Changing routes, younger voyagers

10th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Though the number of African immigrants reaching Spain's shores fell last year, the flow has probably only been diverted temporarily.

10 January 2008

MADRID - Though the number of African immigrants reaching Spain's shores fell last year, the flow has probably only been diverted temporarily. When Morocco tightened up immigration controls at Spain's behest, the migrants started heading out to sea from Mauritania to the south. When that country followed Morocco's lead, the migrants set off from Senegal.

With each shift in the starting point of the maritime migration route further away from the Canary Islands and mainland Spain, the hazards the migrants face increase. Many are now setting off from Guinea - a journey of more than 2,000 kilometres. No one knows for sure how many died last year. Human rights organisations put the figure in the thousands.

Migration routes have not only moved south, they have also moved east. According to Frontex, the recent increase in the number of immigrants crossing the eastern Mediterranean is probably due to the success of patrols off West Africa.

Meanwhile, deportations of adult migrants from Europe are also leading African families to send more children, who European authorities have far greater difficulty in repatriating.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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