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CEAR: Right of Asylum and Refugees in Spain


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Cristina Sirur from CEAR gave a presentation about CEAR: Right of Asylum and Refugees in Spain as part of the online events by expert pool Institutional Support within EMPOWER.

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CEAR: Right of Asylum and Refugees in Spain

  2. 2. What we do in CEAR • CEAR, Spanish Commission for Refugees funded in 1979, independent and humanitarian action organization, more than 37 years of history • Our mission: to protect refugees, asylum seekers, stateless people and vulnerable migrants • We provide: legal, social and reception services free of charge • In the last 10 years CEAR provided assistance to more than 300.000 refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants
  3. 3. What we do in CEAR? Legal Services • We provide free of charge legal advice to asylum seekers, refugees, stateless people (people without nationality) • Legal assistance in Detention Centers (CIE), Temporary Stay Centers in Ceuta and Melilla, Airport border points,… • Appeals before courts of justice (High Court of Justice, Supreme Court…)
  4. 4. What we do in CEAR? Reception Services • Reception Centres and facilities in: Bilbao, Valencia, Madrid, Málaga, Barcelona y Canary Islands • We offer reception facilities to more than 500 people annually during an average period of 6 months • Our aim: not only reception and expenses support but also to improve personal autonomy, dignity and assure the well-being of refugees. • In the last 10 years, CEAR has accomodated nearly 6.000 people in its Reception Centers.
  5. 5. CEAR Refugee Centre in Madrid
  6. 6. What we do in CEAR? Psychological services • We provide psychological services to victims of torture or human rights violations Programs to promote the employment of refugees • To boost empowerment and self-reliance of asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants through employment • To foster integration in the job market • To promote equality in the job market and the quality of the employment of refugees and asylum seekers
  7. 7. What we do in CEAR? Advocacy • What is advocacy?  Actions to influence decisions at the political and institutional level Few examples: - Publishing research: annual report on situation of refugees in Spain - Campaigns (using media and social networks) - Meetings with Members of the Congress and political parties in Spain - Public speaking in media
  8. 8. Who does Spain offer International Protection to? • To refugees: those with a well founded fear of being persecuted in their country for reasons of - Ethnic group - Religion - Nationality - Political opinions - Gender or sexual orientation - Belonging to a particular social group
  9. 9. Who does Spain offer International Protection to? • Foreigners who are not refugees but who can’t return to their country of origin for reasons which imply a risk of suffering any of the following: - Death sentence - Torture or inhuman or degrading treatment - Serious threats against their life or integrity by reason of indiscriminate violence • These people will be granted subsidiary protection (a different protection from refugee status, it can be reviewed, not permanent)
  10. 10. Asylum aplicants in Spain: Countries of origin
  11. 11. Where does people can apply for International Protection in Spain? • At the border control: people who arrive in Spain but cannot enter Spanish territory • People who are already in Spain: - At the Asylum Office in Madrid - In any Foreign Office - In Police Stations - In Alien Detention Centres - Diplomatic Mission (embassies, consulates, etc.).
  12. 12. How does asylum seekers apply for international protection? • Asylum applicants must submit their application in person • Asylum applicants have to attend an interview in which they must answer several questions (nationality test, religious test…) • Most important question during the interview is: What would happen to you if you return to your country of origin? • Asylum application in Spain can be a long process Eligibility process: from 6 months to 3 years
  13. 13. Who decides over asylum applications? • All applications are examined by the Asylum Office • Decisions are made by the Ministry of the Interior (Home Affairs, Homeland Security in USA) What rights does an asylum applicant have? • Right to remain/stay in Spain until the application is resolved • To be assisted by a lawyer and interpreter • Healthcare services if needed
  14. 14. What rights are granted to individuals under International Protection? • Not to be returned to the country of origin • Authorization to live and work in Spain • Access to public employment services, education, healthcare, housing, social services, programs for victims of gender-based violence, integration programs, etc. • Reuniting with immediate family
  15. 15. Asylum decisions in Spain
  16. 16. Arrivals European Union
  17. 17. Asylum Applications in the European Union 2015
  18. 18. • Between July and September European Union agreed on 160.000 places of relocation and 20.000 places of resettlement to be completed in 2 years • Relocation: transfer of persons from the EU Member State (Greece and Italy) to another EU Member State • Resettlement: Transfer, on a request from the UNHCR of refugee from a third country to a Member State (Turkey, Lebanon, etc.) • In more tan 1year only 15.000 of 160.000 have been relocated to the EU. In Spain only 800 of 16.000 have bee relocated • At this rate in Spain, relocation will take more than 28 years to reach their commitments for 2 years European response to the refugee humanitarian crisis
  19. 19. • Registration centres, reception , fingerprint collection (Dublin Regulation) • Profile determination • It was foresee that relocation would take place from Hotspots • Before: open centres Now: closed detention centres • From first reception centres to deportation centre? Arrival of refugees in the European Union: The Hotspot Approach
  20. 20. • All new irregular migrants from 20th March will be returned to Turkey • For every Syrian being returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled to the EU from Turkey directly • Turkey accession process to the European Union will be re-energized and reconsidered • Visa liberalization for turkey citizens • 6 billion of euros - European funds allocated to Turkey European Union-Turkey Agreement
  21. 21. • In 10 months the agreement for relocation and resettlement has failed • Canada has resettled 25.000 refugees in 4 months and it will resettle 10.000 more in the next months • CEAR : European states should speed up implementation of the refugee and relocation program Conclusion: lack of political will
  22. 22. @CEARefugio Thank you for your attention Any question?