Long and dangerous fragmented journeys have become a common feature of global migration systems. These are more than simple responses to stricter migration controls and are associated with related developments in technology and communications. They are therefore a structural change in migration systems which require a re-examination of the ways in which protection is offered to migrants. This has become an important theme of international discussion since 2005 but the humanitarian situation of international migrants on particular routes remains of concern to aid groups and many in the international community. This paper, based on research in Morocco, considers the protection needs of three groups of stranded migrants: yet to be recognized refugees, previously recognized refugees and those with other protection needs. It examines migration histories to identify reasons why this third group of individuals may be unable or unwilling to return and the nature of humanitarian assistance they require.