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06CASABLANCA232 2006-02-28 15:52:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Consulate Casablanca
Cable title:  

MOROCCO 2005 ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT

Tags:   KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB MO 
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1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.



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 March 2005 to March 2006.



--------------------------


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 mafias." According to the Ministry of
Interior, Morocco has adopted a 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 continues to make 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.



4. (U) Morocco's geographic position as a natural conduit
for sub-Saharan trafficking was highlighted this October
when 11 Africans lost their lives in and around the two
Spanish enclaves, Melilla and Ceuta, in Northern Morocco
(ref B) as they stormed fences surrounding the European
gateways. Despite efforts made by both Spain and Morocco to
stem trafficking and illegal migration in the last few
years, the problem persists and no clear short-term
solutions seem to be at hand. As an example of the
frustration following the October fence storming, the best
proposal anyone could come up with is to build a third fence
surrounding the enclaves. Throughout the year the two

CASABLANCA 00000232 002 OF 019


countries have reiterated their cooperation and 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) In addition, Moroccan officials continue to assert
that the Polisario orchestrates the illicit transfer of
migrants in the Western Sahara and northern Mauritania to
the Canary Islands (ref K provides Embassy Nouakchott's
views). UN officials in the Western Sahara, however, claim
they have no evidence that the Polisario is involved 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 more than 6000
Moroccan minors living illegally in Spain. To date, only a
few have been returned Morocco due to lack of adequate
facilities available upon their return, according to Spanish
officials in charge of migration matters in Morocco. The
Spanish Government refuses to repatriate the minors until
they are sure the young Moroccans have a safe and healthy
environment available in Morocco. Spain has recently
pledged funds for just such a rehabilitation center in the
Tangier area. The facility, which will assist in the
minors' reinsertion into Moroccan society, will be a shelter
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) The following paragraphs are keyed to questions
presented in ref A.



--------------------------


Overview of Morocco's Activities to Combat
Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling


--------------------------





8. (SBU/21.A) Morocco is a country of origin and destination
for domestic trafficking, generally involving young rural
girls recruited to work as child maids. 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. In 2005, the Government of
Morocco, international organizations, and numerous
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), claimed the number of
Moroccan minors being trafficked and smuggled into Spain,

CASABLANCA 00000232 003 OF 019


Italy, and other European countries, increased
significantly. Spain alone is reporting a 66.5 percent
increase in the first six months of 2005 as compared to the
same period in 2004. Spain and Morocco continue to work
jointly on a solution to the problem. Recently the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) proposed a
plan to address the problem of trafficked minors. The IOM
plans to work with the governments of Morocco and Italy,
and Moroccan NGOs to combat the problem. The first phase of
this cooperation will be a survey to measure the magnitude
of the problem. The survey will identify the most
vulnerable persons, pinpoint the regions from which persons
are trafficked, and propose the most effective methods of
prevention.



9. (U/21.A) According to a spokesman from the Ministry of
the Interior (MOI), the number of Moroccan would-be
immigrants crossing from Morocco to Europe decreased by 25
percent in 2005, and by 50 percent from Morocco's southern
coast to the Canary Islands. He also claimed that more then
300 trafficking networks have been dismantled over the last
year.



10. (SBU/21.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, and Syria to become sex workers after being
promised jobs as domestics. It appears that the great
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
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.



11. (SBU/.21.B) 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,

CASABLANCA 00000232 004 OF 019


Moroccan, Algerian, or Spanish.



12. (SBU/21.B) As a country of origin, where the government
concedes at least 20 percent of the population earns less
than USD 38 per month, 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.



13. (U/21.B) Political will exists at the highest levels of
government to combat trafficking in persons. King Mohammed
VI has identified combating trafficking in persons and
migrant smuggling as "top priorities" and he has backed-up
this commitment with numerous meetings and discussions with
the Government of Spain and other EU countries. Morocco
recognizes problems with trafficking as both a transit and
origination country and has asked both the U.S. and the EU
for assistance with border challenges and repatriation
issues. In addition, in 2005, Morocco in cooperation with
the IOM, hosted a conference on migration and religion.
Representatives from 44 countries, including many sub-
Saharan and South Asian countries, participated in the
conference.



14. (SBU/21.B/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. While
most come from sub-Saharan Africa, it is becoming
increasingly common to find Asians from India, Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka, and Pakistan attempting the journey. On a
monthly basis the border patrol and gendarmerie arrest
hundreds of sub-Saharan Africans and Arabs who have crossed
the Morocco-Algeria border. Many of these arrests occur in
Tangier, the northeast city of Oujda, and in Nador, just
outside Melilla. The situation peaked in October 2005 when
thousands of sub-Saharan migrants stormed the two Spanish

CASABLANCA 00000232 005 OF 019


enclaves which resulted in the death of 11 clandestine
migrants (ref B). The GOM also estimated that there are
still approximately 10,000 illegal sub-Saharan clandestine
migrants in Morocco awaiting an opportunity to slip into
European territory, and another 20,000 poised at the
Algerian boarder waiting to enter the country.



15. (SBU/21.C) 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. Some joint programs, such as waterway patrols
between Spain and Morocco, have been successful in helping
financially and in stemming the problem. There is evidence
that lower level corruption exists. On more than one
occasion in 2005, police have been arrested for illegal
involvement in migrant smuggling rings.



16. (U/21.D) Press reports of arrests of Moroccans
generally cite "hundreds" of clandestine migrants. Arrests
by the Moroccan Navy are a fraction of the total arrests.
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.



17. (SBU/21.D) 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.



18. (SBU/21.D) Morocco is generally not a destination for
trafficked victims from outside the country. However,
according to senior GOM officials, numerous destitute female
Nigerian migrants found living illegally in northeastern
Morocco were forced to prostitute themselves in return for
protection, food, and shelter. Recently, the IOM joined
with the Governments of Morocco and Nigeria to repatriate
1000 Nigerians, 400 of whom were women and children. Many
of these women claim to have been coerced into these types

CASABLANCA 00000232 006 OF 019


of situation before seeking help.



--------------------------


Prevention


--------------------------





19. (U/22.A) The government acknowledges that trafficking
and migrant smuggling are problems.



20. (U/22.B) In November 2003, in response to a royal
edict issued by King Mohamed VI, the GOM established an
overarching 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 (specifically, its
division of Family, Solidarity, and Social Action), the
Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of National Education, the
Delegated Ministry in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and
the Customs Service.



21. (U/22.B) On a routine basis, moreover, 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
artisans



22. (U/22.C) Morocco's Minister Delegate for Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation announced in February 2003 that the
government would join with concerned NGOs in conducting an
awareness campaign targeting youth. This campaign alerts
children to the inherent dangers of migrant smuggling and
trafficking in persons. Morocco's consulates in Spain and
Italy have conducted similar outreach to the expatriate
community to dissuade its members against aiding the
"trafficking mafias." Consular officers provide counseling
services, especially to unattended adolescents, who are
encouraged to repatriate. These awareness programs began in
2004 and are ongoing.

CASABLANCA 00000232 007 OF 019





23. (U/22.D) 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.



24. (U/22.D) In addition to the campaigns listed above, the
IOM currently has several projects underway and in the
planning stage. In spring 2006, the IOM will complete a
social and educational center in Tetouan aimed at the
population most vulnerable to trafficking. IOM is also
currently developing a plan to assist and educate children
and minors at-risk of being trafficked or lured into
clandestine migration.



25. (U/22.F) 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.



26. (U/22.G) Morocco has noticeably increased the
monitoring of 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 its airports and
train stations. The Moroccan government 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.
Unfortunately, a rugged northern coastline, which is
difficult to patrol, and the close proximity of Europe over
the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, make it possible for small
boats to transport illegal migrants to Spain without
detection. Moroccan authorities also cite difficulty in
monitoring the long border with Algeria, by which
clandestine sub-Saharan migrants transit into Morocco,
especially as (they claim) Algerian authorities make little
effort to stem this or cooperate.



27. (U/22.H) 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

CASABLANCA 00000232 008 OF 019


"National Agency for Migration and Border Surveillance,"
which conducts investigations and make arrests.



28. (U/22.H) The Office of the Prime Minister's Secretariat
for Immigration Affairs serves as the coordinating office
for agencies concerned with migration and illegal
immigration. 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. Two ministries are chiefly responsible for child
maid issues: the Ministry of Employment and Professional
Training 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. Within the Ministry of Social
Development, Family, and Solidarity, the Office of Family,
Solidarity, and Social Action develops policies to assist
women and children, including those who are victims of
trafficking, but its resources for implementing such
policies remain very limited.



29. (SBU/22.H) 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. Morocco has also
recently ratified a proposal allowing the IOM to officially
open an office in Rabat.



30. (SBU/22.J) 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,

CASABLANCA 00000232 009 OF 019


Ministry of Interior.



--------------------------


Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers


--------------------------





31. (U/23.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 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 migration.

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.

CASABLANCA 00000232 010 OF 019



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
smuggling.

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
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 imprisonment.

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-

CASABLANCA 00000232 011 OF 019


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-Moroccans.



32. (U/23.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 (roughly USD 20) to 5000 dirhams
(roughly USD 500), depending upon whether minors have been
corrupted.




33. (U/23.C) 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.



34. (U/23.D) 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.



35. (U/23.E) According to MOI reports, the government
claims to have broken up more than 300 trafficking/smuggling
rings in 2005.



36. (SBU/23.F) Various types of individuals 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; the above mentioned
"intermediaries" who for a fee work as professional
placement agents for the parents of potential child brides,
child maids, and apprentice artisans; parents of rural girls

CASABLANCA 00000232 012 OF 019


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.



37. (SBU/23.F) Most trafficking rings in Morocco are small
crime groups, although the GOM refers to them as
"trafficking mafias." Many of the 300 "mafias" discovered
in 2005 were freelancers or rings working with a handful of
people. "Brokers" placing young girls in domestic jobs often
work independently. 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. There
is no evidence that GOM officials are involved in any way.



38. (U/23.G) Security forces are actively engaged in
investigating, pursuing, and dismantling human trafficking
and smuggling rings. The government claims more than 300
rings were discovered and disbanded in 2005. While the
majority of these operations concerned only migrant
smuggling, the GOM learned 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
and Saudi Arabia.



39. (SBU/23.G) A lengthy investigation culminated in
February 2006, when the GOM dismantled a large international
network responsible for trafficking clandestine migrants
from India. According to the General Directorate for
National Security (DGSN), the far-reaching organization had
accomplices along the border between Morocco and Algeria, as
well as in African transit countries, the Gulf States, and
Spain. Moroccan Police arrested 70 suspects, among them a
policeman working at Casablanca's Mohamed V international
Airport. In addition the DGSN claims that an unspecified
number of the Spanish Civil Guard were involved.



40. (U/23.H) 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,

CASABLANCA 00000232 013 OF 019


according to MOI officials.



41. (U/23.I) According to the MOJ, Morocco has numerous
agreements with other countries regarding investigation and
prosecution of traffickers. Those most frequently cited are
with Spain, France, Italy, and Egypt. Statistics on the
number of international investigations are not currently
available.



42. (U/23.J) 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.



43. (U/23.K) 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. In
addition in 2005 the Prime Minister proposed a national anti-
corruption program, comprised of 23 general preventive and
31 sector-oriented measures



44. (U/23.L) We have no evidence that any government
official has been involved with trafficking. The GOM
prosecutes to the full extent of the law its own officials,
as it does other individuals, involved in trafficking.



45. (SBU/23.M) Revisions to the Penal Code enacted in
December 2003 provide for extraterritorial coverage in cases
of child sexual abuse and child sex tourism. In 2005, ten
foreigners were prosecuted for pedophilia or trafficking,
one is still under investigation and two cases were
dismissed for lack of evidence. In one highly publicized
case in July 2005, a Belgian national allegedly coerced
nearly 80 Moroccan women, including a number of minors, into
posing for pornographic photos by promising to marry them
and take them to Europe. The photos were put on the
internet and later made into a CD and sold throughout
Agadir, all without the consent of the women. Thirteen of
the women, one a minor, were arrested and many more were

CASABLANCA 00000232 014 OF 019


investigated since pornography is strictly forbidden. The
Belgian national returned to Brussels and remains free.



46. (U/23.N) 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.



--------------------------


Protection and Assistance to Victims


--------------------------





47. (SBU/24.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. While in 2003, Morocco and Spain agreed in
principle on the repatriation of an estimated 6000 Moroccan
minors living in Spain, only a handful have actually been
returned due to Morocco's lack of care facilities for the
minors. Spain will not begin repatriation of the minors
until adequate facilities, where the children can receive
counseling, health care, remedial education, and job
training before being reunited with their families or placed
in regular schools, have been established. The IOM facility
mentioned above will provide some of these types of services
and may act as a model for future projects. The GOM relies
on the NGO community to provide most services to victims of

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trafficking.



48. (U/24.A) Child maids who have fled abusive employers or
women forced into prostitution that have fled their
madams/pimps, 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 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.



49. (U/24.A) Child brides who have fled abusive husbands or
in-laws are unlikely to receive any government assistance
unless they are placed in a detention center for their own
protection. This may also be the case when they have borne
a child, but the marriage was not officiated and paternity
has not been recognized. These detention centers provide
basic health care and education (often the first formal
education the mother will have received). Young, single
mothers also receive assistance from a variety of NGOs,
notably INSAF, the Moroccan League for the Protection of
Children, and Solidarit Feminine.



50. (U/24.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 victims.



51. (U/24.C) Those potential victims of trafficking who are
detained, jailed, or deported, are usually third country
nationals transiting Morocco en route to Europe. Those
individuals are prosecuted for violation of immigration
laws. Morocco is a signatory of the Convention for
Protection of Immigrants and Their Families.



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52. (U/24.C) 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.



53. (SBU/24.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. During and after the October
incidents in Ceuta and Melilla (ref C), however, there were
reports from MSF, IOM, and other organizations that human
rights of the non-Moroccan migrants were violated when
Moroccan military transported hundreds of sub-Saharan
illegal economic migrants to the Algerian border and left
them in the desert with little or no food or water.



54. (U/24.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.



55. (U/24 .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.



56. (SBU/24.G) Morocco offers specialized training for
government officials in how to deal with victims of
trafficking. The government has begun training its
diplomats in countries that are prime destination or transit
countries, i.e., Spain and Italy, for Moroccan victims of
trafficking. Given the GOM's commitment to repatriate
minors, we suspect Moroccan diplomats are encouraged to
develop relationships with NGOs serving trafficking victims
as part of their contact work in the labor or social
spheres.



57. (U/24.H) Morocco is working with NGOs and the

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international community, specifically Spain and Italy, to
establish shelters and a system to assist minors who have
been the victims of trafficking.



58. (U/24.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.



59. (U/21.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
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
Rabat
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.

Ikram
Mrs. Bennani
Tel: (212) 22-36-60-98

CASABLANCA 00000232 018 OF 019


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, Prsidente centrale
Ave Akrach/Rue Mellouza, Nahda II,
Quartier Haut Souissi, Rabat
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 Casablanca.

Institut Natl. de Solidarit avec les Femmes en Dtresse
(INSAF)
F)
Mrs. Meriem Othmani, President
20 bis, rue de Peronne
Casablanca
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
and unwed mothers.

Observatoire Nationale des Droits de l'Enfant (ONDE)
Dr. El Malki Tazi, President
B.P. 511, Rabat Chellah
Rabat
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

CASABLANCA 00000232 019 OF 019


the labor burden on children and families of fetching water.

Solidarit 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
maids.



60. (U) Sources for this report include officials in the
Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Employment,
Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice. Other
sources included NGOs, international organizations and other
child welfare advocates; researchers; Ministry of Justice
publications; press reports; and prior reporting.



61. (U) Mission POC on TIP issues is Amy M. Wilson,
Labor/Political Officer, ConGen Casablanca, tel. 212-22-22-
14-60, ext. 235; fax 212-22-29-91-36; mail: PSC 74, Box 24,
APO, AE 09718; pouch: 6280 Casablanca Place, Washington, DC
20521-6280; e-mail: WilsonAM(at symbol)state.gov.



62. Embassy Rabat cleared this message.

GREENE