CRC/C/80/D/4/2016 child and was placed in a residential centre for minors under the care of the Spanish authorities.5 2.7 The author states that, on 30 March 2015, Spain adopted Organic Act No. 4/2015 on safeguarding the security of citizens,6 which entered into force on 1 April 2015. This law, and in particular its tenth additional provision concerning the special regime applicable in Ceuta and Melilla, legalizes the Spanish practice of indiscriminate summary deportations at the border7 and makes no reference to unaccompanied minors nor establishes any procedure for their identification and protection. The complaint 3.1 The author alleges a violation of article 20 (1) of the Convention, in that he was not afforded the protection he was entitled to receive from the State party as an unaccompanied child deprived of his family environment. 8 He recounts that when the Spanish Civil Guard in Melilla arrested him, handcuffed him and returned him to Morocco on 2 December 2014, his identity was not checked, no assessment of his protection needs was carried out and he was not given the opportunity to explain his personal circumstances. He maintains that none of the Spanish Civil Guard officers even attempted to find out his name and age or ascertain whether he was in a vulnerable situation before returning him to Morocco. 3.2 The author adds that, as the Committee has noted, States’ obligation to provide special protection and assistance to unaccompanied children: (a) cannot be arbitrarily and unilaterally curtailed either by excluding zones or areas from a State’s territory or by defining particular zones or areas as being wholly or partly outside the jurisdiction of the State; (b) applies even in respect of minors who are subject to the jurisdiction of the State when trying to enter the national territory; (c) includes taking all necessary steps to identify minors who are not accompanied at the earliest possible stage, particularly at the border; and (d) in the event of uncertainty, requires the State to accord the individual the benefit of the doubt, such that, if there is a possibility that he or she is a child, he or she is treated as such.9 3.3 The author also alleges a violation of article 37 of the Convention in that the Spanish authorities deported him to Morocco without procedure or prior assessment of any kind and exposed him to a risk of irreparable harm. He claims that the State party knew, or should have known, that by summarily returning him to Morocco and handing him over to the Moroccan security forces, he was at risk of being exposed to violence, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment10 and precarious living conditions, without access to health services, drinking water and sufficient food in the informal migrant camps on Mount Gurugú. The author states that the injury to his mouth (damaged front teeth), which was the result of illtreatment and violence at the hands of the Moroccan security forces, was visible to members of the Spanish Civil Guard on the day of his deportation. 3.4 The author maintains that, in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement, and before summarily deporting him, the State party should have ascertained whether there 5 6 7 8 9 10 GE.19-07971 The author provides a copy of a memorandum issued on 10 August 2015 by the Community of Madrid confirming compliance with the residential care order issued in his favour, which refers to the decision of the Commission for the Guardianship of Minors of the Department of Social Affairs of the Community of Madrid pursuant to which the author was placed under the guardianship of the Spanish authorities. The author provides copies of reports and communications issued in 2014 by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, among others, all of which express concern about the draft content of this law. The author cites the cases pending before the European Court of Human Rights N.D. v. Spain and N.T. v. Spain (applications Nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15). The author cites the Committee’s general comment No. 6 (2005) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin, paras. 7 and 9. Ibid., paras. 12, 13, 18 and 31. The author cites the Committee’s concluding observations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Morocco (CRC/C/MAR/CO/3-4), para. 34, and the Committee’s general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, para. 26. 3

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