Spanish Association Denounces Sexual Harassment of Moroccos Mule Women

Rabat – The Association for Human Rights in Andalusia (APDHA) has denounced the dire predicament that the “mule women” experience to transport bales of contraband products from Spain’s enclaves, Ceuta and Mellila, into Morocco’s territory where they will be distributed across Morocco’s markets.In a new report published by Lavanguardia, entitled “Respect and dignity of Moroccan women who import products on the border of Morocco and Ceuta,” APDHA said that “over 7,000 Moroccan women carry on their backs weights of 60 to 90 kilos [of products] from “El Tarajal,” Ceuta to neighboring villages, for an average commission estimated at 10 euros per day.”In continuing remarks, the report reveals “many cases of Moroccan women who face every day humiliation and sexual harassment from Spanish and Moroccan polices forces on the border.” Cristina Fuentes, researcher/member of the APDHA, condemned the indifference of the Moroccan and Spanish governments by saying, “This situation cannot last any longer despite the substantial benefits it brings. Approximately half of Ceuta’s exports carried on the backs of the carriers [mule women].”Fuentes went on to note, “This illegal activity is estimated at over 400 million euro, according to a study conducted by the University of Granada on the economic and fiscal regime of Ceuta.”“These profits are based on the violation of the rights of those women – who are in need of a job to feed their families,” Fuentes added.Edited by Constance Guindon

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