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FOM Newsletter December 2000
Morocco Week in Review
 
December 16, 2000

Morocco-US Set Up Joint Committee. 
Morocco, FAO Sign Accord to Back Handicraft.
Typhoid cases detected in northern Morocco.
Morocco launches campaign to protect ill-treated children.
Experimental program of struggle against begging initiated in Rabat.
Moroccan association winner of French human rights prize.
Women organizations send prime minister memo on violence against women.
Morocco scored significant progress in human rights, despite some excesses, league for Human Rights Defense (LMDH) 

Morocco-US Set Up Joint Committee. 

December 12, 2000 / Rabat, Morocco

Morocco and the United States have decided to set up a "high-level joint committee" which will meet each year at ministerial level in Washington and Rabat "to revitalise bilateral co-operation", according to official sources. An agreement to this effect was signed Monday in Rabat by the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mohamed Benaissa, and the US assistant secretary of state in charge of Near East Affairs, Edward Walker, according to a statement issued by the Moroccan foreign ministry. In 1999, Morocco imported the equivalent of 690 million dollars from the US and exported goods worth 250 million dollars to that country.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200012120227.html

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Morocco, FAO Sign Accord to Back Handicraft.

RABAT- Morocco and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday concluded an accord to extend technical assistance to the Moroccan handicraft sector. The accord seeks to ensure a sustained development of the handicraft sector through its integration in the national economic fabric, the improvement of craftsmen's living standards and affixation of rural population in their lands. The Moroccan party will pay $ 606,170 as a financial contribution to the implementation of the program.

http://www.map.co.ma/english/dispatches/national_news.htm

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Typhoid cases detected in northern Morocco.

Health, 12/9/2000

Some 54 cases of typhoid were detected in the Moroccan northern province of Tetouan, the health department said. The health authorities immediately took the necessary moves to contain the fever and treat infected people, the source said, adding the latter are now safe. Polluted water is suspected of being behind the spread of the fever.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001209/2000120906.html

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Morocco launches campaign to protect ill-treated children.

Culture, 12/12/2000

A nation-wide campaign started Monday in Morocco to foster awareness on the need to protect ill-treated children, especially small house maids.  The campaign, sponsored by the National Child Right Observatory (ONDE), is running under the generic theme of "When will the small maids' work end."  Morocco has to exert more efforts to improve the lots of children, Ms Tazi, vice president of the ONDE, said.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001212/2000121234.html

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Experimental program of struggle against begging initiated in Rabat.

Culture, 12/13/2000

An experimental program of struggle against begging was initiated Tuesday in Rabat by the department of social development and solidarity in cooperation with several associations. The program seeks to struggle against poverty through the creation of revenue-generating projects to the benefit of needy households. The program adopts an integrated approach based not on charity but on economic and social dimension. During the program launching ceremony, minister of employment, vocational training, social development and solidarity, Abbas El Fassi, said his department concluded partnership accords with 32 associations operating in the Wilaya of Rabat. The budget allocated to the operation amounts to 3 million DH ($ 272,727) for the second half of the current year and to 50 million DH for the year 2001. The 32 associations will supervise some 700 projects to the benefit of 1500 persons.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001213/2000121327.html

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Moroccan association winner of French human rights prize.

Culture, 12/13/2000

The Moroccan association BAYTI was awarded one of the five French republic's human rights prizes for 2000 for its program to reintegrate small house maids and street girls. The awarding ceremony was held Tuesday evening in Paris in the presence of French Premier Lionel Jospin. Struggle against poverty and social exclusion and struggle against all forms of children's exploitation were the two themes chosen for this year's prizes.  Besides BAYTI, the French republic's human rights prizes went to the international center of minorities problems in Bulgaria, the French association "for a child's smile," the peace and development program in the region of Magdalena Medio in Columbia and the Chadian association "anti-gap youth." Each recipient got 120,000 FF.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001213/2000121328.html

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Women organizations send prime minister memo on violence against women.

Culture, 12/11/2000

Moroccan centers offering assistance to women victims of violence have urged prime minister, Abderrahmane Youssoufi, to take all measures to extend the concept of violence to household violence. In a memo made public last Thursday at a press conference, officials at the centers also request that Nov.25 be proclaimed national day to promote awareness and assess programs carried out to eliminate violence against women.  Officials from the "NEJMA" "ANNAJDA" centers also asked in the memorandum for the implementation of proposals regarding sexual harassment, improving conditions where violence victims are receives in police centers and hire for the police center specialists in social and medical assistance.  Other requests included in the memo are legal measures that would authorize health professionals to transmit to the police cases of women victims of violence and allowing women associations to be a plaintiff part in cases of violence against women. The two centers said family violence account for 80% of all cases they handled in 1999 and this year. Both victims and aggressors belong to all social layers: unemployed people, workers, tradesmen, lawyers, physicians. They said one of the aggressors was a psychology doctor and another one was a diplomat.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001211/2000121124.html

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Morocco scored significant progress in human rights, despite some excesses, league for Human Rights Defense (LMDH) 

Culture, 12/15/2000

Human rights in Morocco have scored during the nineties, a significant progress, marked by the initiatives made lately by King Mohammed VI in this field and that have positively impacted the Moroccan people and the international public opinion, said the Moroccan League for Human Rights Defense (LMDH) in its annual report. In the report made public on the occasion of the commemoration of the 52nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the league notes however "excesses that harm from time to time the dignity and rights of some citizens."

The league outlines that the economic crisis impacted on various layers of the society, mainly the poor, and induced several protest movements and sit-ins on the part of workers and civil servants, as well as demonstrations by unemployed graduates, disabled and blind persons.  It notes that the resort to violence to quell the demonstrations "constitutes an abuse of power and a violation of the right to stage peaceful demonstrations." Touching on the freedom of speech, the league deems that the situation "is not reassuring" and launched an urgent call "to elaborate a new press law" in a bid "to enlarge the scope of freedom, abolish the prison sentences and replace them by fines and standardize sentences." The league notes further that democratic transition is dependent on the government's will to promote citizens' economic and social rights on and secure the independence and equity of justice, insisting on the role of the civil society and political parties in rooting democratic culture in a comprehensive and sustained development process. It urged the government to set up the necessary mechanisms to guarantee credibility and transparency to coming elections through the adoption of a new electoral code and revision of the warding. It likewise called the political parties to fulfill their mission in supervising the society and fostering awareness to democratic values, underlining that "political and cultural underdevelopment," illiteracy and ignorance are at the origin of democratic crisis. The league advocated that the issue of women be handled in the frame of the authentic teachings of Islam, guaranteeing to women a privilege statute and all their political, economic, social and cultural rights, and called for a larger representation of women within civil society associations, political parties and international organizations.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001215/2000121526.html


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