For African refugees, Morocco is a key transit country on their way to Europe. Many are denied their dream of safety in Europe. As returning home is no option, the refugees get stuck in Morocco for the long term. Applying for a permanent residence status and job opportunities are difficult and hampered by the government. With no prospects of income, most refugees live in great poverty. On top of that comes the fact that they as a rule are shunned by the local population. They are exposed to everyday violence and racist abuse. If deported or arrested, they regularly face serious human rights violations.
A large number of refugees are in the capital, Rabat. In the district of Yacoub el Mansour, especially many migrants live alongside equally disadvantaged groups of the Moroccan population. Two thirds of the inhabitants of this densely populated district are younger than 25. Unemployment, violence and drugs are the order of the day. Because of the underprivileged status of women in Morocco, women on the run are particularly hit by poverty. For many, survival is only possible through prostitution or begging!
EIRENE works in Rabat with the Fondation Occident Orient (Occident Orient Foundation), which operates educational and meeting centres in Yacoub el Mansour and five other cities in Morocco for refugees and deprived Moroccans. EIRENE’s goal is to create perspectives for refugees in Morocco, while at the same time promoting mutual respect between refugees and Moroccans and preventing discrimination.