Miguel Martín Alonso I Almería, Jan 27 (EFE).- A man of Algerian origin who travels without his family is the profile of the majority migrant among foreigners who try to reach the Spanish eastern coast by boat, some 4,000 only in the province of Almería during 2022, according to data from the Red Cross.
In an interview with EFE, the coordinator of this NGO in Almería, Francisco Vicente, points out that this means a 30% reduction compared to the previous year, something that also applies to the number of interventions by the Immediate Emergency Response Teams. (ERIE) of the Red Cross, which were activated 420 times by arrivals of small boats.
“The profiles have not changed excessively, they are still mostly men. There has been a small increase in the arrival of family units and women, but it is small, and they are mainly boats of Algerian and North African origin”, says Vicente, who points out that the cases of boats with sub-Saharan Africans are much lower.
However, he warns that the profiles change every year and that each boat is “different”. “Before, 98% of people who came from Algerian origin used to be men. Maybe now it’s 92%. There is very little change in trend but more women are beginning to be seen on the boats than before. It was difficult to see women or family units, they were single men, now yes, ”she points out.
For example, it is no longer so rare that there is a pregnant woman who accompanies her husband or even makes the journey with him and more children, but “it is still a quantitatively small number”. “Perhaps, of the 4,000 people there are about 200 in these circumstances, but it is true that these people did not exist before, it was something anecdotal,” she says.
A practically unprecedented circumstance is also now being recorded, that sub-Saharan Africans, Algerians and Moroccans can share the same boat, or that citizens of Bangladesh or Syria even appear. “These are small trends that can give us information about what the future of migratory routes may be,” says Vicente.
And it is that, he maintains, the routes change so much because of the migrants themselves, who look for the “most effective”, but also because the mafias and groups dedicated to human trafficking look for those that they consider to be more “easier”. “That does not mean that the journey is easier, in the end it is more complicated the more turns they have to take”, he highlights.
All in all, Vicente states that whether they originate in Bangladesh or in any other country, the objective is to “try to reach Europe”, so they will use the most favorable route for this, be it the Canary Islands, Cádiz, or the “route Almería, Murcia and the Balearic Islands, which is now being the most used”.
The work of the ERIE
“It is evident that the Algerian route has been activated, mainly because Algeria has sociopolitical problems. The situation of Algerian society is bad and they begin to emigrate,” adds Vicente, who also specifies that the Moroccan society continues the trend of the years of the pandemic, since the border is closed, hence the precision of the migrant’s profile. .
It reveals that boats with 10 or 15 people arrive in Almería and nearby coasts, unlike what happens in the Canary Islands with “very large canoes with many people”, or in Cádiz, where “many small ones arrive, stowaways, people in small boats or in floats, something that doesn’t come here”.
When Maritime Rescue or the Civil Guard rescue a group of foreigners, a Red Cross ERIE is activated. “The team leader receives a call and mobilizes all the volunteers in the house with different profiles, both health, humanitarian or social mediation”.
Once this is done, they move to the Temporary Reception Center for Foreigners (CATE) in the port of Almería, where 90% of the care for these groups is carried out. “Normally it happens that when there is an intervention, several follow one another on the same day,” adds Vicente.
First of all, health care is carried out and if an emergency is registered, the transfer to the hospital is made, although if the health incident is slight it can be attended in the Red Cross infirmary in the port.
Then the mediators explain to the rescued everything that is going to happen, the different phases they are going to go through and what they are going to find during their arrival in Spain. “From there, the change of clothes, shower, food and, from there, they are already guarded by the Police,” he adds.
The Red Cross also works to detect “vulnerabilities” and possible requests for asylum, victims of trafficking, etc., which allow the drafting of a report that is submitted to the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration in order to give an adequate response to each case. .
Vicente recalls that the Red Cross works with this Ministry in a humanitarian assistance program financed by the Government that is a “total process”, ranging from care in the boat, to other tasks once the National Police release them, such as the management of humanitarian places, and other resources, whether in reception centers or not.
On average, between 8 and 10 people form part of an ERIE, and Vicente emphasizes that some 200 of the 1,500 volunteers are “signed up” to these teams. “It is clear that people are supportive, because the boats arrive at any time, at any time”, he finally underlines. EFE