Since April 2020, there has been a change in migratory routes, leading to the arrival of a profile that the Programme addresses (Sub-Saharan woman with a child), mainly to the Canary Islands.


According to details from the Ministry of Interior, during the year 2022, 31,219 people reached Spain irregularly by sea and land. 26% less than during 2021.


Out of all the arrivals in 2022, 28,930 people entered by sea, being distributed in the following manner:

  • To the Canary Islands: 15,682
  • To the mainland and the Balearic Islands: 12,955
  • To Ceuta by sea: 124
  • To Melilla by sea: 169


The people who arrived into Ceuta and Melilla by land in 2022 were 2,289. Of these, 1,114 did so through Ceuta and 1,175 through Melilla.


As indicated in the Report of the Attorney General of the State for 2022, in 2021, a total of 986 children (530 boys and 456 girls) arrived in small boats accompanied by adults (women, mostly), who stated they had a mother-father relationship with the child. This represents a relevant increase on the 550 children who entered this way in 2020. These minors mostly come from the Ivory Coast and Algeria.


The Attorney General’s Report for 2022 indicates that “Once again, the greatest problem that Spanish Attorney Generals are aware of is the separation of the child from the adult while they perform DNA tests until they know that the result is positive. The Attorney General of Córdoba states that the ordinary activity is no longer to proceed to the separation of the child from the adult who accompanies them and leave them in the protection system until the situation is clarified. In fact, the existence of a specific centre for women with boys and girls allows the minor to stay with the adult if there is an emotional bond between them, providing the minor with the appropriate care, and without being deemed helpless. These children are not considered as “unaccompanied” but as minors who are “separated” from their parents but in the company of an adult of reference (according to the definition of General Observation 6 (2005) of the Committee for Children’s Rights on the treatment of unaccompanied minors and those separated from their family outside their country of origin.”)


“Upon their arrival to Spain, the women who migrate from Africa are in a hurry to leave human welfare centres, with the hope of continuing their journey to their final destination, which is usually in another European country. However, they arrive without documentation accrediting their identity and that of the children that accompany them, as well as the link between them. At ÖDOS, they stay for two months on average, during which an intervention for the protection of children in movement is developed. This programme, boosted by entities from diverse areas with a presence in Spain, Morocco and France, is thought to help these women who arrive irregularly at our coasts with young children. It is a growing phenomenon in the recent years, but barely visible.



If you are interested in this article from El País, you may continue reading it at: “How to avoid the trafficking of African women and children

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Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones, Consejería de Turismo, Justicia y Políticas Migratorias, Consejería de Igualdad, políticas sociales y conciliación (IRPF), Diputación de Córdoba, Ayuntamiento de Córdoba, CONFER (Conferencia Española de Religiosos), OIM (Organización Internacional de Migraciones), Fundación La Caixa, Colegio de Abogados de Córdoba, Fundación Cajasur, Ministerio de Derechos Sociales y Agenda 2030 entre otros.