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Second campaign to document migrants in Morocco: national appeals commission holds its second meeting

As part of Morocco’s second campaign to document migrants, the National Appeals Commission held its second meeting on Tuesday March 27th, 2018 at the main office of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) in Rabat. The meeting was chaired by CNDH President Driss EL Yazami, who chairs the Commission. It was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the State Ministry in charge of Human Rights and the nine members of the Commission representing civil society, including migrants associations.

The National Appeals Commission is mandated to review and decide on applications rejected by the provincial regulation commissions. Its decisions are based on the instructions of His Majesty the King.

For the second regularization campaign, applicants from 113 countries submitted a total of 28400 applications at 83 prefectures and provinces, between December 15, 2016 and December 31, 2017.

Taking into account the humanitarian considerations behind the two regularization campaigns and the CNDH’s consultations with the partners, the Commission decided to apply more flexible criteria in the process to give opportunity to more migrants to be documented. In addition to those documented at the level of the provincial commissions, other irregular migrants will therefore be documented in this second campaign, namely:

  • All women and their children, regardless of any criteria adopted earlier in this campaign;
  • All unaccompanied minors;
  • All foreigners who do not have employment contracts but can still prove they have a professional activity;
  • All foreigners who are married to Moroccan nationals or to documented foreigners, regardless of the duration of marriage; and
  • All foreigners who cannot prove they have been living in Morocco for 5 years but have been enrolled in secondary school education.

In 2014, Morocco launched a one-year campaign to document irregular migrants. That first campaign gave opportunity to 23096 people to settle legally in the country. A similar satisfaction rate is expected for the second campaign, following the decisions that the appeals commission has made on its second and last meeting.

At the end of this meeting, the Chairman of the Commission stressed that the whole campaign, initiated by His Majesty the King, was actually pioneering in involving civil society associations in the regularization process, as members of the prefecture and province commissions and the national appeals commission. He also thanked the members of the Commission, as its mandate came to an end, for their commitment and for embracing the spirit of dialogue.