Moroccan NGOs warn against racism targeting migrants

More than a dozen Moroccan non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are advocating for an end to hate speech and racism against irregular migrants of sub-Saharan origin.

In total, sixteen Moroccan NGOs denounce, through a joint press release, the racist and hate speech suffered by irregular migrants in Morocco, but also in North Africa. Among the signatory organizations of this position paper are the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), the Association for Assistance to Migrants in Difficult Situations, the Moroccan Authority for Human Rights, the Association Attac-Morocco , the Moroccan Network of Migration Journalists, the Amazigh Observatory for Rights and Freedoms…

Human rights organizations have said they have seen what is happening in ” virtual and real public space in Morocco and the Maghreb region, in terms of the rise of racist discourse against immigrants, men and women, from sub-Saharan African countries”.

This wave of hatred has been exacerbated, they say, ” after the controversial remarks of the Tunisian presidentKais Saied“, who in a recent appearance referred to sub-Saharan migrants as “ demographic threat to his country“. The comment, however, led to the organization of a march in late February in which hundreds of people demonstrated their rejection of the leader’s remarks.

We consider that much of this discourse is no different from the discourse of far-right political currents in Western countries“, add the NGOs, emphasizing that it is a “ attempt to reproduce and assimilate them to the reality of immigration to Morocco and the Maghreb countries, in which African identity is considered an important part of the various identities of the countries of the region“.

The NGOs made it known that racist and discriminatory remarks based on ” the exaggeration of the presence of immigrants is contradicted by statistical and field data“, including official data on the presence of immigrants in Morocco.

In addition, they explain that in the context of a heavy economic and social crisis, and the manifestations of the high cost of living suffered by Moroccan citizens, ” current racist campaigns are seen as an indirect means of distracting and diverting public debates from claims related to the real challenges of the Maghreb peoples in terms of democracy and decent life, to draw attention to “the other” and to ” the foreign” and the “black” as the cause of the crises“.

In addition, the public authorities of our countries are responsible for acts of violence against immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, which are practices linked to the denial of their obligations in the need to spread the culture and values ​​of human rights in coexistence and respect for others“, continue the signatories.

The key to eradicating this problem, NGOs say, lies in dismantling these discourses to guarantee the dignity and rights of migrants. They also criticized the “negative neutrality” of social networks in the face of discriminatory speech and called for “caution” in the face of current racist campaigns.

Civil society, the press, intellectuals and academic researchers must confront hate speech and racism against sub-Saharan migrants through collective action that dismantles these speeches and guarantees the dignity and rights of migrants“, underline the signatories.

Finally, the signatory associations asked the Moroccan State to “stop playing the role of policeman for the European Union and Spain”.

In particular, they recommend the adoption of a migration policy based on universal values ​​and principles of human rights, as well as the enactment of immigration and asylum laws that respect the inherent dignity of man without discrimination. .

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