Syrian refugees stucked in the desert. Photo: orient-news.net

Since 18 April, 41 Syrian refugees including women and children are stuck at the Algerian-Moroccan border – without access to health care, food or sufficient drinking water. Humanitarian support for the refugees and access to their right to protection is urgently needed. UNHCR has to get access to the protection seekers without delay.

No access to protection for Syrian refugees

As a result of the mili­ta­ri­zed clo­sure of the bor­der bet­ween Moroc­co and Alge­ria,  41 Syri­an refu­gees are stuck in the desert sin­ce one month in the desert bor­der­land bet­ween the two count­ries. Moroc­can aut­ho­ri­ties announ­ced to allow access to their ter­ri­to­ry to 9 per­sons becau­se they had fami­ly mem­bers living in the coun­try. For the others, neither Alge­ria or will allow them to enter their ter­ri­to­ry. Until now, the High Com­mis­sio­ner for Refu­gees (UNHCR) has been denied access to the­se peo­p­le. Euro­Med Rights has sent a request to the UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the human rights of migrants on 11 May 2017 cal­ling for his urgent inter­ven­ti­on to Algiers and Rabat.

Stuck in the desert under alarming conditions

Among the pro­tec­tion see­kers are a pregnant woman and a child suf­fe­ring from can­cer, the­re have also been cases of diar­rhea and sca­bies. The group is expo­sed to alar­ming con­di­ti­ons: They lack sup­p­ly of food and drin­king water, the tents are in poor con­di­ti­ons, the peo­p­le are expo­sed to harsh wea­ther con­di­ti­ons and left wit­hout protection.

Urgent request for help!

It is a mat­ter of urgen­cy that Moroc­can and Alge­ri­an aut­ho­ri­ties imme­dia­te­ly gua­ran­tee access to their ter­ri­to­ries for the stran­ded per­sons, to pro­vi­de them with huma­ni­ta­ri­an aid and to allow them to imme­dia­te­ly cont­act UNHCR in order to get access to a pro­per asyl­um pro­ce­du­re. For tho­se who have fami­ly mem­bers in Moroc­co, Alge­ria or other third count­ries – some have fami­ly rela­ti­ons to Ger­ma­ny and Swe­den – their right to fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on has to be exami­ned and guaranteed.