In its latest report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned of the “lack of protection services for refugees and migrants making dangerous journeys,” mapping their routes from their countries of origin to the Sahel and the Horn of Africa to North Africa, and from there to the northern European shore of the Mediterranean; Including “surviving victims of human trafficking”.
The same report, seen by Hespress, traced the transit routes and map of migrants and refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, towards the Atlantic coast in the direction of the Canary Islands, or towards the northern shores of the Mediterranean through countries of transit or temporary stability. . , namely Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco; While covering twelve countries on the African continent.
The report, published on the eve of the “International Day Against Trafficking in Persons and Illicit Smuggling of Migrants” (July 30), identifies the protection services available to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who transit through these routes, considering that Morocco is “the main country of transit or residence for people in circulation”.
The map and data from the UN Refugee Agency show that migrants or refugees are highly concentrated in the cities of Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech, in addition to Tangier, Asilah and Tetouan in the north; While they are also spread over Fez, Meknes, Oujda and Nador in the northeastern and central regions of the Kingdom, not far from the Algerian border.
“While people on the move try to migrate and/or apply for asylum, some of them face forms of exploitation, physical violence and trafficking,” the report records, noting in its Moroccan department that “the majority of the victims of these violations are Women and children.”
Although the Kingdom has had a “strict” legal arsenal on human trafficking since 2016, the report noted the persistence of “gaps” regarding “identification, access to care and sustainable solutions for victims of human trafficking”. people”.
The same source goes back two years (July 2020) to recall the context of the issuance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the “Mixed Migration Center” (MMC), a joint report that highlights “the range of violations faced by refugees and migrants as they travel along routes through West and East Africa to Libya and Egypt.
The 2020 report noted that “refugees and migrants reported deaths, gender-based violence, kidnappings, and physical violence, based on survey data collected by the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism initiative team during 2018 and 2019.” In addition to reported deaths and violence in North African countries, refugees and migrants also noted “several violent incidents, as well as many deaths along routes through the Sahel, East and Horn of Africa.” .
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that “migrants are subjected to repeated practices of sexual assault, gender-based violence, kidnapping for ransom, as well as many forms of physical and psychological abuse and torture,” noting that “ some victims were left to die in the desert.”
The same report draws the attention of actors in migration and refugee matters to the extent of “the gaps in the protection services that are currently provided, especially in the areas of housing, access to justice and identification of survivors, as well as response to gender issues. based on violence, trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children”.
Through this work of mapping migration and asylum routes in the Mediterranean, the Sahel and the Sahara, UNHCR aims to raise demands for better “protection services, including those that cross borders”, drawing attention on areas where additional means are needed to fill existing gaps. services; It was intended to “help refugees and migrants become more aware of the assistance available along these routes and make better use of it”.
The report of the exploratory commission formed by the National Human Rights Council pointed out what it described as an “unprecedented pattern of crossing the migrant fence” with the occupied border post of Melilla, narrating the occurrence of violent events that preceded the confrontations of “Black Friday”. ” (June 24, 2022).
According to the same committee report, during the past year and the beginning of this year, the region has surprisingly seen the arrival of a large number of immigrants from East Africa, especially from Sudan and Chad; Noting that migrants from East Africa were taking Libya as their main crossing to the north bank, raising the question of the extent of the growing danger posed by “migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks.”