Migrants: How Is Morocco Reducing the Number of Crossings?

For a long time, Morocco has been and currently remains a transit country for thousands of Moroccan and foreign migrants in search of a better future in Europe. However, the kingdom has implemented drastic measures to reduce the number of illegal migrants.

How is Morocco, and migrants, coping with the measures to drastically reduce the number of people who cross the border illegally, which have become a daily occurrence? While the authorities are deploying their manpower to break up illegal immigration attempts, some choose to extend the length of their stay. In response to the massive presence of refugees and migrants, since 1994, the “Orient-Occident” Foundation in Rabat has been receiving migrants, however, since 2006 it has been receiving a large number of migrants, when the waves of arrivals to Morocco proved to be random.

As of September 1, 2019, the UN counted more than 6,244 refugees in Morocco from 38 different countries, four times more than in 2014. More than half of them come from Syria (56%), but there are also Yemenis, Ivorians, Central Africans and Congolese. Indeed, many migrants cross Moroccan borders to reach Europe, while others choose to stay in Morocco. The reception center offers educational and psychological support to migrants and refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, Syria and other countries.

It also provides further services that include the creation of cooperatives, language training (Arabic dialect, French, English), help with schooling and integration of children in Moroccan public schools, as well as vocational training.

Interviewed by RFi, a cultural mediator, who works at the “Orient-Occident” foundation in Rabat, presented the program offered to Moroccans and non-Moroccans alike, which includes art courses and other skills useful for the daily life of asylum-seekers or refugees. Sub-Saharans living in Morocco often do not speak the dialect (darija), thus courses are offered for them free of charge.

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