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Mrs. Bouayach emphasizes that universities fulfilling their social responsibility makes them strategic partners and allies for rights and freedoms defenders

On Monday 14 February 2022, Mrs. Amina Bouayach, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), participated in the opening session of a National Debate on “University Social Responsibility: For an inclusive and integrated university life", at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy - Abdelmalek Saadi University in Tanger, Morocco.

CNDH Chairperson stressed that the social responsibility of universities is determined with its two missions related to education and scientific research besides social service as its third mission. This later can be reflected in building knowledge, forming democratic competencies, developing citizenship culture and keeping pace with the evolution of values. Accordingly, universities fulfilling their social responsibility make them, not only strategic partners but allies of defenders of rights and freedoms, she added.

Mrs. Bouayach highlighted that the university's commitment to its social responsibility is measured, firstly, by its ability to be an institution that reflects citizenship values, particularly human dignity, respect for difference and cultural diversity, anti-discrimination and voluntary involvement in social issues.

Addressing gender-based violence in universities, particularly sexual harassment and extortion, CNDH Chairperson stressed the importance of strengthening "self-regulation", which will inevitably make it possible to counter these crimes at university.

Mrs. Bouayach said that the victims’ insistence on courageously reporting cases of sexual harassment is a positive development that breaks with silence, cover-up, ignoring and obscuring behaviors that seriously violate the ethics of teaching. She indicated that the attempt to confront these practices is related mainly to reporting any form of gender-based violence, as it is the key to addressing such reprehensible and criminal practices.

To promote universities’ social responsibility, the CNDH Chairperson recommended the elaboration of rules of immediate intervention in cases of reporting or complaint, regardless of the judicial outcome. It is called the universities' self-regulation, whether by supporting the victims and taking urgent measures or elaborating remedy procedures in cases of sexual extortion, harassment or gender-based violence against students. Mrs. Bouayach also called for organizing sessions for new university students on the code of ethics within universities to support and accompany them, etc.

On this occasion, Mrs. Bouayach announced that the CNDH would launch a public debate on the phenomenon of gender-based violence in partnership with its Regional Commissions and universities. It would also establish a reporting platform to identify some facts indicators and cooperate with the executive mechanisms to enhance protection, she said.