Migrants standing in line for food in Serbia in 2017. Credit: Alessandro Penso
Rabat – A significant number of Moroccans, notably youth, wish to migrate to Europe in search of a better future, with many opting for irregular migration as a solution. While some choose to make the risky journey by sea on inflatable boats, an increasing number of irregular migrants opt for land routes.
The Balkan countries, particularly Serbia, have become a hotspot for migrants and refugees trying to reach the European Union through the Westerns Balkans route.
Serbia’s Commissariat for Refugees and Migration has revealed that a total of 124,127 migrants were registered in the country’s reception and asylum centers in 2022.
Moroccan migrants represent 7.92% (9,800 migrants) of those who passed through Serbia, putting the North African country among the top five most represented countries of origin in the Balkan country’s migration centers.
Migrants registered in the centers received housing, food, clothes, and medical care, while those under the age of 18 were enrolled in regular school programs, indicated the commissariat.
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Migrants coming from Afghanistan accounted for 36.13% of registrations in Serbian migration centers, followed by Syria (29.19%), and Pakistan (11.89%), respectively. Meanwhile, India followed in the fifth spot, after Morocco, with 4.04% of registrations.
The commissariat argued that it “acted responsibly and humanely towards all categories of people under its jurisdiction” in 2022, pledging to maintain its “humanitarian” policy in the future.
The migrants arrived in Serbia either illegally or on visa-free agreements. The latter has been a topic of controversy in Europe, with the EU threatening to withdraw Serbia’s visa waiver due to the increasing irregular migration.
A large number of migrants die every year along land routes, either in the Sahara desert or remote border areas. In 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Office blamed the EU for cases of deaths and missing people in the Mediterranean sea due to its illegal pushbacks on migrant arrivals.
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Source: morocco world news