Meriam : access to rights and stability in Souss Massa, Morocco

Meriam : access to rights and stability in Souss Massa, Morocco

​April 2016

Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), UNDP, in collaboration with IOM, ITC-ILO, UN WOMEN, UNHCR, UNITAR and UNFPA, Brussels, Belgium

Meriam is a 70 year-old widow living in Douar Tinfate near Talouine, in the Souss Massa region. Her late husband left Tinfate in 1963 to work in France, where he was a miner and a mason near Perpignan for 29 years before retiring. During all those years, he maintained the link with his family through visits and by sending remittances to support his wife and three daughters. In 2014, while he was in France, Mohamed passed away and with the financial help of other migrants from Douar, his corpse was brought back to Morocco and to his family.     

Meriam was then faced with a drastic reduction in income and sought support from the Migrant Assistance Office (Bureau d’Accueil et d’Orientation des Migrants – BAOM) of Talouine which is supported by the Joint Migration and Development Initiative under the project “Connecting territories through migration and development”. The objective of this project is to reinforce the existing migrants’ social rights project by, inter alia, training local officials in migrants’ rights and establishing five local Migrant Assistance Offices in the regions.  

The BAOM of Talouine was able to provide Meriam with specific advice and administrative help in order to assert her rights and ensure she have access to her husband’s retirement benefits. The BAOM expert noticed a discrepancy between the marriage certificate and the civil status of Meriam and was able to remedy it by providing the Moroccan National Social Security fund with a certificate of conformity for Meriam. This allowed her to correctly apply for her husband’s retirement benefits.

Thanks to the help of the BAOM, and after one year and a half of living without economic subsidies, Meriam and her family received 23,000 MAD (approximately 2,300 euros) as compensation for the death of her husband. Moreover, she is now able to receive the retirement benefits of her husband for the next two years. Just like Meriam and her family, many migrants and the families of migrants can use the services of the BAOM to receive competent support for their problems related to their migratory situations in Souss Massa.

The Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), running since 2008, is a programme led by UNDP in partnership with IOM, ITC-ILO, UN Women, UNHCR, UNITAR and UNFPA, with funding from the European Commission and the Swiss Agency for Development. The JMDI is aimed at strengthening the contribution of migration to development reinforcing its local dimension through the upscaling of locally led M&D initiatives. Now in its second phase, the JMDI is up-scaling 16 projects across 8 countries (Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Morocco, Nepal, Philippines, Senegal and Tunisia).