Young Moroccans in Europe complain of discrimination

Respondents in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands complained of difficulties finding work or housing and practising their religion.
Thursday 02/07/2020
21-year-old Moroccan migrant Najib walks in the streets of Barcelona. (AFP)
21-year-old Moroccan migrant Najib walks in the streets of Barcelona. (AFP)

RABAT--Young Moroccans living in Europe complain of difficulties finding work and housing and in practising their religion, according to the Council of the Moroccan Communities Abroad (CCME).

In a survey conducted in collaboration with the Paris-based opinion polling agency IPSOS, the council revealed that majorities or sizable pluralities of young Moroccans complain of discrimination in Europe.

Former Moroccan boxer Mohamed Idrissi trains youths at the Brussels Boxing Academy, Belgium. (Reuters)
Former Moroccan boxer Mohamed Idrissi trains youths at the Brussels Boxing Academy, Belgium. (Reuters)

The poll surveyed 1,433 Moroccans (ages 18-35) living in six European countries — France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Sixty-four per cent of them said they experienced difficulties finding work, 57% finding housing and 42% practising their religion.

The results of this survey show “the invisible difficulties that young Moroccans, living in Europe, are facing in Europe, especially regarding access to the job market and finding housing or requesting a bank loan.”

A Moroccan participant serves tea during the opening of the Green Week international food, agriculture and horticulture fair in Berlin, Germany. (Reuters)
A Moroccan participant serves tea during the opening of the Green Week international food, agriculture and horticulture fair in Berlin, Germany. (Reuters)

In Germany, 69% of young Moroccans said they had trouble finding housing, compared to 50% in Belgium, 50% in Spain, 69% in France, 57% in Italy and 35% in the Netherlands.

The council added that migrants of Moroccan origin were also likely to feel discriminated against in many ways. “It is not only related to police violence, or attacks in a political context, but also to many forms of social discrimination, economic discrimination related to employment, housing, and religious practice,” CCME Secretary-General Abdellah Boussouf noted.

CCME Secretary-General Abdellah Boussouf. (CCME facebook page)
CCME Secretary-General Abdellah Boussouf. (CCME facebook page)

Boussouf called on the Moroccan government to draw European countries’ attention to Moroccans’ grievances about discrimination and pressed Moroccan authorities to take a “more serious approach” towards the problem.

He also urged the government to strengthen “cultural diplomacy” in countries with large Moroccan populations through activities highlighting the diversity of Moroccan identity and promoting the values of tolerance, coexistence and respect for the other.

The CCME recommended that Moroccans living abroad “restructure their NGO networks and strengthen their presence in organisations defending the rights of minorities and immigrants.”

It also highlighted the importance for Moroccans of being active in political life to influence public opinion.

The council also called on European countries to make sure laws are implemented to preserve equal rights, protect minorities, uphold the principle of equal opportunity for all segments of society and strengthen the educational sector’s role in promoting the values of diversity and coexistence.