Baku: Kingdom’s Ombudsman Calls for More Momentum in Ombudsmen’s Work

The Kingdom’s Ombudsman Mohamed Benalilou called, in a speech delivered on the occasion of the International Conference organized in Baku, Azerbaijan, (October 19-20) under the theme “the role of ombudsmen and national human rights institutions in the protection of economic and social rights”, to give more impetus to the work of ombudsmen as an important institutional mechanism in terms of defending rights. According to a statement by the Ombudsman of the Kingdom, Benalilou also recommended to transform this institutional mechanism from a state of inaction to a state of action and from the formula of the ideals agreed upon within the framework of the international legitimacy of human rights to the effectiveness of these rights, by ensuring that they are embodied in practices that meet the basic needs of a dignified life for all citizens. This can be achieved through the implementation of various prerogatives affecting managerial decisions in relation to these rights, in order to create a broader horizon to societal aspirations, he stressed. Benalilou also called for a kind of transformation in the work of the Ombudsman so that the strategies of empowerment in human rights are built on an integrated logic, in which the results of investigations related to individual complaints are combined with the results of public monitoring activities with a collective dimension. The self-referral mechanism adopted in the work of ombudsmen is the essence of the idea that “the ombudsman is the voice of the voiceless”, Benalilou said, adding that it is an important means of guidance to address some practices considered violations of rights affecting the daily lives of citizens. Presenting the Moroccan experience, he considered that the issue of economic and social rights is an essential component of the work of the institution of the Kingdom’s Ombudsman and could be added to the achievements made in the field of human rights at national level. He also presented summaries of the treatment of complaints received by his institution, considering that the conciliation mechanisms available to the Ombudsman of the Kingdom are one of the important mechanisms to put an end to dysfunctions. Therefore, consensual solutions and settlement initiatives should never be excluded, because the results obtained through innovative solutions based on the principles of justice and equity are often able to guide the public debate to make rights a tangible reality, he noted.