Sahrawi human rights advocate and trade unionist Malak Amidane will visit Australia this month to share her experience of campaigning for justice in her homeland.
Previously a Spanish colony, Western Sahara was invaded by Morocco and Mauritania when Spain withdrew in 1975.
Today, 80% of the territory land is controlled by Morocco.
Amidane will meet with politicians and union leaders to lobby for greater support for Western Sahara.
She will also present a public lecture in Adelaide on May 3 at 5pm, at the University of Adelaide, Lower Napier, room G03.
Ron Guy from Australian Unions for Western Sahara said this was a “timely visit from a forgotten region that has seen human rights continually abused.
“Malak Amidane is the first female unionist from the occupied territories of Western Sahara to tour Australia.”
She will discuss her first-hand experience of living under a military occupation and the discriminatory regime that has marginalised the Sahrawi people in their own country.
As a long-term human rights advocate for Western Sahara Amidane has been subjected to horrific abuse by Moroccan security forces several times.
No country in the world recognises Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara and the occupation is widely considered illegal under international law.
The United Nations says Western Sahara is Africa’s last non-self governing — or colonised — territory.
Organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused Moroccan forces of engaging in widespread human rights violations in the territory, mostly directed towards indigenous Sahrawi.