An 8-year-old boy named Abou was found stuffed inside of a suitcase, living but not in good condition, at a border crossing between Morocco and Ceuta (a Spanish territory) on Thursday. A 19-year-old woman, who was hired by the boy’s father to smuggle him into Ceuta, was arrested on the scene. The boy’s father, who was arrested hours later, insists he did not know that the boy would be transported in that matter and just wanted the boy to arrive in Ceuta safely.
Abou’s father is from the Ivory Coast and now lives in Spain’s Canary Island’s and was desperately trying to get his son there too after his initial attempts were unsuccessful.
Unfortunately, stories about the abuse of sub-Saharan Africans as they try to migrate are all too common. Judith Sunderland of the Human Rights Watch explained, “Pushing people back across the border without due process or screening for protection violates Spanish, European, and international law… Migrants forced back into Morocco face violence and other abuse at the hands of Moroccan security forces.”
Thankfully, Abou survived the ordeal and is now in the custody of Ceutan authorities.