Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Committee on the Rights of the Child
Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under Article 44 of the Convention
Second periodic reports of States parties due in 2000
A. Name and nationality (art. 7)
A Moroccan child enjoys the right to his or her name and nationality according to the laws governing civil status, which provide for the registration of a child within 30 days of the date of birth, as prescribed by the law of 8 March 1950. That law, which is over 50 years old, has never been published, but the requirement for registration of births and deaths has been reiterated in Royal Decree No. 2.63.2369 of 4 December 1963. The Criminal Code provides for punishments for non-registration of births and deaths (art. 468).
For children of unknown parents, article 23 of the Royal Decree of 4 September 1915 stipulates that if the parents were not identified, no reference to this fact may be entered in the register.
Ministry of the Interior circular No. 352 of 11 December 1987 stipulates that a child of unknown parents must be given a name and a family name upon notification to the civil status officer of his or her birth. The circular considered that entries previously left blank under family names in such cases should be treated as material omissions that should be corrected by the civil status officer without reverting to court.
As mentioned earlier, the Ministry of the Interior has prepared a new bill that would supersede the above provisions. (See section on harmonization of legislation.)
The Royal Decree of 6 September 1958 specifies the rules governing nationality, which is acquired by descent or by birth in Morocco subject to the conditions spelled out in the nationality law. In all cases, the law ensures the right of the child to nationality. Under section 6 of the nationality law a person is considered Moroccan if:
(a)His or her father is Moroccan; or
(b)He or she is born to a Moroccan mother and an unknown father.
Under article 7 of the nationality law, a person is considered Moroccan if:
(a)He or she is born to a Moroccan mother and a stateless father; or
(b)He or she is born in Morocco to unknown parents, unless it is proved, while he or she is a minor, that he or she is a child of an alien and that he or she has the right to the nationality of his or her parent(s).
A child is considered Moroccan if he or she is found in Morocco and assumed to have been born in Morocco, unless subsequently proved otherwise. The Moroccan legislation gives the right to acquire Moroccan nationality to a person who is:
(a)Born in Morocco to a Moroccan mother and an alien father;
(b)Born in Morocco to alien parents who were born in Morocco; or
(c)Born in Morocco to an alien father who was born in Morocco, subject to the conditions specified in the law (art. 9).
Since the national legislation guarantees the child the right to a name and nationality, and in order to avoid situations arising from non-registration, a number of activities have been initiated to raise the awareness of the individuals of the need to have their children registered in the civil registry. The media and non-governmental organizations play an important role in this task.
B. Preserving the child’s identity (art. 8)
Reference is made to the initial report, which explains the penalties specified in the law for a person who attempts to conceal or otherwise obliterate the identity of a child (article 470 of the Criminal Code). The same law punishes for non-registration of children with the Civil Registry (art. 468), and for non-reporting of finding a newly born child (art. 469). In the same context, in the interest of securing the identity of a child against any harm that may be caused as a result of error or omission in the relevant data in the vital register, the legislation provides for procedures to correct any discrepancy in a person’s vital data that give an interested person the right to appeal to the court of first instance to order the correction of the vital data, as provided for in the regulations under the Code on Personal Status. Also, any interested person may ask the court of first instance to issue an order to register a birth or death in the Civil Register (article 217 of the Civil Procedure Code). Under article 219 of the same Code, a summary of the court order must be entered in the register for the relevant year, and in any copy thereof pertaining to the vital information that is the object of the court order. An officer who issues a copy of the relevant data without such a proviso shall be liable to payment of compensation. The order issued by the court may be appealed under the provision of article 220 of the said law.
Download file (Word document): here