The social crisis and policy through which Senegal passes has become a driving force for its population when making the decision to migrate to Europe through Canary Islands. Only in the last month, 2,634 people of Senegalese origin have arrived in the Islands, which represents 63.6% of all the migrants that the Archipelago has received in this period.. The number of people from the African country has skyrocketed in the last year, as 2,785 Senegalese arrived throughout 2022, a figure that slightly exceeds that registered only in recent weeks, according to the Red Cross. The Senegalese has become the largest nationality on the Canary Islands route, surpassing the Moroccan, which predominated in previous years.
Behind the reappearance of the canoes On the Atlantic migration route is the instability that Senegal has been experiencing since mid-June. These vessels are used in the traditional fishing sector in countries such as Senegal and Gambia. and they can be easily recognized by their colorful helmets. These are more robust boats than boats, which is why they allow a greater number of people to be transported, often exceeding a hundred occupants. As they depart from coastal enclaves located to the south of the Archipelago, the route that these boats follow ends in the westernmost islands, so they are The iron and Tenerife those that have endured greater migratory tension throughout the summer.
In so far this year, The Red Cross has assisted 14,377 people who have entered Spain irregularly through the coasts of the Archipelago. In total they have had to manage 256 interventions at the foot of the dock to help newly arrived migrants. According to data from the NGO, the people who have arrived in the Canary Islands this year come from 34 different countries, some as far away as the Comoro Islands, Sri Lanka or Sudan. The Senegalese, who represent 42.6% of the total migrants that the Archipelago has received, are followed by the Moroccans, with 21.4%; Gambians, with 10.4%; and Ivorians, with 8.7%.
- 63.6% of the migrants who have arrived in the Canary Islands in the last month are of Senegalese origin. It is the largest nationality, behind the Moroccan, with 21.4%.
- So far this year, the Archipelago has welcomed 14,377 people who have reached the island’s coasts irregularly aboard 256 precarious boats.
The percentage of women is 8.7%, while the percentage of minors reaches 18%. Among the 2,599 children and adolescents who have arrived to the Islands, both alone or accompanied by a family member, 88.7% are between 12 and 17 years old. In addition, Red Cross teams cared for 45 infants, 21 of them in Gran Canaria. By Islands, the one that has received the most people throughout the year is Lanzarote (4,762), followed by Gran Canaria (3,048), Tenerife (2,385) and El Hierro (2,565).
Children and adolescents alone
The last rescue of a boat on the Canary Islands route took place on Wednesday, when Maritime Rescue rescued the 139 occupants of a canoe that was sailing near the coast of Tenerife. The migrants were disembarked at the end of the day at the Los Cristianos dock. Once in port, they were assisted by the health team in the area, which had to transfer a minor in serious condition and 13 other people due to pathologies of varying severity to different health centers on the island.
On the Canary Islands route there is activity beyond what we see reaching the island coasts. The Navy of Morocco intercepted a boat with nearly one hundred migrants of Senegalese origin in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Dakhla, according to military sources collected by Europa Press. The operation took place on Wednesday, although it was not known until yesterday. Specifically, 98 people were rescued in this intervention, the vast majority of them men. The canoe had left from the coast of Senegal, one of the starting points for the boats that want to reach the Canary Islands.
The large arrival of migrant children and adolescents without the support of an adult has strained the reception system for minors who are under the guardianship of the Government of the Canary Islands, who has to take care of the expenses derived from his care. For this reason, the Minister of Social Welfare, Equality, Youth, Children and Families, Candelaria Delgado has requested the State to distribute the pending 20 million euros for the care of migrant minors. «From the Government of the Canary Islands we propose that the funds that the State intended to allocate for this purpose between the autonomous communities – the initial amount being 35 million, of which 20 million are still pending distribution – be transferred, proportionally, to the autonomies that are the southern border of Europe and Spain, that is, Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands,” explained Delgado on Wednesday, during his speech at the parliamentary headquarters.
Currently there 2,700 children and adolescents in charge of the regional Executive, which expects the figure to increase in the coming months. Compared to the previous year, the arrival of unaccompanied migrant minors has increased by 60.4%.