U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Morocco

Morocco (Tier 1)

Morocco is a country of origin and transit for trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of girls from rural areas to cities for domestic servitude as child maids is widespread. Internal trafficking of women for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation takes place on a smaller scale. Some Moroccan men and women seeking work in Europe and the Middle East as domestic servants or in the hotel or construction industry have been forced into situations of coerced labor, narcotics trafficking, or commercial sexual exploitation. There are also unsubstantiated reports that some who transit from West African countries through Morocco to Europe may be trafficked.

The Government of Morocco fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.


The Government of Morocco participated in several high-level meetings with the European Union and the Governments of Italy and Spain to strengthen migration policies and procedures to Europe. Moroccan diplomats in both transit and destination countries are trained to assist Moroccan victims, and Moroccan consular officers are trained to provide counsel to unattended at-risk adolescents in Spain and Italy. Working with non-governmental organizations, the government has supported numerous anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns that warn young people about the dangers of migration to Europe and citizens against using child maids.


Morocco has no law that specifically prohibits trafficking; however, the government utilizes a number of statutes covering kidnapping, forced prostitution, and coercion against traffickers. Law enforcement agencies actively investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers. A former Belgian consul general was arrested in Morocco for recruiting Moroccan women to work in Belgian nightclubs. An accomplice working in the Moroccan Secretariat of the Royal Palace Guards was arrested and charged with deceit and forgery for drafting bogus letters of reference for the women. The police worked together with law enforcement from Saudi Arabia to break up a Moroccan trafficking ring consisting of 40 family members. Law enforcement officers participate in training and seminars about trafficking that are held by other countries. The Moroccan Council of Ministers announced that it had adopted a law that will increase punishments against traffickers. There is no evidence of official government involvement in trafficking, but some border officials and police have taken bribes to turn a blind eye to trafficking or smuggling. A government crackdown on all types of corruption within the public sector has investigated approximately 10,000 officials for allegations of corruption, including corruption related to trafficking in persons.


The government provides modest funds to non-governmental organizations, participates in anti-trafficking and anti-child labor campaigns with international organizations, repatriates former child maids to their families, and has created a Center for Immigration that provides counseling services including explanation of legal and civil rights to migrants. The Secretary of State for Family has taken custody of abused child maids.


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