Text Raquel Jiménez Gago. Pictures Ona Santané
Around all the bases, we travel kilometers in border contexts in vans to attend to undocumented or irregular people in street situations and reporting cases of repression.
In Ceuta, we have a legal team specialized in immigration matters. The staff on the ground deals with three main areas: protection of minors, the reality of people seeking international protection and the double discrimination suffered by migrant women. For us, information is a key tool so that everyone can make their own judgment, take conscious decisions and act autonomously.
Our main functions as international protection lawyers here in Ceuta are: providing information about the legal situation (both on an individual and group level), accompaniment during the process and follow-up of the case, coordination with other resources and governmental or local institutions; elaboration of legal briefs and reports as well as networking with other entities in this autonomous city. All these functions cannot be carried out without prior work in the street. And for legal accompaniment to work, it is necessary to establish trust with the people on the move.
In Ceuta, the access of people on the move to practically any type of information is very limited. And if the information is of a legal nature, even more so. We are one of the few entities dedicated to providing this information in a constant and adequate manner. Migrants and asylum seekers are in a situation of defencelessness and vulnerability because their right to information is not being recognised.
In fact, if people on the move find themselves in any resource, although accompaniment and guidance should be provided by them, this is not done or is done incompletely. Access to information for people in street situations is even more complicated. This is why we think that legal support from NNK is a very important task.
All public administrations must follow the policies defined by the European Union and have the obligation to integrate migrants and applicants for international protection. The UN, for its part, is committed to protecting the safety, dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migration status.
Accompaniment always goes far beyond the legal process: it is a human and empathetic accompaniment. It is another way to connect, to establish a caring relationship with young people and children who migrate alone. We always convey this information: clearly, without raising false expectations and in a careful way. They are the agents of their process, we advise and accompany them, but always being aware that they are the ones who have to mobilize themselves.
If we cannot change our origin, we will fight to change our destiny.
This project wants to transform souls and for us to love without borders!