France, Morocco to Discuss Issue of Unaccompanied Minors in Europe

France, Morocco to Discuss Issue of Unaccompanied Minors in Europe French Minister of Interior Gerald Darmanin Photo: Ludovic MARIN/AFP/AFP

Rabat – French Minister of Interior Gerald Darmanin has opened up about the situation of unaccompanied Moroccan and Algerian minors in France.

In an interview on September 23, the official said that the number of unaccompanied minors in France from the two North African countries is estimated at 16,000, “not 40,000 as I have read.”

LeFigaro published an article about undocumented North African minors in France, estimating their number at 40,000.

Darmanin said that there are unaccompanied minors who came from Morocco and Algeria in several large cities of France, including Paris and Bordeaux.

“Everyone knows the difficulty, in particular of unaccompanied Moroccan minors in Paris,” he emphasized.

The official recalled talks between Moroccan and Algerian officials regarding the situation of the undocumented migrants in Europe.

“I will travel to Morocco and Algeria. I work on it a lot with Jean-Yves Le Drian. It is a question of security, child protection, and diplomacy at the same time. We absolutely have to resolve this problem at the European level,” Gerald stressed.

The French minister emphasized that migration issues can only be resolved at the European level. “We always want European solidarity. There is no reason why only Italy, France, Germany, and Greece share this solidarity,” he underlined.

In August, French politician Florian Bachelier said that discussions are ongoing between Morocco and France regarding the creation of a training and care center for Moroccan minors in France.

Thousands of Moroccans attempt to reach Europe for better economic opportunities due to the high increase in unemployment in their home country.

In August, the High Commission for Planning (HCP) said that the unemployment rate in Morocco reached 12.3% in the second quarter of 2020.

The figure represents the highest number recorded since 2001.

Unemployment in the country remains most prevalent among young people aged between 15 and 24, with 33.4% of this demographic unemployed.

University graduates account for 18.2% of unemployed people.

The HCP attributed the increase in unemployment between April and June to the COVID-19 outbreak, state of emergency, and lockdown.

The HCP found that the three factors resulted in a loss of 589,00 jobs between the second quarter of 2019 and the same period in 2020.