Discover the Latest Innovations and Lessons Learned in Rule of Law and Legal Empowerment Projects
In February, I interviewed Leila Hanafi on how the Moroccan government was incorporating their Diaspora’s counsel into efforts to strengthen rule of law. After a 10 month long consultation process with numerous in-person and online discussions with Diaspora in every corner of the world, the results of their latest initiative were released earlier this month and it provides some interesting insight into what the Diaspora is seeking from Morocco. You can read the full press release from the Moroccan Commission on National Dialogue & New Constitutional Prerogatives here and also view the Diaspora’s recommendations below!
– As the number of Moroccans living abroad increases, the need to bring them under the protection of the constitution becomes essential.
– Including the Diaspora in Consultations: The need to enhance Participatory Governance and Diaspora’s engagement and democratic representativeness remain an issue. More diaspora members should be present in consultative processes that are initiated by the Moroccan government. Participatory governance and the diaspora’s engagement and democratic representativeness remain an issue although the 2011 adopted constitution tackles the diaspora (i.e. Articles 16-17-18 -30-163).
– Increasing Public Awareness of CSOs: There’s a need to increase awareness of CSOs representing Moroccans Residing Abroad in the area of public participation, to enable them to submit petitions to Moroccan public authorities, in accordance with Articles 14 and 15 of Morocco’s Constitution.
– Parallel Diplomacy & the Role of the Moroccan Diaspora: There’s an urgent need to provide technical and financial support to Moroccan diaspora groups that advance Morocco’s image abroad. Any tangible steps made in the ongoing development of Morocco cannot be successful without the healthy marriage of good governance and the active participation of its citizens not only inside Morocco but also outside the country. Empowering Moroccans, in their home country and abroad, to participate in policy-making, through public consultations and dialogue has the potential to inspire concerted actions and meaningful progress in ushering in a new era of participatory rule of law in Morocco.
– Capacity Building, Technical/Financial Assistance, and Training-of-Trainers (TOTs) to CSOs of Moroccans Residing Abroad to increase their knowledge about constitutional roles attributed to Civil Society Organizations under the framework of Morocco’s 2011 adopted Constitution.
– Restoring the Social Contract of Moroccans Residing Abroad with the Moroccan Policy-Making Sphere: Given the increasing discontent of the exclusion of CSOs of Moroccans Residing Abroad in engaging in Morocco’s public policy-making agenda (i.e: through advocacy, capacity building among the Moroccan community abroad). There was a general consensus that existing mechanisms of public consultations and dialogue put in place in Morocco are insufficient to advance an inclusive legal framework for positive engagement of CSOs of Moroccans Residing Abroad.
– Creating a Legislative and Inclusive Framework for the Diaspora: Institutional Arrangements with regards to the engagement of the Moroccan Diaspora need to be better centralized through an enabling legislative framework. This must be rooted in the inclusion of CSOs of Moroccan Residing Abroad through the conception, implementation, and evaluation of Morocco’s public development policies. This is essential to enable CSOs of Moroccans Residing Abroad to submit petitions to Moroccan public authorities and export their expertise and resources for the betterment of the homeland, Morocco.
In commemoration of the work of the Commission, King Mohammed VI has designated March 13th as National Day of Civil Society in Morocco. This landmark initiative for Morocco-which has the potential to empower Moroccans, in their home country and abroad- to participate in policy-making, through public participation mechanisms could inspire concerted actions in supporting the implementation of the constitution’s articles that tackles civil society and diaspora engagement in public affairs.