In Algeria and Tunisia, rapists are evading punishment by marrying their teenage victims. In Morocco and Western Sahara, this is thankfully no longer the case. However, the law still fails to adequately protect survivors of sexual violence.
I call on you to end discrimination against women and girl survivors of sexual violence by:
Amending harmful and discriminatory laws. This includes:
- Abolishing Articles 326 and 227 bis of the Algerian and Tunisian Penal Codes, respectively
- Repealing Article 488 of Morocco’s Penal Code and no longer distinguishing punishment for perpetrators of rape based on a survivor’s virginity
- Amending the definition of rape to reflect international law by being gender-neutral and not requiring physical violence or its proof
- Adopting a comprehensive law to address gender-based violence
- Recognizing marital rape as a specific criminal offence
- Decriminalizing sexual relations between unmarried consenting adults and same-sex sexual relations, as survivors of sexual violence may be deterred from filing a complaint for fear of being themselves prosecuted.
Ensuring accountability and support by
- Making available effective legal remedies that are sensitive to the needs of survivors of sexual violence
- Training police, judges, lawyers and healthcare workers to respond to survivors of sexual violence in a sensitive, confidential, non-discriminatory manner.
- Providing effective social and medical services, including access to emergency contraception and to safe and legal abortions.