Many Unaccompanied Minors dream of Europe but are stuck in Morocco, surviving without state support or protection.
It is difficult to estimate their number, but we know that several thousand children transit the country or stay there for a long period.
During the month of March, Mr Rolf Widmer, President of ISS Switzerland Board, and Ms Laura Montarsolo, project assistant, spent a week in Rabat, to assess the situation of the UMs in Morocco.
The IOM gave mandate to ISS for this mission with a two-fold objective:
• create housing standards, which ensure an accommodation according to the requirements of the Convention of Children’s Rights
• put in place a mechanism of reception and accompaniment of the UMs, so that they can grow in a secure environment with reliable relationships and a framework allowing them to create perspectives.
ISS Switzerland intends to contribute to a sustainable action plan for the Unaccompanied Minors and means to repeat in Morocco the experience of the Network in West Africa for the protection of children (WAN). We hope we will create partnerships with the state authorities and the NGOs in order to start a pilot project in the region.
A second mission is about to take place shortly, to run a workshop with a number of local actors and to better understand the needs of the UMs in Morocco.