Spanish authorities apprehend and summarily deport unaccompanied minors to Morocco without a procedure to identify them and protect their rights. One of these border operations was recorded in the summer of 2014 in a video showing the push-back of an unaccompanied minor at the Melilla fence structure. Despite assertions from the Spanish government that children would not be subjected to automatic push-backs – conducted since 2005 and also known as "hot returns," "devoluciones en caliente" or more recently "rechazos en frontera" – this practice is in fact indiscriminate and no exceptions are being made.
Every other week another boat carrying migrants and refugees capsizes or sinks off the coast of Italy or Malta. Witnesses frequently report instances of abuse at the borders between Turkey and Greece. There is a steady climb in the number of people who lose their lives while trying to cross the Moroccan-Spanish border. All of these events serve as evidence of the terrible failure of the EU's asylum and refugee policies. Illegal push-backs or forced returns at EU borders represent a flagrant violation of fundamental human rights and refugee laws. In the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the northern coast of Africa, refugees and migrants are repeatedly subjected to brutal violence from border guards. Anyone attempting to enter these Spanish cities – and thereby reach EU territory – is immediately deported to Morocco without any examination of their right to asylum.