German-Moroccan partnership on asylum and international refugee protection (AA)

Project description

Ttitle: German-Moroccan partnership on asylum and international refugee protection
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Country: Morocco
Lead executing agency: Ministry delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in charge of Moroccan Expatriates and Migration Affairs
Overall term: 2015 to 2017

Context

Over the last 20 years, Morocco has become a transit and host country for large numbers of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa and Arab countries. In September 2014, the Moroccan government adopted a National Strategy on Immigration and Asylum, which includes the introduction of a coherent, human rights-based migration policy, and is compliant with Morocco’s international obligations. Creating a national asylum system within the framework of the strategy and in line with international law is a challenge for the country.

Objective

Progress is being made with the structure and implementation of the new migration policy. Actors from ministries, universities, and civil society have the necessary expertise with regard to asylum and international refugee protection. Regional and international networks are stronger. Communication policy is tailored to the specific target group.

Approach

The project assists the Ministry of Moroccan Expatriates and Migration Affairs in supporting national actors in shaping and implementing the new migration policy in the area of asylum. It is aimed at various actors in Morocco who are involved or interested in asylum and refugee protection: government officials from the ministries responsible for implementing the national immigration and asylum strategy, staff from the relevant ministries who are involved in implementing the asylum procedure and recognising and integrating refugees, and other actors who work with with refugees and asylum seekers, including universities and civil society representatives.

By providing training and technical advisory services, the project supports the planning and implementation of measures by public institutions. Furthermore, it imparts knowledge and expertise of legal, economic and social issues relating to asylum policy.

The project promotes the establishment of regional and international cooperation structures and networks in order to exchange experience and proven approaches with regard to asylum and refugee protection. Participation in conferences and study trips enable actors in Morocco to learn from experience gained locally and internationally.

In addition, the project organises awareness-raising campaigns designed to inform asylum seekers and refugees about their rights and obligations.

Results

In three training courses, 150 judges from Morocco and other African countries, together with approximately 80 representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations, have so far received training in international refugee law.

A training module on international refugee law for multipliers was developed In cooperation with the University for Judicial Officers. This module familiarises judges with the topic and the associated international court rulings. They also learn how to prepare the knowledge they acquire so that it can be taught to and shared with others. In three two-day multiplier courses held between October and December 2016, more than 80 judges and legal trainees received training in international refugee law. The content and the innovative teaching methods were very well received by the participants, and follow-up courses are currently being planned.

Regional and international cooperation in the area of asylum has been strengthened and the Moroccan Government has received advice regarding the institutional mainstreaming of the asylum system. A two-day seminar was held in Oujda at the end of November 2016 to promote the exchange of ideas between the main actors involved in supporting and integrating refugees in the region. Around 40 representatives from local administrations, civil society and international organisations – such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration – used the opportunity to network. They also received information regarding the legal situation for refugees at an international level and in Morocco.

Awareness among refugees and asylum seekers is being raised through campaigns to give them better access to information on their rights and obligations. To mark World Refugee Day, a two-day entertainment programme was organised in June 2017 in cooperation with the Ministry of Moroccan Expatriates and Migration Affairs, UNHCR and Fondation Orient-Occident. Around 500 people participated in the cultural, culinary and information events on offer. The celebrations concluded with a screening of the short film ‘Flüchtlinge in Marokko’ (Refugees in Morocco) produced by GIZ. A brochure is also planned that, in the future, will make it easier for refugees and asylum seekers to access information on their rights, the asylum process and the points of contact that are available. The project works with the Ministry of Moroccan Expatriates and Migration Affairs and UNHCR to achieve its objectives.

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