«Dignity should be restored to the Moroccans» | Hajar Chafai, Abou Ammar Tafnout
«Dignity should be restored to the Moroccans» Print
Hajar Chafai, Abou Ammar Tafnout   
Interview with Fathiya Yaâcoubi, president of the local section of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights at Larache.

«Dignity should be restored to the Moroccans» | Hajar Chafai, Abou Ammar Tafnout
Fathiya Yaâcoubi
Why did the city of Larache become a departure station for illegal emigration candidates?
All Moroccan cities and regions are concerned by the illegal emigration phenomenon. If the reasons that push our youngsters to leave can be very diverse, the one that comes out each time is the search for a better future elsewhere. The reasons are essentially linked with material and economic factors. There are also no horizons for young people and other components of the Moroccan society in a country where the state doesn’t protect its citizens. This explains the attraction to an overseas where there is more freedom and more emancipation possibilities, where the culture of Human rights is more rooted.

What does the Moroccan Association for Human Rights do in order to struggle against this emigration tendency?
On a national level, our activities aim to establish the culture of human rights among young people in schools, keeping in mind that the right to life is the most important right. And that emigration should normally be done without risking one’s life. We also try to make them conscious of the fact that reality is not that smooth on the other shore. We also deal with the emigration of under aged young people. We accompany their families in their search.

What should the State do to keep its youngsters?
The problem of illegal emigration is not isolated from other political and economic problems of the country. Let us then begin with a reform in the constitution to make our country more democratic. Dignity should be restored to the Moroccans by a fairer wealth distribution because we live in a country where the gap between the rich and the poor is huge. Real reform should concern the areas of education health and justice. These are important areas where one can notice the withdrawal of the State to the benefit of the private sector while citizens are already in an alarming precariousness.

What do you think of temporary contracts offered to Moroccan female workers?

It’s inhuman to recruit women with the criteria that they have young children so that our Northern neighbour makes sure that they will come back to Morocco. Moreover, these women have to be in good health, neither fat, nor thin…In the Northern Shore, these agricultural workers have very bad working conditions. In fact, even when they leave this domain, the majority of these thousands of women who work for a period of six months in strawberry fields in Huelva and Murcia, has no intention of going back home. This proves the failure of this approach. People’s free movement is a sacred principle for the Moroccan Association of Human Rights.

Hajar Chafai / Abou Ammar Tafnout
Translated into English by Elizabeth Grech

June 2010