Legal empowerment: 2,314 migrants accompanied in Morocco

At the end of a fruitful intervention of more than four years in terms of access to rights for migrants in Morocco, the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel, organized this Thursday, October 20, in partnership with the European Union , the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Moroccans Living Abroad under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, the closing workshop of the project “Legal Empowerment of Migrants” .

Launched in November 2018, the EU-funded project set up by the Belgian Agency in partnership with the two Moroccan ministries, was able, through an innovative approach, to respond to the causes and challenges of access to the rights of immigrants. It has thus contributed to alleviating these difficulties by relying on 3 major areas: Information on the law, capacity building and service to improve this access, as well as the analysis of challenges and networking.

In a statement to MoroccoLatestNews, Severin Strohal, Head of Governance Section at the EU Delegation, said that ” Ihe EU had the pleasure of co-funding this project which we consider extremely important since it has made it possible to facilitate access to rights for migrants in Morocco. ” adding that ” Morocco began a whole project of reforms in 2013 precisely to facilitate the integration and protection of migrants in Morocco. Through this project, we have been able to work with young students who have formed legal clinics and who have mobilized to support just over 2,300 people to access their rights.“.

Explaining further, Strohal says they have also worked with several NGOs and institutions in Morocco: We have been able to train lawyers, judges and prosecutors to better understand the rights of migrants. Ultimately, we hope to provide better protection for this extremely vulnerable population. Indeed, the difficulty lies in access to information and in knowing what rights this migrant benefits from, secondly in finding someone to accompany him and thirdly in ensuring that the administration and justice are aware of the rights and therefore can also provide this protection on their side“.

Furthermore, Fatima Berkane, representative of the Ministry of Justice at the event, underlined during the opening of the workshop that “Morocco is a country committed to respecting human rights, in addition to its international obligations regarding migration and the rights of migrants“, and to add that it is ” which prompted the Kingdom, on September 10, 2013 exactly, to develop a national strategy on migration and asylum under the high instructions of King Mohammed VI, characterized by humanity in its philosophy, and aimed above all at reintegration and the empowerment of migrants and their human rights, whether to a decent life, health, education or work, just like the rest of Moroccans”.

For Evelyne Masschelein, resident representative of Enabel in Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia ” this very important project is in support of the national immigration and asylum strategy. The project really focuses on access to rights for migrants, obviously a very vulnerable group in every society and not only in Morocco, especially with what we witnessed during the Covid-19 crisis.“.

The representative explains to MoroccoLatestNews that these people “ sometimes had difficulties with all that is administrative or legal to access education, health and employment too“.

We are here today to unveil all the results we have achieved with all the partners. On the one hand, we worked a lot with four legal clinics from the faculties of law at the universities of Rabat, Casablanca, Oujda and Tangier. They formed a network and shared a lot of information and also accompanied migrants“, specifies Masschelein.

In particular, we worked with actors from the associative world since they are also on the front line. I would like to mention the OMDH as well as the actors of law and justice who have really done a tremendous job with very complex issues and who have been able to really support migrants properly. Thanks to the work with the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs, we were able to organize a lot of training and accomplish several tasks. It was a project with a lot of partnerships and it was very rich“, she underlines.

In other words, these partnerships were able to open the door to the support of a total of 2,314 people, 39% of whom were women, and to the training of 464 members or employees of associations, 44 social workers, 41 administrative managers, 43 host as well as 18 civil servant translators. In addition, the program saw the involvement of 103 professors and 835 students and doctoral students.

For the partners, the “Legal Empowerment of Migrants” project has achieved remarkable results which can be summed up in the creation of a national network of Moroccan university legal clinics and a network of lawyers dedicated to the migration issue. In particular, it succeeded in strengthening three local networks in terms of exchanges between the parties concerned.

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