Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We are all Habiba

In solidarity with Habiba, whose daughter was forcibly taken from her because she was still breastfeeding her.
My sweet Avalon is 15 months, the same age as Habiba's daughter... The thought of the separation from her (and the forced wean) is more than heartbreaking... it is sickening and a violation of her HUMAN RIGHTS.

Here is the story of Habiba's plight, taken from 'The International Day of Action for Habiba- UK', an event taking place globally today:

Habiba is a young nursing mother of a 15 months 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 will make things easier.

On the 30th of May, 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. For all of this, we ask you that you sign the petition to ask IMMF the immediate release of the child, to her mother and/or to send letters to the authorities that can make it happen.

You can sign the petition here: immf-give-back-habiba-s-baby

From one Mother to another x

******************************* U P D A T E *************************************

Habiba & Alma have been reunited after 22 days... Sleep well in mama's arms... and SHAME on the IMMF!!

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