Rabat – Morocco’s second regularization campaign for undocumented migrants, launched in December 2016, will likely process at least 82 percent of the filed requests, said Driss El Yazami, president of the National Council of Human Rights CNDH.
The announcement was made on Wednesday on the sidelines of the first meeting of the National Appeals Commission in Rabat. El Yazami told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) that this meeting was an opportunity to review the first results of this operations, launched under instruction of King Mohammed VI last December.
The CNDH president added that the general data of Ministry of Interior has revealed that the operation has now received 26,000 requests.
Morocco has long been known as an important crossing point for migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, wishing to reach Europe. However, Morocco is now establishing itself as a destination for refugees and migrants.
The UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Turk, told Morocco World News in October that “Morocco remains a transit country for refugees and migrants, it is also fast becoming a country of destinction,” adding that the country is doing its utmost to offer protection to both refugees and migrants under its National Policy on Immigration and Asylum (NPIA).
For its part, the CNDH commission has examined the general observations on the progress of the second campaign as well as the possibility of extending this operation to include as many foreigners as possible, said El Yazami.
Speaking about the first regularization operation held in 2014, El Yazami revealed that the first phase resulted in the settlement of 82 percent of the files submitted.
At the end of the meeting, the committee decided to set up a technical task force to examine the circumstances of the requests rejected during the first operation, seeking to speed up the process of adopting asylum laws and the recasting of the 02-03 law on the entry and stay of foreigners in Morocco and irregular immigration.
Review of Second Phase of Regularization Campaign
The commission reviewed the progress of the second phase of the operation in the presence of several officials, including Abdelkrim Benatiq, Minister Delegate for Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration Affairs, and Khalid Zerouali, Wali and Director of Migration and Border Surveillance at the Ministry of the Interior.
The operation has collected 25,690 applications from 70 prefectures and provinces, of which 58.32 percent were issued by men, while 32.95 percent were issued by women. The other 8.73 percent of applications were issued by minors.
The members of the commission discussed the general criteria that should be withheld by the commission during the examination of the migra nts’ requests, with a view to extending the term of the operation and the number of people to benefit from the operation.
The decisions of the National Commission of Appeal forms part of the framework of the new migration policy launched in September 2013 under the instructions of King Mohammed VI. The policy notably enabled the opening of the Moroccan Office for Asylum and Stateless Persons, the publication of the Circulars of October 2013 and January 2014, allowing migrant children to access to education.
Chaired by the CNDH, the mission of the national commision is to review, on the basis of criteria consistent with Morocco’s Constitution and international human rights law, the requests submitted to the provincial commissions of regularization.