IMMIGRATION CRISIS

Spain won’t be taking in Muna, the migrant child born on a frigate

The baby and her mother, rescued by a Spanish ship off the coast of Libya, are handed over to Italy

Doctors on the Spanish frigate ‘Navarra’ attend to Muna and her mother after the birth.
Doctors on the Spanish frigate ‘Navarra’ attend to Muna and her mother after the birth.EMAD

On December 24, a helicopter from the Spanish frigate took the group to the Italian port of Catania, where mother and daughter were checked in to the Cannizzaro hospital. Although the baby was born on Spanish territory – i.e. the ship Navarra– Muna has no right to Spanish nationality nor to reside in Spain. Nationality can only be acquired when one of the parents is Spanish or when, in the case of the identity of the parents being unknown, the minor lacks any nationality.

This is a unique case, given that both the little girl and her mother are minors

The vessels that are taking part in the European Union’s Operation Sophia – aimed at stemming the steady stream of migrants from Libya

and other neighboring countries to Italy – are under orders to transfer shipwreck survivors to an Italian port, where they are documented and a decision taken as to whether to grant them refugee status or to return them to their countries of origin. Muna’s family is from the Ivory Coast, a country considered safe by the EU.

But this is a unique case, given that both the little girl and her mother – who is just 17 years old and claims to have been raped – are minors, and as such should be granted protection under Spanish law.

The birth of Muna Navarra, who was given the second name in honor of the vessel that saved her life in waters that have claimed as many as 5,000 victims this year, was the good news story of the Christmas break, and celebrated as such by the government spokesman. But for mother and daughter, the good news was short-lived.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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