NGO calls on Spain to protect refugee children

Thousands of children are drowning each year at sea en route to Europe. Photo: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters via Europa Press
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• Save The Children makes appeal in wake of drowning of 6-year-old off Cadiz
• In 2016, 1,500-plus refugee, migrant children drowned en route to Europe

Save The Children has called on the Spanish government to do more to prevent the drowning deaths of refugee and migrant children in the Mediterranean, part of the mass exodus of people from war-torn regions of the Middle Eaast and sub-Saharan Africa seeking to reach safety on European shores.

In a letter to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the global humanitarian aid organization called on Spain to take more preventive measures to prevent tragedies, such as the drowning death of Samuel, the six-year-old refugee from the Congo whose body washed up on shore this week after he fell overboard from a boatload of refugees and migrants trying to reach Spain from Morrocco.

Save the Children told Rajoy in its letter that more than 5,000 people drowned at seat last year trying to reach Europe, with one third of them childrena and minors, and that Spain needs to do more to guarantee legal and secure routes to Europe for children and their parents  fleeing violence and harsh conditions in their home countries for safety in Europe.

In January 2017 alone, the aid organization said,  3,871 people have arrived in Europe from Africa, Asia or the Middle East seeking a better life and 246 have drowned on the journey.

► Read More in Spanish at Europa Press and El Mundo …

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