Spanish authorities must ensure that children who have crossed into its territory of Ceuta in recent days are protected and have not been illegally returned to Morocco, Save the Children urged.
A record number of about 8,000 migrants crossed over into the Spanish territory this week, including roughly 1,500 children, according to Spanish officials. About half of those who crossed were reportedly returned to Morocco.
Catalina Perazzo, Advocacy Director at Save the Children Spain says:
“These children must immediately be protected and their needs must be assessed to identify the most vulnerable among them and ensure they get the support they need. Many children are escaping conflict, attacks or poverty that has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Spanish officials must ensure that children are not pushed back across the border, but fulfil their legal obligations to take in children who have crossed over into Spanish and European territory. They, along with EU need to develop child friendly mechanism at borders. They, along with other EU-countries must work out a comprehensive migration policy that does not depend on containment and push responsibility onto African countries.
“Spanish and EU approaches should strengthen legal and safe routes for migration, and common mandatory mechanisms for responsibility sharing, to ensure rapid responses to these situations. At the same time, governments need to work with the countries of origin and provide all children with a quality education and the chance of a better life.”
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