Ministry matters

Call for help from the Ministry of Social Rights for the care of nearly 3,000 minors in “unprecedented migration crisis”: The Canary Islands

The Canarian Minister of Social Rights, Noemí Santana, appealed this Tuesday for “help” and “assistance” to guarantee fundamental attention to migrant minors on the islands, who currently number 2,869 under guardianship as wards of the state.

“The situation is extreme,” urged Santana during an appearance before a parliamentary committee, in which she warned that “there is not a single more space”, economic and human resources “are very scarce “, if this situation is not offered an immediate remedy, the social protection system will not be able to maintain the standards it has been able to maintain until now.

“Our concern is that in the future the attention [being provided] will be reduced, we will not allow it, we will go all the way,” she said.

Santana insists the Canary Islands are experiencing an ‘unprecedented migration crisis’ and have never had so many unaccompanied minors in foster care, with just over 2,300 in the 50 centers emergencies opened by the autonomous community and 566 in the hands of the councils. . .

In Gran Canaria, there are currently 1,421 minors in autonomous centers and 200 under the supervision of the Cabildo; in Tenerife, 117 and 609 respectively; in Fuerteventura, 23 and 168 and in Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, a total of 191, 30, 5 and 55, all in self-contained community facilities.

The minister lamented the “lack of collaboration” of some municipalities on the islands to open centers and also criticized the lack of “solidarity” of the rest of the autonomous communities throughout Spain, which have so far only received 298 minors.

Santana pointed out that the Canarian government “has resorted to all means” to demand from the State and the European Union (EU) a “responsible distribution” of minors in times of “humanitarian emergency” and despite the fact that the Canary Islands are a “southern border” of Spain, and of Europe, it seems that “no one remembers”.

Santana points out that the compulsory distribution of minors has been weighed down by a “legal vacuum”, causing difficulties in the execution of the protocol legislated through the interterritorial commission, she says, in the face of the “obstacles” raised by certain autonomous authorities . communities.

However, she hopes that the next Canary Islands-State bilateral commission “will be very useful” to “be able to shed light and establish what criteria” are followed.

In addition, she said she asked the Ministry of the Interior to authorize an initial assessment “at the foot of the coast” carried out by technicians and workers of the NGO “Save The Children”, in order to determine the age of each newcomer – the Home Office rejected the idea, although it asked for it again, as “it would relieve the pressure enough”. There are up to 1,280 minors currently awaiting tests to medically determine their age.

The minister said she appreciated the readiness of the Spanish government delegation to help expedite the necessary bone tests.

She said she was still waiting to meet Spain’s Minister for Migration, José Luis Escrivá, adding that although they failed to secure EU FAMI funds for the Canary Islands, there is a question of 50 million euros in the state budget this year. , in the EMP, dedicated to this very requirement, pay attention to migrations.