An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Morocco.


An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Morocco.
A city scene at twilight

Casablanca, Morocco

Content of this page:
1. Description of the refugee situation
2. Morocco's response to the refugee situation
3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact

1. Description of refugee situation

Where does the population of concern live?

Mostly in urban settings. The number of countries of origin for asylum seekers is 44, for refugees or people in need of international protection, the number of countries of origin in 38.

Country of Origin - Number of Asylum Seekers - Number of Refugees/Persons in need of international protection 


  • Syrian Arab Republic: 0 - 3596
  • Yemen: 0 - 857
  • Ivory Coast: 424 - 329 
  • Cameroon: 640 - 104 
  • Guinea: 626 - 62
  • Central African Republic: 31 - 535
  • South Sudan: 0 - 290 
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: 109 - 171
  • Nigeria: 243 - 17
  • Senegal: 141 - 81
  • Others: 602 - 491 

Total: 9,349

Find live data, information and fact sheets on the refugee situation in Morocco on the UNHCR Operational Portal as well as Global Focus

2. Morocco's response to the refugee situation

An overview of how the Government has structured its ability to respond to the refugee situation, with the support of partners.

In 2013, the government of Morocco was the first in the Middle East and North Africa region to launch the National Strategy on Immigration and Asylum (NSIA), which sets out mechanisms of response to meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers on Moroccan territory The NSIA falls under the leadership of his majesty king Mohammed VI (who was nominated leader of migration in Africa by the African Union in 2018) upon the recommendations the National Council of Human Rights.  To bring the NSIA to life, an inter-ministerial commission was formed, the Bureau of Refugees and Stateless persons was established to conduct joint Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures, and strategic collaboration among different ministries helped to set up the institutional building blocks of a national asylum system.  

To support the implementation of the NSIA, these institutional arrangements provided technical assistance to the draft law on asylum. 

In further implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees, Communication and awareness-raising campaigns about asylum and refugee rights were conducted for members of public administration and security forces. Efforts are underway to give refugees equal access to public services and programmes of education and health, and to reduce barriers to the economic inclusion of refugees through administrative and operational measures. More information on this in question 2 below.

Which partnerships have been strengthened or have been made possible thanks to the implementation of the Global Compact of Refugees?

State institutions, civil society organizations, human rights organizations and UNHCR have collaboratively engaged in the response to the challenging mixed migration context in Morocco. This cooperation has led to the creation of Protection Working Groups in different cities, working to broaden the protection space, set up effective identification, referral and protection mechanisms and ensure that refugees inside Morocco are not returned to a country in which they face danger. 

As a result of this broad multi-stakeholder initiative and the continuous efforts of Morocco to better respond to refugee needs, refugees in Morocco (regardless of legal status) have equal access to public schools, to emergency health services, essential maternity and child services, and primary health care facilities, free of charge. Socio-economic integration of refugees is also supported through new alliances with national media actors who promote refugees’ success stories and help raising public awareness and strategic partnerships with the private sector actors to increase employability in line with the GCR guidelines have taken place throughout 2018-2019. 

Partners involved

Implementing partners:

  • Orient-Occident Foundation (culture and Art) 
  • Moroccan Association of Support to the Promotion of Small Business 
  • Moroccan Organization of Human Rights

UN Agency: 

  • IOM 
  • RC Office

Ministry: Ministry of External Affairs and International Cooperation

Constitutional Institutions: Economic, Social and Environmental Council 

Government agencies: National Agency for the Promotion of Jobs and Skills

Private sector:

  • General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco 
  • General Union of Enterprises and Professions 
  • Pharma 5 Group and Foundation 
  • Maroclear Central Depository 
  • Entrepreneurship Network 

Civil society/refugees: Youth refugee association

Academics: Oujda University of Law (MOU signed with UNHCR and the legal clinic)

3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact

Here’s a summary of how partnerships working in education, livelihoods, health and social inclusion have already transformed the lives of refugees and their hosts. 

Morocco has been promoting the search for durable solutions, giving priority to the local integration of refugees since 2017, in line with the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. Significant progress has bene made on the legal framework facilitating the entry of legal foreign residents (migrants and refugees) in Morocco into the national labour market. Their access to jobs on an equal footing as Moroccans have been enabled by the following laws and initiatives:  

  • Refugees holding a refugee card issued by the national Bureau des Réfugiés et des Apatrides (BRA) are now exempt from the procedure of the Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC), which sets a national preference for employment. 

  • Foreign residents, including refugees, are eligible for self-employment status (Law 114-13) on the same basis as Moroccan citizens, provided they are legally established with a valid residence permit and have tax residence in Morocco (article 23 of the General Tax Code). 

  • The Law for cooperatives was amended, enabling refugees to e now have the right to establish their own cooperatives under the same conditions and with the same rights and obligations as Moroccans. 

In accordance with the national arrangements emphasised in the GCR as a tool for an effective response and in preparation of the first Global Refugee Forum in December 2019, a national consultation was held in October 2019 bringing together a large representation from various ministries, civil society actors and the private sector. Together they crafted a Comprehensive Refugee Response Plan of Action. Socioeconomic inclusion is at the heart of the plan, among other considerations, and the private sector is set to become a key stakeholder in promoting refugee’s self-reliance.  

Pledges and contributions made by Morocco 

Pledges and contributions dashboard  (interactive by Area of Focus)

This dashboard includes all pledges and contributions made towards the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in Morocco, including national pledges made by the Government of Morocco itself.