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MOROCCO

Being black in Morocco: 'I get called a slave'

2 min

The latest cover of Maroc Hebdo magazine—seen as racist by some, defended by others—has launched a national debate on the struggles faced by sub-Saharan Africans living in Morocco.

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The latest cover of Maroc Hebdo magazine—seen as racist by some, defended by others—has launched a national debate on the struggles faced by sub-Saharan Africans living in Morocco.

 

“The Black Peril.” That's the controversial headline that the Moroccan weekly ran on its cover last week to tease to an article about the rise in the number of immigrants from sub-Saharan African, many of whom come to Morocco in the hopes of making it to Europe. Many are turned back and end up staying in Morocco, where they live in poverty. Some end up taking part in illegal activities to make a living. According to Morocco’s Interior ministry, there are about 10,000 illegal immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa living in the country. Human rights organisations estimate this number higher as closer to 15,000.

 

Headline: "The Black Peril."

 

Moroccan authorities are taking an increasingly strict approach to immigration from sub-Saharan Africa. Immigrants without residency permits are quickly expelled. The European Union’s ambassador to Morocco, Eneko Landaburu, recently called the treatment of these immigrants “problematic”, a sentiment echoed by the Moroccan Human Rights Organisation. Meanwhile, the Moroccan labour minister, Abdelouahed Souhail, accused sub-Saharan African immigrants of being in part responsible for the country’s employment crisis.

 

The International Organisation for Migration recently launched a campaign to raise 620,000 euros to help send some 1,000 illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa home.

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