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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century

Kingdom of Spain

Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is approaching that of the largest West European economies.

After considerable success since the mid-1990s in reducing unemployment to a 2007 low of 8%, Spain suffered a major spike in unemployment in the last few months of 2008, finishing the year with an unemployment rate over 13%. [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Spain. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you. You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street. Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public and how they abuse each other. Would you like to write about market children? homeless children? Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc. There is a lot to the subject of Street Children. Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions. Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Spain and Morocco Abuse Child Migrants

Human Rights Watch, May 6, 2002

[accessed 24 July 2011]

[accessed 7 January 2017]

"No one is caring for these children. Spanish officials violate these migrant children's human rights in an effort to drive them back to Morocco, and Moroccan officials punish them for having left.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Law enforcement and social service agencies reported an increasing number of undocumented immigrant children living on the streets. These children cannot legally work; as a result, many survived through petty crime. From January to August, nearly three thousand teenagers who engaged in a variety of activities were rescued from the streets.

Concluding Observations Of The Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 7 June 2002

[accessed 24 December 2010]

[27] The Committee is concerned that the principle of non-discrimination (art. 2 of the Convention) is not fully implemented for children of Roma origin, children of migrant workers, particularly when they are not legal, and unaccompanied foreign children, especially with regard to their access to adequate health care and educational facilities.

[42] The Committee notes with concern: (a) the high rate of truancy and school drop out and the difficult school integration especially among Roma children, children belonging to migrant families or living in socio-economically deprived areas; (b) that some children belonging to migrant families, particularly girls, do not complete their compulsory education or have great difficulties in attending school;

Spain: Street children have rights too

Amnesty International, Index Number: EUR 41/003/2001, Date Published: 15 August 2001

[accessed 15 October 2012]

[accessed 7 January 2017]

AI concerned at reports that the authorities in Ceuta and Melilla plan to resume their practice of systematically expelling unaccompanied and undocumented children -- mostly of Moroccan origin -- living on the streets or in reception centers for foreign children.

Nowhere To Turn: State Abuses of Unaccompanied Migrant Children by Spain and Morocco

Human Rights Watch, 7 May 2002,,HRW,,ESP,4562d8b62,3ced033f4,0.html

[accessed 24 July 2011]

[accessed 7 January 2017]

I. SUMMARY - In July, October, and November 2001 Human Rights Watch researchers traveled to Spain and Morocco to investigate the treatment of unaccompanied children in Ceuta and Melilla and found a consistent pattern of police abuse in both cities. Unaccompanied children in Melilla were beaten, clubbed, and kicked by Spanish police during forced expulsions to Morocco, and then beaten, detained in unsafe conditions, and then released onto the streets by the Moroccan police who received them at the border. Children in Ceuta faced fewer expulsions, but still suffered from brutal beatings if they fled when Spanish police tried to apprehend them.

III. RESIDENTIAL CENTERS - POLICE ABUSE DURING APPREHENSION - I was in the port intending to cross to Spain. A [Spanish] policeman saw me and tried to catch me, but three times I escaped. Then the police caught me, six of them, and put me in a car. [In the car] the police beat me on my arms and legs and head. Then another police officer took me to the station and hit me there with a club (porra) and with his feet.

Homelessness in Spain

Carmen Font, Barcelona Spain -- From the November 1998 issue of Share International

[accessed 24 July 2011]

The average age is 42, but there are now more younger homeless people - many of them drug addicts, especially in the capital Madrid, where 26 per cent are under 30. They are mainly Spanish, although more and more immigrants arrive from North Africa. Twenty-four per cent have been homeless for over 10 years, 35 per cent from one to five years, and 20 per cent for a year or less. Their health is weak: only 16 per cent are free from physical or mental illness.

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