HomeWorldMigrant children treated like adults as record influx overwhelms Canary Islands

Migrant children treated like adults as record influx overwhelms Canary Islands


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Orphaned throughout a coup in his homeland Guinea, teenager Moussa Camara took to sea in a picket boat with 240 different migrants, enduring an 11-day voyage, half of it with out meals and recent water, earlier than reaching the Canary Islands.

Twenty folks died en route, their our bodies dropped within the sea, the travellers mentioned, extra victims of one of many world’s most perilous migrant routes.

Yet when Camara made it on Oct. 27 exhausted, famished and nursing sores from the solar, one other downside beset him: police registered him as an grownup and he was not allowed right into a centre for minors with the higher alternatives out there.

“We are children … they betrayed us,” he mentioned with a good friend additionally classed as an grownup at an previous army base in Tenerife’s mountains, the place some 2,000 migrants await transfers to mainland Spain or permission to go elsewhere in Europe.

Though a bone take a look at could be required to show his age, Red Cross papers endorse Camara’s insistence that he’s 15 and never 18 because the police mentioned, registering each him and his good friend with the identical start date of Jan. 1, 2005.

Classing him as an grownup signifies that as an alternative of receiving further help to seek out residency and schooling till 18, he can be required to fend for himself alone virtually instantly.

The mix-up reveals simply how overwhelmed the Spanish archipelago is, Canary Islands president Fernando Clavijo instructed Reuters, after a file 32,000 migrants got here to this point this yr.

“We have neither the resources nor the calm to deal with the avalanche coming in,” he added, blaming police for processing errors as about 100 minors a day poured into the archipelago.

Spain’s nationwide authorities was washing its fingers of the problem, having solely provided to relocate 347 minors to different areas till December, he mentioned.

The ministries of the inside and migration directed inquiries to the general public prosecutor’s workplace.

It instructed Reuters it had seemed into 48 circumstances of suspected minors at Las Raices in current months, of which 4 had been confirmed, 30 despatched to a youngsters’s facility pending age exams, and the opposite 14 nonetheless in evaluation.

Fran Morenilla, a migration lawyer within the southern Spanish metropolis of Almeria, mentioned he was seeing a excessive variety of minors arriving in mainland Spain who had been registered as adults within the Canary Islands.

“This is not a one-off case,” he mentioned.


Additionally, international rights organisation Amnesty International mentioned in a Nov. 3 report that 12 out of 29 migrants it interviewed at grownup centres within the Canaries had been really minors.

For youngsters wrongly classed as adults, the onus is on them to discover a charity that may request a bone take a look at on their behalf to find out age, a course of that may take months. But Amnesty mentioned that was unfair and such exams ought to solely be used as a final resort if there have been severe doubts and no different proof.

At Tenerife’s Las Raices grownup migrants’ centre in San Cristobal de La Laguna, Camara and his good friend from the voyage, 16-year-old Modou Lamin Jarju from Gambia, sat round with dozens of different west Africans. Some fishermen described how depleted shares had compelled them to go away their coastal villages.

“I just came to help my family,” mentioned Jarju, describing his terror when provides ran out on the boat and others died.

“I just want to go to school,” mentioned one other migrant from Gambia, 16-year-old Salaoum Colley within the forest exterior the centre.

One of probably the most strained of the eight Canary Islands is El Hierro, its inhabitants of 9,000 greater than matched by the arrival of 11,000 migrants this yr.

At its largest minors’ centre on a current day, some 300 youngsters ate breakfast on a basketball courtroom earlier than Spanish classes. The youngest was 9.

Over a weekend this month, of 500 arrivals in 4 boats on El Hierro, 4 folks died and round 15 had been admitted to the island’s 31-bed hospital struggling hypothermia and dehydration.

A corridor and corridors had been getting used to accommodate sufferers, mentioned nursing coordinator Amparo Morales.

Clavijo mentioned the European Union ought to do extra to deal with the basis causes of emigration from Africa, whose inhabitants is about to double by 2050. Current coverage was “to mistreat them at borders” out of sight of most Europeans, he mentioned.

“Do you know what a mother or father has to go through to put their six-year-old or seven-year-old son in a cayuco (small wooden boat) with 200 or more people they don’t know and throw them into the open sea at night?” he mentioned.

“These people don’t do it for fun.”

Mas Fall, 17, from Senegal, mentioned the Canaries ought to brace for extra younger migrants like him and that the high-seas perils of the 1,450-kilometre journey to El Hierro had been no deterrent.

“Many more like me will come,” he mentioned, tentatively practising some newly discovered Spanish.

Source: www.anews.com.tr

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