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Concluding Observations, CCPR/C/MAR/CO/6, 2 November 2016: Morocco

C. Principal areas of concern and recommendations

Discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity

11. The Committee is concerned at the criminalization of homosexuality, the fact that it is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years and the arrests that have been made on that basis. It is also concerned by reports of the advocacy of hatred, discrimination and violence against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity (arts. 2, 9 and 26).

12. The State party should take steps to: (a) abrogate article 489 of the Criminal Code in order to decriminalize homosexuality and sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex; (b) free anyone who is in detention solely for having had consensual sexual relations with a member of the same sex; and (c) put an end to the social stigmatization of homosexuality, incitement to hate, discrimination and violence directed at persons because of their sexual orientation or actual or presumed gender identity.

Violence against women

15. The Committee welcomes the fact that, in 2014, the State party abrogated article 475 (2) of the Criminal Code, which had allowed rape charges to be dropped when the victim was a minor if the perpetrator married the victim. It remains concerned, however, about: (a) the prevalence of violence against women; (b) the fact that violent attacks often go unreported and the perpetrators of violence often are not prosecuted owing, inter alia, to the absence of protection measures and support facilities and to the fact that victims of rape who report the crime may themselves be prosecuted because of the criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage between consenting adults; (c) the limited scope of the law under which sexual harassment is a criminal offence; and (d) the fact that the legislative reforms now under way leave a number of discriminatory provisions in place, such as the one that sets out mitigating circumstances for “honour crimes” (arts. 3, 6, 7 and 17).

16. The State party should: (a) promptly amend its laws so as to afford adequate protection for women against violence and sexual harassment; (b) encourage people to report crimes of violence by ensuring that cases involving violence against women are thoroughly investigated, that the offenders are prosecuted and sentenced, and that victims have access to effective remedies and are not prosecuted for having engaged in sexual relations outside marriage; and (c) ensure that victims of domestic or sexual violence receive proper legal, medical and psychological assistance and improve victim support facilities and mechanisms.

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CCPR-Morocco-2016-eng