Tagged: undocumented migrants

Pro Igual Becomes a Member of PICUM

PICUMlogo

Pro Igual is pleased to announce that our application to become a member of PICUM was formally approved by the PICUM General Assembly on 21 June 2014.

Pro Igual´s initiatives specifically regarding undocumented migrants include: campaign Save Hospitality! alongside other Spanish NGOs which succeeded in having the draft Penal Code amended so to avoid criminalizing any assistance to undocumented migrants. Also, our ongoing activities include domestic and international advocacy for closure of Centros de Internamiento para Extranjeros (CIEs).

We look forward to fruitful cooperation with all the Platform members and supporters to bring greater visibility to the issues surrounding undocumented migrants in Spain and to ensuring human rights for all persons, regardless of their administrative status.

On Occasion of #15J, Five Myths and Facts of Immigration in Spain

Imprimir

For the second year, Spanish NGOs across the country have dedicated June the 15th to actively campaigning for the closure of Internment Centers for Foreigners (CIEs). CIEs are prisons in all but name for foreigners who find themselves in an irregular administrative situation. Pro Igual has written about CIEs in the past and some of our advocacy activities are also related to human rights violations taking places in CIEs.

CIEs exist against a backdrop of the economic crisis and rise in xenophobia exploited by some political forces to gain votes. But declarations demonizing immigrants are not only harmful for social cohesion, they are also patently untrue. Here are 5 persistent myths v. facts regarding immigration in Spain.

Myth 1: Immigrants are “flooding” Spain.

Fact: For several years now Spain has experienced net out-migration, that is, more people leave than come to Spain. According to the figures of the Spanish Institute for Statistics (INE), not only Spanish citizens leave Spain in droves, but also more foreign (non-EU) nationals leave than come.

Myth 2: Immigrants are responsible for most crime in Spain.

Fact: Neither in terms of economic volume (that is, how much money they got through criminal activity), nor in terms of violence, do foreigners lead. In several major corruption cases uncovered in recent years and involving billions of euros, it was Spanish citizens, often holding public office, who were the perpetrators, not immigrants.

Myth 3: Immigrants burden Spanish social security.

Fact: Budget cuts of recent years have left without access to healthcare tens of thousands of immigrants who lost jobs and access to residence. That is despite the fact that immigrants were contributing to economy and social security while they had jobs. At the same time, troubled companies, primarily banks, received billions of public funding after causing economic damage to the country that affected all the rest. Sheer amounts of subsidies to banks dwarf all the (theoretical) welfare payments to Spaniards and immigrants combined.

Myth 4: Foreigners in CIEs are criminals and subject to deportation.

Fact: Less than a quarter of CIE detainees are charged with any infraction. Well over half are released following identification, after having suffered the trauma of de facto imprisonment and on occasion even abuse. There is no need to maintain these expensive and inhuman institutions to address the issues that present less danger to public than traffic violations.

Myth 5: CIEs are “residential centers” for foreigners.

Fact: CIE inmates are often subjected to human rights violations, prompting a nickname “Spanish guantanamos.” Just recently, the Spanish courts ruled against CIE guards accused of rape, beating and other forms of ill-treatment of inmates. And since inmates cannot leave, or for that matter be visited by family at their leisure, CIEs are effectively prisons. The only difference is: there needs to be a crime and a due process in order to throw a person in jail. To get into CIE, it is sufficient to “look foreign” and not have an ID.

So, today, Pro Igual joins with our friends and colleagues from other Spanish NGOs in calling for the immediate and complete closure of CIEs.

La campaña por el cierre de los CIE realizará el 15J un jornada estatal de protesta

Imprimir

La Campaña Estatal por el Cierre de los Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE), formada por diversas asociaciones y colectivos, está preparando una jornada de protesta para el próximo 15 de junio en todo el Estado con el fin de denunciar y difundir la existencia de este tipo de instalaciones y allanar el camino hacia su cierre definitivo. Se trata del segundo año consecutivo en el que se celebra la jornada. Leer mas…

For the Second Year Running, NGOs are Mobilizing on #15J for the Closure of #CIEs

Imprimir

Watch this space for our initiatives!

See the campaign link (information in Spanish) at: http://15jdiacontraloscie.wordpress.com/

Decalogue of Principles for Police Training on Combatting Hate Crimes: Victims First!

stophate

Hate crimes against ethnic minorities and undocumented foreigners have been one of the main issues of concern in Spain of the past decade. PRO IGUAL has developed the following set of recommendations to the police on detection and prevention of hate crimes in Spain. It is our hope that these recommendations may also be relevant for other countries facing similar problems as Spain.

1. Set up a hate crimes hotline.

There should be a national FREE hotline for hate crimes victims, similar to the hotline number for victims of gender violence in Spain (016). Alternatively, regional or local hotlines can be considered.

2. Do not ask victims for ID.

Some hate crimes victims are targeted because they are not, or perceived not to be, natives in that country. Some of the victims may be in an irregular administrative situation, punishable by law in Spain. For meaningful protection against hate crimes, it is important that such victims are not penalised even if they do not have appropriate documentation. International best practices of state support for victims of human trafficking may provide inspiration.

3. Have victim info readily available.

Ideally, hate crime victims should be aware of the protection mechanisms even before walking into the police station, via public information campaign. In each police station, there should be a visible poster with steps to take in case of hate-related attack and victim´s rights and/or brochures that victims can take with them.

4. Have a non-uniformed contact point.

The police uniform may have a deterrent effect on the victim. Each police station should have a non-uniformed staff member available to interview the victim and take their testimony, or be ready to have one of the officers to change out of uniform to that end.

5. Speak their language.

Some victims may not be fluent in the language. If there is nobody accompanying the victim or able to translate, it would be desirable to have a list/shared database of interpreters available for this task. If physical presence of the interpreter is impossible, at least telephone translation should be arranged.

6. Cooperate with medics.

Some victims of violent hate crime may not go police but to doctors instead. The local police should establish cooperation with local hospitals and health professionals so that the latter are able to detect hate crimes and are in a position to advise victims about how to report such crimes.

7. Public must know.

It is essential to inform not only victims but also general public, who should be aware about the phenomenon of hate crimes and the methods to report it. General public may be an additional resource for reporting such crimes and assisting the victims. Posters, TV and radio ads, and other publicity material must be developed to appeal to the public.

8. NGOs are partners.

Civil society organisations working in the field of monitoring hate crimes and/or victim assistance are an invaluable resource for the police providing an effective and cost-efficient resource in detecting, prosecuting and preventing hate crimes. Responsible police authorities should make every effort to contact and seek cooperation of such organisations.

9. An ounce of prevention.

Prevention of hate crimes by researching and targeting potential perpetrators can save many human and material resources entailed in subsequent prosecuting of hate crimes, repairing material damages and caring for victims. Some of the police resources currently used for preventing terrorism and/or ordinary crime (and often misused for racial profiling) should be re-directed for detecting and preventing hate crimes, specifically by conducting reconnaissance among known extremist right-wing and other hate groups.

10. Reach out to other hate crime victims.

When all the essential steps are taken to assist the victim of the case in hand, invite them to share support information with others, who may be in a similar distress but afraid to report hate crimes. Similarly to the electronic reporting mechanism for other crimes, the online resource for reporting hate crimes should be established and publicised.

The Treatment of Migrant Women in the Spanish Detention Centers for Foreigners

Pro Igual´s Intervention at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Working Session 3: Violence Against Women

The following are the summary and recommendations of the joint report by Spanish NGOs Pro Igual and Ferrocarril Clandestino on the situation of migrant women in Spanish Detention Centers for Foreigners. The full report is available here.

Detention Centers for Foreigners are prisons in all but a name. Both governmental institutions and civil society have decried the appalling conditions and violations of human rights there. What is important to note is that detainees have not committed any crime, but merely an administrative infraction of not having papers in order, which presents less danger for the public than incorrect parking.

While both men and women face violations of their human rights, female detainees face a number of specific concerns. These include: sexual harassment by the guards; ill-treatment of pregnant and breastfeeding women; separation of mothers from minor children; lack of access to general medical and gynecological care, and lack of adequate nutrition even for pregnant women. Victims of human trafficking get no support whatsoever, even though they may be eligible for residence on humanitarian grounds.

Many migrant women end up in detention centers because of police raids based on the controversial practice of ethnic profiling, condemned by a number of international human rights bodies.

On the basis of these findings, we would like to recommend to the Spanish authorities the following:

  • Human rights NGOs and monitors should be allowed to enter detention centers and privately interview inmates – this is often sabotaged by the centers´ directors.
  • All personnel of the detention centers must wear visible identification badges and face sanctions for failure to comply.
  • All allegations of ill-treatment, especially sexual abuse of female inmates, by the guards must be investigated and prosecuted.
  • All inmates should have access to independent legal counsel, and translation if necessary.
  • The authorities should declare a temporary moratorium on expulsions of migrant women, pending the review of their cases.
  • Women detainees in particular should have gender-sensitive healthcare and adequate nutrition.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should under no circumstances be detained or separated from their children and families.
  • Suspected victims of human trafficking should receive necessary legal, medical and other assistance.
  • The authorities should decisively end ethnic profiling practices by the police.

Pro Igual and Ferrocarril Clandestino present a communication to the UN Commision on Women

FERROCARRIL

Within the framework of our work on the rights of (undocumented) migrants in Spain, Pro Igual has cooperated with Ferrocarril Clandestino and presented a joint communication to the UN Commission on the Status of Women on the Human Rights Violations of Migrant Women in Spain: Detention in CIEs.

The communication draws the UN Comission´s attention to singling out of migrant women through ethnic profiling and disproportionate use of deprivation of liberty for migrant women for mere administrative infractions, such as not having paperwork in order. Migrant women in CIEs suffer a range of human rights abuses, ranging from absent due process or legal counsel, to discrimination and sexual harassment, to separation from families and small children and lack of healthcare even for pregnant women.

Pro Igual and Ferrocarril Clandestino put forth recommendations to the Spanish authorities to remedy this situation.

The text of the submission is available here.

The CIE Archipelago: Inquiry into the Italian Centres for Identification and Expulsion

ArcipelagoCIE
CIEs are a shameful reality across Europe. The Italian NGO Medici per i Diritti Umani (MEDU) recently published a report “The CIE Archipelago: Inquiry into the Italian Centres for Identification and Expulsion.” The MEDU report includes an overview of the situation of 11 CIEs in Italy and a comparative analysis of CIEs elsewhere in Europe. The summary of the report is available here.

Salvemos la Hospitalidad · Respuesta Parlamentaria

hospitality

Respuesta parlamentaria emitida el 18 de junio de 2013 sobre la inclusión de la solidaridad en el Código Penal, dentro del borrador de la reforma de dicho documento que está elaborando el Gobierno.

#15 in photos

Universidad de Almeria

Given many public services in Spain – including education, healthcare, as well as some recreation and leisure activities – are provided or supported by the state, by placing campaign promotional materials and posters in and around public institutions Pro Igual tried to target as many users – and providers – of public services as possible.

Here are some of the pictures taken in various municipalities of Almeria as part of #15J campaign. On the left: a notice board at the University of Almeria.

Immediately below: public hospital in El Toyo (province of Almeria).

Toyo

Ayuntamiento Lometico polideportivo Publicidad

CIDH Pro Igual es Asociación sin ánimo de lucro registrada en el Ministerio del Interior con el nº 595496.