In recent years, the Moroccan Government began efforts to establish an integral policy of migration in the country. This policy aims at updating the legislative framework for migration, asylum and trafficking of persons to Morocco in line with obligations emanating from international migration law, ratified by Morocco. Moreover, this policy includes other fundamentals, such as the regularization of refugees recognized by the representation of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Morocco; the regularization of certain groups of migrants in an irregular administrative situation through an exercise being implemented in 2014; and eventually the development of integration policies for non-national residents in Morocco on a regular basis.
The Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs, whose mandate was extended specifically to cover Moroccans residing abroad and all migration affairs, plays a key role in this process. In addition to being responsible for the coordination among the various ministries and institutions affected by this new policy, the department also identifies partnerships to ensure the implementation of an integral policy on migration.
The national immigration and asylum strategy is guided by a respectful approach to the rights of immigrants and complies with the international commitments made by Morocco. This guidance resulted in the proposal of an African alliance for migration and development, presented by Morocco on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in 2013. This initiative is based on the shared responsibility among the countries of origin, transit and host, and the close link between migration and development.
The immigration and asylum policy is part of a series of measures initiated by Morocco since September 2013, including the publication of the report by the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) on migrants and refugees in Morocco, based on Royal guidance of 10 September, calling on the Government to develop a comprehensive policy and action plan. This resulted in the creation, in October 2013, of a Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs. In December 2013, Morocco began the distribution of residency permits for refugees and asylum-seekers and their families before starting, in early January 2014, an operation of administrative regularization of aliens illegally in the country.
This process resulted in the adoption of the National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum by the Governing Council in December 2014. It is defined as a humanist and integrated strategy based on recommendations made by the CNDH, Royal guidance, the constitution of 2011 and the international conventions ratified by Morocco. It responds both to humanitarian issues (respect for human rights, the fight against discrimination and human trafficking and integration), facilitation of access to the health system, education and training, housing and employment. It also addresses the issue of shared responsibility between states through enhanced cooperation and regional and international governance. Finally, it presents immigration not as a threat but as an economic, social and cultural opportunity.