YOUNG African immigrants who have arrived in Spain by way of the Canaries could soon find themselves living in the Balearics if a deal is reached between the Balearic Government and the Ministries of Employment and Immigration in Madrid.

Under the plan, minors who have landed on the Canaries from Africa may be homed with African families living here.
Up to 20 minors could be lodged with families here, according to sources in the Balearic Department of Social Affairs. This would be the first such initiative of its kind in Spain.

The Minister for Employment, Celestine Corbacho, recently wrote to the different autonomous communities asking them to take in some of the young African immigrants who have landed in the Canaries. She said “the Canaries has a problem that all the administrations have to help solve”.

The Balearic Minister for Social Affairs, Fina Santiago, has established contact with both ministries in Madrid with the object of transfering the minors to the Islands “as soon as possible”.

It is believed that the first of the minors could start to arrive in the Balearics at the end of the year.
The island councils and different associations in Nigeria and Mali are also involved in the negotiations. “Our obligation is to show solidarity with the Canaries and that's what we are working on,” said departmental sources, who emphasised the necessity of “getting involved in the Canaries' problem, where help is required”.

For that reason, the Government is ready to “take the maximum number of children” and show their desire that this pioneering initiative in the Balearics will serve as an example for the rest of the regions of Spain.

According to the sources, living with African families will enable the minors to better integrate into society, though they pointed out that an expert must evaluate the competency of each family to take in children.

At the same time, it is forecast that economic assistance will be provided for feeding and looking after the children. “This will help these African minors integrate into our society,” added the department.
Corbacho has also indicated that she is looking for each and every one of the autonomous communities to show their collaboration and solidarity to help deal with this problem. “One of the most dramatic aspects of this type of immigration is the arrival of these young people in such despairing conditions,” said the Minister.


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