Tagged: Pro Igual

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.

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.


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.

European Action Day for the Victims of Hate Crimes


The No Hate Speech Movement, in which Pro Igual participates, invites you to join the online and offline actions to commemorate the European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime on July 22. To remind, support and show solidarity with all those people that have suffered aggression because of their skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, religion and many other characteristics. We will also educate and raise awareness about the consequences of hate speech and hate crime on our societies!


1. Organise a public action or an educational activity for 22nd July. Here is a guide of what you can do and how. Please post information to this Facebook event about your action!

Don’t forget to REPORT your action with photos and videos on the No Hate Speech Movement platform: http://www.nohatespeechmovement.org/join-the-movement

2. We are launching a petition to establish 22 July as the European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime. It will be ‘live’ only until 9 November, so get busy helping to achieve this task! The petition addresses all the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the members of the European Parliament! http://blog.nohatespeechmovement.org/petition/

SIGN it! Get your organisation to sign it! Inform others about it!
Write to your representative/s in these European bodies on July 22nd and ask her/him/zee to sign it and support it publicly!
Here’s where you can find their contacts details:
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/AssemblyList/AL_DelegationsList_E.asp
European Parliament: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html

3. Do you know of a case of hate crime? It is important not to be silent about it. Submit a story to action@nohatespeechmovement.org and on July 22nd we will feature it on the No Hate Speech Movement Platform. Please make sure to send us photos, if possible.

4. Have you witnessed hate speech that incites violence online? Then report it on Hate Speech Watch here: http://www.nohatespeechmovement.org/hate-speech-watch

5. Take action online! Join this event on Facebook! ‘Like’ the Facebook page of the Movement! Invite your friends to do the same!

Share and post the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nohatespeech?fref=ts

Find out more and participate!
@nohate_speech #nohatespeech

What to do if you are a victim of discrimination in Spain?


Have you ever been discriminated in Spain? If so, do you know what to do in order to defend yourself?

Pro Igual´s Anti-Discrimination Crisis Cards might help. They are available in Spanish, English and Romanian.

Watch this space for updates and do not hesitate writing to us with questions or for help: infoATproigual.org

#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

Pro Igual joins No Hate Speech Movement


Pro Igual has joined numerous NGOs and individuals across Europe forming part in No Hate Speech Movement.

The campaign is against hate speech online in all its forms, including cyber-bullying and cyber-hate. The campaign is not designed to limit freedom of expression online. Neither is it about everyone being nice to each other online. The campaign is based upon human rights education, youth participation and media literacy.

Through participation in the Movement Pro Igual hopes to raise awareness of extreme intolerance experienced by members of our target groups – especially minorities and foreigners – and stop and prevent hate crimes that unfortunately have become a fact of life in Spain.

To read more, please visit here.

Pro Igual joins ENRAC


In May 2013 Pro Igual joined the European Network of Rights Advice Centres (ENRAC). ENRAC is a joint initiative of Kent University in Brussels, the Kent Law Clinic and the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)

The Network´s mission is problem-solving of difficult cases through collective action and contribution to improvements in European policy and legislation. It is a not-for-profit service and is comprised of existing not-for-profit organizations and/or legal clinics on a national level which are able to assist citizens in upholding their European rights before the national authorities.

Pro Igual hopes through participation in the Network to provide better assistance to our target groups, including foreigners, minorities and others at risk of exclusion and discrimination, with asserting their fundamental rights vis-a-vis Spanish public authorities.

Spain´s Shame: CIEs, Prisons for Migrants


Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIEs) are detention centers for migrants in an irregular administrative situation. While in detention, inmates are frequently subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. Numerous civil society organizations and activists uncovered and documented systematic and gross violations of inmates´ most fundamental human rights. CIEs have become a true shame of modern Spain.


Pro Igual materials

Hunger strike of CIE inmates in Barcelona: Will the Government reverse its anti-immigrant policies?

Time to close prisons for migrants

Can a democratic state´s institution be responsible for encouraging hate crimes?


Official documents

Boletín Oficial de Estado por el que se aprueba el cierre del Centro de Internamiento de Málaga. Enero 2013.

Mapa de Centros de internamiento de Extranjeros. Migreurope. Diciembre 2012.

Trabajo Fin de Grado de Trabajo Social. “Los Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros” Un anacronismo en la sociedad actual. Silvia Martinez Ruiz. Julio 2012.

Anteproyecto de Real Decreto por el que se aprueba el Reglamento de funcionamiento y régimen interior de los Centros de Estancia Controlada de Extranjeros. Mayo 2012.

Acuerdo de los juzgados de Vigilancia del CIE de Madrid . Sobre la obligación de informar a los/as internos/as del momento y lugar de los vuelos, así como la posibilidad de organizar su regreso. Febrero 2012.

Auto Juzgado nº6 en funciones de control jurisdiccional del CIE de Madrid. Sobre condiciones y servicio médico. Diciembre 2011.

Acuerdo Jueces sobre acceso al baño en el CIE. Noviembre 2011.

Perfiles Raciales y Control de La migración en España Elaborado por Amnistía Internacional. Contiene un pequeño apartado sobre CIEs. 2011.

Acuerdos de readmisión firmados por españa con distintos países. Listado realizado por Migreurope. Actualizado Diciembre 2011.

Dictamen presentado ante el Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminacion Racial sobre los Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros por la Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos. febrero 2011.

Estancia Regular: ¿Multa o Expulsión?. Elaborada por ICAM y pueblos unidos.2011.

Directiva de Retorno de La Unión Europea. Para conocer cambios respecto al internamiento en Europa (18 meses, etc. )2008:

La vida en la frontera. Internamiento y expulsiones. Capítulo del libro Frontera Sur. 2008.

ORDEN de 22 de febrero de 1999 sobre normas de funcionamiento y régimen interior de los centros de internamiento de extranjeros. Orden Ministerial con la que se crean y regulan los CIEs. 1999.


Other useful resources

Cárceles racistas blog es una iniciativa de SOS Racismo Madrid, Comisión CIE de Ferrocarril Clandestino y Masticable y tiene como principal objetivo recoger los testimonios de personas que han pasado por los CIEs así como de sus familiares y amistades.

¿Cuál es el delito? Informe de la Campaña por el cierre de los Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros: Caso Zapadores. Campaña por el cierre de los CIE. Marzo 2013.

Atrapados tras las rejas: Informe CIEs 2012. Centro Pueblos Unidos. Abril 2013

Informe 2012, un año en el CIE de Algeciras APDHA. Diciembre 2012

La protección de los derechos de las personas migrantes en Europa: España. Organizaciones de Migreurop en España para la comisión de derechos humanos del consejo de Europa. Noviembre 2012.

Mujeres en los Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE) Realidades entre rejas. Women´s link worldwide. Mayo 2012

Observaciones al documento de trabajo previo al antreproyecto de Real Decreto para el Reglamento de funcionamiento y regulación interna de los CIE. Redactado conjunto de varias organizaciones que vienen trabajando en los CIE sobre cuestiones concernientes al anteproyecto de reglamento. Abril 2012.

Mirada tras las rejas. Informe de Pueblos Unidos sobre el CIE de Aluche. Diciembre 2011.

CIE, Derechos Vulnerados‘ . Informe de Migreurop basado en visitas realizadas por organizaciones pertenecientes a esta red a cuatro centros de internamiento ubicados en territorio del Estado Español. Diciembre 2011.

Informe sobre derechos y libertades de las personas Internadas en los centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros. Comissió d’Estrangeria Il·lustre Col·legi d’Advocats de Barcelona. Septiembre 2011.

La autorización judicial de internamiento de extranjeros. Injusticias. Ferrocarril Clandestino. Enero 2011.

100 ventanas a 5000 vidas truncadas. Informe de Pueblos Unidos sobre el CIE de Aluche. Información obtenida a través del trabajo de visitas que esta organización realiza en el CIE de Aluche. 2010.

Para quien quiera oir. Voces desde y contra el CIE de Aluche: Informe sobre el Centro de Internamiento de Aluche basado en testimonios de personas internas y familias. Realizado por Ferrocarril Clandestino, SOS racismo y Médicos del mundo. 2009.

Situación de los Centros de Internamiento para extranjeros en España, Conversaciones junto al Muro. Informe en el que se analiza la situación de los Centros de Madrid, Málaga y Valencia a través de visitas a los mismos y entrevistas tanto a internos como a personal. Realizado porla Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado en el marco del estudio europeo DEVAS. 2009.

Análisis del Régimen Jurídico del Internamiento de Extranjeros. Para que el Derecho no se detenga a la puerta de los CIE. Este grupo trabaja en los límites entre la extranjería y el sistema penal. El informe analiza desde un punto de vista meramente jurídico y en profundidad la situación del internamiento. Realizado por el grupo Inmigrapenal. 2009.

El Internamiento de Extranjeros. Propuestas y razones para su modificación. Son posibles enmiendas al articulado del proyecto de ley de extranjería, realizado antes de su modificación. Enfoque jurídico realizado por Inmigrapenal. 2009.

Centros de Retención e internamiento en España. Información contenida en menos de 20 páginas que da una visión general de este tipo de centros en España. Asociación pro derechos humanos de Andalucía (APDHA). 2008.

Informe del defensor del pueblo en el que hace referencia a los centros de internamiento.2008.

Centros de Internamiento. Cárceles encubiertas. visión general, y especial mención al CIE de Málaga.2008.

Informe parlamento europeo sobre la situación de los Centros de Internamiento en 25 países de Europa. 2007. Idioma inglés.

Pro Igual Submission towards the OSCE Hate Crimes Report 2012


The 2013 Pro Igual submission for the OSCE Annual Report on Hate Crimes highlights the deficient Spanish legislative framework regulating political parties whose goals and activities contravene democratic values of the Spanish Constitution. As a result, political parties which openly propagate xenophobia and intolerance are allowed to exist and operate, gain adepts and even attain legislative seats.

As in previous years, Pro Igual calls to attention of the national authorities and international monitoring bodies that hate crimes are not isolated incidents and do not take place in a vacuum. Activities of the legally permitted extreme right parties in Spain are one of the strongest factors contributing to a fertile climate for xenophobic hate crimes. It should come as no surprise that the hate crimes committed by adherents of extreme right and neo-Nazi ideology are becoming ever more brazen and premeditated.

Notwithstanding some steps taken by the Spanish State to address hate crimes, even despite the simultaneous decrease of net immigrant population, the number of such crimes in Spain does not diminish but continues to steadily rise.

The Pro Igual Report is available here.

Image courtesy © http://surparalaemancipacion.blogspot.com.es/2012/05/no-pasaran.html

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