A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy from the Ivory Coast has finally been reunited with his mother in Spain after they were separated for seven months.
According to the women’s charity ‘Women’s Link’, 33-year-old Bahoumou Totopa arrived on the Andalucian coast in April after making the perilous journey over on an inflatable dinghy.
Her son Abdurrahmane had already journeyed to the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the North African coast with his aunt the month before.
Bahoumou was prevented from contacting her son by child protection services who had taken the boy in Melilla, who told the 33-year-old she had to prove she was his mother before she could claim him back.
After failing to persuade Spanish authorities to let Bahoumou make contact with her son on several occasions, Women’s Link turned to the European Court of Human Rights who then urged Spain to allow her to make visits or telephone calls to her son pending the DNA test results.
When the tests came back positive, Bahoumou was finally allowed to collect her son in Melilla and take him to the migrant centre in the Andalucian city of Jerez de la Frontera where she was living.
Spanish authorities have often been criticised by human rights groups for the poor treatment of migrants who arrive in the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta on the North African Coast. ‘Human Rights Watch’, a non-governmental organization, revealed many children are taken away into child protection services while their parents are held in dark, dank police cells before they can be deported.