Morocco continued its legislative and legal reforms to combat discrimination and gender-based violence by enacting Law No. 103.13 on combating violence against women, published in the Official Gazette on March 12, 2018 and entering into force on September 13, 2018. It is a coherent and clear normative legal framework established in accordance with the fundamental principles adopted to address the phenomenon of violence against women, which are as follows:
- Punishing the perpetrators of violence;
- Preventing violence, protecting victims of violence; and
- Caring for the victims of violence.
It thus includes a set of legal provisions that enable the protection of women from violence, the most important of which are:
- Establishing a clear and precise conceptual framework that can help stakeholders to distinguish and delineate acts and behaviors in the field of violence against women, through the definition of the concept of violence and its different forms;
- Criminalizing some acts considered violent that are harmful to women, such as the refusal to return the wife to the matrimonial home, forced marriage, the violation of the physical integrity of the woman, the squandering or wasting of the family patrimony out of bad faith, etc;
- Criminalizing sexual harassment, by increasing the penalties for committing the act in circumstances determined by specific persons, such as ascendants and descendants or coworkers, or a person in charge of the maintenance of order, etc;
- Increase penalties for acts against "women in special situations", such as violence against a woman with a disability or a minor or pregnant woman, or against the wife or divorcee in the presence of children or parents;
- Adopt new preventive measures such as the relegation of the violent spouse, the notice to the author of the aggression not to perpetrate his aggression, in case of a threat to commit violence with a commitment on his part, the return of the child to the woman who has his custody at home and the prohibition to approach the victim or her home, the notification to the aggressor of the prohibition to dispose of the common assets of both spouses, etc;
- Mention of the urgency for taking preventive measures and deciding the sentences in case of their violation;
- Adoption of institutional mechanisms of coordination between the various actors in combating violence against women and their protection, such as the judicial authority, the national security, the Royal Gendarmerie and the concerned governmental sectors, etc;
- Creation of a system of mechanisms for the care of women victims of violence;
- Establishment of a prevention component, since public authorities are required by law to take the necessary measures to prevent violence against women.
Within the application of that law, the Government Council held on March 28, 2019, approved the enforcement decree of this law which was published in the National Gazette No. 6774 issued on May 2, 2019. This decree considers several organizational provisions on the mechanisms of caring for women victims of violence, and most especially:
− Creation of the National Committee to support women victims of violence and the conditions of its activity;
− Creation of centralized and non-centralized cells to support women victims of violence in the courts and other sectors related to justice, health, youth, women, the General Directorate of National Security, and the Supreme Command of the Royal Gendarmerie;
− Finalize the creation of regional committees to support women victims of violence and local committees to support women victims of violence.
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