JUSTICE has finally been served for a mother who was forcibly separated from her child almost a decade ago.
On August 23, 2005, a young agricultural worker living in extreme poverty went to the Andalucían social services to ask for financial help.
The social service officers in Motril (Granada) then did what they thought best—they took away her 3-year-old child.
The last time Cristeta saw her daughter was August 27, 2005.
The European Court of Human Rights has just declared this forcible separation of mother and child a violation of Cristeta’s rights.
The court in Strasbourg awarded the 40-year-old resident of Chiclana de Segura in Jaén more than €30,000 in compensation for her mistreatment by the Spanish courts.
The social worker in charge of the case claimed Cristeta was angry and aggressive during visits to her daughter at the foster home, leading Andalucían judges to suspend visiting rights altogether. The girl was then moved to a second foster home. No one notified the mother, who never stopped trying to find her.
The child was never physically or psychologically harmed while under her mother’s care, leading the Human Rights courts to judge that the only reason for the child’s removal was poverty. According to the ECHR press release, this is in direct violation of her right to respect for private and family life.
While Cristeta continued to fight for the right to reunite with her daughter, the Andalucían authorities began searching for an adoptive family for the child, declaring her to be abandoned by her mother. According to the ECHR, the child has not yet been adopted.
Eight years later, Cristeta has finally received the financial help she originally requested. But unfortunately, it won’t bring her daughter back.