Friday, June 10, 2011

Who is Habiba?

Habiba is a young nursing mother of a 15 months old girl. She is from Marocco and has an adverse socio-economic circumstance. Four months ago she accepted to live, along with her daughter, in a residence for young mothers in Madrid, with the hope that it will make things easier.

On May 31st, the Minor and Family Institute of Madrid (IMMF - Instituto Madrileño del Menor y la Familia) decided to separate the child from her mother for not accomplishing the goals of a program of psychotherapy and ‘maternal skills’ that involves abandoning extended and on demand breastfeeding, as they consider it to be ‘chaotic and prejudicial for boys and girls’. By this considerations, that lacks scientific and legal basis, mothers are forced to take a medication to dry up their milk.

According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, breastfeeding should be on demand and can last for as long as mom and child desire it. No legal procedure has been followed to separate this mother from her daughter, she not allowed to say goodbye to the child and she was not told where they were taking the child, provoking severe helplessness. Habiba has her breasts swollen with milk, at the verge of mastitis and with a broken heart, anguished for not being able to be with her baby. This mother has been evaluated by a psychologist and a psychiatrist and she doesn’t present any sign of mental illness or drug use or anything that justifies being the victim of such aggression.

Habiba was thrown to the streets in the same moment that her daughter was taken, she was told there was no more a place for her as the residence was for mothers and she did not have a daughter anymore. A humanitarian aid foundation has given her protection, shelter, sustenance and legal aid.

We are deeply concerned by the pain of Habiba and it hurts to imagine in what circumstances the 15 months old girl is, separated from her mom, forced to be weaned, probably without having being explained a thing.

We consider the case of Habiba to be a severe violation to Human Rights and Children’s Rights. The damage is already done, but if mother and daughter can reunite, it can be healed. We ask IMMF the immediate release of the child to her mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment