Charlottesville, Virginia- MWN- As government ministers and King Mohammed VI discussed the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) report on migrants and refugees in the Kingdom, members of civil society organizations, including both Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrant organizations, anxiously listened on.
The publication of the NHRC report was welcomed by all of civil society, which has been working tirelessly for more than a decade to shed light on the plight of sub-Saharan migrants and asylum seekers in Morocco.
After the meeting at the Royal Palace in Casablanca many human rights defenders in the Moroccan and migrant communities are cautiously optimistic. All government representatives agreed to the necessity of improving the legal and social situation of both documented and undocumented immigrants, as well as asylum-seekers and refugees. The King went on the underline the necessity of regularizing the legal situation of migrants of all nationalities, as well as the need to implement the CNDH recommendation to grant residency permits to UNHCR recognized refugees.
Hicham Rachidi, Secretary-General of the Anti-racist Group for the Support and Defense of Foreigners and Migrants, known by its French acronym GADEM, attended the 19th session of the Committee on migrant workers in Geneva, which featured representatives of the Moroccan government. He told MWN that “the experts of the Committee did a good job preparing precise presentations and questions. The members of the Moroccan delegation wanted to remain vague and speak in a very general way when important and sensitive questions were asked! But, thanks to the information shared by civil society (including the migrant community and their organizations), the committee experts demanded very exact explanations on the difficult situation of the migrant community and incidents such as the recent deaths of Alexis Toussaint, Clement, and Ismaila. I think that the general observations that will come out on Friday from the Geneva committee will be very good and will permit the proper monitoring of their implementation, and civil society will be there to hold the government accountable either way.”
Marcel Amiyeto, Secetary-General of the immigrant section of the Democratic Organization of Labor (known as ODT), issued a press release from their national headquarters on Wednesday with the following response to the CNDH report and government talks in Casablanca:
“We reiterate our unwavering support and solidarity with the National Human Rights Council for their unshakable efforts to resolve the thorny issue of migration in Morocco with the contribution of all actors in Moroccan civil society. We trust that this new approach and commitment to His Majesty the King’s position is the long-awaited outcome of the migration situation and marks a turning point in the issue of migration in Morocco. We also urge the government to implement the policies of His Majesty the King with the aim of a final settlement on the issue of migration.”
The ideals currently being espoused on immigration reform by both the Moroccan monarch and the government has led to an immense wave of appreciation throughout civil society. However, human rights groups are still keen to hear how the government plans to follow the CNDH report recommendations, both socially and legally, and are always ready to hold the government accountable in its commitment to the human rights ideals embedded in its domestic laws and the international conventions it has ratified.
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