Rabat – The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and GADEM, Groupe antiraciste d’accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants, have called on the Moroccan government to move forward with the migration policy it began implementing in September 2013 and not backtrack.
“Morocco has taken on an important task, but the recent developments make us wonder about the future of its policy,” President of FIDH, Karim Lahidji, stated in a press release published on Monday which reviews the first year of the new migration policy.
“We call on the authorities to move forward with these reforms. Any violation of the new policy or backtracking would be a major failure,” he added.
Last year, a regularization operation for undocumented migrants had been launched.
After a bumpy beginning, about 18,000 persons of at least one hundred different nationalities (out of more than 27,000 applications) have benefited from the policy.
The two NGOs said that they welcome Morocco’s implementation of an “exceptional” regularization procedure for undocumented migrants.
However, the organizations expressed concern about recent mass arrests and detentions, particularly in the Gourougou forest, which borders the city of Melilla.
FIDH said that the regularization operation was “marked by inconsistent processing of applications by different services and strict qualifying criteria.”
It added that “there are many worrying signs that the Moroccan migration policy is reverting back to a security-centered approach.”
Amina Bouayach, Secretary General of FIDH, said that “Morocco must stop trying to act as if it is the policeman of Europe and put an end to its security-oriented approach to migration.
“[Such] policies make the integration of migrants into society more difficult rather than making it easier. Efforts must be focused on implementing the strategy for integrating migrants and refugees,” she concluded.