(x-posted in Lactivism)
An international day of protest at Spanish embassies is planned for Wed, June 15th in response to this story. Below is the summary for anyone who hasn't been following. And if you're on Facebook, go here to find out about scheduled events --or to plan one-- in your city: International Action for Habiba | Facebook. Further, if anyone has links to the media or experience in news, we are having plenty of trouble getting this story into the English-speaking media. So far, ALL related news articles are still only in Spanish!
This story is roughly translated out of Spanish. You can also find blog articles if you google "Todas somos Habiba" (We are all Habiba).
Habiba is a young nursing mother of a 15-month-old girl. She is from Morocco 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 would 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 consideration, lacking 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 was not allowed to say good-bye to the child and she was not told where they were taking her, provoking severe helplessness. Habiba has her breasts swollen with milk, is at the verge of mastitis and broken-hearted, anguished for not being able to be with her baby. This mother has been evaluated by a psychologist and a psychiatrist and doesn’t present any sign of mental illness or drug use--or anything that justifies being the victim of such aggression.
Habiba was thrown onto the street in the same moment that her daughter was taken; she was told there was no longer 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-month-old girl is, separated from her mother and forced to be weaned, probably without having been explained a thing.
We consider the case of Habiba to be a severe violation to Human Rights, Mothers' Rights, and Children’s Rights. The damage is already done, but if mother and daughter can reunite, it can be healed. We demand the immediate release of the child to her mother.
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(x-posted in Lactivism)