In brief

Rights groups denounce discrimination against Amazigh, Black Africans in Morocco

Linguistic subordination, racism, sexism are three central aspects of problem, according to three organisations

The Minority Rights Group (MRG) and Moroccan Amazigh rights groups La Voix de la Femme Amazighe and Tamaynut denounce that, despite some recent changes in the framework of human rights protection in Morocco, Black African and Amazigh populations of the North African country continue to suffer the effects of “racial discrimination” that “pervades the country’s social fabric.”

A report unveiled by the three groups considers that the Moroccan government is not doing enough to implement the official status of the Amazigh language, approved in the 2011 Constitution. The document denounces that, by 2030, the generalisation of teaching of Amazigh is only foreseen for primary schools. The report also says the number of teachers who are being trained annually is absolutely insufficient to cover current and future needs. The groups also criticise that from 2018 to 2022 the number of students who were taught Amazigh dropped from 600,000 (official figure) to 350,000 (MRG sources).

The document also denounces the “intersectional” discrimination suffered by Amazigh women, who, to their condition as members of a subordinate people with a significant part of its population in marginalised rural areas, must add specific barriers that they suffer in the fields of education —such as a lower enrolment rate in secondary school compared to men—, jobs, or healthcare.

As for Black Africans —some of whom are native Moroccans, especially in the country’s south, while others are immigrants from other African countries—, the report concludes that they suffer discrimination “in access to services, education, employment, housing, and are commonly targeted with physical violence.” This situation, the three rights groups say, is favoured by a social context in which stereotypes and hate speech pervade society, authorities doing little to counteract.