Last Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014, 11:25 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Morocco

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Morocco, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d857b.html [accessed 29 August 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 country of origin, transit, and destination for women, men, and children trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and Asia. Young Moroccan victims are lured into Europe by Italian, Spanish, Moroccan, and Algerian traffickers and then forced into drug trafficking, coerced labor, and sexual exploitation. According to government figures, an increasing number of Asian victims, particularly Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis, were brought into Morocco in 2004. Moroccan women are trafficked to Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked internally for exploitation as child domestics and beggars. Sex tourism involving young Moroccans in and around popular tourist destinations has also been reported.

The Government of Morocco fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Although the government did not provide full data on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, the Secretary of State has determined that it made a good faith effort to do so. Over the reporting period, Morocco continued to make progress in its overall anti-trafficking efforts: it signed an agreement with IOM to allow the latter to open an office for anti-trafficking work, created the National Observatory of Migration to coordinate and oversee Morocco's national anti-trafficking efforts, and formed a bi-national commission with Spain on trafficking. Morocco should consider creating a mechanism for identifying and developing trafficking cases for prosecution, and a procedure for referring victims to shelters and NGOs. It should also consider developing a centralized data collection system to document trafficking-related arrests, prosecutions, and convictions.

Prosecution

The government made progress in its prosecution efforts in 2004. Morocco passed a new family code prohibiting the selling of child brides, raised the age of marital consent to 18, took steps to restrict hazardous forms of child labor, and criminalized sexual abuse of children. In 2004, it dismantled 423 trafficking rings and arrested 262 traffickers. Also, the Moroccan police arrested 70 Nigerian traffickers and rescued 1,460 Nigerian victims hidden by traffickers near Mt. Gourougou. In addition, Morocco dismissed the commander and deputy of its 745-man peacekeeping contingent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after a UN report implicated the peacekeepers for sexually assaulting women and children under their care. Morocco also arrested six of the soldiers directly implicated in these crimes and announced that they will be court-martialed. In Marrakech, the police arrested three French tourists for having solicited sex from minors, a measure that serves to deter the demand for trafficking victims.

Protection

In 2004, Morocco continued making progress in protecting trafficking victims. It cooperated with Italy and Spain to repatriate an estimated 6,000 Moroccan minors living illegally in both European countries, some of them likely trafficking victims. In cooperation with Spain and Belgium, it established shelters and provided a wide range of assistance for returnees. The government also repatriated 1,460 Nigerian victims. The Government of Morocco relies heavily on NGOs to assist domestic trafficking victims. The government allows these NGOs to solicit tax-free donations from citizens, residents, and companies – indirectly assisting in the provision of services to victims.

Prevention

The Government of Morocco increased its anti-trafficking prevention activities. Morocco began conducting joint naval surveillance operations with Spain in the Atlantic waters separating the Western Sahara from the Canary Islands, a known trafficking route. It also increased its border police presence along the Algerian border – another known trafficking route. A draft law requiring the police to investigate an employer when a runaway child maid is picked up is expected to be enacted in 2005 and will likely deter the abuse of child maids. In 2004, Morocco introduced severe punishment for promoting prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, child pornography, and child sexual abuse. In 2004, Morocco began training its diplomats in destination and transit countries to assist Moroccan victims. It also increased funding for efforts to stop the "renting" of children as props in begging.

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