From file: Sub-Saharan migrants manage to enter Spanish territory in the city of Ceuta, Spanish enclave in northern Africa, early morning 07 August 2017. | Credit: Epa
From file: Sub-Saharan migrants manage to enter Spanish territory in the city of Ceuta, Spanish enclave in northern Africa, early morning 07 August 2017. | Credit: Epa

The French NGO SOS Racisme described the southern border of Ceuta and Melilla as racist and selective, keeping migrants without resources out while remaining open to traffickers who can afford to corrupt border police. Security forces' practices violate international human rights agreements, the NGO concludes.

The organization stressed that the strategy to immediately evict migrants adopted in 2005, which goes ''against international legislation'', has been exported to Europe. 


Racial discrimination widespread in Spain and Europe 

The association noted that, although progress has been made, ''ethnic-racial discrimination is a phenomenon that is significantly embedded in Spanish and European society''. A merciless mechanism to control migrant flows operates in the two Spanish enclaves in Morocco, the authors write, which is off limits to migrants, especially those of sub-Saharan origin. The border is, however, open to those who can corrupt border police or buy documents to help their passage thanks to mafias nobody will talk about, the organization adds.

This ''selective'' barrier remains closed to those coming from war zones and who can have the ''same or more motivations than people coming from Syria to ask for international protection''. 

Underage migrants significantly affected 

At least 98 adolescents aged 14 to 17 have been severely wounded in an attempt to cross protection barriers around the borders of Ceuta and Melilla, according to the report. It also said that the so-called 'devoluciones en calientes', or immediate ejections of migrants who have been able to cross into Spanish territory, have become commonplace. 

SOS Racisme said the issue affects underage migrants, as stressed by the report The Invisible Child by Save the Children: ''The handover to Moroccan police of migrants intercepted at the barriers of Ceuta and Melilla are carried out so rapidly and automatically that it is impossible to verify their age, whether they are minors or refugees''.

The NGO said security forces in the Spanish territories ''violate international human rights agreements''. It also recalled that when illegal migrants reach European territory violating immigration laws ''it is mandatory to issue a motivated resolution'' to eject them ''as part of procedures under which migrants have a right to legal assistance''.
 

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