Publication: Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:57
Arcange arrived at Barajas airport in 2017 fleeing his father’s sexual abuse and an arranged marriage. She was 16 years old and this was confirmed by a first police report which classified her as “a possible minor asylum seeker”.
From there, she was transferred to a first reception center for minors. At the center, a medical report was drawn up indicating that her appearance was “compatible with the age of 16 she had manifested” and the physical consequences of the sexual violence her father had inflicted on her.
In order to process the guardianship case, they interviewed her, although she was not informed of her rights as an asylum seeker and she did not carry out any procedure to that effect. Arcange did not want to contact his parents out of fear to send him documents proving that he was a minor and the center asked the prosecution to initiate the protocol to determine his age.
Arcange underwent a physical examination in full nudity, another of her genitals and two x-rays were taken: of the wrist, which she estimated to be 17, and of the jaw, of which she could not determine the age.
On the basis of this evidence, the public prosecutor’s office issued a majority decree which forced the Community of Madrid to end the measure of protection of the young girl, who was expelled from the center and lived on the streets until another minor takes him to the Raices Foundation, which has since taken charge of his legal defense.
Today, after years of legal battle, the UN (its Committee on the Rights of the Child) condemns Spain for failing to protect it, for subjecting it to a complete nude and exploration of his genitals to determine his age.
They call on the Spanish state to provide the young woman with “effective reparation for the violations suffered”, which includes compensation for the moral damage caused, specialized psychological support for victims of sexual violence and to correct her date of birth. in its documents.
“I am very happy that it was finally recognized and accepted that I was a 16 year old girl when I arrived in Spain. Now I can continue to live being myself, at my true age, before it happens. or not me, it was someone else that they invented, ”Arcange said.
For the United Nations, the rights of the girl have not prevailed and she recommends that Spain “never” perform genital examinations as a method of determining age, a procedure in which she advises to guarantee the presumption of minority and the validity of the documentation provided by the children.
He also suggests that unaccompanied minors seeking asylum be assigned a guardian “as soon as possible” so that they can begin this process, even when “it is still pending” to establish their age. And if they claim to have been victims of violence, they benefit from psychosocial support to facilitate their reintegration.