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CCME:" Which policies to ensure the protection of migrants' rights? »

Monday, 21 December 2020

"Moroccans living abroad: which policies to ensure the migrants rights? "is the issue of the broadcast organized, Saturday, December 19, 2020, by the CCME web tv Awacer. Mr. Mokhtar Ferdaoussi, member of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) and lawyer in France, Mr.Mohamed Aderghal, geographer and professor at the University Mohammed V in Rabat, Mr.Omar Smaoli, gerontologist and director of the Observatory of Gerontological Migration in France (OGMF) participated in this meeting moderated by Ms Souad Talsi MBE, member of the CCME and founder of Al-Hassaniya Moroccan women's Center in England.

The contributions of the speakers focused mainly on the rights of retired people, women in migration and the contribution of the associations of Moroccans throughout the world, in host societies and societies of origin.

In Europe, migration policies change from one country to another, which is why it is important to establish a realistic diagnosis based on data collected in the field. In France, for example, "the situation shows three categories of administrative procedures concerning retired people of Moroccan origin," explains Mr.Omar Smaoli.

"The retired migrant who has returned to Morocco but remains tied to France by a pension transfer, the migrant who has been integrated and lives in France but remains bound to his country of origin and then a third category who lives, -neither in Morocco nor in France- because of several practical legal challenges".

For this third category, the main right called into question in practice is that of freedom of movement, which must be unconditional, since the rights must be linked to the person and not to the place of residence. This is evidence, according to the gerontologist, "that once again the laws are almost perfect, but they are not concretized and do not follow the evolution of social changes".

"The host countries do indeed solicit actions for monitoring and support, but what we really find in the field is more monitoring than support.

Retirees, in addition to the widows of Moroccan retirees, are among the categories of migrants who have been hit hard by the repercussions of the Covid 19 pandemic, particularly with regard to the repatriation of bodies to Morocco and burial in Muslim squares. In Ile-de-France, for example, 1250 Maghrebians died in the months of March and April 2019, while the region counts 2923 deaths among the Maghrebi population during the same period in 2020.

For his part, Mr.Mohamed Aderghal sees the very fact of treating migrants as a separate category is a blocking factor, "whether in Morocco or abroad, because defining this category as being different from other citizens has resulted in the problems related to it remaining blocked, it is a form of discrimination".

"We define a migrant as someone who lives in another country, despite the fact that they are rooted in the host countries, that the issue of borders is just an administrative disposition and that we are simply citizens who must enjoy the same rights wherever we are".

To promote the rights of Moroccans living abroad, Mr.Mohamed Aderghal believes that it is necessary to involve civil society in the elaboration of public policy: "the handling of migrants' affairs must be founded on the expertise and accurate knowledge resulting from the reality of immigration in the host countries. Officials cannot develop policies of which they are not aware of the reality on the field".

For his part, MrMokhtar Ferdaoussi explains that a difference must be made between "pension rights linked to contributions throughout a professional career and those linked to solidarity allowances".

"Moroccan pensioners in France benefit from the minimum old age if they are in France 180 days per calendar year, otherwise they must reimburse the sums they have received in this context," he added.

Another problem that arises in practice, "is that of applying Moroccan laws, including those related to the family code, to Moroccan families residing abroad.

Among these problems are Article 49 of the Family Code relating to property acquired by one of the spouses during the marital relationship, or Article 100 relating to child custody, which has been amended but continues to link custody rights to several conditions, or the travel of the wife with her children, which remains subject to the ex-husband's automation, and many other examples of provisions that are difficult to apply in France.

Difficulties which Moroccans living abroad face on a daily life basis and which continue to be the subject of "public policies that are not coordinated between institutions in Morocco, which should work in concert and implement a policy of proximity and advice".

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