Legal Aid for Refugees in Morocco (LARM)

Project Overview

In August 2013, Droit et Justice launched the Legal Aid for Refugees in Morocco (LARM) project. The LARM project is supported by the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support for Defenders of Human Rights (FEMDH), the British Embassy in Morocco, the Arab Human Rights Fund (AHRF) and Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) UK.

Among the most vulnerable migrants in Morocco are asylum seekers who arrive in the country seeking protection from persecution in their home countries. These persons are recognized as refugees when Moroccan officials determine they have fled their countries of origin due to persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, or social and political activism. These persons seek protection in Morocco because they are unable to obtain it in their countries of origin, therefore it is imperative to their well-being that we assist them in obtaining it.

Training and legal support

Asylum seekers frequently have difficulty accessing information about the refugee recognition process in Morocco, and those who manage to apply for asylum are rarely assisted by a lawyer during their proceedings.

The LARM project was designed specifically to address these problems: to do so, we have gathered a volunteer team of lawyers and jurists who wish to provide legal support to asylum seekers. Droit et Justice provides training on refugee law to these volunteers over three sessions designed to develop the theoretical foundations of the law, enabling them to take on practical cases. The training sessions are open to lawyers, jurists, and law students.

Since the LARM project began, Droit et Justice has trained 136 lawyers and academics and 167 members of NGOs and migrant organizations on refugee law and legal support for asylum seekers. Consequently, the LARM project has assisted over 50 asylum seekers in the districts of Casablanca-Rabat, Oujda-Nador, and Tangier-Tetouan.

To ensure asylum seekers have sufficient legal support and continue to understand their rights under Moroccan law, Droit et Justice has enabled several lawyers trained by the LARM project to accompany asylum seekers for the duration of their proceedings.

Awareness-raising

The LARM project hopes to raise awareness amongst asylum seekers about their rights under Moroccan law, the procedure for obtaining refugee status, and educate local institutions and associations about these procedures so that they may better serve asylum seekers in Morocco.

To accomplish this, Droit et Justice offers educational awareness-raising sessions to local NGOs, associations, migrant organizations, and migrants themselves. This component of the LARM project aims to strengthen the capacity of local organizations to identify and refer potential asylum seekers to Droit et Justice so we may provide appropriate support for them throughout their legal proceedings.

Since the LARM project began, Droit et Justice has raised awareness among over 580 migrants in the regions of Casablanca-Rabat, Oujda-Nador, and Tangier-Tetouan.

Advocacy

Droit et Justice consistently advocates for legislative reform and greater recognition of refugee rights in Morocco. Our experience and expertise in this area enabled us to issue nine recommendations for reforms that enable the real and effective exercise of the right to asylum in Morocco. Through the LARM project, we actively lobby for the adoption of specific legislative reforms that respect the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in the Kingdom of Morocco.