Those under 18 are hoping to benefit from European legislation that gives them greater protection than adult migrants.
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At 14 years old, Ismail said he is "ready for anything" as he tries to board a boat for Europe and leave his Moroccan homeland behind. While waiting to fulfill his dream, Ismail ambles around the port of Ceuta – a Spanish enclave in Morocco – wandering the streets like dozens of other children.In order to reach Ceuta or Melilla, another Spanish enclave, migrants must first scale the barbed wire fences that mark the only land borders between Europe and Africa.Like the dozens of young migrants in Ceuta, realizing his dreams entails clinging onto the underside of a vehicle boarding a ship for the port of Algeciras in southern Spain.But whether originating from sub-Saharan Africa, Morocco or Algeria, child and adult migrants frequently find themselves destitute. Despite tales of success reaching the youths from Europe, the reality for young migrants is often far from the dreams held at the portside.
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