Refugees at the Algeria-Morocco border

Alerts, Maghreb, Migration and Asylum, Morocco / Western Sahara

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Exiting the dead-end

On 20 June 2017, the Moroccan authorities have announced they would ensure the protection of the 13 Syrian families who had been stranded at the Algeria-Morocco border since 18 April 2017. EuroMed Rights welcomes this initiative. Civil society organisations will closely monitor the situation so as to make sure that these refugees see their rights respected.

The 28 people, including 10 children, among whom some people suffering from health issues, have finally been authorised out of the no-go zone and legal limbo in which they had been left. For more than two months, these refugees have been the hostage of a latent territorial dispute between Algeria and Morocco.

EuroMed Rights hereby expresses its relief as the solving of this situation had lasted too long. We salute this move by the Moroccan authorities. EuroMed Rights recalls and stresses the importance of solidarity relentlessly by individuals as well as civil society which shows people’s willingness to welcome refugees, in this area and elsewhere.

These refugees should be issued a leave to remain and be given access to their economic, social, civil and political rights even though Morocco does not have any legislation on asylum.

Our organisations have noted the mention by the authorities that this measure was to be considered as exceptional under humanitarian grounds.

EuroMed Rights strongly encourages the Moroccan authorities to pursue the legislative reforms undertaken in the framework of the migration policy initiated in September 2013; we especially call for the adoption of a domestic legislation on asylum as soon as possible. Refugees’ rights will only be respected if clear frameworks and procedures pertaining to the examination of asylum claims and the reception of people in need of international protection are enshrined in common law.

 

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