social classes and to tackle disparities.
“The strength of a sustainable economy is measured by its ability to fund social and economic rights to empower the underprivileged categories and to integrate them into the economic cycle to be able to face all phenomenons that could threaten balances.”
In its 223 report, CNDH acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis unveiled the negative impacts of the imbalances and inequalities that afflict the national economy.*
Strengthening the economy’s ability to fund improvements in the economic and social rights of lower-income citizens would serve as a lever to enhance human rights and individual freedoms, CNDH emphasized.