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Morocco[1][print]

Last edited: November 2005

 

Summary and Analysis

 

Morocco does not currently seem to possess a developed child protection system that respects the views of children. As recently as 2003, the Committee on the Rights of Children stated in its List of Issues that Morocco needed to implement Article 12 of the CRC such that the expression of children's views would be guaranteed.[2]

 

Morocco ratified the CRC in June of 1993 and published the CRC in its official gazette of laws in 1996. It has, however, only provided a limited voice to children in any aspects of its court system. The Code of Criminal Procedure states that children shall be heard in criminal proceedings and that they can be appointed defense counsel; it also specifies that in civil proceedings children can be given a legal representative should they not have one already. The legal end of childhood is defined in the Code of the Family as the age of eighteen while the child is said to achieve the age to discern at twelve years. The actions of minors who are capable to discern will be valid if they benefit the minor, invalid if they harm him, and submitted to the judgment of his legal representative if they are neither beneficial nor harmful. No laws appear to specifically address the participation of children in any protective proceedings.

 

In an attempt to comply with Article 12 in 1999, the country created the "Parlement de l'Enfant" (PANE; Parliament of the Child) in which children could participate democratically in questions concerning them. It additionally opened the "Observatoire des droits de l'enfant" (ONDE; Observatory of the Rights of the Child), over which Princess Lalla Meryem presides, which is meant to ensure the protection and promotion of children's rights in Morocco. In November 2004, the Princess presided over the opening of regional meetings of the PANE. A number of NGOs are attempting to improve children's access to legal representation.

 

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

 

Original Text

 

International Law

 

Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant[3]

 

Article 12

1. Les Etats parties garantissent à l'enfant qui est capable de discernement le droit d'exprimer librement son opinion sur toute question l'intéressant, les opinions de l'enfant étant dûment prises en considération eu égard à son âge et à son degré de maturité.

2. A cette fin, on donnera notamment à l'enfant la possibilité d'être entendu dans toute procédure judiciaire ou administrative l'intéressant, soit directement, soit par l'intermédiaire d'un représentant ou d'une organisation approprié, de façon compatible avec les règles de procédure de la législation nationale.

 

Statutes

 

Code de procedure pénale[4]

 

Art 337. - Si la personne qui se prétend lésée est incapable d'agir elle-même, par suite de maladie mentale ou en raison de sa minorité et n'a pas de représentant légal, le tribunal peut, sur requête du ministère public, lui désigner un mandataire spécial.[5]

 

Code du statut personnel[6]

 

Art. 102. (modifié par la loi du 10/9/1993) - La durée de la garde se prolonge jusqu'à l'âge de 12 ans pour le garçon et de 15 ans pour la fille, après quoi l'enfant a option de résidence avec qui il veut de son pére ou de sa mere ou de ses proches mentionnés à l'article 99.

 

Code de la famille[7]

 

Art. 54: Les devoirs des parents à l'égard de leurs enfants sont les suivants: . . . . 5. prendre toutes mesures possibles en vue d'assurer la croissance normale des enfants, en préservant leur intégrité physique et psychologique et en veillant sur leur santé par la prévention et les soins . . . .

 

Art. 209: L'âge de la majorité légale est fixé à dix-huit années grégoriennes révolues.

 

Art. 214: L'enfant est doué de discernement lorsqu'il atteint l'âge de 12 années grégoriennes révolues.

 

Art. 225: Les actes du mineur doué de discernement sont soumis aux dispositions suivantes:

1)     Ils sont valables, s'ils lui sont pleinement profitables,

2)     Ils sont nuls, s'ils lui sont préjudiciables,

3)     S'ils ne revêtent pas un caractère profitable ou préjudiciable évident, leur validité est subordonnée à l'approbation de son représentant legal, accordée compte tenu de l'intérêt préponderant de l'interdit et dans les limites des compétences conférées à chaque représentant légal.

 

 

Translation[8]

 

International Law

 

Convention on the Rights of the Child[9]

 

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

 

Statutes

 

Code of Criminal Procedure[10]

 

Art. 337. - If the injured party is incapable of acting on his own due to mental illness or his minority and does not have a legal representative, the court can, at the request of the public ministry, designate a special representative for him.

 

Code of Personal Status[11]

 

Art. 102 (modified by law on 09/10/1993): The duration of guardianship is extended until the age of 12 years for a boy and 15 years for a girl, after which the child has the option to reside with his father or mother or any of his or her relatives mentioned in article 99.

 

Code of the Family[12]

 

Art. 54: The parents owe to their children the following rights: . . . . 5. Taking all possible measures to ensure the normal growth of children by preserving their physical and psychological integrity and by watching over their health through prevention and care . . . .

 

Art. 209: The age of legal adulthood is set at the age of eighteen years.

 

Art. 214: The child is capable to discern when he has reached the age of twelve.

 

Art. 225: The actions of a minor who is able to discern are submitted to the following dispositions:

1)     They are valid if they fully benefit him,

2)     They are invalid if they harm him,

3)     If they are neither evidently beneficial nor harmful, their validity will be subordinated to the approval of his legal representative, keeping in mind the interest of the minor and the limits of the legal competencies that each legal representative has.

 

 

Additional Resources and Links

 

UNICEF Morocco

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/morocco.html

 

NGOs in Morocco

http://www.bibliomonde.com/pages/fiche-geo-carnet.php3?id_page_carnet=17

 

 



Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] Committee on the Rights of the Child, List of Issues: Morocco, Part IV, para. 1, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/Q/MAR/2 (Feb. 7, 2003), available at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/60c8674524a1eac9c1256cf000520884?Opendocument.

[3] Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant, G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.ohchr.org/french/law/crc.htm.

[4] Code de procédure pénale [Code of Criminal Procedure], art. 337.

[5] Even though this provision appears in the Code of Criminal Procedure, it explicitly refers to civil actions.

[6] Code du statut personnel [Code of Personal Status], art. 102.

[7] Code de la famille [Code of the Family], art. 54, 209, 214, 225 (2005) available at http://www.justice.gov.ma/MOUDAWANA/Codefamille.pdf, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[8] All translations to the Code of Personal Status and the Code of the Family were provided by a translator from the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.

[9] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm.

[10] Code of Criminal Procedure, art. 337; Even though this provision appears in the Code of Criminal Procedure, it explicitly refers to civil actions.

[11] Code of Personal Status, art. 102.

[12] Code of the Family, art. 54, 209, 214, 225

 

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