Cablegate: Morocco: Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

DE RUEHCL #0042/01 0661652
P 071652Z MAR 07







E.O. 12958: N/A

REFS: (A) 06 STATE 00202745

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect

2. (U) This cable responds to action request (ref A) for
updated information on the Moroccan government's efforts to
combat trafficking in persons from April 2006 to March

Morocco Remains on the Right Path

3. (SBU) Over the past year, the GOM continued to
prioritize its law enforcement activities intended to
investigate, prosecute, and deter what the GOM describes as
"human-trafficking rings." Over the past year Morocco
continued its strategy to fight trafficking based on five
major pillars: security measures, legislation, the creation
of institutions specializing in fighting illegal migration,
international cooperation, and public awareness campaigns.
It should be underlined, however, that the GOM makes no
distinction between migrant smuggling and human
trafficking. The GOM understands both activities as
illegal and exploitative, which often result in the abuse
and even the demise of Moroccans and third country
nationals who seek to emigrate clandestinely. With
apparent GOM encouragement, Moroccan civil society was
increasingly and visibly active on TIP issues.

4. (U) Morocco's geographic position as a natural conduit
for sub-Saharan trafficking continues to be addressed by
Morocco and the European Union (EU). Despite efforts made
by both Spain and Morocco to stem trafficking and illegal
migration in the past few years, the problem persists.
Throughout the year, the two countries reaffirmed their
commitment to stemming the flow of illegal migrants across
the border in the north, as well as in the waterways
between Morocco and the Canary Islands.

5. (SBU) Moroccan officials continued to assert that the
Polisario orchestrated the illicit transfer of migrants
through the Western Sahara and northern Mauritania to the
Canary Islands. UN officials in the Western Sahara,
however, claimed they saw no evidence of Polisario
involvement in migrant smuggling in any organized or
sanctioned way.

6. (SBU) Morocco continues to work closely with the
Spanish Government on resolving the issue of the 4500-6000
Moroccan minors living illegally in Spain. The Spanish

CASABLANCA 00000042 002 OF 018

Government will not repatriate minors until they are sure
the young Moroccans have a safe and healthy environment
available in Morocco. In 2006 Spain pledged funds for two
rehabilitation centers, one in the Tangier area and one in
Marrakech. The facilities, which will assist in the
minors' reinsertion into Moroccan society, will be shelters
where the children can receive counseling, health care,
remedial education, and job training before being reunited
with their families or placed in regular schools.

7. (U) Overview of Morocco's activities to combat
trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.

--A. Morocco is a country of origin and destination for
domestic trafficking, generally involving young rural girls
recruited to work as child maids in urban areas. It is also
a popular country of transit for internationally trafficked
men, women, and children. It is a country of origin for
men, women, and minors trafficked to European countries and
to a lesser extent the Middle East. According to the
Government of Morocco, international organizations, and
numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the number
of Moroccan minors being trafficked and smuggled into
Spain, Italy, and other European countries, increased in
2006. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is
working with the governments of Morocco and Italy, and
Moroccan NGOs to develop a plan of action to stop the
trafficking of minors. The first phase of this cooperative
plan will be a survey to measure the magnitude of the
problem. In addition, the survey will identify the most
vulnerable persons, pinpoint the regions from which persons
are trafficked, and propose the most effective methods of

According to a spokesman from the Ministry of the Interior
(MOI), the number of illegal migration attempts from
Morocco to Europe plummeted by 62 percent in 2006. He also
claimed that Morocco successfully and humanely repatriated
over 7100 sub-Saharan migrants. The MOI also claimed that
more then 350 trafficking networks were dismantled in 2006.

--B. Domestic trafficking in Morocco has historically
involved three vulnerable groups as victims: (a) girls sent
involuntarily to serve as child maids, (b) girls offered as
child brides, and (c) women forced to perform sexual
services. There have been several instances where Moroccan
women were unknowingly trafficked to Saudi Arabia, the UAE,
Cyprus, and Syria to become sex workers after being
promised jobs as domestics. It appears that the majority
of the girls and young women pressed into domestic
servitude and sexual tourism are from isolated rural
villages in the Middle and High Atlas Mountains. Human

CASABLANCA 00000042 003 OF 018

rights advocates charge that "intermediaries" approach poor
parents promising that their daughters will have a chance
at a better life as child brides or child maids.

Sub-Saharan Africans transiting Morocco, destined for
Europe, also fall victim to traffickers. According to Dr.
Javier Gabaldon, the General and Medical Coordinator for
the Moroccan office of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the
majority of female clandestine sub-Saharan migrants with
whom he came into contact while providing medical care and
humanitarian assistance, were pressured into prostitution
and involuntary servitude to pay for food and shelter by
their "handlers," whether Nigerian, Moroccan, Algerian, or
Spanish. These claims were reinforced by officials at UNHCR
in Rabat who worked directly with refugees and asylum
seekers from sub-Saharan countries.

As a country of origin Morocco's rural and urban poor are a
ready pool for traffickers and migrant smugglers, who
promise a better life to their recruits. Thus, most
internal trafficking of persons occurs in Morocco from
rural poor areas to the cities. According to UNICEF and
local NGO social welfare advocates, traffickers or
"intermediaries" habitually visit isolated rural villages
in the Atlas Mountains where they persuade desperate
parents that their daughters would be better off as child
brides or child maids. Similarly, these intermediaries
serve as the go-between to find employment for adolescent
boys. In rare instances, these youngsters and teenagers
have ended up as sex workers in popular Moroccan tourist
destinations, namely Marrakech, Agadir, and Fez.

Political will exists at the highest levels of government
to combat trafficking in persons. Morocco recognizes its
problems with trafficking as a transit country and country
of origin. The GOM has asked both the U.S. and the EU for
assistance with border challenges and repatriation issues.
Morocco continues to participate in regional and
international conferences focusing on how to counter
trafficking and human smuggling. Morocco fully supports
civil society's efforts to fight human trafficking and

--C. Foreign economic migrants have increasingly sought to
enter Europe through the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and
Melilla or cross from Laayoune (Western Sahara) or Tan-Tan
to the Canary Islands. In 2005 and 2006, however, there
was a shift in the preferred path of migration through the
Western Sahara to further south towards Mauritania. While
most of the migrants come from sub-Saharan Africa, it is
becoming increasingly common to find Asians from India,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan attempting the journey.

CASABLANCA 00000042 004.2 OF 018

According to official Moroccan press, more than 300 illegal
Asian migrants were arrested in the first nine months of
2006. The GOM and several local and international NGOs
estimated that approximately 10,000 illegal sub-Saharan
clandestine migrants were in Morocco awaiting an
opportunity to slip into European territory. There has also
been speculation that another 20,000 are poised at the
Algerian boarder waiting to enter Morocco.

While the GOM continues its efforts to fight trafficking,
the cost is a hardship. The GOM has continuously requested
help from the EU and individual countries. In August, the
EU announced a USD 86 million grant to help implement a
migration emergency program. The project will strengthen
Morocco's ability to manage the migration flow, fight
illegal migration, reinforce border control, improve
Morocco's legal framework, boost border security and
enhance criminal investigation capacities.

Incidents of migrant smuggling, which is rampant in
Morocco, are most often treated as trafficking in persons.
Thus, the proportion of these persons being trafficked
remains open to question since GOM figures do not
differentiate among those who are trafficked from the vast
majority who are voluntary economic migrants.

The number of Moroccan women compelled to perform sexual
services remains difficult to determine as this sort of
activity is culturally unacceptable and is not exclusive to
large urban centers where NGOs are more active in
monitoring and confronting such problems. Many of these
women initially resort to prostitution because of dire
economic circumstances and it remains difficult to
differentiate between those who have been forced or coerced
by others into such behavior and those who have voluntarily
opted for prostitution as a means of economic support.

Morocco is generally not a destination for trafficked
victims from outside the country. However, according to
senior GOM officials and local NGO leaders, numerous
destitute female Nigerian migrants found living illegally
in northeastern Morocco were forced to prostitute
themselves in return for protection, food, and shelter.

8. (U) Prevention efforts.

--A. The government acknowledges that trafficking and
migrant smuggling are problems. The GOM does not
differentiate between illegal migration and trafficking.

--B. In November 2003, in response to a royal edict issued
by King Mohamed VI, the GOM established an overarching

CASABLANCA 00000042 005 OF 018

agency for migration matters, the National Agency for
Migration and Border Surveillance. This agency reports to
both the Palace and the MOI. Within the MOI, the Director
General of Internal Affairs, Director of International
Cooperation, and Chief of Immigration are responsible for
directing policy. Within the Office of the Prime Minister,
there is a secretariat for migration matters. Other
responsible parties include the police, gendarmes, and
border patrol of the MOI, the Ministry of Defense (the army
and navy), the Ministry of Social Development, Family, and
Solidarity, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of
National Education, the Delegated Ministry in charge of
Moroccans Living Abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Consular and Social Affairs Office, and the Customs

On a routine basis, officials of the Labor Department,
which has an Office of Children's Affairs dedicated to
reducing child labor, meet with ILO-IPEC and UNICEF
representatives to harmonize policy and establish programs
designed to combat child labor and the exploitation of
children, notably those working as child maids or junior

--C. In January, the GOM, working closely with local and
international NGOs, initiated a public awareness campaign
to educate Moroccans about the evils of employing child
maids. The campaign is the first part of the GOM's new
Plan of Action to fight child labor and domestic
trafficking of children. The program, Inqad, is aimed at
ending the culture of employing child maids through
education. The awareness campaign uses TV, radio,
brochures, and the national press to spread the message.

--D. The second part of the Plan of Action, child
protection units, began last year. Five pilot units, in
Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, Tangier, and Laayoune offered
street children counseling, legal guidance, psychological
support, and promoted children's rights.

In conjunction with USDOL, ILAB-IPEC, UNICEF, and the
governments of various EU countries, Morocco has a number
of programs underway designed to keep and/or return
children to school. These include the USDOL-funded "ADROS"
program aiding underage children in the labor market and a
USDOL ILO-IPEC program benefiting rural working children.

In addition to the campaigns listed above, the IOM
currently has several projects underway and in the planning
stages. The IOM has nearly completed a social and
educational center in Tetouan aimed at children, the
population's most vulnerable to trafficking. IOM is also

CASABLANCA 00000042 006 OF 018

currently developing a plan to assist and educate children
and minors at-risk of being trafficked or lured into
clandestine migration. The IOM, GOM, and the government of
Italy began development on a similar joint project in
central Morocco in 2006.

--E. The GOM relies heavily on NGOs, other relevant
organizations, and civil society to address the issue of
trafficking. The GOM has established excellent relations
with these organizations.

--F. The GOM does not differentiate between trafficking
and illegal migration; therefore, it does not monitor for
evidence of trafficking specifically. Morocco has
noticeably increased the number of domestic security forces
on its northeast border with Algeria and along its far
southwest Atlantic border, including the disputed Western
Sahara territory, facing the Canary Islands to interdict
trafficking and migrant smuggling. It has also stepped up
enforcement in Tangier and at airports, train stations, and
shipping ports. The GOM has a substantial and well-
organized immigration, customs, and security apparatus that
closely monitors the country's borders. Border patrol
officers routinely find clandestine migrants hidden in
trucks and freighters destined for Spain. In August 2006,
police in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco
arrested nearly 400 Moroccan would be migrants hidden
inside fairground rides destined for mainland Spain.

Unfortunately, a rugged northern coastline, which is
difficult to patrol, and the close proximity to Europe over
the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, make it possible for small
boats to transport illegal migrants to Spain without
detection. Last year, there were more reports of
traffickers and smugglers using powerful jet skis to move
people from Moroccan territory to the beaches of Ceuta.
Moroccan authorities also cite difficulty in monitoring the
long border with Algeria, over which clandestine sub-
Saharan migrants transit into Morocco, especially as the
GOM claims Algerian authorities make little effort to stem
the flow of migrants or to cooperate.

--G. The GOM established two interagency coordinating
bodies, the "National Observatory of Migration," which
serves as an "anti-trafficking in persons task force"
authorized to formulate policy, and the "National Agency
for Migration and Border Surveillance," which conducts
investigations and make arrests.

The Office of the Prime Minister's Secretariat for
Immigration Affairs serves as the coordinating office for
agencies concerned with migration and illegal immigration.

CASABLANCA 00000042 007 OF 018

Anti-trafficking activities are primarily carried out by
the Interior Ministry, although it involves different
entities falling under it: clandestine immigration is the
purview of immigration officials; prostitution falls under
the police; while child brides are under the purview of
local authorities who ultimately report to the Interior
Ministry. Three departments are chiefly responsible for
child labor issues: the Ministry of Employment and
Professional Training, the Secretariat for Families,
Children, and the Handicapped, and the Ministry of National
Education, specifically its Department of Non-Formal
Education, which tries to provide remedial education and
job training to child maids and "apprentice artisans."
Prosecution of individuals charged with trafficking or
violation of labor laws falls to the MOJ.

Over the past five years, the GOM has drawn closer to Spain
and the EU in the common fight against migrant smuggling
and trafficking in persons. Morocco engages in bilateral
efforts with Spain, such as joint naval patrols begun in
mid-February 2004. Morocco has continued to work closely
with other governments as well. It is a member of working
groups on immigration with both the EU and its fellow
Maghreb countries. Internationally, the government
participates actively in U.N.-sponsored activities relating
to trafficking. In July 2007, Morocco hosted the first
European-African Ministerial Conference on Migration. The
conference hosted ministers from 44 countries and over a
dozen international organizations and developed a unified
Mission Statement and Plan of Action for the region.

--H. In 2003, the GOM completed its national action plan to
combat trafficking in persons. The following were and
continue to be involved in developing anti-trafficking
policies and programs: MFA Delegated Ministry in charge of
Moroccans Living Abroad, Office of the Chief of Migration
and Immigration Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister,
Office of the Director of International Cooperation,
Ministry of Interior, Chief of Immigration, Ministry of

9. (U) Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers

--A. On November 20, 2003, Morocco's new Immigration and
Emigration Act 02-03, entitled "Entry and Stay of
Foreigners in the Kingdom of Morocco, Illegal Emigration
and Immigration," was published in the Official Bulletin.
Under Title II, Articles 50-56, the law prohibits
trafficking in persons and sets specific punishments. It
severely punishes people involved in migrant smuggling and
human trafficking, including public officials who take a
hear-no-evil and see-no-evil approach to violations of

CASABLANCA 00000042 008 OF 018

Moroccan immigration law. Title II makes it abundantly
clear that all individuals and their accomplices involved
in human trafficking face high fines and prison sentences.
Asset forfeiture is also established, and the courts are
given extra-territorial judicial powers to rule on
violations of Moroccan law, which take place outside
Morocco. For the first time, Moroccan immigration law
holds public officials accountable. The act criminalizes
acts not only carried out by the operatives, but also by
those who provide safe haven to smuggled persons and
punishes security officers who fail to carry out their
duties. The law is especially harsh on public officials
who are caught promoting illegal emigration and/or

Article 50 stipulates a fine of 3,000 to 10,000 dirhams
(ten dirhams equals roughly one USD) and/or one to six
months imprisonment, aside from any punishments under the
Penal Code, be assessed against any person attempting to
enter and/or exit Moroccan territory by land, sea, or air
by presenting a fraudulent travel document(s) or by
traveling under an assumed name or by using falsified
documents. It also prohibits attempted entry/departure
from points other than recognized border crossings and
designated points of departure.

Article 51 provides that a prison sentence of two to five
years and a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams be levied
against any public official (whether in charge of or a
member of the "public forces"), travel agent, or
transportation personnel operating carriers by land, water,
and/or air who attempts to facilitate the illegal entry or
exit of a person.

Article 52 dictates a prison sentence of six months to
three years and a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams shall
be assessed against anyone found to have facilitated,
organized, or participated in the illegal entry or exit of
Moroccans and/or foreign nationals in a manner detailed in
Articles 50-51 and whether or not payment was made for
his/her services.

Article 52 also specifies increased penalties of 10 to 15
years in prison and a fine of 500,000 to 1,000,000 dirhams
be levied against individuals who are repeat offenders and
are discovered to have been habitually involved in human

Penalties of 10 to 15 years imprisonment and fines of
500,000 to 1,000,000 dirhams are to be assessed against
individual members of any association or cartel created for
the express purpose of migrant smuggling. Leaders of these

CASABLANCA 00000042 009 OF 018

associations are also subject to the penalties prescribed
in Article 294, Paragraph 2, of the Penal Code.

Moreover, Article 52 inflicts even greater punishments of
15 to 20 years in prison should the would-be emigrant or
immigrant suffer serious injury and "permanent incapacity"
is the result. If the migrant is killed while being
transported, the trafficker is subject to life

Should convictions be handed down, Article 53 grants the
courts the right to confiscate the means of transport,
whether public, private, or rental, used to commit
violations of the law. Transportation assets of
trafficking ring members and their accomplices may also be
seized, whether or not they participated in the operation.

Article 54 orders that a fine of 10,000 to 1,000,000
dirhams be assessed against any corporate entity found
guilty of immigration infractions as specified above.
Corporate entities are also subject to confiscation orders.

Article 55 requires that judgments be made public in three
daily newspapers, which cover the jurisdiction where the
case was heard.

Finally, Article 56 establishes that the Moroccan courts
may hear cases brought against foreigners accused of
violating Moroccan immigration law. The courts are given
extra-territorial jurisdiction in Article 56, which says
they may rule on infractions of Moroccan law, which occur
outside Morocco's borders and are committed by non-

--B. Penalties under articles 497-504 and 540-549 for
traffickers deceiving, defrauding, or coercing individuals
are from six months to five years' imprisonment and fines
of 200 dirhams (USD 23) to 5000 dirhams (USD 590),
depending upon whether minors have been corrupted.

--C. Morocco does not have a law specifically forbidding
labor trafficking. Moroccan law, however, does forbid
clandestine labor. The offense carries a fine of between
2000-5000 dirhams (USD 230-590). In the case of employing
children under 15 years of age, the fine is increased to
25,000-30,000 dirhams (USD 2960-3555). The Moroccan penal
code imposes a fine of 5000-20,000 dirhams (USD 590-2370),
and between one and three years prison sentence for anyone
convicted of facilitating or encouraging forced child
labor. Forced labor is defined by the penal code as any
illegal work or any work harmful to a child's health,

CASABLANCA 00000042 010 OF 018

security or morals. Post does not have statistics for
forced labor prosecutions in Morocco.

--D. The penalty for rape or forcible sexual assault is
dependent upon the involvement of minors and whether the
act was deemed violent. Rape offenders can be imprisoned
for 5-10 years (article 486). Sexual offenses against
minors, not involving violence (i.e., intercourse not
deemed rape), are punishable by five to ten years'
imprisonment (article 484). Perpetrators of similar acts
with violence (rape) face 10-20 years in prison (article
485); if this results in victim's loss of virginity, the
offender faces 20-30 years' in jail (article 488). Actual
sentences handed down may be less or more severe depending
on whether it is a first offense or attenuating
circumstances existed.

--E. While prostitution and solicitation of prostitutes is
illegal, local law enforcement often casts a blind eye to
the problem. Prostitution is commonplace in large cites
like Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez, and Agadir, but also poses
a problem in smaller cities and in rural areas as well.
The government has prosecuted cases against individuals who
coerced or forced women into performing sexual services.

--F. According to MOI reports, the government claims to
have broken up more than 350 trafficking/smuggling rings in
2006. Of the rings dismantled, 51 cases involving 156
persons were prosecuted for participating, financing or
facilitating illegal entry into or exit out of Morocco of
both Moroccans and foreigners. Of the above mentioned
cases, 23 decisions were rendered, 14 are currently under
investigation, and another 14 are presently being tried.
Sentences handed down on the convictions range from two
months to 12 years imprisonment in addition to fines
ranging from 2000-500,000 dirhams (USD 230-59,260).

--G. Various types of individuals and groups are behind
migrant smuggling and human trafficking in Morocco:
organized criminal gangs are responsible for coordinating
some of the clandestine migration to Europe, particularly
the sub-Saharans transiting Morocco; "intermediaries" who
for a fee work as professional placement agents for the
parents of potential child brides, child maids, and
apprentice artisans trafficked domestically; parents of
rural girls who act as their own "brokers" for farming out
their children as child brides or maids; and financially
motivated criminals who coerce young women into
prostitution. Some Moroccan authorities acting
independently, such as border officials or local police,
may also turn a blind eye, in exchange for money, to
facilitate trafficking.

CASABLANCA 00000042 011 OF 018

Most trafficking rings in Morocco are small criminal
groups, although the GOM refers to them as "trafficking
mafias." Many of the 350 trafficking rings discovered in
2006 were freelancers or rings working with a handful of
people. While the majority of traffickers apprehended were
Moroccan, new international networks are appearing with
more frequency. In September, authorities arrested a
trafficker with connections to Libya. He confessed to
flying illegal Moroccan immigrants to the Libyan desert and
then abandoning them before calling local authorities. In
November, the Association of Families of Victims of
Clandestine Immigrants, an active and respected Moroccan
NGO, claimed that since the GOM has cracked down on illegal
migration along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts,
Moroccans are increasingly attempting to migrate to Europe
across North Africa and into Italy. The group also
asserted that Libyan authorities are capturing, jailing,
torturing, and sentencing Moroccan migrants to forced

In tourist towns, there are unofficial reports that hotel
personnel arrange to transport girls and young women from
rural areas to cities to work as prostitutes.
Additionally, there is anecdotal evidence that bartenders
and taxi drivers act as "pimps" and arrange to bring the
rural women to the larger tourist cities and arrange work
for them. There is no evidence that GOM officials are
involved in any way.

In addition, the MOI voiced concern this year that there
may be growing connections between international terrorist
groups, organized crime, money laundering rings, and human
trafficking networks in Morocco.

--H. Security forces are actively engaged in investigating,
pursuing, and dismantling human trafficking and smuggling
rings. The government claims more than 350 rings were
discovered and disbanded in 2006. While the majority of
these operations concerned only migrant smuggling, the GOM
learned during these investigations that some expeditors
had pressured sub-Saharan African women to prostitute
themselves in order to receive food and shelter while
others were involved in false job recruitment schemes in
Spain, Italy, Cyprus, the Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia.

--I. Law enforcement officers often participate in
training and seminars that cover trafficking when these
programs are offered by other countries. Training has been
given by the France, Germany, Spain, and Saudi Arabia,
according to MOI officials. This year, UNHCR agreed to
work with the GOM to train law enforcement officials on the

CASABLANCA 00000042 012 OF 018

internationally accepted manner of dealing with potential
refugees and asylum seekers. The project will be multi-
phased with the second phase of the training to include a
module on identifying trafficked persons.

--J. Morocco is party to several bilateral and multilateral
conventions on judicial cooperation and extradition of
criminals with European, Arab, Asian, and African
countries, as well as the United States. Last year,
according to the MOJ, Morocco worked closely with Italian
authorities concerning illegal migration of Moroccan minors
to Italy. The investigation resulted in information that
assisted in the dismantling of criminal networks that
specialized in illegal migration of children and their
exploitation as "mules" for drug traffickers. Statistics
on the number of international investigations are not
currently available.

--K. The GOM has not extradited individuals charged with
trafficking, although government officials note that
Morocco does have bilateral extradition treaties with
relevant countries. Morocco does not extradite its
nationals in accordance with Article 721 of the Penal Code.

--L. There is no evidence of national government
involvement or tolerance for trafficking. On a local level
however, there are rumors that public servants acting on
their own seek pay-offs or bribes to look the other way in
some cases of migrant smuggling. The government is
attempting to crack down on corruption within the public
sector. In order to conform to the United Nations
Convention Against Corruption which Morocco signed in
December 2003, the GOM announced a new project aimed at
creating an independent body to fight corruption.

--M. The GOM prosecutes to the full extent of the law its
own officials, as it does other individuals, involved in
trafficking. In 2006, a judicial police officer, in the
northern Moroccan town of Nador, was arrested and
prosecuted for corruption and involvement in a local
organized criminal activity facilitating illegal migration
of Moroccans to Spain. He received a four year prison
sentence. In the same region two other policemen were
convicted and sentenced to 2 months suspended sentence and
fines for forging administrative documents and encouraging
illegal migration. There is currently an ongoing
investigation of two police officers in Casablanca charged
with organizing a criminal gang to facilitate the illegal
entry of foreigners into Morocco and assist in their exit
from the country.

--N. Revisions to the Penal Code enacted in December 2003

CASABLANCA 00000042 013 OF 018

provide for extraterritorial coverage in cases of child
sexual abuse and child sex tourism. According to Minister
of Justice Mohamed Bouzoubaa, the number of sexual
perversion and pedophilia cases between foreigners and
Moroccan minors rose 26 percent in 2006. Of the
nationalities involved the MOJ cited, Spanish, German,
Dutch, French, Belgian, Tunisian, Swiss and other
nationalities. The sentences of those convicted in 2006
ranged from two months to three years imprisonment.
Specific numbers of arrests and convictions were not

--O. Morocco is a signatory to ILO Conventions 138 (adopted
March 19, 1999; ratified January 6, 2000) and 182 (adopted
November 24, 2000; ratified January 26, 2001). These two
ILO Conventions were published in the Official Bulletin on
December 4, 2003. They went into immediate effect.
Morocco has adopted the UN International Convention on the
Rights of the Child (ratified June 21, 1993). Morocco
signed the Sale of Children Protocol supplementing the
Rights of the Child Convention in September 2000. Moroccan
law has been amended to comply with the UN Optional
Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on
the sale of children, child prostitution, and child
pornography. The Penal Code was revised in December 2003
to incorporate these changes. Morocco is a signatory to
the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking
in Persons, supplementing the U.N. Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime. Morocco is a party (since
May 1959) to the Geneva Conventions against slavery, ILO
Conventions 29 and 105 (ratified May 1957 and December 1966
respectively) against forced labor, and the 1949 UN
Convention against trafficking in persons (ratified August
1973). In June 2003, Morocco ratified the International
Convention on the Rights of Migrants and Their Families.

10. (U) Protection and assistance to victims.

--A. Morocco's Center for Migrant Rights provides
counseling services, including an explanation of one's
legal and civil rights, to migrants; however, legal
representation is not offered, nor is shelter, medical or
psychological services. The GOM relies on the NGO community
to provide most services to victims of trafficking.

Child maids who have fled abusive employers or women forced
into prostitution that have fled the abusive situation,
have been assisted by Moroccan authorities, specifically,
the Secretary of State for Family, Solidarity, and Social
Action. The former Ministry of Women's and Children's
Affairs developed a national strategy to combat violence
against women which includes training for social workers to

CASABLANCA 00000042 014 OF 018

deal with women and girls who are victims of violence.
Victims of child labor and forced prostitution are often
aided by local NGOs active in combating those problems.

--B. The GOM provides modest funds to national NGO's
offering shelter and services to victims of trafficking.
In addition, it offers teachers and social workers to
support national NGOs working with child maids. At the
Ministry of Labor, it provides offices to the International
Labor Organization (ILO)'s International Program for the
Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC), which is working on the
child maid problem. The GOM allows authorized NGO's to
solicit tax-free donations from citizens, residents, and
companies, indirectly assisting these non-profit elements
of civil society to provide services to trafficking

--C. Those potential victims of trafficking who are
detained, jailed, or deported, are usually third country
nationals transiting Morocco en route to Europe.
Thesedetainees are prosecuted for violation of immigration
laws or deported. The harsh international reaction to a
December police roundup of illegal migrants, and UNHCR
recognized refugees and asylum seekers prompted the GOM to
accept the UNHCR offer of training of law enforcement
individuals in the handling and identification of
recognized refugees. Morocco is a signatory of the
Convention for Protection of Immigrants and Their Families.

In 2003 Parliament changed the Penal Code so that runaway
child maids may be administratively returned to their
families instead of being arrested for vagrancy. If
returning them to their parents is not possible or
feasible, they should be placed in separate youth centers,
not mixed in with juvenile delinquents.

--D. Morocco's November 2003 Immigration and Emigration
Act carefully defines the rights of illegal immigrants,
economic migrants, and asylum seekers in Title II, Article
38. This article also pinpoints the prerogatives
immigration officials have in protecting Morocco's borders.
The statute (and the way the law is implemented) blurs the
distinction between trafficked persons and economic
migrants. It sets forth limits to how long a non-Moroccan
may be detained and under what conditions. The law
furthermore lists the rights which an intending immigrant,
non-resident alien, casual visitor, or trafficked person is
entitled. In the past year, however, there have been
reports by NGOs, such as MSF, IOM, and other organizations,
that human rights of the non-Moroccan migrants were
violated when Moroccan police transported numerous sub-
Saharan illegal economic migrants, mixed with refugees, to

CASABLANCA 00000042 015 OF 018

the Algerian border and left them in the desert with little
or no food or water. UNHCR reported claims that some of
the sub-Saharans taken in the raid were abused and had
their documents stolen or destroyed.

--E. While victims are not encouraged to file civil suits
against traffickers, they often testify on behalf of the
GOM when it seeks to prosecute trafficking cases.

--F. We are unaware of any specific protections, other
than laws forbidding the various forms of trafficking, that
the government provides to victims of trafficking or
witnesses in cases against traffickers.

--G. Morocco offers some specialized training for
government officials in how to deal with victims of
trafficking. The government trained diplomats in countries
that are prime destination or transit countries, i.e.,
Spain and Italy, for Moroccan victims of trafficking.

--H. Morocco is working with NGOs and the international
community, specifically Spain, Italy and the IOM, to
establish shelters and a system to assist minors who have
been the victims of trafficking.

--I. The most outspoken organization dedicated to the
eradication of trafficking and migrant smuggling is the
"Friends and Families of Clandestine Immigration Victims,"
headed by Khalil Jemmah. In addition, several local NGOs
focus on women's and children's issues and directly or
indirectly work to mitigate the incidence and abuse of
child brides, child maids and women forced into sexual
services. The work of these NGOs includes publicizing and
monitoring the child maid problem; providing remedial
education, vocational training, health care, and
recreational opportunities to child maids; rehabilitating
and educating street children, delinquents and runaways;
assisting single mothers to become financially independent;
educating youth and prostitutes (male and female) about the
dangers of unprotected sex; and advocating women's and
children's rights.

--I. The following (alphabetical) list outlines those
Moroccan NGOs best known for dealing with populations that
include possible victims of trafficking. Most of these
organizations receive support and/or cooperation from the
Moroccan government, in particular the Secretariat for
Family, Solidarity, and Social Action:

Association Bayti
Dr. Najat M'jid
Km. 12.5, Ancienne route de Rabat

CASABLANCA 00000042 016 OF 018

Sidi Bernoussi, Casablanca
Tel: (212) 22-75-69-65/66
Bayti focuses its work on street children, rehabilitating
and educating runaways, child prostitutes, and indigents.

Centre Lalla Meriam
Mrs. Benaich
2, Rue Souktani
Tel: (212) 37-20-13-93 and (212) 37-73-03-02
This center works with single mothers, many of them child
maids, and abandoned babies.

Mrs. Bennani
Tel: (212) 22-36-60-98
Ikram runs a program for young women in the 15-16 year old
range to train them to become "certified" domestic servants
and child-care workers.

La Ligue Marocaine de la Protection de l'Enfance (LMPE)
Mrs. Fatima Hassar, Presidente centrale
Ave Akrach/Rue Mellouza, Nahda II,
Quartier Haut Souissi, Rabat
Tel: (212) 37-75-03-10
LMPE (the Moroccan League for the Protection of Infancy or
the Children's Protection League) was founded in 1957 with
a focus on helping abandoned or other vulnerable children.
It conducted the first study of child maids in Morocco,
released in November 1995. LMPE operates day care centers,
emergency medical centers, literacy training and clubs for
poor children and their families. It is also one of the
NGOs participating in the child maids project in

Institut Natl. de Solidarite avec les Femmes en D?tresse
Mrs. Meriem Othmani, President
20 bis, rue de Peronne
Tel: (212) 22-40-12-22
INSAF (National Institute for Solidarity with Women in
Distress), established November 1999, is the successor to a
local affiliate of Swiss-based Terre des Hommes. It
assists single mothers by providing a shelter and several
"halfway homes" (apartments) in Casablanca. It also helps
them become more independent through education and
training, while caring for their infants and children in
day care centers. It will be expanding its activities to
target child maids specifically for sex education, as this
population constitutes a significant number of rape victims

CASABLANCA 00000042 017 OF 018

and unwed mothers.

Observatoire Nationale des Droits de l'Enfant (ONDE)
Dr. El Malki Tazi, President
B.P. 511, Rabat Chellah
Tel. (212) 37-75-50-99, fax 37-75-53-43
ONDE (the National Observatory for Children's Rights)
operates a child abuse hotline (24/7), has organized
children's rights publicity campaigns with support from
UNICEF, and has a "one village-one well" campaign to reduce
the labor burden on children and families of fetching

Solidarite Feminine
Mrs. Aicha Echanna
10, Rue Mingard
Palmier, Casablanca
Tel: (212) 22-25-46-46
This large NGO is an advocate of women's rights, but its
director has worked on rehabilitating prostitutes and
spearheaded an effort to publicize the plight of child

TIP Hero

11. (U) Post would like to nominate Secretary of State for
Families, Children, and the Handicapped, Yasmina Baddou, as
Morocco's Anti-Trafficking Hero. Baddou has been and
continues to be an indefatigable advocate for children's
rights. Her fight to rescue child laborers and child maids
in particular in Morocco helped bring the once taboo
subject to light. Baddou spearheaded Morocco's new Plan of
Action to fight child labor and insure that all of the
country's children are afforded the opportunity to have a
safe and healthy childhood, attend school, and be protected
against forced labor. The Plan of Action, launched this
year, began with an awareness campaign to sensitize the
general population of the dangers of this once widely
accepted practice of employing child maids. Other parts of
the program include the development of child protection and
rescue units throughout the country, and emergency action
teams to assist street children at risk. Baddou has
managed to insure commitments to the Plan of Action from
numerous ministries and secretariats, in addition to NGOs
and various civil society members.

12. (U) Sources for this report include officials in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Employment,
Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice. Other

CASABLANCA 00000042 018 OF 018

sources included NGOs, international organizations and
other child welfare advocates; researchers; Ministry of
Justice publications; press reports; and prior reporting.

13. (U) Mission POC on TIP issues is Amy M. Wilson,
Labor/Political Officer, ConGen Casablanca, tel. 212-22-26-
45-50, ext. 4151; fax 212-22-20-80-96; mail: PSC 74, Box
24, APO, AE 09718; pouch: 6280 Casablanca Place,
Washington, DC 20521-6280; e-mail: WilsonAM(at

14. Embassy Rabat cleared this message.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>


Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>


MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>


Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>


Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>