HRC52 - Oral Statement - Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review – Morocco

Published on March 24, 2023

Human Rights Council - 52nd Session, Item 6 

Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review – [Morocco] 


Thank you Mr. President, 

Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Moroccan Family Planning Association, Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), and the Sexual Rights Initiative.  

The Moroccan Family Planning Association, and its partners, works to promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in our society. Our stakeholder submission for the review of Morocco focussed on four key areas: child marriage, access to safe abortion, access to comprehensive sexuality education, and the right for adults to freely engage in consensual sexual relations regardless of marital status. 

We welcome the recommendations received by Morocco on repealing exceptions to the minimum age for marriage, and on decriminalising consensual sex between adults who are not married and strongly urge them to accept and implement the recommendations received. The Moroccan government must introduce measures to bring the current legislation in line not only with the realities of society’s needs but with human rights standards.  

We continue to call on the government of Morocco to:  

  • Integrate comprehensive sexuality education into school syllabuses. 

  • Repeal articles 20 and 21 of the family code which create exceptions to the minimum age for marriage set in article 19. 

  • Abolish article 490 of the penal code which criminalises sexual relations outside marriage. 

  • Decriminalize abortion in cases where the life, physical or psychological health of the pregnant woman are in danger, in cases of rape or incest and in certain cases of serious or fatal fetal malformation.