By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, July 28, 2012
Morocco World News received a clarification statement from the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) media department in response to the article published last Friday about the dismissal of the Moroccan researcher Ms. FA.C. The ISESCO pinpoints that “the plaintiff has received a contract termination notice, but not an expulsion, that she has received personally and signed in her office.”
The ISESCO statement makes it clear that “The fact that the person concerned filed, without advance notice and while on duty, a lawsuit claiming deprivation of those rights she was initially entitled to under her employment contract, which had not yet come to expiry was faulted by ISESCO General Directorate as a serious mistake, a violation of hierarchy, and an act of non-compliance not only with work regulations but also with the contract itself.”
In other words the ISESCO considers that the termination of the contract was a reaction to the reception of the “status settlement warning letter” that the general directorate had received on July 17th.
In regard to Ms FA.C insistence on the right to be affiliated to the National Fund for Social Security ( CNSS) , the ISESCO retorts that” The person concerned takes out work risk insurance at ISESCO. She is also registered with the Medical Insurance Fund and the End-of-Service Fund (pension fund) for ISESCO personnel. Besides, the complainant benefits from a year-end bonus (additional month’s salary) and per diem (daily allowance) for assignment inside and outside the seat country (Morocco)”.
Though the ISESCO statement states explicitly that Ms FA.C has made a serious mistake by hiring a lawyer and filing a warning statement, it pinpoints in its statement that “It does not object to the person concerned resorting to the courts, as it remains fully confident in the Moroccan judicature’s impartiality and understanding of the privileges and immunities accorded to the Organization.”
On the other hand, the ISESCO statement denies that “The Kingdom of Morocco prevailed on ISESCO to register its personnel with Morocco’s Social Security Fund (CNSS)”, adding that “The staff members of ISESCO benefit from a special insurance fund approved by the Organization’s deliberative bodies (Executive Council and General Conference) and endorsed by its 50 Member States, including the Kingdom of Morocco, the Seat Country”.
When confronted with the facts listed in the ISESCO clarification statement, Ms. FA.C stated that sources close to the ministry of foreign affairs and cooperation confirm that the ministry requests the ISESCO each year to send the list of the names of their staff affiliated to the National Fund for Social Security, as well as their affiliation number.
The case is now in the hands of the judiciary that will weight up the evidence set forth by both sides. Nevertheless, the incident raises questions about the status of Moroccan employees working under international organizations.
The ambivalence of their status increases the likelihood of disputes with their employers, as well as the abuse of their rights.
Nevertheless, it must be clear that no institution or person is above the law regardless of their status. More transparency in the management of international organizations operating in Morocco is highly needed in order to consolidate the concept of accountability enshrined in the new constitution and advocated ardently by Benkirane’s government.