Spain: Ceuta Administrative Court reiterates asylum seekers' freedom of movement

The Administrative Court of Ceuta ruled on 25 May 2017 that asylum seekers passing the admissibility phase of the asylum procedure have a right to freely move across the Spanish territory and access the mainland.

Persons applying for international protection in the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are held in Migrant Temporary Stay Centres (CETI) and undergo a border procedure assessing the admissibility of their claim, which can last no longer than eight days. Last year, a total 3,088 claims were processed under the border procedure, out of which 954 were rejected.

The court recalled earlier jurisprudence confirming that applicants enjoy free movement in the country following the admissibility phase of their claim. While courts have sanctioned the authorities’ practice of denying asylum seekers access to the Spanish peninsula, the situation has not completely changed to date. Transfers from the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla to the mainland have been sped up, yet the criteria applied by the competent authority for such transfers are still not transparent and clear.


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The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti