Rabat – France and Morocco have agreed for four Moroccan police officers to be sent to help France deal with young Moroccan delinquent migrants in the Goutte d’Or neighborhood in Paris’s 18th district.
The agreement was signed in June between the French and Moroccan Ministries of the Interior.
The four Moroccan police officers will be charged to identify Moroccan minors for possible deportation back to Morocco, the French weekly magazine L’Obs reported.
A document obtained by L’Obs specifies that the team of French-Moroccan police “will have a mission of interviewing Moroccan unaccompanied minors and collect information to launch investigations to identify them and take them back to Morocco.”
According to the same source, about 50 young boys, aged between 15 and 17, have been wandering the Goutte d’Or neighborhood since their arrival in France. The young boys, mostly from Morocco, are continually escaping from educational centers where they have been placed.
Following the French-Moroccan agreement, the Ministry of Justice was asked to identify the legal guarantees that could be made for the safety of the street teenagers upon their return to Morocco.
The Group Providing Information and Support to Immigrants (GISTI) organization said, “Such a strict police arrangement would be totally against to the rights of the child.”
“A legal requirement is imposed on all actors, especially on those concerned with children. If this is not taken into account, by checking the age of minors and by contacting their lawyers, the law is bypassed,” Emmanuel Daoud, lawyer and member of the bar council, told L’Obs.
Paris residents feel endangered
Since 2017, the situation of street delinquents has caused trouble for local residents in Paris, the Paris municipality, the Prefecture of Police, and the Paris prosecutor’s office. The minors, according to L’Obs, are on their way from Spain to northern European countries. They leave from two Spanish enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, heading for England or the Scandinavian countries.
Earlier this year, many residents of areas heavily populated by migrants in Goutte d’Or, La Chapelle, and Barbès, signed two petitions demanding the government act on problems caused by underage Moroccan migrants.
One resident, named Mireille, said she left the Goutte d’Or after migrants had targeted her and her 15-year-old daughter. “The first time it was a Sunday night, I saw three of these young people on the sidewalk and I felt a threat. So we turned around, but right after one of them jumped to my daughter’s throat, maybe to take her collar. She broke free and started crying, we ran away.”
“The next day we filed a complaint, but now I’m no longer safe in the street, neither is she. She finds it very unfair not to be able to walk freely in the neighborhood.”