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Capacity building of the African NHRIs in protecting and promoting the rights of migrants and refugees

The President of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), Driss El Yazami and the UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk, opened on 23 October 2017 at the CNDH’s National Institute for Human Rights Training Driss Benzekri in Rabat, Morocco, a workshop on capacity building of the African National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the promotion and protection of migrants and refugees.

Representatives of NHRIs from Algeria, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia participate in this event that will last until 25 October 2017.

Three days of interaction among the African French-speaking NHRIs will be an opportunity to exchange good practices on protecting the rights of refugees and migrants and enhance their knowledge on this issue.

Speaking at the opening of this training session, Driss El Yazami said that following the submission of our report on ‘foreigners and human rights in Morocco, for a radically new asylum and migration policy’ to His Majesty Mohammed VI King of Morocco in September 2013, Morocco sought to settle regularized status of asylum seekers in line with the international human rights law

He added that while the issue of migration is a topical question at the international level, it is definitely a South-South issue that particularly concerns Africa.  In addition, as an NHRI, the CNDH should understand and analyse these changes.

The integration of migrants remains a complex issue. The President of the CNDH is strongly convinced that the NHRIs can be the mediator between migrants and asylum seekers on the one hand and the government, employers and civil society on the other hand.

Volker Türk stressed the importance of partnerships where the NHRIs play a fundamental role, mainly in protecting and promoting migrants and refugees rights. Furthermore, he indicated that protecting refugees is related to the protection at the international level. He also added that it is important to distinguish between migrants and refugees.  

Participants at this event will learn about the state of the protection of migrants and refugees. They will also acquire an overview on the situation of migrants and refugees at the international and regional level. The focus will be on national experiences in migration management, and the role of NHRIs in promoting and protecting migrants’ rights.