Not quite the picture of parental concern or duty: After the illegal entry of 2000 unaccompanied minors in Ceuta, 92 percent of Moroccan families contacted said they would like their children to stay in Spain.
This week, Ceuta began to focus clearly on the problem which, in the shape of more than a thousand unaccompanied Moroccan migrant minors, has created a crisis.
The flood of children was triggered by the neighbouring country Morocco on May 17. It is enough to walk almost anywhere in the city, from Benítez to Santa Catalina, to see that there may still be hundreds of young people on the streets, even though the local administration has already taken in 1125 of them. The minors will soon be distributed to the various autonomous regions within the framework of the “unprecedented” solidarity mechanism.
Among the new arrivals, the city has 920 registered by the police. In Piniers there are 171 boys and 67 girls. In the Santa Amelia sports center, 245 men and in the Tarajal warehouses, 364 others.
The procedure prescribed by law and which the child protection service headed by Toñi Palomo follows “to the letter” has started to move forward in the screening process with the help of the NGO Save The Children. They have already carried out more than 150 personal interviews with children and adolescents.
The result of these conversations was “devastating” because 92,5 percent of parents prefer that their children stay in Spain “for socio-economic, family reasons, lack of money, poverty, increased cost of medicines… ”, and in only six cases the parents agreed to take their children back.
“In reunification procedures, it is not only necessary to verify parentage, but also to assess the risks of contact, the viability of the return and the consent of parents and minors make us responsible for these minors and we cannot entrust them to the police, and even less to agents who, two weeks ago, opened the doors to them so that they could leave their country,” said Palomo.
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