Spain-Senegal: Agreement to repatriate unaccompanied minors approved
01 September 2007
Agreement with Senegal to prevent the immigration of unaccompanied minors
On 7 September 2007, the Senate ended parliamentary scrutiny of the agreement signed in Dakar on 5 December 2006 between Spain and Senegal "on co-operation in the field of the prevention of emigration by unaccompanied Senegalese minors, their protection repatriation and re-insertion", when it announced that it had no amendments to propose.
Presented as stemming from the need for a "strict co-operation... in the field of the protection of minors, both to resolve the problem of unaccompanied Senegalese minors and to prevent it", within compliance with the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of Children, it provides for a framework of joint activity that includes commitments to consolidate a permanent dialogue and enable the exchange of information for the two countries to protect, repatriate and re-insert the minors efficiently. The actions envisaged to fulfil the agreement's goals include prevention by assisting social and economic development in regions from which unaccompanied minors emigrate, controlling migrant smuggling rings and conducting information and awareness raising campaigns as well as the provision of assistance and protection to these minors on Spanish territory, and promoting the minors' expulsion and return to their families or the body responsible for their care, and their re-insertion.
Within ten days of illegal entry into Spain, Spanish authorities will transmit any relevant information concerning the children to their Senegalese counterparts, who will be responsible for identifying them and their families, and will expedite a document confirming their nationality within a further 20 days. The competent Spanish authority will then make any necessary arrangements with regard to the minors' return to Senegal, in compliance with national and international legislation, with the two countries guaranteeing that the return will take place under appropriate conditions.
Senegalese authorities will associate and co-ordinate reception mechanisms and social resources, public, private and by NGOs working to take care of minors subjected to repatriations. A monitoring committee will be established responsible for exchanging information concerning the arrivals, periods of stay and repatriation of unaccompanied minors, analysing and evaluating the measures implemented, and suggest any interventions deemed necessary to tackle the situation efficiently, producing six-monthly reports. Spain will fund the protection of unaccompanied minors in its territory and co-finance prevention, repatriation and re-insertion activities carried out by Senegal.
On 13 July 2007, Consuelo Rumí, the Secretary of State for immigration, announced that agreements for the repatriation of unaccompanied minors were also reached with Morocco and Romania.
110/000216 (CD) Acuerdo entre la República de Senegal y el Reino de España sobre cooperación en el ámbito de la prevención de la emigración de menores de edad senegaleses no acompañados, su protección, repatriación y reinserción, hecho en Dakar el 5 de diciembre de 2006, available at: http://www.congreso.es/public_oficiales/L8/CORT/BOCG/A/CG_A371.PDF
(Boletín Oficial de las Cortes Generales, 20.4.2007, Series A, no. 371).