- economic, social, and cultural rights
- women’s rights
- migrants’ rights
Began Program: 2004
After Tunisia and Egypt overthrew their governments in 2011, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI sought to diffuse popular tensions by announcing major political reforms, including a new constitution with strong human rights provisions. These changes, however, have thus far been largely cosmetic. Police continue to use excessive force to break up peaceful demonstrations, and courts send dissidents to jail after unfair trials and amid accusations of confessions extracted through torture. Criticizing the monarchy, Islam, or Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara is a crime. We are proud that our grantees have successfully pressed for new protections for women, refugees and migrants, and the country’s Amazigh people, but much work remains to ensure these changes are implemented.
Our grantees are working to ensure the long-demanded constitutional protections translate into real, sustainable change on the ground; they believe this is possible only by fostering a movement capable of compelling the government to turn words into action.
“As a result of Fund support, we were able to put in place a national network of lawyers pressing for the implementation of international covenants and providing free legal aid to victims of human rights violations.”Khemisset Young Lawyers Association, Morocco
Our strategy in Morocco is to fund innovative efforts to foster grassroots demand for change: organizations working to stamp out the rampant corruption that undermines access to justice and economic opportunity; groups pioneering cutting-edge strategies to protect marginalized migrants, and a dynamic, locally-driven women’s rights movement at the helm of an exciting effort to pass the region’s first comprehensive Violence Against Women Act. This support has resulted in exciting firsts in Morocco—from an overhaul of the country’s immigration policy that provides a path to legal status for migrants and refugees, to the creation of a new movement of lawyers providing pro-bono legal aid to victims of human rights violations.