When the guardianship of minors fails

At eight in the evening as it is closed at night in the Korea of Palm. Four men drink, sheltered in a portico of the degraded area of Korea, where blocks of fla

When the guardianship of minors fails

At eight in the evening as it is closed at night in the Korea of Palm. Four men drink, sheltered in a portico of the degraded area of Korea, where blocks of flats simple, white with shutters of green, they rise in parallel on the pavement neglected. One of them is a minor of 14 years, the worst nightmare imaginable for christmas Eve. The girl ensures that she was raped in an apartment by six teenagers between 15 and 17 years. A girl who was a friend of yours you intimidated to submit to the demands of the group. A few hours before, just three kilometres away, several older men tried to exploit them sexually in a bar, in which, as he confessed to the Police, as had happened to episodes like the other girls supervised the prosecution of the Balearic islands investigated.

the hardness of this story is compounded by the situation of extreme vulnerability of a child who drags a story of helplessness that led him to be recognized by the social services of the Administration, toward which are directed now to the criticisms. The rape group has uncovered the existence of at least 16 cases of minor wards who have been victims of assault and sexual exploitation (although it is not known how many came to guardianship for being victims of this crime and how many suffered from episodes of exploitation, being already protected). Would mostly be girls that third parties have been obliged to maintain relationships with adults when they leave daily from the shelters or the shelter houses open regime, the arriving arising because their families cannot take care of them.

following the case of Korea, The Newspaper diario de Mallorca published the past weekend a story where social workers and police officers decried with frustration that the negligence and inaction of the Institute Majorcan Social Affairs (IMAS) and described as a common phenomenon, for years and with tens of children affected, the escapades of the girls under their guardianship to be sexually exploited in exchange for small amounts of money or gifts.


The Prosecutor's office investigates alleged cases of prostitution of minors in the Balearic islands Amount to six persons detained for the violation group to a teenage girl in the Palm

According to the local press, the educators had informed the Management of the cases but, because of lack of resources, these would not reach beyond. Before the media pressure and after admitting the 16 cases of sexual abuse of 15 girls and one boy to care for, the IMAS convened a meeting with the Police and the Civil Guard, after which he used to reject glitches in the protocol, stressing that the cases are isolated, they are investigating and are not more than before. The president of the IMAS, Javier de Juan, said that this problem affects “any minor, come from the field that you come”, not only to his tutelage. And justified that the administration can't monitor the activities that their wards perform outside of their centers.

A psychologist who has worked for years in one of these centers, and who prefers to remain anonymous, notes that the episodes of “no return” (the technical term that they use in social services to describe that a child has not been returned to the time that you touch it) began to be more common five years ago, even if you don't qualify for mass. “In recent years there has been enough concern over the cases of adolescents who do not return, and their relationship with the sexual exploitation of children. We do not know if it is through an organised scheme or with groups of guys of conflict-hit districts that give them facilities to access sexual contacts,” he says. This employee also knows of the existence of girls mentored that engages other girls in the same situation. Educators realize when the child appears with more money, the usual, objects of value, or because they themselves have it.

The IMAS have delegated competencies in the area of child protection, and manages on the island of 30 centres of children with 278 adolescent wards, six in residences own and 24 agreed. “We are vigilant to ensure that juveniles have a life as normal as possible, continue going to the same college, the activities in the neighborhood that did it before you enter, which maintain contact with the family,” says Joan Ferrer, president of the Federation of Entities of Attention to the Infancy and Adolescence of the Balearic islands. The little ones were accompanied in all activities, but when they enter adolescence, it encourages self-management for things like going alone to class or catch the bus. That is where the risk increases that do not come back. “Educators have the same tools as a parent to know how a child is, if there are changes in the mood, if you speak less. Continuous training is essential, because if a child does not want to be in a center will not”, he says.

“One of the first approaches of the girls to sexual exploitation are not returns to the centres,” says Marc Tur, former director of the Office of Advocacy of the Rights of the Child, which puts into question the methodology of the system of guardianship and question if it really protects the girls “when your free time is not monitored”. Tur believes that if the host institution should provide all you need for a teenager “would not need to seek anything outside” and warns of the high risk that they assume these are not returns, because many of these girls have gangs, social networks and some are involved in very complex situations in which “are deceived”.

The protocols of the centers obligated to contact the Police or the Civil Guard as soon as they have knowledge of the absence of a minor, but the protocol of policing under the Secretariat of State of Security, not lists of “high-risk” cases in which the circumstances that make evident the voluntariness of the disappearance. Something that is “disturbing” to Tur, to whom all non-returns have to be taken with seriousness.

Updated Date: 19 January 2020, 03:00

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