Rabat – There are more than 10,000 Moroccan irregular migrant minors in Spain, according to the Spanish branch of Save the Children.
The report highlights the difficulties undocumented migrant children and adolescents face in Spain.
Moroccan minors make up more than 50% of all young irregular migrants from Africa, and approximately 7% of all irregular migrant children in Spain.
Irregular Moroccan minors number at 10,000 which is approximately 50% of the 19,000 irregular minors from Africa, and about 7% of the total of 147,000 minors identified in the Iberian Peninsula.
Most of the irregular Moroccan minors in Spain do not have access to stable housing, languish often in poverty, social exclusion, and violence. Similarly, they encounter many difficulties in accessing health care and education.
The NGO also revealed the vulnerability of such minors in Spain, as most do not have access to social protection. The fact that they are often mistreated, also puts them in perpetual danger of human trafficking.
Read also: Moroccans Remain Largest Foreign Community in Spain
One such example circulated on social media in February. The video showed Spain’s Guardia Civil officers beating up young Moroccan children in a reception center for minors in the Canary Islands.
The video showed the young Moroccans begging the Spanish officers to stop hitting them. But the beating did not stop until all the Moroccans fell to the ground, with no energy left to resist.
In another tragic incident, on July 1, 2019, officers at a Spanish juvenile detention center killed Iliass Tahiri, an 18-year-old Moroccan boy.
In general, Spain has faced intense scrutiny over its treatment of irregular migrants. According to Arrels Foundation, a Spanish NGO that advocates for the rights of homeless people, there are currently 1,200 men and women who sleep in the streets of Barcelona, with irregular migrants representing a large part of the homeless community.