Rabat - Daniel Pentura, the minister of social welfare in Melilla, said this week that the number of foreign children in the Spanish enclave had become “unbearable,” with more than 250 of the 540 Moroccan children living there existing in a state of homelessness.
Rabat – Daniel Pentura, the minister of social welfare in Melilla, said this week that the number of foreign children in the Spanish enclave had become “unbearable,” with more than 250 of the 540 Moroccan children living there existing in a state of homelessness.
The official added in an interview with the Spanish newspaper “El Dia” that dozens of Moroccan children have been waiting at the border fence between Morocco’s Nador province and Melilla to enter the Spanish city sitting on the African continent.
“There is a class of minors that prefers to live on the streets and refuses to enter the allocated accommodation centers.” Pentura said of the Moroccan children already in Melilla. “They are entering the soil of Melilla illegally and on top of that, they do not respect the rules and behave as if they were in their home country of Morocco, at a time in which, as guests, they enjoy facilities and rights conferred to them under the law.”
The Purisima center, which specializes in sheltering Moroccan children in Melilla, said Moroccan and Spanish authorities are working on methods to solve this issue, “as the natural place for all children is with their families, not risking his or her life following a desire to reach the other shore of the Mediterranean Sea.”
The center’s administration also said the dreams of this group of Moroccan children are built on their belief that the countries on the other side are “ideal” for future economic prospects.
Melilla and Cueta are two autonomous municipalities located on the edge of Morocco that maintain their Spanish legal identity. Migrants from all over Africa travel to the two cities in effort to seek asylum in Europe.