Amnesty International slams Spain for migrant overcrowding

Temporary accommodation centres in Ceuta and Melilla are significantly over-capacity

LAST UPDATED: 7 Feb, 2015 @ 09:49
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MÁS DE 200 INMIGRANTES ACCEDEN A MELILLA, LA MAYOR ENTRADA DESDE 2005SPAIN has come under fire from Amnesty International, which insists the country ‘can and must do better’ with handling asylum-seekers.

The human rights organisation slammed over-crowding in the refugee centres – known as CETIs – in the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

Thousands of undocumented migrants are housed in the centres awaiting documents, including refugees from Syria and across sub-Saharan Africa.

The CETI in Melilla, which was only designed to hold 480 residents, is currently housing more than 1,900 according to Amnesty, including 400 minors.

“Spain can and must do better, not only be setting up a decent resettlement programme but also by increasing the numbers,” said Virginia Alvarez, a spokesperson for Amnesty in Spain.

But Spanish government officials in the enclave insist that since Amnesty’s visit a new office for processing asylum claims has been opened.

Only around 1.7% of more than three million Syrian asylum-seekers have been re-homed in rich countries, according to Amnesty.

Most refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, including Turkey and Lebanon.

Some 600 Syrian migrants, of the 1,500 Syrians at the centre, have already been granted asylum in Spain, but were waiting to be transferred to mainland Spain.

Spain has so far only permanently re-homed 130 Syrians in 2013 and 2014, and plans for another 130 in 2015.

Read about when the Olive Press visited the CETI in Ceuta in May 2014 here.

17 COMMENTS

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  1. Amnesty International – away with the fairies as usual.

    What must happen is to stop these countries where these would be immigrants come from from having such huge families – 12 + children per couple – there’s the problem. If they believe that ‘God will provide’ then let him/her/whatever provide back in their own countries.
    Spain and Italy are handling huge numbers of these people – chapeaux.

  2. Bryan is right, the UK hasn’t acquired the name of ‘Treasure Island’ for nothing and most of these people do end up in Calais. Spain cannot afford to take in refugees, they can’t afford to keep them on benefits and there is not enough work for Spanish people so these people have no chance of finding work. I also agree that these countries should do something about birth control. The UK sends millions of pounds in foreign aid to countries like this every year and yet they still have loads of children that they cannot support and clearly have very little interest in addressing this issue.

    Amnesty International supposedly champion human rights but they rather conveniently overlook the fact that women are treated badly and forced to have lots of children. Interestingly, I haven’t heard them condemning the demolitions in Spain either, I wonder what they think about the Priors’ human rights being violated?

  3. stefanjo,
    the reality is that this huge flow of economic migrants will never stop – it will go on and on, if you want to pay to support them and pay for extra schools and hospitals and in the future their pensions fine but I don’t.
    There is a Syrian family that has 19 children and they plan to have more and would like ti emigrate from their holding camp to – the UK.

    You are adopting an intellectual position over a real world problem, not rational or sensible – time to take a reality check.

  4. Stefanjo, no, I do not have first hand experience of living on benefits in the UK but I do know of people who do. Are you trying to argue that Spain has a more generous benefits system than the UK? Benefits in Spain are virtually zilch and yes, despite cuts in UK benefits they are still far more generous than many other countries. Why do you think these people are queuing up at Calais to get into the UK? Why don’t they stay in France?

    I know of someone in the UK who is on permanent benefits that has been declared unfit to work due to depression and the fact he is an alcoholic. He lives in a nice flat in a decent area just outside London which is all paid for with housing benefits, he has a large council tax reduction and income support. He does not have a lavish lifestyle but it is comfortable and he gets enough money to keep him in takeaways, beer and roll ups and unlike many pensioners in Spain, he does not struggle to pay his gas/electricity bill. His case was recently reassessed under the new tighter regulations but he still qualifies.

    Ask yourself this, how much would these blokes do to swap places with him?

  5. You are missing my point Stuart. While people like Bryan and Jane continue to perpetuate the myth that the U.K. is “an easy touch” the people smugglers will continue to have a field day and the would-be migrants will continue to pile up at the borders. In fact they are actually in for a shock when they come up against the brave new world created by the ruling Tory masters of the Universe that is food-bank Britain today.
    The reality is a long uncomfortable stay in a holding centre followed by a forcible deportation, which they may survive if their head isn’t jammed between their legs in a choke position for the flight back.
    Now, isn’t THAT an image which should be projected?

  6. Maybe our £12 billion we send abroad every year is helping to fuel the problem of these families with many children, then as the numbers swell they need £24 billion, as they can’t get this sum of money they have to go to other Countries… I only have two kids but in poor Countries kids are viewed as pensions. After one child they should be sterilised, sorry I know you won’t like that you lefties.

  7. Forced deportations HaHa…come on, there has been about 4 last year thanks to the human rights rubbish. @Stefanjo, no, not just people like Bryan and Jane, millions in the third world and millions of British people in the UK know the facts.

  8. Some rough home office figures for enforced removals from Britain. 50.000. 60% Asian. 15% African. 11% European. 7.7% Americas. On top of this in excess of 4000 criminals sent back. Figures from 2013, latest available. A bit more than four Bryan.
    No, they weren’t all in shackles, only the obstreperous ones. So you don’t agree that accentuating these facts wouldn’t be more effective than Daily Mail, UKIP-style exaggerations?
    Reap, you know as well as anyone that foreign aid never reaches it’s intended recipients. That’s why Swiss banks are engorged with bent dictators money. It certainly doesn’t act as a sort of Viagra for the third-world poor.

  9. Benefits UK has been an easy touch for too may years Stefanjo, and myth or no myth now, people still flock to Calais to get in to UK to try and claim benefits and it has to stop. Ports of entry countries like Italy especially facilitate their onward travel to Calais because they don’t want them.

    Let’s not forget there are 10’s of 1000’s of illegal immigrants that are not in holding centres who have evaded capture and Cameron and Co have no idea where they are nor the real numbers.

  10. It’s called freedom of speech and thought I think. The award you referred to though was somewhat of an insult at the time but I’ll say no more on that. I am back in Blighty at present with efficient central heating on low, back in Spain shortly.

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