A coalition of human rights groups urged Spain to halt the repatriation of hundreds of unaccompanied minors who crossed into Spain.
The coalition documented hundreds of expulsion cases of unaccompanied children to Morocco.
Thus, the rights groups urged the Spanish authorities to immediately stop these “illegal deportations.”
Amnesty International spokesman Angel Gonzalo said the deportations of minors already started.
The Spanish radio station Cadena Ser said 15 children were deported from Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta so far.
Spanish first Official Comment
The Spanish interior ministry denied the repatriations and did not confirm the numbers of children affected.
“We are writing to the Ministry of Interior asking them to stop these expulsions immediately. We also ask for transparency over their actions,” Gonzalo said.
Morevover, he pointed out that “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.
Child Abuse in Numbers
Meanwhile, Save The Children urged Spanish authorities to assess the needs of each child.
The organisation also urged not deport them en masse.
According to its data, about a quarter of the migrant children it interviewed had suffered abuse in their homeland.
Hundreds of unaccompanied minors were among 10,000 people who tried to enter Ceuta in May by scaling a border fence or swimming around it.
Morocco has since taken back most of the migrants.
“Repatriations from Ceuta continue today,” Save the Children added.
The NGO called “for an end” to these illegal operations. “Spain is not guaranteeing the protection of minors,” it said.
Fore its part, the junior member of Spain criticised the transfers in a letter to Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
“We have been informed by children’s organisations on the ground that the repatriation of minors has begun,” the coalition added.