CEMIN propose Borja Brañanova et une équipe internationale pour le prix Princesse des Asturies de la Concorde 2019
C’est un fait sans précédent en raison de ce qu’il représente dans la défense des droits fondamentaux des hommes et des enfants



CEMIN proposes Borja Brañanova and an international team for the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord 2019

This is an unprecedented fact due to what it represents in the defense of children’s human rights

CEMIN et d’autres organisations de 68 pays soutiennent la candidature de Borja Brañanova et une équipe formidable qui a atteint la première garde alternée dans un pays arabe

Sebastián and Olaya

They are the children of Borja Brañanova, the person who has achieved a very important milestone. This is the story of two children who are prevented from traveling to their country by the authorities of the United Arab Emirates, and over which Spain does not act for « respect for judicial independence » in Dubai.

This international issue, like many others that do not come to public light for fear of the consequences of the complaint, show that there is an alarming legal vacuum that affects family peace and the development of children around the world, as the agreements signed by the nations within the UN are not being complied with, and, in addition, the fundamental rights of minors whose best interests are interpreted in a discriminatory and unjustifiable manner are being violated.

The fact that Sebastián and Olaya have been born in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) should not deprive them of contact with their roots under no circumstances and that is why this organization is created FOR THE CHILDREN / FOR ANY CHILDREN to encourge parents, politicians, associations, courts, legislators, entities, states and international organizations to review the agreements ratified in 1989 (almost 30 years ago) and verify that they are fulfilled in the best interest of the minors without using discriminatory arguments to avoid compliance.

CEMIN proposes the achievement of Borja Brañanova, and the team that has participated in its just fight, to the Princess of Asturias Foundation for being an historical event, without precedents, that opens a door to the CONCORDIA and the protection of the childhood’s interest

Why do we apply?

The honorable reason that makes us apply for this candidancy is to encourage the continued work in the fight to defend the minors’ best interests

What have we achieved?

A very open and tolerant Muslim court has heard the argument of a group of international professionals

Where do we want to go?

We want governments, politicians and legislation to be updated for the good of the childen

It was very difficult, but we got it. There is still a lot to do and we are COUNTING ON YOU



(Collected in the newspaper El Mundo in its article of March 3, 2019)

Borja Brañanova is an Asturian mining engineer who has lived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 15 years and has won the first part of a very special battle. « I hope that this ruling confirmed by the highest instance of Dubai will encourage all the legislators of the world to update themselves and that it will help children, not only mine, to have a better future. Here in the Emirates we are in the Year of Tolerance. Well, this is a sentence for tolerance in the UAE, « explains Brañanova.


His second fight is to unblock the prohibition of Emirates judges for unexplained reasons so that his children to travel with him to our country because they are Spanish.


All this began when Brañanova married in 2013 in the UAE with a citizen of South Africa. The couple conceived Sebastián and Olaya who were registered as Spaniards at birth. But after three years, the marriage began a process of matrimonial dissolution. A court of Sharia constituted only by Muslim judges and which has the competence to resolve this dissolution of a mixed foreign marriage and established according to the Spanish civil code for minor children, gave absolute custody to the mother without the possibility of contact with the father, based on Muslim issues that, as Brañanova thinks, frontally attack the fundamental rights of his children and his own as progenitor. In addition, in the middle of the process, Brañanova was immersed in several discriminatory and serious issues as the case, still unresolved, that prevents children from traveling to Spain with their father but allows them to do so at any time to South Africa with the mother forcing the father to accede in writing, even interrupting the schooling of his children unnecessarily.


All this forced Brañanova to contact experts and establish support in the countries involved which are Spain, South Africa and UAE. So, an initially routine case for the emirate court, has turned into a very argued subject following the objective of the convention of the children’s rights of 1989, that even the the UAE has ratified it, the effective implementation to the detriment of the rights of children deprived of contact with their roots, family, culture in a systematic and inexplicable way, has not been achieved to date.


During these three years of litigation, this expert in Business Administration has fought to modify the custody of their children and to correct the « violation of fundamental rights » of minors. And even now, when he has achieved the first, he is continuing his fight for the second. This issue, the prohibition to travel, has aroused the interest of the Spanish authorities and emirates for lacking a reasonable explanation within the framework of a matrimonial dissolution that supposedly is regulated following the parameters established in the Spanish civil code and where there are no civil reasons to assume that one parent should not travel freely and the other should. This is called discrimination and it is everyone’s duty to fight it.


From South Africa legal experts have provided evidence that joint custody is the priority model, since the father has always taken into account that dual citizenship must be respected at all times. In Spain legal experts have argued with all kinds of details how to interpret the civil code, how it has been based on the Spanish constitution and how both are interpreted at all times avoiding discrimination of any kind. In addition, the legal technical team relied on expert reports of magistrates of the supreme court and retired who showed the particularities of the code and jurisprudence in this regard, which was presented very extensively as it is the argument that regulates the evolution of judicial decisions in Spain. So that there was no doubt about the wide violation of rights that were detected throughout the procedure, reports were presented that included clarifications on international law and also a specialized team on human rights, rights of minors and knowledge of the agreements ratified in the united nations presented with all level of detail all the commitments acquired and breached by the judicial system in UAE.


Fortunately, Dubai is characterized by its rapid transformation and tolerance, so all the evidence provided was included in the main case that was concluded in an unprecedented resolution and that the last instance was confirmed on March 12, 2019 becoming a fact on which many decisions will be based in the present and in the future, and that may influence so that legislators consider this option as feasible, since until now in many parts of the world it is considered impracticable.


The Brañanova case is not an isolated event and affects the entire expatriate community, so more and more are the parents, women and men who come together to denounce all these inconceivable differences in Western legal frameworks. French, English, Germans, Australians, Italians, Indians, Spaniards … and is that Dubai has a 90% foreign population that began to settle and form families in the last decade and today they see their parental obligations are interrupted by a very bureaucratic system and very little sensitive to the social reality in which one lives in Dubai, in the UAE and in more and more places in the Arabic world that struggles to evolve and solve its internal problems through dialogue and international cooperation.


Borja is very proud of being Asturian for what Asturias’ history represents in the conception of Spain and of all the achievements and civil rights associated with his nationality, he didn’t hesitate to ask for help from the local organisms of the municipalities that saw him born and later developed, which resulted in several municipal plenums, manifestos, communiqués and other actions that encouraged the unity of all political parties to fight in which some children visited the land of Don Pelayo and thus transmit their legacy so that in the future they are their own children who are proud of being Spanish, Asturian and passionately lead the defense of the interests of their children before any threat to their rights.


The complicated thing of all the case has been the participation of the local experts Dubaitíes that at all times argued with much ethics and prudence everything contributed from the foreign jurisdictions so as not to harm the development of the process and always focusing on the fulfillment of the applicable law and as the only way to defend the interests of minors.


The part of the case that came to light was the impediment to travel and never the legal litigation due to the competence of the Dubai court and to rely at all times on the logical social evolution in which the emirate is immersed to be able to host to tourists and residents who demand citizen and legal security for themselves and their children.


As the argument continues, Borja Brañanova together with others affected have decided to create foranychildren.org in order to reach the competent authorities and request a review of laws and processes to facilitate the legal security of minors and encourage a modern emotional development.


All this work has not fallen in vain and therefore CEMIN, an organization with a very high reputation in promoting the best interest of children, has believed positive to propose this candidacy as a prize for Concord for the Princess of Asturias Foundation Awards 2019, to be achieved many of the objectives that are considered worthy of being recognized in this award because they represent the necessary tenacity to take small legal steps that may be the precedent of future legislative adjustments that bring closer the understanding of East and West, with the intention of defending the human beings and the minor’s rights in an area of ​​dialogue, collaboration, peace among peoples and ultimately concord.

We have achieved this thanks to the tenacity of a team of international professionals who have joined forces and criteria to fight for justice and the interest of minors.


For any children’s logo is inspired by a stuffed animal of a brown bear, a specie that lives in some parts of Asturias and is characterized by its nobility and strength. For any children fight so that all the children of the world have the right to know their roots and their surroundings, as Sebastián and Olaya will do when they discover the natural beauty of their land and the passion with which the Spanish people and specifically the Asturian people have raised the voice to ask the authorities for justice for the children.

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