February 4, 2023

Tumbler Ridge News

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Many attempts were made on both sides

“Implement a social program aimed at meeting the needs and wants of Moroccan children in irregular situations abroad; establish, at the level of host countries or national territory, a support and support mechanism primarily aimed at providing minors with health and psychological support and finding appropriate solutions to problems related to family reunions; unaccompanied Such measures were recently proposed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, in order to select and support support programs for minors, launch a call for project proposals for Moroccan associations around the world involved in this sector; promote coordination with relevant departments, obtain the necessary administrative documents and support returning minors in an effort to integrate them into school and vocational training courses. African cooperation and Moroccans living abroad, support To deal with the situation of unaccompanied minors (UMs) in host countries or after their return to Morocco.

However, when faced with a complex and difficult problem, there are many supporting actors who qualify that these measures are general and insufficient. “The file is fraught with risks and has been subject to intense media coverage, lively political debates, partisan manipulation and diplomatic crises,” a supporting actor told us on condition of anonymity. And to continue: “In fact, some European political powers are using this matter for political and financial purposes. Some politicians do not hesitate to portray these minor children as public enemies”.

It’s the same story with human rights activist NL, who believes the file has multiple issues, one of which is more subtle than the other. We were told “the problem of identification, illegal evictions, difficulty in specifying the interests of the child, lack of reception centers in Morocco and the list is long”. He pointed out. And to continue: “Not to mention the lack of cooperation in this area from the European countries who refuse to accept their responsibility and blame it on Morocco”.

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For his part, Ahmed Khalifa, a migration researcher and supporting actor in Spain, said the situation of unaccompanied minors differs from one country to another. According to him, the situation of unaccompanied minors has changed a lot at the level of Spain, for example, especially after the changes made at the level of laws. “The situation has also improved at the level of reception centres. We observe that unaccompanied minors have lower expectations and more stability in their situation. “The unaccompanied minors are living today without as much pressure as they used to have before,” he told us. Also note: “The situation in this country differs widely from what happens in France, Italy or elsewhere for unaccompanied minors, especially in terms of residence permits and future prospects”.

Our interlocutor is not new to tender calls announced by the minister. “Several calls have already been made to associations run by MREs targeting non-consenting minors. However, the lack of NGOs specializing in this issue remains a problem. In fact, this associative sector is marked by many conditions and administrative obstacles, because it is a very sensitive file, which is difficult to meet certain conditions,” he explained to us. And to conclude: “In the case of Spain, the lack of presence of NGOs capable of establishing a network of social relations capable of supporting unaccompanied minors outside reception centers. In fact, these children do not integrate into the host society because they are isolated from the rest of the world. Today, Spanish society has created so-called “cooperative families” that voluntarily take in unaccompanied minors on weekends or holidays, but these families accept Spanish children and exclude those foreigners for communication reasons (minors who speak Spanish) or fear (unaccompanied minors are often considered unruly). ). These types of families are important because they facilitate the integration of these children as a kind of reference or guide.

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Hasan Bentaleb