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Spain: Commissioner Muižnieks calls for guidance to border police on how to handle migration flows in Ceuta and Melilla

12/07/2016 Strasbourg
In a letter to the Minister of Interior of Spain published today, Commissioner Muižnieks has urged the Spanish authorities to adopt a procedural framework to ensure that border police in Ceuta and Melilla have clear instructions on how to handle mixed migration flows in full compliance with human rights. “The Aliens Act amended in February 2016 establishes a special regime for Ceuta and Melilla...
Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on migration cases concerning Spain

12/11/2015 Strasbourg
Today, Commissioner Muižnieks has submitted written observations to the European Court of Human Rights in relation to two complaints concerning alleged pushbacks of migrants from the Spanish city of Melilla to Morocco. Basing his observations on his visit to Melilla in January 2015 as well as on other credible reports, the Commissioner underscores the existence of an established practice of...
Human Rights Comment

Without papers but not without rights: the basic social rights of irregular migrants

20/08/2015 Strasbourg
Those who think that irregular migrants have no rights because they have no papers are wrong. Everyone is a holder of human rights regardless of their status. It is easy to understand that the prohibition of torture protects all people but we should also be aware of the fact that basic social rights are also universal, because their enjoyment constitutes a prerequisite for human dignity....

Spain : Commissioner concerned about adoption of amendment to the Aliens Act

13/03/2015 Strasbourg
Yesterday’s adoption by the Senate of the amendment to Spain’s Aliens Act falls short of providing clear guarantees against refoulement and collective expulsions, and of establishing adequate safeguards for the right of every person to seek and enjoy asylum, irrespective of the way they reach Spanish territory, said today Commissioner Muižnieks. This new legal context has the potential to open...
Visit to Spain

Spain: Legislation and practice on immigration and asylum must adhere to human rights standards

16/01/2015 Madrid
“The proposed amendments to the Aliens Act aimed at legalising push-backs of migrants arriving in Ceuta and Melilla currently discussed in Spain are in clear breach of human rights law. The Spanish authorities should reconsider them and ensure that any future legislation fully abides by Spain's international obligations, which include ensuring full access to an effective asylum procedure,...

Spain cannot legalise what is illegal

Huffington Post Spain, 10/12/2014 The proposal to legalise automatic collective expulsions of migrants arriving in Ceuta and Melilla is wrong and unlawful under international law. Such a move would inevitably erode fundamental human-rights protections that the international community has fought hard to establish since World War II. The right response to migration influx is not less, but more...

Austerity measures weaken human rights protection in Spain

[Strasbourg, 09/10/2013] - "Cuts in social, health and educational budgets have led to a worrying growth of family poverty in Spain. This has had a particularly negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights by children and persons with disabilities. The Spanish authorities should do more to ensure that the human rights of vulnerable groups are better respected in the context of austerity...

Spain: Human rights need particular protection in times of economic crisis and austerity budgets

[07/06/2013 15:00] "All efforts should be made by the Spanish authorities to assess and limit the negative impact of budgetary cuts on the most vulnerable groups, in particular children and persons with disabilities" stated Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of a five day visit to Madrid and Seville. The Commissioner notes with concern that about 30%...

Spain: Commissioner concerned about the pardon of police officers condemned for torture

[03/12/2012 10:00] In an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE, the Commissioner expressed his concerns about the decision of the Spanish Government to pardon 5 police officers who were condemned in 2008 for a case of torture. Stressing that torture and other forms of ill-treatment are serious violations of human rights which should never be pardoned, the Commissioner said that "the...

Letter to the Minister of Health, Social Policy and Equality of Spain

Letter from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to Ms Leire Pajin, Minister of Health, Social Policy and Equality of Spain CommDH(2011)19 / 1 juin 2011 Reply of the Minister of Health, Social Policy and Equality of Spain, Ms Leire Pajin, to the letter of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights CommDH(2011)20 / 1 juin 2011

Spain should build on its good practices to improve the integration of Roma people

[01/06/11 10:00] – "Over recent years, Spain has adopted constructive programmes to foster Roma integration. They should be consolidated and further developed, in particular as concerns access to employment, housing and education" said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, releasing today a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Social Policy and Equality...

Report on visit to Spain (2005)

Report by Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights, on his visit to Spain (10-19 March 2005) CommDH(2005)8 / 09 November 2005 CommDH(2005)8 / 09 November 2005 (in Spanish)

Report on visit to Spain and Basque Country (2001)

Report by Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights, on his visit to Spain and the Basque Country (5-8 February 2001) CommDH(2001)2 / 09 March 2001 CommDH(2001)2 / 09 March 2001 ( in Spanish)