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Migration and integration: Debate in the Moroccan Parliament

The issue of migration and integration was debated at the House of Representatives in Rabat, Morocco. Mr. Driss El Yazami, President of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), Mr. Abdelkérim Benatiq, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs, Mr. Driss Chtaybi, Vice-President of the Parliament and Mr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme, Ambassador of Germany to Morocco took part on 9 May 2018 in this symposium.

Choosing this topic is not fortuitous. Morocco has initiated a new and resolutely humanist migration policy and is strongly involved in the international and regional dynamics. The purpose of these dynamics is to enhance initiatives and to develop participatory approaches to major migration issues. Thus, in December 2018, Morocco will host the Intergovernmental conference aiming to adopt the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”. In the same period, it will host the 11th Summit of the Global Forum for Migration and Development co-chaired by Morocco and Germany.  At the regional level, the African Union (AU) granted Morocco the mandate of “leader of the AU on the issue of migration”, which is a fundamental challenge for Morocco concerning migration issue.

Speaking at the opening of this symposium, Mr. Driss El Yazami highlighted five priority and focus areas to capitalize the Moroccan experience on migration. The first one concerns the need to act on three levels. At national level, all countries are required to adopt integrated migration and asylum policies. At regional level there is a need to integrate the main African economic grouping such as ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States), and finally on the African level.

The CNDH Chairperson also shed light on the importance of merging the management of migrants’ affairs in Morocco with those of Moroccan communities living broad. “We cannot call for respect for the rights of our community abroad without guaranteeing the respect of those residing in Morocco”, he confirmed.

In addition, Mr. El Yazami welcomed the absence of political instrumentalization of the question of migration in Morocco and stressed the need to involve and mobilize all stakeholders in the management of migration issues (security, academic, legislative aspects and others). “Security approach is certainly necessary, but must be accompanied by academic and legislative efforts”, he added.

For his part, Mr. Abdelkerim Benatiq presented the national migration and asylum strategy and declared that the draft law on asylum will be soon adopted by parliament.

Several issues were addressed at this event, including “the process of drawing up the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”, “the process of drawing up the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular for Refugees”, and “CNDH support to implement the fundamental rights of migrants”.