Spanish rights groups denounce child deportations to Morocco
Human rights groups have denounced Spain’s expulsion of unaccompanied children to Morocco, calling the deportations illegal with ministers urging the Spanish government to call an immediate halt to the process.
Amnesty International spokesman Angel Gonzalo said the deportations of minors began Friday and continued on Saturday, August 13, 14.
The Interior Ministry and Spanish police did not immediately respond to requests for comment or confirm the exact number of children affected.
“We are writing to the Ministry of Interior asking them to stop these expulsions immediately, and asking for transparency over their actions,” Gonzalo said, adding the organisation was speaking with prosecutors as “these expulsions violate international law.”
Spain is legally obliged to care for young migrants until their relatives can be located or until they turn 18.
Save The Children, meanwhile, urged Spanish authorities to assess the needs of each child and not deport them en masse, about a quarter of the migrant children it interviewed in Ceuta had suffered abuse in their homeland, accord to the organisation.
Hundreds of unaccompanied minors were among a massive surge of over 10,000 people who tried to enter Ceuta in May by scaling a border fence or swimming around it. Morocco has since taken back the bulk of the migrants.
The mass exodus took place after Spain agreed to provide medical treatment for the Sahrawi leader heading the fight for an independent Western Sahara, which was annexed by Morocco in the 1970s. Rabat reacted furiously by recalling its ambassador in Madrid.
Published euroweeklynews.com 14 August 2021