Students at University Mohamed Ben Abdellah’s Faculty of Economic and Social Legal Sciences participate in a training on migration and asylum practices in Morocco.
On Saturday, November 21, 2020 an expert in the field of migration and asylum conducted a training on Migration and Asylum for students participating in the program to become student clinicians at the Legal Clinic housed at University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah’s Faculty of Economic and Social Legal Sciences in Fes (FSJES-USMBA). These sessions expanded upon his presentation on the same topics during a training the previous week. The student clinicians were divided into two groups in accordance with public health guidelines.
The facilitator presented on the national strategy for migration and asylum and its results. This topic is particularly pertinent on both a national and international level. Morocco is considered a primary launching point for migrants into Europe, particularly to Spain, who has seen a ten-fold increase in migrants from the western coast of Morocco since 2019. A recent decision has stated that those who are not deemed eligible for international protections will be returned to Morocco. The training reviewed the different categorizations of asylum seekers, focusing particularly on the process of establishing administrative status for migrants and asylum seekers, the resolution of migrants in an irregular situation, and the inherent right to education for refugee children. The migrant situation in particular is pertinent as it has been shown that migrants are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
Trainings like these are an essential part of the Legal Clinic program. In tandem with their university curriculum, these technical sessions give students practical information that will be directly applied to their service delivery and other advocacy activities conducted within the clinic’s framework. They will be working with the same populations whose situations they are learning about in order to serve them best. Not only will marginalized populations in and around the Fes area be able to receive legal assistance at no charge, the students will be participating in a service learning experience that will be invaluable to them as they proceed toward their own career aspirations.
Service learning has been found to increase student learning as well as employability. These experiences have been shown to positively impact cultural awareness and social responsibility in university students as well. These benefits, when leveraged properly, have the potential to position Morocco as a destination for those seeking to escape dangerous circumstances in their home countries, or even more economic opportunities. Experiences such as this can create a generation of Moroccans prepared to cultivate an environment of acceptance and enhanced livelihoods.
Learn more about how you can support the efforts of the Legal Clinic here.
The High Atlas Foundation is working in partnership with the Faculty of Economic and Social Legal Sciences at the University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah (USMBA) in Fes to operate and grow a Law Clinic and Legal Aid program which actively engages students in experiential and service learning for the benefit of marginalized communities in the Fes-Meknes region. The project is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).