Presenting author: Moulay Ahmed Douraidi
Presenting author biography:
National Head of Advocacy and Human Rights at Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS), member of Coalition PLUS, human rights activist, member of law and hiv expert group in the MENA region
Advocacy and actions in the context of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic to improve access to health services for drug users in Morocco according to a human rights approach
Moulay Ahmed Douraidi, Amal Ben Moussa, Mehdi Karkouri
Morocco is the world's largest producer and exporter of cannabis. Cannabis cultivation provides a living for approximately 760,000 Moroccans, including about 160,000 growers, mainly in the north of the country. At the same time, HIV and HCV prevalence among people who use drugs (PWUD) reach 10.7% and 79% respectively.
The political and legal framework of the drug issue in Morocco is ambivalent: indeed, while there is a political commitment at the highest level with, drug use is still penalized, and it represents 1/3 of the cases tried in court and drugs users constitute 1/4 of the incarcerated population
create synergy with law enforcers to influence penal reforms in line with international standards. Promote the reduction of pre-trial detention; the introduction of alternative sentences, helping to reduce prison overcrowding in Morocco
These activities have focused on promoting alternative and progressive sentencing and raising awareness among policy makers and law enforcement, police, gendarmes and prison guards.
Lessons: Notable Results, many successes have been recorded:
• Introduction of substitution therapy in prisons
• Overdose prevention is affordable.
• The Regional Council voted to launch a study on the medical and cosmetic opportunities of cannabis.
• Recommendation for the integration of the repeal of two prohibitionist laws in the penal code under discussion in parliament
• Informal agreement to suspend arrests for drug use only and reduce arrests of cannabis growers.
• Create a network to strengthen synergies, with Crown prosecutors
Conclusions and prospects:
Our advocacy based on a human rights approach has strengthened
and improved access to prevention and health care services for drug users through increased synergies between CSOs, and policy makers.
Other activities are planned to influence penal reforms, to promote the reduction of pre-trial detention; the introduction of alternative sentences, helping to reduce prison overcrowding