Category Archives: Refugee crisis

So you think the refugee problem is solely due to war? Think again

Mohammed from Morocco, who lived in Sweden for many years, was deported, according to EU law, to the UK where he first claimed asylum.

“I was claiming asylum here in Sweden. They sent me back to England where they took my fingerprints while I was living around the streets of Europe. Once I got off the plane, the English police took me to some sort of refugee camp. None of the guys there, including myself, had any papers because we fled as kids and not only kids, but also as street kids. One day, they decided to send me back. Suddenly I found myself in the streets of Morocco. I had not been there for years. Tell me, what can I do in Morocco? Where should I go?”

“So I knew that I had to make my way back. I went to the port where I jumped on my first lorry when I was a kid. It took a while before I was successful. “I still remember the day when I got caught three times in the same day. They took me to the police station, the same officer asked me the same questions and then let me go. I kept on trying for three weeks.”

“And then, one day, I got lucky. So I made my way to Sweden, because the people I knew were here. Since I’ve been back, I‘ve been sleeping wherever I can, getting money however I can. I cannot go back to the authorities now, because this time, they’ll send me back for sure! It’s been many years and I’m no longer under 18, so I just stick around, hoping to find a way. “

(quoted from Yelena Kensborn’s article:  http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/crisis-moroccan-street-kids-streets-sweden-472561509)

Morocco is probably the most stable country in the Middle East and North Africa, but it is still a moderately repressive state like most in the region. It has the outward appearance of democratic institutions alongside the monarchy, but does not have the freedoms that can respond to a growing young population. Neither does it have the oil which the Gulf states benefit from to counteract it developmental challenges.

Its youth like Mohammed find no job opportunities and keep coming without any skills to offer.

Isn’t it time for the US and Europe to realise that an unequivocal support of democratic movements in the region is a necessity? And, although countries like Saudi Arabia have the capital to create new programmes to absorb the youth, nevertheless unemployment is high still too high there, and such job opportunities as are created are not market-driven and therefore cannot be considered to be self-sustaining and long term.