News Detail

19.07.2019

Event report: Workshop on the social protection of arts professionals in Rabat, Morocco - April 2019

Over forty people attended the workshop organized by the Moroccan performers’ union (SMPAD - Syndicat Marocain des Professionnels des Arts Dramatiques) and FIA ​​in Rabat from 24 to 26 April 2019, in the framework of FIA projects funded by Union to Union in Africa. The meetings were attended by official and governmental representatives (Ministry of Culture, Labor, Health, National Social Security Fund etc.) as well as many representatives of unions and workers associations active in the sector.

Taking advantage of a favorable context in Morocco, the SMPAD, in close collaboration with the other professional organizations of the sector, started an advocacy work with the authorities to obtain the establishment of social protection systems in harmony with the nature of the artistic work and its constraints. This work led to the revision of the 2016 Artist Act  which stipulates, in its article 20, the establishment of a system of social protection of the professionals of the arts.

The purpose of this International Workshop was thus to take stock of the existing system, examine the provisions brought by the new Statute of the Artist Act and, above all, to pave the way towards the development of an optimal social protection system for arts professionals in Morocco in the near future.

In order to facilitate this work, experts from AUDIENS (the French social protection group for workers in culture, communication and media), as well as representatives of the SFA (Syndicat Français des Artistes-Interprètes) actively took part in the discussion panels. The exploration of the exiting system of social protection of artists in place in France indeed allowed participants to identify concrete examples and possible scenarios, which were very useful in developing an action plan for Moroccan professionals. The French performers’ union SFA has been supporting the SMPAD for several years through a twinning agreement to facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices between the two workers' organizations.

On the last day of this workshop, the SMPAD was able to present a series of recommendations adopted by all the Moroccan professional organisations present. These recommendations include: the establishment of a follow-up committee for the continuation of work initiated (including government authorities and relevant national institutions, international experts, professional organizations); the creation of a compulsory scheme and insurance for the self-employed workers (In accordance with Laws 15-98 and 15-99); the creation of an observatory for the creation of an institution of coverage complementary to the basic social protection (retirement benefits); and the creation a fund for "pioneers" and a compensation fund if they can not contribute. In view of their relationship of subordination, performers must be able to benefit from a binding nature guaranteeing the levying of contributions.

During the three day workshop, several tributes were payed to pioneering artists (term preferred to that of senior). These pioneering artists, vey well known and appreciated in Morocco, now often live in critical conditions. Most of them are no longer able to work, but have never been able to access options or measures ensuring their social protection. Inviting these artists to the workshop was also a good way to raise awareness among officials as well as national media (several journalists covered the event and interviewed the pioneer artists) about the importance and urgency of dealing with the issue of social protection of performers in Morocco.