Repatriation of Moroccan people living in Belgium illegally doubles

In the first five months of 2024, Belgium returned 119 Moroccan people residing illegally to their home country, according to figures released by state secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor. In the same period in 2023, 55 people were returned.

Belgium's top ministers visited Morocco in April, when they reached an agreement with the government to facilitate the return of Moroccans living in Belgium illegally. As a result of the agreement, there has been a significant increase in repatriation, De Moor says.

In the first four months of 2024, an average of 14 Moroccan people without legal residence were returned each month. In May, this figure rose to 37.

Even before the April mission, cooperation with Morocco had cautiously improved, according to De Moor. Since the end of last year, Morocco has been providing transit documents for the repatriation of Moroccan nationals. Previously, their return was only possible if they had a valid passport.

De Moor wants to increase the number of repatriations further. A few weeks ago, the House of Representatives approved her new repatriation policy, which should further facilitate their return.


Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo and Moroccan prime minister Aziz Akhannouch © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

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