National and International Seminars held June 2014

To follow – up on the outcome of the scientific committee’s meeting of May 17, 2014 concerning the preparation of the second session of the World Forum on Human Rights, were held from the 19th to the 21th June 2014, two seminars. The first one was a preparatory seminar made at the national level and the second one was an international meeting.

The debates and discussions were focused on four main points:

  1. Ownership of the World Forum on Human Rights by national and international civil society: report of the scientific committee, information on progress made in the preparations, discussions on the context and the objectives of the Forum…
  2. Methodology.
  3. The context of the Forum (thematic structuring the Forum).
  4. The procedures, actions and mechanisms of both national and international mobilization.
  1. Background and objectives of the Forum
  1. Background

The presentations focused on the general context in which the Forum in its first edition in Brazil has been designed and realized. They put a particular emphasis on the fact that the evolution of human rights was globally deployed on several levels:

  • The willingness to make these rights universal is expressed by an accelerated widespread of the international standard.
  • The United Nations have well shown this dynamic by developing and adopting new standards concerning Human Rights.
  • The multiplication of national bodies, regional institutions, coordination networks.
  • The emergence of new issues and new challenges that the defenders of Human Rights, States and international institutions have to face in a world more and more inclined to globalization.
  1. The general objective of the Forum

The debate on the purpose of the World Forum on Human Rights initiated during the meeting of experts and was discussed at length at the national and international seminars, first focused on the possibility of choosing a generic title for the second forum of Marrakech that would result in a strong and significant thematic and that will contain a unifying goal in order to face the multiplicity and diversity of each other’s proposals.

Based on the international dimension of the Forum and in a spirit of overcoming national and regional divisions and taking also into account the tripartite nature of the Forum (governments, national human rights institutions and civil society), participants, convinced to consider this Forum, not as an event, but as a process have decided to make of the Forum of Marrakech a highly strong moment in order to:

Call the international awareness on the respect of human rights in their universality and indivisibility.

  1. Specific Objectives

Concerning the specific and shared objectives, the debates have highlighted the following points (without classification by priorities):

  • Make an update, map out the state of advancement, measure the progress and achievements in the field of Human Rights without forgetting to assert their universality.
  • Weigh on the future of Human Rights in the world.
  • Sensitize governments to a rights based approach.
  • Enable organizations of Human Rights to consult and to reinforce each other through training and networking.
  • Accelerate the reform process in the field of Human Rights, particularly in the host country of the World Forum.
  1. Methodology of the Forum
  1. The approach advocated by the participants is a democratic and participatory one based on access and information sharing, integration and the inclusion of the majority of the civil society forces, national institutions, unions, universities, local authorities and international bodies. This approach is also based on an egalitarian conception aiming to involve a higher number of actors in the process of development, implementation and evaluation.
  2. This approach should be reflected in the themes selected while leaving the possibility to collective initiatives that are in line with the Forum process.
  3. Consider and propose modalities and measures concerning the transversality issue of women and youth.
  4. Act for the participation of women and the transversality of the gender dimension in all the activities of the Forum.
  1. Thematic of the Forum

By the end of three meetings (meeting of experts, national and international seminars) it had been decided to organize the Forum around 14 themes: each axis includes issues that may be the subject of a specific workshop.

  1. Rights, freedoms and citizenship
  • State of knowledge of the Human Rights? Contemporary and theoretical breakthroughs.
  • State of civil and political rights (political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention…).
  • Death penalty: a site for Human Rights’ defenders.
  • Corruption: a violation of Human Rights.
  • Justice and fair trials, the rights of defence…
  • Prison space, pre-trial detention and respect of the Human Rights, alternative sanctions…
  • Rights and discrimination.
  • Democracy and Human Rights: convergences and antagonisms.
  • Mechanisms for the protection of rights and freedoms and mechanisms that force to respect these rights (fight against impunity, effectiveness of Human Rights…).
  • Violence (State violence, violence against women and children…).
  • Elections and violation of Human Rights. Elections in conflict zones.
  • Public freedoms: freedom of assembly, freedom to do a protest, freedom of association and freedom to have meetings.
  • Freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
  • Community media and alternative media.
  • The right to have access to information.
  • The protection of Human Rights’ defenders.
  • Individual freedoms: of conscience, belief, thought, origination, and the freedom of having control over one’s body.
  • Protection of personal data and privacy.
  • Internet and Human Rights.
  1. Women’s rights
  • Equality / Parity.
  • Violence against women.
  • Women and public spaces.
  • The lifting of reservations on international conventions.
  • Women and the right to political participation.
  • Women and the access to land (case of the Soulalyates).
  • Women in conflict situations.
  • Migrant Women’s Rights.
  • Women and domestic work.
  • Women and discrimination (in public places and in workplaces).
  1. Economic and social rights

 

  • The right to work (the fight against unemployment).
  • Universal coverage.
  • The right of access to basic public services (health, water, electricity, housing, education, culture…).
  • The issue of the right to adequate housing.
  • The right of access to natural resources.
  • The right to development (development and Human Rights).
  • Local policies and the right to development.
  • City management and the protection of Human Rights.
  • Equitable distribution of wealth.
  • AIDS and Human Rights.
  • Unions as well as economic and social rights.
  • New social movements and the economic and social rights.
  • Common property, privatization, and the respect for the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.
  • Consumer protection.

 

  1. Development and Human Rights

 

  • MDGs (Millennium Development Goals): what vision? What actions after 2015?
  • WTO (World Trade Organization) and the respect of Human Rights.
  • Free trade agreements and their impact on Human Rights.
  • The alternative economies (the social and solidarity-based economy).
  • Globalization and Human Rights.
  • Multinationals and the respect of Human Rights.
  • Economic rights, globalization and the fight against unemployment.
  • Rethinking corporate responsibility in the context of a globalized economy.
  • Corruption and development.

 

  1. Migration and Human Rights

 

  • Rights of migrants.
  • Racism.
  • Migration and development.
  • Discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
  • Freedom of movement and freedom of establishment.
  • Migrant Women.

 

  1. Disabilities and Human Rights

 

  • International mechanisms.
  • Public policy and disability: what safeguards and access rights?
  • Society and its perceptions on disability.
  • Disability and accessibility.
  • Disability and the rights of being trained and educated.
  • Civil society and disability.
  • Disability and political rights.
  • Disability and the right to work: companies and disability.

 

  1. Environment and climate justice

 

  • The issue of water.
  • The issue of sanitation.
  • The climate justice.
  • Sustainable management of biodiversity and the right to food safety.
  • International standards and mechanisms in terms of environmental protection.
  • Public policies concerning the protection of the environment.
  • Waste (all together…) and the protection of citizens.
  • Protection of life, bioethics and Human Rights.

 

  1. International law and mechanisms of protection

 

  • International criminal justice.
  • National and international bodies of protection.
  • Democratization of the UN bodies and the UN system.
  • Conventions and the lifting of reservations.
  • The universality of Human Rights tested by cultural relativism and cultural distinctiveness.
  • The issue of redress mechanisms.
  • The right to self – determination / the right of interference: what are the borders for the Human Rights?

 

  1. Education, the teaching and the Human Rights

 

  • National and international mechanisms for the protection of the right to teach and to right to education.
  • The right to education in conflict zones.
  • Disability and the right to education.
  • Violence and the management of violence in schools.
  • Women and girls’ rights to education.
  • Contents of education and the respect of Human Rights.
  • Human Rights’ education.

 

  1. Rights and cultural diversity

 

  • Language rights.
  • Cultural rights.
  • Culture and the access to culture as a right.
  • The right to cultural diversity.
  • Universality of rights and cultural specificity.
  • How to articulate culture, education and human rights in contemporary societies?
  • The right to be different or the difference of rights: Human rights and risks of particularism.

 

 

 

  1. Conflicts and Human rights

 

  • Mechanisms of protection in conflict zones.
  • Armament and arms trafficking.
  • Terrorism and Human Rights.
  • Criminal Trade.
  • The issue of mines in conflicts and post-conflicts zones.
  • The rights of refugees.

 

  1. Rights of the child
  • Mechanisms to protect children and their rights.
  • Public policies concerning children protection.
  • The “Kafala” (the responsibility of taking care of a child).
  • Pedophilia.
  • Violence against children.
  • Child labour.
  • Child prostitution.
  • Early marriage.
  • The right to education.
  • The rights of migrants’ children that are in an illegal situation.
  • Children with disabilities.
  • Means of redress for the child’s rights and the fight against impunity.

 

  1. Transitional justice and security governance

 

  • Truth, history and memory in the light of Human Rights.
  • Mechanisms set up to fight impunity.
  • International criminal justice and transitional justice.
  • Gender in the process of transitional justice.
  • Civil society and the process of transitional justice.
  • Media and transitional justice.
  • The role of national institutions in the security sector reform.
  • Security governance and the rule of law.

 

  1. The minority rights

 

  • Multiethnic States and the protection of minority rights.
  • The combined discrimination.
  • Discrimination in workplaces: what role for trade unions? What role for the ILO (International Labour Organization)?
  • Unions and minority rights.
  • The rights of sexual minorities.
  • The right of religious minorities.
  • The refugees and the minority rights.
  • Media and minorities.
  • Education and the respect of minorities.
  • International legal guarantees for the protection of minority rights.

 

  1. Other proposals

In addition it was recommended to:

  1. Focus on the issue of discrimination due to its transversality.
  2. Focus on the universality of Human Rights which is now endangered because of the political changes that have occurred since 2011.
  3. Focus on the protection of Human Rights’ defenders.
  4. Make an international focus on the abolition of death penalty:

 

  • By giving voice during the opening to a representative of the World Coalition against death penalty.
  • By organizing an international conference on the abolition of death penalty.
  • By introducing this query in the final declaration.
  • By supporting the production of communication materials and awareness.
  1. Plan activities on youth on the proposal of young people (public policies, mechanisms concerning the right to participation, the right to have access to employment, young people and the right to culture as well as the right to have access to public spaces).
  2. Everything should be done to ensure not only a strong participation of women but also the transversality of the gender dimension in all the activities of the Forum.
  3. Plan an axis about civil society and the protection of Human Rights
  • Civil society and UN mechanisms.
  • Civil society and States.
  • Civil society and the right to have access to finance.
  • Civil society and public policy.
  • Civil society and mediation.
  1. Provide the possibility of a national multi-actors conference on the results and perspectives concerning the Human Rights’ situation in Morocco: debate between civil society, governments, political parties and trade unions.
  2. Work for a media coverage provided by private and public bodies at the extent of this international event on Human Rights.

 

  1. Architecture of the Forum’s space

The Forum’s space is made of:

  • Areas dedicated to conferences / seminars and workshops that will focus on major international issues of Human Rights and whose management will be done by the International Forum Committee in consultation with the National Forum Committee.
  • Self-directed workshops that will be under the entire responsibility of the initiators (organizations, networks, collectives…) in terms of content and progress. The secretariat of the Forum deals with their supply concerning the necessary logistics needed in the space of the Forum (rooms, stands, sound system…) focusing (depending on space availability) on proposals coming from networks, collectives and platforms. For the convenience of managing, a leader will be in charge with the secretariat of the Forum, to ensure the coordination and contacts.
  • Spaces dedicated to Human Rights’ training that follow the same management criteria as those of self-directed workshops.
  • Spaces dedicated (as requested) to collectives associations as well as regional or international networks, which are willing to organize internal meetings in the margins of the Forum.
  • Related to the issues of Human Rights, it is planned to have an exhibition of books and film projections.
  • A space for the social and solidarity – based economy.
  • Open thematic spaces: women, youth, disability, children, Human Rights’ clubs… while taking care not to create divisions and a fragmentation within the Forum. A committee made of experts should be set up in order to organize this “open space”.
  • Activities and cultural events.

 

  1. Organization of the Forum

The meeting of experts in May, the national seminar bringing together Moroccan NGOs as well as the international seminar allowed to set up:

  1. A secretariat.
  2. An international committee.
  3. A national committee.

To ensure:

  1. The implementation of the Forum.
  2. The Forum’s consistency.
  3. The management of the diversity approaches, interests, actors, geographic areas, languages.
  4. The monitoring of the out - put and recommendations that are coming from the Forum. The participants insisted also on the need to consider and set up monitoring bodies for the Forum’s out – put: final declaration, thematic declarations, declarations coming from specific networks, modalities of interpellation of governments and UN bodies that were present.

 

 

The organization must ensure to:

  1. Open up to the civil society and the minorities (like in Brasilia).
  2. Take into consideration some categories (the deaf and the mute people for example).
  3. Mobilize the press.
  4. Provide the logistics (rooms in sufficient numbers and in a good condition).
  5. Provide sufficient documentation and in many languages.
  6. Take into consideration the Amazigh dialect in every communication and information materials.
  7. Elaborate a vision and a collective management for the conduct of the Forum.
  8. Take into consideration and include associations and regional actors.
  9. Associate the university to the Forum.
  10. Evaluate collectively the results of the achievements.
  11. Create gateways between the different actors and the national and international bodies.

 

  1. Funding and logistics

 

  1. The estimated budget of the Forum is on the order of 100 million dirhams (about 1 million euros).
  2. Sources of funding: ensure the multiplicity of sources:
  • National Human Rights Council of Morocco.
  • Interministerial Delegation for Human Rights.
  • Head of the Moroccan government.
  • The private sector.
  • Fundraising at the national and international level.
  1. Management and fundraising:
  • To this end, an association was created for the transparency, the autonomy and the speed of management.
  • This association has for mission to seek additional funds for the success of the Forum.
  1. Logistics:
  • Steps are taken to ensure the spaces needed in Marrakech (identification of accommodation places, restoration and the organization of activities).
  • The city actors (public and private) are informed and mobilized to support the organization of the Forum.
  • Ongoing contacts with the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), concerning the facilitation and free visas.

 

  1. Mobilization:

A workshop has been devoted for the mobilization. This is to implement the principles and the spirit that are underpinning the organization of the Forum.

  • An open and inclusive space.
  • An international dimension.
  • Participation of multi - actors (State, national institutions, civil society, economic operators, trade unions, universities…).
  • A participatory approach.

This is to highlight the proposals, measures, methods and mechanisms of mobilization. During the discussion, the participants emphasized the importance of the event and the process as well as the need to combine efforts for the event’s success. The proposals made by the workshops and enriched during the international seminar are the following:

  • Contribute to promote the Forum at all levels (local, regional, national and international).
  • Mobilize national and international institutions in order to involve them in the preparation and the effective participation in all the activities of the Forum.
  • Plan and coordinate mobilization campaigns at the regional level (caravans of participation).
  • Coordinate with the media, including the organization of a media campaign that is worthy of the event.
  • Ensure appropriate conditions for the Forum by inviting actors to converge their efforts in order to go beyond the divisions and the difference of interests.
  • Create preparatory regional commissions required to contribute to both the mobilization and the consultation at the regional level, with the involvement of regional commissions of Human Rights.
  • Involve universities and mobilize young people, researchers and publishers.
  • Organize thematic roundtables in conjunction with the themes of the forum. These thematic roundtables are considered here as a preparatory phase to the forum.
  • Write an orientation guide concerning the Forum in all languages.
  • Create a website for the Forum.
  • Create specific pages on social networks.
  • Involve at a large scale the local media.
  • Use communication professionals to conduct the mobilization campaign in Morocco and abroad.
  • Produce media and cultural materials for the event.
  • Produce the necessary documentation that deals with Human Rights and the Forum.

 

  1. Emergency measures

Considering the very short deadline it was recommended to:

  1. Rework themes for a better phrasing of the issues.
  2. Establish modalities and criteria in order to identify the networks head end of the associations so as to take over the management of activities. Some networks and organizations are already available for some topics. The focus is now on clarifying management procedures with them.
  3. Gather proposals for workshops and self-directed activities without forgetting to encourage the regrouping of complementary activities so that to avoid any fragmentation or break-up.
  4. Set deadlines for the acceptance of proposals.
  5. Activate without any delay the website of the Forum.
  6. Identify and contact the speakers and the great witnesses.
  7. Open the registration lists of the Forum.
  8. Establish an international cell of mobilization.
  9. Start the program of national mobilization at the regional level.
  10. Clarify the procedures and criteria of the finance and logistics that are taken into burdens.