The image of an immigrant boy with a life buoy in plastic bottles is shocking

"I'm looking for my daughter, she is 15 years old, she left home to move (to Ceuta), another girl told me she saw her in Ceuta, I have no news of her, nobody knows anything," said Abdelhak Bisanhtawi, worried. a 50-year-old near the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave, as relayed by the Athens News Agency.

The images from the human drama that take place in front of the Spanish pocket are shocking Θεουτα of North Africa. A boy with plastic bottles tied to him arrives swimming.

The child is spotted by soldiers on El Tarajal beach. He runs to climb the wall. The soldiers stop him and the boy cries.

His effort comes as about 8,000 people – including 2,000 minors – have entered the Spanish enclave in recent days. Most were sent back.

Spain has accused Morocco of disrespect for the European Union and a willingness to risk the lives of children and babies in the context of a diplomatic dispute between the countries.

Young people at the heart of the immigration wave to Spain

Meanwhile, in a report, the French Agency reports that 17-year-old Mohamed left everything behind this week, his studies in vocational high school, promotion exams and his family: his only plan now is to reach the Spanish pocket Ceuta , like hundreds of other Moroccan minors who see no future in their country.

As of Monday, a sea of ​​more than 8,000 migrants, the vast majority of Moroccans, had easily arrived in Ceuta as Morocco loosened border controls: among them a large number of young people who left alone or young children with their families.

The image of a baby who was almost saved from drowning by a Spanish policeman went around the world, causing the indignation of internet users. But there are also many teenagers, often young, who managed to cross the border on their own and reach the Spanish coast by sea, who are deported or wandered the streets of Ceuta.

“I’m looking for my daughter, she is 15 years old, she left home to move (to Ceuta), another girl told me she saw her in Ceuta, I have no news of her, nobody knows anything,” said Abdelhak Bisanhtawi, worried. a 50-year-old near the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave, as relayed by the Athens News Agency.

Many parents are approaching roadblocks set up on their way to Spain in the hope of learning news about their children who have left for Ceuta.

“No future”

“My mother does not stop asking me to return, but the adventure does not scare me,” said Abdellah, 16, who was deported by Spanish police on Tuesday.

The young man, who has been out of school for two years and works as an engineer, spent the night in a garden near a border crossing. Others filled the streets of Fnidek, where residents offered them food and water.

“I have no future here, I want to work to help my family,” said Mohammed, who arrived in Fnidek on Wednesday after a long walk.

Like him, most young people who want to leave Morocco come from poor families, have dropped out of school and often do chores to make a living. In Fnidek, everyone dreams that they will be able to cross the border again.

At least 4,800 migrants, including 1,500 minors, have been deported by Spanish authorities since Monday, according to Interior Ministry figures.

This “impressive” influx of minors at the border is unprecedented, says Omara Nazi, a Moroccan human rights activist who monitors immigration.

“Their deportation from Spain is contrary to international conventions on the rights of the child,” he said. “The Moroccan authorities are responsible because they want to put pressure on Spain with political goals,” he added.

On Wednesday afternoon, the influx of immigrants to Ceuta has decreased. Those who tried to reach the pocket by swimming were quickly led back to Morocco by the Moroccan Navy. Those who reached the Spanish coast were arrested very quickly and sent back to the border.

In 2018, the Moroccan Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), an official body, had expressed concern about the “huge” gap that separates 11 million young Moroccans from the rest of society and the “great challenge” posed by their social integration.

School dropout, unemployment, low wages, lack of social benefits: young people aged 15 to 34 in Morocco, who make up a third of the population, remain the biggest neglected growth figures, according to the CESE report.

The situation was further aggravated by the covid-19 pandemic. Last year, two out of five young people living in cities were unemployed, according to official figures.