Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Morocco

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 June 2007
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Morocco, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3c923.html [accessed 21 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Morocco (Tier 1)

Morocco is a source country for children trafficked internally for the purposes of domestic servitude and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation. Morocco is also a source, transit and destination country for women and men trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Young Moroccan girls from rural areas are recruited to work as child maids in cities, but often face conditions of involuntary servitude, including restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Moroccan boys and girls are exploited in prostitution within the country and are increasingly victims of a growing child sex tourism problem. Moroccan girls and women are trafficked internally and to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria, the U. A. E. , Cyprus, and European countries for commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, men and women from sub-Saharan Africa, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan often enter Morocco voluntarily, but illegally, with the assistance of smugglers. Once in Morocco, some women are coerced into commercial sexual exploitation to pay off smuggling debts, while men may be forced into involuntary servitude.

The Government of Morocco fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Morocco continues to prosecute child sex trafficking crimes, and in January 2007 it initiated a public awareness campaign to educate Moroccans about the consequences of employing child maids. The Secretary of State for Family, Solidarity, and the Handicapped announced a National Plan of Action for Children for 2006-2015 to protect children from mistreatment, violence, and exploitation by creating child protection units around the country. The government, however, did not investigate or prosecute any abusive employers for forced child domestic labor. In addition, the government did not take serious steps to increase law enforcement efforts against the commercial sexual exploitation of adults and foreign women. The government should utilize existing laws to increase prosecutions of those who traffic both adults and minors for forced prostitution and involuntary servitude and should increase law enforcement efforts against the commercial sexual exploitation of children and foreign women.

Prosecution

The Government of Morocco made uneven progress in its prosecution of traffickers and corrupt officials over the last year. While Morocco does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, its penal code prohibits forced child labor through Article 467, forced labor through Article 10, and forced prostitution and prostitution of a minor through Articles 497-499. The Moroccan government reports that it also employs the Immigration Law of 2003 and other statutes, such as those prohibiting kidnapping, fraud, and coercion, to prosecute trafficking offenses. Penalties under these various statutes appear to be sufficiently stringent, and those for sex trafficking are commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. In 2006, the government prosecuted 170 cases of inciting a minor into prostitution and convicted 134 traffickers; Morocco did not provide data regarding the sentences imposed on the convicted traffickers. The government did not report prosecuting any cases concerning the involuntary domestic servitude of children or the forced prostitution of adults. Morocco reported dismantling more than 350 "trafficking rings;" however, the government makes no distinction between migrant smuggling and trafficking, so it is difficult to determine how many of these rights were actually engaged in trafficking. The government convicted three police officers for trafficking offenses in northern Morocco. Sentences for these convicted officers ranged from a two months' suspended prison sentence with a fine to four years' imprisonment. In addition, two Casablanca port police officers were charged with organizing a criminal gang to facilitate trafficking.

Protection

Morocco made some progress in its overall efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. Some victims are encouraged to assist in the investigation of their traffickers, but the government does not offer foreign victims legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Moreover, Morocco does not attempt to identify systematically trafficking victims among vulnerable people, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution and illegal migrants; as a result, potential victims may be detained, jailed or deported without being offered protection. The government continues to work with international agencies to train officials posted in destination or transit countries on trafficking victim identification and victim sensitivity.

Prevention

Morocco improved its efforts to prevent trafficking over the reporting period. In January, the government, working closely with NGOs, initiated a public awareness campaign to educate Moroccans about the rights of child domestic servants through TV, radio, and brochures. The government also continued to collaborate with the governments of Spain and Italy, as well as other EU countries, to prevent the illegal migration and trafficking of sub-Saharan Africans, Asians, and Moroccans to Europe. The government did not, however, show significant efforts to raise public awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and women in major cities, especially tourist areas. Morocco has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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