France and Morocco signed an agreement in Rabat on Monday to facilitate the return of minor migrants to their country of origin, the most complex part of the measures desired by European countries to curb the flow of illegal immigrants from the Maghreb.
This legal agreement aims to put in place “concrete tools” for the care of unaccompanied minors from Morocco, said French Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti after signing the document with his Moroccan counterpart, Mohamed Ben Abdelkader.
The objective is to “allow juvenile magistrates to have the essential elements to take the measures most suited to the interests of these children, including their return” to Morocco, he said.
A defined judicial framework
Like other European countries, France has recently stepped up its efforts to speed up the returns of irregular migrants. Procedures for children under 18 are the most complex because of the protection enjoyed by all minors, particularly under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The “declaration of intent on the care of unaccompanied minors” defines “the judicial framework, according to which the various entities (judges, prosecution, social workers) intervene” in this care, according to Mohamed Ben Abdelkader. The text has not been made public.
Ultimately, this would be to allow French judges to order returns on the basis of placement decisions pronounced by Moroccan judges “in the interest” of minors in France.
“Very strong relationship”
There are between 16,000 and 40,000 illegal minors in France, according to the estimates of the public authorities and NGOs. In recent years, the issue of Moroccan minors has crystallized around the presence in a Parisian square of a few dozen unemployed young people.
Before signing the document, Eric Dupond-Moretti insisted on underlining the “very strong relationship” he maintains with Morocco and the “special significance” of his trip.
The minister, who has put aside his office as a lawyer since joining the French government, has long worked as counsel for the royal palace for various cases (media “rumors” related to the divorce of King Mohamed VI, possible “blackmail” carried out by two French journalists authors of an embarrassing book project for the monarch…).
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr