Support for the Rabat Process on Migration and Development: Activities

Look back at the thematic meeting on asylum and international protection in the Rabat Process Region

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Look back at the thematic meeting on asylum and international protection in the Rabat Process Region

Date: 15 and 16 June 2015
Place: Rabat, Morocco

Pillars: International protection

Over 120 representatives and experts from nearly 50 countries and international organisations participated in the Thematic Meeting on Asylum and International Protection on 15 and 16 June 2015 in Rabat.

Over 120 representatives and experts from nearly 50 countries and international organisations participated in the Thematic Meeting on Asylum and International Protection on 15 and 16 June 2015 in Rabat.

Organised in the framework of the Rabat Process, this meeting was proposed to developa common understanding of the issues related to asylum and international protection. The meeting also aimed to identify concrete initiatives and guidelines enabling states to achieve visible results for developing and improving their national asylum systems and to better prepare their regional response to emergencies.

The high participation rate highlighted the relevance of the topic in the current context and in relation to the new priorities brought up during the last Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in Rome in November 2014.

The meeting was opened by the co-chairmanship, represented by Mustapha Bouazzaoui, Director of Consular and Social Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco, and Cristina Díaz Márquez, Director-General for Home Affairs Policy at the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Spain. The co-chairs underlined the importance and relevance of the Rabat Process as a dynamic and flexible framework of work and exchange, a facilitator of cooperation and better coordination in migration issues between the partner countries.

The co-chairs stressed the importance of this meeting for developing capacities in the areas of asylum and international protection, and for supporting policy development on this topic. The new Moroccan draft asylum law was mentioned as an example in this regard.

During the opening session, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for International Migration and Development, Mr Peter Sutherland, also addressed the plenary. He emphasised the fundamental importance of opening legal channels for asylum seekers towards Europe. Furthermore, good governance and institution building should be supported in countries of origin and barriers to mobility should be broken down. He recalled that 2015 is a year marked by several crucial events in the area of migration, including the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the up-coming EU-Africa Summit on Migration.

His speech was completed with statements from representatives of the European Union delegation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Rabat Process Support Project (composed of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development - ICMPD and the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies - FIIAPP).

These statements highlighted the importance of strengthening the tripartite cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination. They also showed the importance of fighting the root causes of migration, and the need to promote the positive potential of migrants, especially for development.

Regarding the meeting’s topic, different examples, possibilities and areas for further thought have been evoked, including:

  • The Regional Developmentand Protection Programmes (RDPP) of the European Union to support refugees;
  • Expanding the possibilities for legal migration, such as family reunification, temporary work visas and migration programmes for seasonal labour;
  • Coordinated action to push forward reforms of migration systems, including measures such as voluntary reform and cooperation between regional agencies;
  • Development of national asylum and protection policies.

The initial statements were completed by contextual and technical presentations on different situations and initiatives, both from the national level (Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Italy, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Spain Sweden) and the international level (Frontex, HCR, IOM, European Commission, European Asylum Support Office - EASO). The presentations debated in further detail during the plenary discussions, during whichall participants could to share their experiences and suggestions.

Additionally, two working groups encouraged the representatives to actively participate.

  • Working Group 1: Regional Guidelines for the Preliminary Identification and Referral Mechanisms for Migrant Populations in Vulnerable Situations: Which experiences can be drawn in the framework of the Puebla Process and what is the applicability to the Rabat Process?
  • Working Group 2: Searching for sustainable protection solutions: voluntary return, local integration or resettlement in third countries.


The results of the working groups were also presented and discussed in the plenary session.

In the closing session, the co-chairmanship presented the draft conclusions and recommendations of the meeting. The co­­-chairs stressed the importance of supporting countries of origin and transit affected by mixed migration flows, in their efforts to develop national asylum laws.

Moreover, the development of regional guidelines for profiling and referral of migrants, similar to those of the Puebla Process, was also mentioned as a possibility in the Rabat Process region. Finally, the co-chairs encouraged participants to continue exchanges informally, to strengthen cooperation between Rabat Process countries and partner organisations.

All presentations, the final agenda of the meeting, the concept note, as well as the summary of debate and the conclusions of the co-chairs are available below. You can further access the photos from the meeting on our FLICKR account.

Related documents

1.Final Report

2.List of participants

3.Meeting agenda

4.Information note

5.Experts presentations

6.More documents of the meeting