Moroccans celebrate refugees and raise awareness of the problems facing refugees by celebrating World Refugee Day on June 20.
Rabat – With over 8,000 refugees from more than 50 countries currently residing in Morocco, the North African state has become both an important transit country for migrants making their way to Europe and a country of permanent residence for thousands fleeing violence and persecution.
From Syria, Yemen, Libya, and other inhospitable countries, refugees make their journey to Morocco in search of security and with the hopes of a better future. While many of these migrants simply use Morocco as a temporary stop in the route to Europe, a large number choose to build a life in the North African country.
As the first African signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Morocco has historically played an important role in protecting vulnerable peoples searching for a better home.
Every year on June 20, the world recognizes World Refugee Day, which was created in 2000 to raise awareness about refugees and migrants around the world.
In Morocco, Ministry Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Charge of Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration Affairs and High Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Morocco work together to host a series of events for the day every year.
Primarily organized by and for refugees in Morocco, the activities are designed to recognize and highlight the achievements of refugees in the country.
Recognizing achievements ranging from the best socio-economic integration projects for refugees to the “Refugees Got Talent” art competition, the Ministry honors the efforts of refugees and organizations within Morocco dedicated towards protecting and facilitating the integration of refugees.
Aside from recognition, the activities are also designed to raise awareness and help refugees in more direct ways.
Caravans travel to different cities in the days leading up to the celebration to raise awareness about refugees across Morocco and a scholarship for refugee students are also part of the celebrations.
Collectively, the activities are designed to reinforce Morocco’s culture of accepting and integrating refugees, and helps to celebrate the achievements of refugees in Morocco and the achievements of the organizations which bring hope and security to these refugees.