Caritas Maroc : Promouvoir l’exercice des droits humains des migrants au Maroc

Project completed

Morocco is a country of transit and destination for migrants and refugees, 20’000 of which live on the margins of society, despite Morocco in 2014 adopting a first ever migration strategy, promising the respect of human rights and access to public services. Caritas enables 3’000 vulnerable migrants per year - mainly women and children - to translate access rights into access reality, and coaches public and civil society service providers to care for the specific needs of the new clients.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Material relief assistance
Primary health care
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
01.04.2016 - 31.03.2019
CHF  1’560’000

In December 2014, the Moroccan government adopted a first-ever immigration and asylum strategy, based on international conventions and human rights. The new strategy is assessed by Development Partners (including Switzerland) as a sound base for cooperation to address the identified 4 strategic objectives:

  1. Facilitating the integration of regular migrants
  2. Adapting the regulatory framework
  3. Building up an appropriate institutional framework
  4. Managing migration flows by respecting Human Rights

Implementation of new strategy: roughly 26’000 migrants were regularized in an exceptional regularization campaign in 2014/15 (among them all women - more than 10’000 - who applied) and free access to primary health care was granted to all migrants, irrespective of their status. The regulatory and institutional framework is being developed, but far from its final state: the 3 new laws foreseen on asylum, human trafficking, and immigration are not adopted yet, and many lower-level legislative adaptations are still missing. The new strategy and regularization therefore did not significantly change the daily realities of vulnerable migrants yet. There is clear political will in the Ministries of Health and Education to have migrants access services on par with Moroccans, with much more challenges in domains under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior, which still mainly follows a security approach (securing borders, arrests, internal deportations), leading to increased protection needs mainly of non-regular transit migrants. The Migration Ministry is small and weak, implementing its coordination mandate rather ineffectively.

There currently are roughly 20’000 vulnerable migrants in Morocco: 12’000 non-regular transit migrants, 5’000 regularized immigrants and a few thousand refugees (volatility in migration flows remains high and numbers keep changing). Migrants’ assistance and protection needs derive from the following main vulnerability factors: destitution, non-regular status, gender & age (women and children). Potection of migrants’ rights in Morocco is addressed by roughly 10 NGOs/SCOs (the largest among them Caritas) and 3 IOs (UNHCR, ICRC, IOM). Translating access rights into real access (to safety, health care, education, housing, administrative services, and employment & income) is the main protection challenge.

The main Development Partners of the Moroccan Government in migration are the EC, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. When the Valetta Emergency Trust Fund for migration in Africa comes on-stream in 2016, the EC will become the by far most important Development Partner for migration in Morocco. Switzerland currently is the recognized lead donor in humanitarian assistance & protection and facilitator of donor coordination in migration, due to its long engagement, broad partner network, reputation as quality provider, and its support volume.


D’ici la fin 2018, l’accès des migrants à leurs droits fondamentaux au Maroc, à travers les services de droit commun et les initiatives de la société civile, s’améliore.

Target groups
  • 9‘000 vulnerable migrants  (over 3 years) in the cities of Casablanca, Rabat and Tanger => great majority female & children
  • Public and CSO service providers (health, education, psycho-social, civil status)
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Le niveau de vulnérabilité des migrants exclus des services de droit commun pris en charge par Caritas a diminué.
  2. Le nombre de migrants qui bénéficient effectivement et de façon autonome de services publics marocains augmente
  3. Davantage d'acteurs mobilisés, compétents et coordonnés contribuent à l'accompagnement et à la promotion des droits fondamentaux des migrants
  4. Les stratégies gouvernementales sectorielles (Education, Protection de l’Enfance, Emploi) et les politiques locales sur Fès-Meknès incluent des actions qui répondent aux besoins spécifiques des migrants

Expected results:  

  • Operation of 3 drop-in centers, providing coaching & mediation services
  • Emergency services in case of migration crises
  • Capacity development for 700 staff of public and civil society service providers
  • Facilitation/participation in protection platforms and reference networks
  • Development, implementation and experience capitalization of 4 pilots for integration approaches (non-accompanied minors, income for vulnerable women, bridging classes for migrant children into Moroccan schools, building up new service providers)
  • Partner country contribution: health services and schooling for migrants by public institutions

Results from previous phases:  

Caritas has 10 years of experience in support & protection for vulnerable migrants, is the single biggest support provider in the country (3 drop-in centers in Casablanca, Rabat and Tanger; 3’000 migrants/year), and the long-standing, key partner in the SDC migration & protection program since 2007 (humanitarian assistance and “Protection Platform”). Coaching, mediation, capacity development, and facilitation of advocacy networks/platforms are the main good practice protection approaches developed by Caritas over the past 10 years, and carried forward into the new phase. The Moroccan Government asked Caritas to develop pilot approaches for dealing with non-accompanied minors and economic integration of destitute women, which now are included in the new phase.

The name of the project is Qantara (“bridge” in Arabic) => bridging the access divide between migrants and service providers through coaching & mediation is the main good practice approach developed by Caritas.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Other partners

8 co-funding partners (BMZ, Caritas family, Catholic charitable organizations)

Coordination with other projects and actors

Plateforme Protéction (DSH); Projet Oriental; ALCS; MdM Tamkin; Migration Initiative & Fund; Traite (UN-Women)

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’560’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’497’772 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   1’530’748 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   3’487’878
Project phases

Phase 7 01.04.2016 - 31.03.2019   (Completed)

Phase 6 01.01.2013 - 31.03.2016   (Completed) Phase 5 01.01.2011 - 31.12.2012   (Completed)