On April 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of State released the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which include Morocco and the Western Sahara. In commenting on the release of the reports, which have been mandated by the U.S. Congress since 1977, Ambassador Dwight L. Bush, Sr., said:
“The United States would like to recognize the positive steps that Morocco took in 2015 to strengthen its growing culture of human rights. In particular, the report notes the success of Morocco’s regionalization initiative, which represents a positive development that will help move the country toward a more open and democratic society. Additionally, the report notes progress made in the fight against corruption as a result of the strengthening of Morocco’s anti-corruption institutions, such as the Central Instance for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC). The Moroccan government’s final regularization of the status of human rights NGO Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights (ASVDH) was also a positive measure in favor of civil society and the rule of law. The United States is keenly interested to see how these reforms will be implemented and will continue to follow developments throughout 2016.”
Additionally, Ambassador Bush emphasized that “the United States appreciates Morocco’s willingness to engage in constructive and open dialogue on the subject of human rights. Of particular note was the 2015 Human Rights Dialogue held in November, in which delegations from the United States and Morocco discussed a range of topics in the field of human rights, including freedom of association, freedom of the press and justice reform. Such exchanges are crucial for ensuring the protection of human rights, and are indicative of the deep and abiding friendship between our two countries.”
The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – the Human Rights Reports – cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. The U.S. Department of State submits reports on all United Nations member states to the U.S. Congress in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974. Congress requires information on the human rights situation for use in policy decisions on assistance, trade, and other areas of our bilateral relationships. The publication of this annual report reflects U.S. interest in, and support for, the advancement of human rights around the world.