Category: reports

The Rise of the Extreme Right Parties to Power

Pro Igual

Pro Igual´s Intervention at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Working Session 2: Tolerance and Nondiscrimination

In the course of 2012 and 2013, PRO IGUAL conducted monitoring of hate crimes committed by Spanish extreme right elements against immigrants, minorities, and other vulnerable groups. The aim of the project has been, besides documenting individual cases, to explore the origins, specifics and the reach of the extreme right.

The project highlighted certain weaknesses in the Spanish legal and policy frameworks. Spanish legislation, on the one hand, allows proliferation of parties and organizations propagating intolerance. But on the other hand, it fails to provide adequate recourse for victims. In addition, victims often either do not know how to complain or are afraid. This serves to create a climate of denial and impunity for hate crimes.

PRO IGUAL reports and other materials on the subject are available on the website. In the meantime, we would like to make the following conclusions and recommendations relevant for a number of countries in the OSCE region.


  • The Governments must recognize the reality and the danger of the extreme right ascent to power, and not dismiss the right-wing extremism as fringe behavior of a handful of marginalized youths.
  • It is also important to recognize that the extreme right has received a Public Relations makeover. We are no longer dealing with just crude manifestations, such as shaven heads or military boots. The contemporary extreme right is an increasingly sophisticated and insidious ideology that masks hate as care and violence as freedom, and actively uses democratic means to attain undemocratic ends.
  • Appeasement does not work. Some of the mainstream parties tried to woo the extreme right voters by embracing xenophobia. But they will never be radical enough for the extreme rights, but will instead lose their core supporters alongside with integrity.
  • Economic crisis and corruption must be addressed urgently, as they feed into the extreme right´s popularity. Ineptitude in handling the economic crisis, lack of transparency and seemingly endemic corruption turn the mainstream, moderate voters away from the established parties into the grip of the extreme right.
  • Laws must protect the victims of right-wing extremism, not provide loopholes and excuses for perpetrators.
  • It is not enough to be reactive; it is essential to become pro-active. This means the alarm must be raised BEFORE the extreme right ascend to power. Otherwise, with each new victory of the extreme right, there will be fewer countries even left to condemn it.
  • Last but not least, the Governments should work treat civil society as an ally, and not as a nuisance, as presently civil society is the only force resisting the rise of the extreme right to power.


Right-wing Extremism in Europe: Country Analyses, Counter-Strategies and Labor-Market Oriented Exit Strategies

This anthology was compiled as part of a project entitled “Confronting right-wing extremism by developing networks of exit-oriented assistance.”

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


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 Rise of Neo-Nazism in the Party Political System

The recent report by the The World Jewish Congress recorded a disturbing rise in extreme right, xenophobic and anti-Semitic political parties across Europe, echoing with Pro Igual´s own findings of the past years.
The WJC report is available here; the excerpts of the Executive Summary are as follows.
“Parties with neo-Nazi leanings have seen a significant resurgence, particularly in Greece and Hungary where, respectively, Golden Dawn and Jobbik have either achieved double figures in elections or are polling at such levels in opinion surveys. Both have seen their support rise dramatically from small beginnings. …
“There are good reasons for believing that governments are either conflicted or confused in their approach to neo-Nazi parties. In Greece, the government does not appear to know what to do. In Hungary the governing party wants Jobbik’s votes at the next election, and in Germany, where the National Democratic Party does not have wide support but is feared for historical reasons, the government has backed away from outlawing it believing that its efforts would fail at the Constitutional Court.
“Economic crisis is in some cases plainly a contributory factor in the growth of neo-Nazi parties. The Greek economy has declined by 20 percent since the crisis began with general unemployment now standing at over 27 percent and youth unemployment at over 60 percent.
“Anti-Semitism remains a central feature of neo-Nazi parties even though their main focus in many European countries is on non-white minorities. The anti-Semitic rhetoric is often extreme, as when a Jobbik parliamentarian last year called for a list to be drawn up of the country’s Jews in order to assess whether they represented a security risk to Hungary.”
The full report is available here.

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

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


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).


Ayuntamiento Lometico polideportivo Publicidad

Close CIEs Now! #15JCIErre






If you are reading this, then you can no longer say you did not know! Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIEs) are prisons in all but a name. People who are thrown there have committed no crime, they simply lack papers. As many as 25% of the detained may be eligible for asylum, but are not aware of their rights. Most detainees are summarily deported within 60 days without any possibility of appeal. People in CIEs have no access to a lawyer or even a phone call; some have been snatched in the street without as much as informing their closed ones as to where they are. Many detainees experience racist abuse and various violations of their basic human rights. Some mothers have been separated from their children; there are even pregnant women among detainees. People with chronic health conditions receive no medical attention. Inhumanity abounds…

Spanish civil society has decided that enough is enough. Today, June 15th is a day of awareness-raising and advocacy for closure of this shameful phenomenon, CIEs. Read about amazing initiatives taking place across Spain and help us spread the message!

Fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation in the European Union

New FRA Comparative report

Securing the fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation – those who do not fulfil conditions for entry, stay or residence in an EU Member State – remains a challenge. Such migrants are at high risk of exploitation in the labour market, often filling market gaps by working at dangerous, dirty or degrading jobs. Their housing situation can be precarious. Their right to healthcare is unevenly protected; their children’s right to education remains unclear. While EU Member States have a right to control immigration, non-compliance with migration regulations cannot deprive migrants in an irregular situation of certain basic rights to which they are entitled as human beings. This FRA report examines the legal and practical challenges facing EM Member States as they strive to guarantee such migrants’ fundamental rights and proposes ways to incorporate those rights into the policies, laws and administrative practices that affect migrants in irregular situations.


Interior Encierra En Zapadores A Mujeres Embarazadas, Lactantes Y Personas Con Menores A Su Cargo


El Ministerio de Interior está encerrando en el CIE de Zapadores a embarazadas, mujeres lactantes y personas que tienen menores a su cargo, afectando a su salud e incrementando la vulnerabilidad de los niños y niñas que dependen de ellas. Estas personas, que han sido detenidas y encerradas por carecer de permiso de residencia, no cuentan con ningún tipo de atención especial acorde con su situación sino que tienen que someterse a las deficientes condiciones de vida del CIE que denuncian quienes tienen que sufrir esta reclusión. En los últimos meses hemos conocido los casos de dos embarazadas, una mujer que estaba dando el pecho a su bebé y dos personas con hijas de corta edad que dependen de ellas.

Hace aproximadamente un mes, una pareja fue detenida y en Zapadores fueron separados en las celdas destinadas a hombres y en las de mujeres. Ella estaba embarazada y de su cuidado se encargaron principalmente las internas ya que la única atención sanitaria que recibió fueron las visitas periódicas, en su horario laboral, al médico de la empresa privada contratada por el ministerio para atender en el CIE, según han explicado varias personas a integrantes de la Campaña por el Cierre de los Centros de Internamiento para Extranjeros. Su compañero, desesperado por la situación, se autolesionó cortándose en varias partes del cuerpo. Cuando lo trajeron de vuelta del hospital, donde le dieron varios puntos, lo metieron en una celda de aislamiento. Al día siguiente fueron expulsados los dos: él, con las heridas aún recientes y ella, en pleno periodo gestacional. Ni siquiera se molestaron en cumplir con la orden de noviembre de 2012 del juzgado de instrucción nº 3 de Valencia -que ejerce el control jurisdiccional sobre el CIE de Zapadores- que obliga a la dirección del CIE a avisar previamente a las personas que van a ser deportadas. A principios de abril, una mujer paraguaya embarazada de seis meses también fue recluida en el CIE y deportada

En las mismas fechas, una mujer boliviana que lleva varios años residiendo en España fue detenida en plena calle y se le separó de su hija de mes y medio, a quien estaba amamantando, argumentando que no estaba en condiciones de cuidar de ella. La policía dio parte del caso a la fiscalía de menores. Al ser encerrada en Zapadores, el bebé quedó a cargo de su padre, pero tuvieron que contratar a una mujer para que la cuidara y la llevara algunos días al CIE desde Gandia, donde vive la familia. En el horario de visitas de familiares, dependiendo del criterio del policía de turno, se permitía que el bebé pasara al lado de la mampara donde estaba la madre para que ésta la pudiera tener entre sus brazos los 10 minutos que duraba cada encuentro. El director del CIE se negó a que el bebé pudiera estar con la madre durante las dos horas establecidas para visitas de familiares. Hay que recordar que el juzgado de instrucción nº 3 ordenó en abril de 2011 que las mamparas existentes en la sala de visitas “no supongan un obstáculo para el contacto directo entre internos y visitantes”, pero la dirección del CIE se ha limitado a eliminar una pequeña rejilla por donde las personas únicamente pueden darse la mano. Finalmente, esta mujer, tras pasar 26 días encerrada y preocupada por el estado de salud de su hija a la que no había podido amamantar desde que ingresó en el CIE, fue puesta en libertad. Por su parte, la fiscalía de menores la consideró capaz de hacerse cargo de la niña y ha vuelto a su hogar con su familia, pero ya no puede dar pecho a su hija porque
se le cortó la leche mientras permanecía encerrada.

Además de estos casos, también hemos conocido la situación de varias personas que han sido recluidas e incluso expulsadas a pesar de tener hijos, nacidos en España, que estaban bajo su custodia. Hace varias semanas, una mujer fue expulsada a su país de origen mientras su niña, de 6 años, se quedaba en España; durante el tiempo que estuvo en Zapadores sólo pudo hablar por teléfono con su hija gracias a que otras personas internas le prestaban dinero para poder llamar. Desde el pasado 17 de abril permanece encerrado un hombre marroquí, que tiene una niña de 14 meses y cuya compañera está embarazada de cinco meses. Esta persona lleva casi cuatro años viviendo en España sin poder obtener el permiso de residencia porque nunca le hacen contrato en los trabajos que ha ejercido. Su compañera y su hija están malviviendo del subsidio de desempleo que se acaba en dos meses. Si finalmente le expulsan, ellas y el bebé que nacerá quedarán absolutamente desamparadas pues no tienen familia en España. La mujer acude diariamente a Zapadores con su bebé para visitar a su marido y tiene que presentar una instancia para que le dejen pasar la pequeña al otro lado de la mampara para que pueda abrazarla; ella sólo pude hablar con él a través del cristal.

Estas situaciones son una clara vulneración de los convenios internacionales de protección de la infancia y la familia, y, además, suponen el incumplimiento de las propias disposiciones del Ministerio del Interior que anunció que no se internarían en los CIE a inmigrantes que pudieran demostrar su arraigo social en España: no hay mayor arraigo que el hecho de que todas estas personas son o iban a ser madres o padres de niños y niñas españoles.

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