Morocco: Migrants face persistent violence
Download the report: Trapped at the Gates of Europe (PDF)
Rabat/Madrid, 13 March 2013 – A new report by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) outlines the impact of precarious living conditions and widespread criminal and institutional violence on the health of undocumented sub-Saharan migrants trapped in
“The renewed cooperation efforts between
The report, Trapped at the Gates of Europe, denounces the violence which migrants are subjected to on a daily basis. Since December 2011, MSF teams have witnessed an increase in the number of police raids, during which migrants’ belongings are destroyed, and an increase in the expulsion to
“Since April last year, in particular, we have seen broken arms, legs, hands, and jaws as well as broken teeth and concussions, amongst others. These injuries are consistent with migrants’ accounts of having been attacked by the security forces,” explains Cantero.
One of the most urgent and significant problems outlined in the report is the sexual violence experienced, for the most part, by migrant women and girls. It is impossible to determine the exact proportions of this violence, however MSF’s medical data reveals an alarming situation. From 2010 to 2012, MSF teams treated almost 700 survivors. These women and girls require specialised care and are not receiving adequate assistance or protection from the authorities.
In addition to highlighting the increase in violence in this past year, the report also shows the difficult circumstances endured by sub-Saharan migrants, many of whom are forced to live in precarious conditions out in the open and beg in order to survive. Almost half of the 10,500 medical consultations conducted by the MSF teams between 2010 and 2012 were for pathologies related to bad living conditions. Migrants’ mental health is also affected, with patients showing symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychosomatic problems, amongst others.
Trapped at the Gates of Europe recognises the improvements in migrants’ access to healthcare services in
The progress made to date, however, will be limited if migration policies continue to criminalise and marginalise sub-Saharan migrants and prioritise the focus on internal security over respect for human rights. The protection of migrants and the defence of their fundamental rights fall outside the scope of MSF’s work as a medical and humanitarian organisation and this is one of the reasons why MSF has decided to hand over its activities in Morocco this year.
MSF urges the Moroccan and Spanish governments to stop the abuses perpetrated by their security forces, comply with international and national human rights agreements and guarantee that sub-Saharan migrants are treated humanely, regardless of their legal status.
MSF has worked in