Number of under-age, unaccompanied migrants in Catalonia set to double in 2018
Work, social affairs and families minister calls for joint action between government and social organizations in tackling growing problem
The number of under-age migrants arriving unaccompanied in Catalonia is expected to double in 2018, say the Catalan authorities. Last year, almost 1,500 young migrants reached Catalonia by themselves. In response, the department for work, social affairs and families has called for a meeting with social organizations and Catalan government representatives with the aim of setting up a working group to tackle the issue.
Minister Chakir El Homrani has made the issue one of the department’s priorities. El Homrani has said that all under-age migrants arriving in the country must receive attention involving a variety of government ministries. Already on Wednesday, El Homrani met representatives from the main organizations providing assistance to under-age migrants, as well as representatives of the health, education and interior ministries.
After the meeting, El Homrani stressed the need for joint action in tackling the problem of unaccompanied under-age migrants arriving in Catalonia. The minister insisted on cooperation between government departments, local authorities and social organizations, but he also called for responsibility from the Spanish government, as many young migrants cross Spain’s southern border, while immigration and humanitarian issues are state powers.
El Homrani also took the opportunity to welcome the Spanish government’s change of attitude towards humanitarian issues involving migrants, with its offer of safe harbor to the controversial Aquarius rescue boat that was turned away by Italy. The minister also reiterated Catalonia’s willingness to take some of the migrants, but without giving a figure.