Arrivals in Spain, and in particular to the Canary Islands, have been significantly increasing during the last years. In Spain, the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on irregular arrivals was only temporary: since August 2020, the number of arrivals to Spain was significantly higher than in 2019. According to national authorities, a total of 41,945 persons arrived in Spain by land and sea in 2021, thus marking a slight decrease of 0.4% compared to 2020 (42,097 arrivals). In 2021, this refers to 1,845 arrivals by land (to Ceuta and Melilla), and 40,100 arrivals by sea, thus demonstrating that the vast majority of persons arrived by boat. It should be noted that data on arrivals by land to Ceuta do not include the number of persons who entered on 17 and 18 May 2021.
The following sections describe the numerous hurdles faced by migrants and asylum seekers in accessing Spanish territory and subsequently the asylum procedure. This includes incidents of push backs, collective expulsions, police violence (especially on the Moroccan side of the border), bilateral agreements with third countries to swiftly return persons back, and dangerous attempts by the concerned individuals to reach Spanish territory or cross over the border fences.
As regards relocation and resettlement, in December 2021, 116 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were resettled to Spain by the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration within the National Resettlement Plan, and accommodated in reception facilities managed by 10 NGOs. At the end of 2021, the Government approved the National Refugees Resettlement Program for 2022, which foresee the resettlement in Spain of 1,200 refugees during the year. Two arrivals of 658 refugees from Lebanon are already scheduled during the first quarter of 2022.
In occasion of the International Migrant Day, the NGO Accem urged the EU and the Spanish Government to create effective, safe and legal pathways for migrants and refugees. The same call was made by Caritas.
At the beginning of 2021, the Director of the National Police announced that facial recognition tools would be installed at the borders during the year.
In May 2021, the NGO Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) published the guide for families that have lost some relative while migrating, which aims at supporting families in carrying out the search for victims who lost their lives trying to cross borders.
IOM has called the Spaish Government to adopt clear protocols for the search and the identification of missing migrants.
A report published by the Foundation Por Causa in June 2021 highlight the role played by Frontex in migration control in Europe, including Spain. The publication examines all the operations carried out in Spain by the agency and their costs, as well as the agreement reached in January 2021 to renew Frontex’s operations in Spain for 1 year, with 257 officers deployed in the Western Mediterranean’s and the Canary Islands’ operations.
After the death of a migrant in País Vasco while transiting from France to Spain through a river, the Basque Government and the Provincial Government defended the necessity to create safe corridors for the transit of migrants.
The port of Santander installed razor wires to stop stowaways (mainly Albanians) trying to reach the United Kingdom. It seems that such port is used by migrants to reach the UK, and that around 10-15 people trying to cross towards the UK are found each night. The NGO Pasaje Seguro condemned the instalment for the serious injuries and cuts they can produce on persons that try to cross them.
At the beginning of November, a flight connecting Morocco to Turkey landed at the airport of Palma de Mallorca as a passenger required urgent medical assistance. During the stop, about 20 Moroccan nationals abandoned the plane and escaped. Two of them were intercepted immediately after and returned to Morocco, while 12 have been detained. It seems that the plan was organized through a Facebook group, and that some of the fugitives’ escape was unplanned.
Also relevant is the case of 39 Palestinians with Libyan passport who, during a stop of the plain they were travelling at the airport of Barcelona, rejected to continue the trip as they wanted to apply for international protection in Spain. After few days, most of them had the application already admitted at first instance and were referred to a facility within the international protection reception system.
At the beginning of 2022, Spain has been granted more than 1 million Euros by Europol to fight against transnational organized crime, which includes smuggling and trafficking in human beings.
UNHCR carries out monitoring activities at Spanish borders, including through its physical presence in Melilla (with a team of three persons), Algeciras (with a team of three persons covering also Ceuta and the province of Cádiz), Málaga (whose field team additionally covers the provinces of Granada and Almería), and in the Canary Islands. Regarding the latter, UNHCR had a team of two persons during 2021, and it will count on an additional professional during 2022, all based at Gran Canarias and covering all the islands of the archipelago. UNHCR’s work at the borders aims at supporting the authorities in the early identification of the international protection needs of migrants arriving by boat and in fostering the access to the asylum procedure of persons in need of international protection. The activities that UNHCR’s teams implements are mainly provision of information on asylum, training addressed at different stakeholders, and support to different actors with the registration, reception and assistance of new applicants. In addition, UNHCR promotes a fair and rapid procedure allowing a border management in line with the international obligations that Spain has, including the UN Refugee Convention.
Monitoring is carried out by visiting and assessing the situation in border facilities. This includes assessing the conditions in the facilities, the access to information on asylum, the way in which asylum interviews are carried out, as well as the access to interpretation and legal assistance. UNHCR generally supports, advises and recommends authorities and NGOs on how to improve access to territory and the procedure, in compliance with international and national legal standards.
Arrivals in the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla
The number of persons arriving in Spain by land in 2021 was 1,845, marking a slight increase compared to 2019, when 1,712 persons entered the enclaves, but representing an important decrease compared to the number of arrivals in 2020. As already mentioned, data on arrivals by land to Ceuta do not include persons who accessed the enclave between 17 and 18 May 2021.
|Arrivals in Spain by land: 2021|
|Point of entry||Number of irregular arrivals|
|Total arrivals by land||1,845|
Source: Ministry of Interior, ‘Immigración Irregular 2021. Datos acumulados del 1 de enero al 31 de diciembre’, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3geaR77.
In recent years, the main obstacles regarding access to the Spanish territory are faced at the Ceuta and Melilla borders and checkpoints. These obstacles are mainly due to the impossibility of asylum seekers to cross the border and exit Morocco. There are several reported cases concerning refusal of entry, refoulement, collective expulsions and push backs, including incidents involving up to a thousand persons in 2018, and hundred persons throughout 2019, 2020 and 2021.
One of the ways used by migrants and asylum seekers to enter the territory is the attempt to climb border fences in groups. The increasing numbers of attempts to jump border fences are linked to the fact that migrants and asylum seekers, and mostly Sub-Saharan nationals, still face significant obstacles in accessing the asylum procedure at Spanish borders, as a result of border controls exercised by the Moroccan police on the Moroccan side of the border. This can be illustrated when looking at the data provided by the Government on asylum claims lodged at the border, which indicates that no asylum application was made at Ceuta’s border checkpoint, and that persons from sub-Saharan countries are underrepresented among the nationalities of asylum seekers at Melilla’s border (see section on Border Procedure).
Following renovations at the Ceuta and Melilla fences that started in 2019 in order to remove the steel wire, different organisations reported that the height of the fences were increased by 30%, thus further increasing the risk of breaching human rights standards. In August 2020 the Government announced an enlargement of the asylum post at the Melilla border with a budget €138,000, and of the asylum post in Ceuta with a budget of €125,000, despite the fact that the latter has never been used since it was opened. A research carried out by the newspaper Público and the Fundación porCausa denounced the shadow industry of migration control in Spain, referring to more than €660 million in 5 years, and 1,677 public contracts signed without public tenders.
A policy brief published in October 2020 by Caritas Europa and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung denounces the practice of summary deportations of migrants at the borders of Ceuta and Melilla, without being given the possibility to explain their individual situation and needs. It concluded that “migrants, including asylum seekers, are directly deported without an individual examination at the border or the opportunity to apply for a procedure”. During the same month, the Ministry of Interior achieved its renovations of the Melilla fence. It now consists of a 10-meters high metallic structure that impedes persons from climbing. The new fence is 100-meters long and covers the borders between Beni Enzar and Dique Sur, and will extend on the points that the Minister of Interior considers “most vulnerable.”
Similarly to the previous update of the report, which provided a list of incidents at the border in 2020, the following list provides an overview of several incidents that were reported at the border in 2021 and at the beginning of 2022:
- In January 2021, around 150 migrants tried to jump over the fence in Melilla and 87 achieved accessing the Spanish enclave;
- In January, a report published by the organisation Irídia denounced the serious human rights violations occurring on the Canary Islands and at the Melilla border fence between December 2020 and January 2021, especially regarding the access to territory, push-backs, deportations, and receptions conditions;
- At the beginning of March, more than 150 persons tried to jump the fence of Melilla, being 59 those who succeeded in entering the Spanish territory. The jump resulted in 2 migrants and 3 Guardia Civil officers injured;
- At the end of March two groups, composed in total by around 30 migrants, entered the city of Melilla, one group by swimming, the other jumping the fence;
- At the beginning of April, two migrants, one of them a minor, jumped the fence in Ceuta, still under renovation works since the end of 2019;
- In April, around 250 migrants tried to jump the fence in Ceuta, but were prevented by the Moroccan police;
- In mid-May around 8,000 migrants, a quarter of them minors, entered the city of Ceuta after swimming for around 36 hours. One man died in the attempt, and the police immediately expelled at least 4,000 persons, without any clarity on the procedure put in place by the Minister of Interior for carrying out such expulsions;
- For two days in May, there were around 30 attempts to enter Melilla by migrants from Morocco;
- In mid-July, 119 migrants entered the city of Melilla by jumping the fence, out of 250 who attempted it;
- The night between 25 and 26 July, between 20 and 80 persons attempted to jump the fence in Melilla in different occasions, without succeeding due to the Moroccan police’s intervention;
- In mid-August, 150 persons tried to jump the fence in Melilla, and 57 of them (all Sub-Saharan men) achieved to enter the Spanish enclave;
- At the end of August, around 350 third country nationals coming from Sub-Saharan African countries have been stopped by the Spanish border guards while trying to jump the fence in Melilla;
- In September 125 migrants who arrived at the Spanish island Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, located in the North of Africa and at a distance of around 120 km from Ceuta and Melilla were reported to be expelled, despite having asked to apply for asylum. UNHCR expressed concern and recalled the Government its obligations within whole territory;
- In mid-December, more than a hundred migrants from Sub-Saharan countries started a hunger strike and camping outside the CETI in Ceuta, requesting to be transferred to the mainland;.
- The land border between Morocco and the two Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which was closed since the start of the pandemic, will be reopened progressively starting from April 2022. The NGO CEAR denounced that, due to such a long closure, migrants and refugees have been forced to resort to more dangerous means to access the Spanish enclaves.
- At the beginning of March 2022, around 2,500 persons attempted to enter Melilla by jumping the fence, and almost 500 gained access to the enclave. Many organisations denounced the violence used by the police against migrants that attempted the jump, which resulted in about 20 migrants being hospitalised and in 30 being pushed-back. Two videos disseminated through social networks show how the Guardia Civil violently attacked some migrants descending from the fence in on Spanish soil. The Spanish Ombudsman requested information to the Minister of Interior regarding the actions of the police in such a circumstance. The Ministry of Interior publicly defended the police officers’ conduct.
The above incidents illustrate how migrants and asylum seekers continue resorting to dangerous ways to enter Ceuta and Melilla, sometimes resulting in their deaths. Further incidents at the border are likely to continue in 2022.
A serious lack of interpreters to ensure proper communication between the newcomers and the authorities has been reported (see Conditions in CETI). Moreover, problems of overcrowding at the CETI, where people are placed after having jumped over the fence, have been reported throughout 2020 and 2021.
The persisting problem of pushbacks (devoluciones en caliente)
The situation at borders and regarding access to territory has gradually worsened since March 2015, after the Spanish government adopted an amendment to the Aliens Act, introducing the possibility to “reject at borders” third-country nationals that are found crossing the border illegally.
The amendment, introduced through the adoption of the Law “on the protection of citizen security”, includes a specific regulation within the Aliens Act concerning the “Special regime of Ceuta and Melilla”. This new regime consists of three elements:
- It rules that “those foreigners who are detected at Ceuta’s and Melilla’s border lines when trying to pass the border’s contentious elements to irregularly cross the border, can be rejected to avoid their illegal entry in Spain”;
- It declares that “these rejections will be realised respecting the international law on human rights and international protection ratified by Spain”;
- Lastly, it states that “international protection claims will be formalised at the ad hoc border point in line with international protection obligations.”
In practice, when a person is found within Spanish border territory, which includes the land between the Moroccan and Spanish border, he or she is taken outside the Spanish border through existing passages and doors controlled by border guards.
The amendment aimed at legalising the push backs (devoluciones en caliente) practiced in Ceuta and Melilla, and has been criticised for ignoring human rights and international law obligations towards asylum seekers and refugees by several European and international organisations such as UNHCR, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, and the United Nations Committee against Torture. Critics regard the fact that people are not able to request asylum, and that the law mostly affects groups in vulnerable situation, including unaccompanied minors and victims of trafficking.
These circumstances make Spain one of the European countries with the highest numbers of refusal of entry at the border.
Several cases have been brought to court to challenge the conduct of Spanish border control patrols and guards.
N.D and N.T v Spain
One case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) concerned two Sub-Saharan men – from Mali and the Ivory Coast respectively – who alleged having been summarily and collectively expelled from Spanish territory on 13 August 2014 as part of a group of over 75 individuals. On 3 October 2017, the ECtHR held unanimously that there had been a violation of the prohibition of collective expulsions of the right to an effective remedy in conjunction with said prohibition under Article 4 Protocol 4 and Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
On 13 February 2020, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (GC) published its judgment in the case of N.D and N.T v Spain concerning the immediate return of the two men to Morocco after attempting to cross the border of the Melilla enclave, overturning the 2017 judgment. The GC addressed whether the removal of the applicants amounted to an expulsion or ‘non-admission’ of entry. It interpreted expulsion in the generic sense, consistent with previous findings, to mean any forcible removal irrespective of, inter alia, the lawfulness of an applicant’s stay. Indeed, a collective expulsion is characterised as an absence of a reasonable and objective examination of each applicant’s particular case. In the present case, both requirements were satisfied.
Moreover, the GC was not convinced that the State had failed to provide a genuine and effective access to means of legal entry, and concluded that the applicants had in fact placed themselves in jeopardy by participating in storming the border rather than using the existing procedures. In particular, the GC observed that the applicants could have applied for visas or for international protection at a border crossing point. It concluded that the applicants’ expulsions did not violate Article 4 Protocol 4. However, it added that this finding does not alter the broad consensus within the international community regarding the obligation for States to protect their borders in a manner compliant with Convention rights, highlighting in particular the principle of non-refoulement.
Furthermore, the GC found that the applicants placed themselves in an unlawful situation by deliberately attempting to enter Spain as part of a large group rather than using available legal procedures. The lack of available individual procedures to challenge the removal was therefore deemed a consequence of the applicant’s unlawful attempt to gain entry. The GC held there was no violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 4 Protocol 4.
This GC’s decision has been heavily criticised by civil society organisations and other several stakeholders, including the Progressist Union of Public Prosecutors, who saw a lost opportunity in condemning the Spanish authorities for their pushback practices at the border. Following the decision, the NGO CEAR launched a manifesto urging the Government to immediately stop illegal pushbacks practices and gathered the support of about 100 legal practitioners, academics and relevant professionals.
For a more exhaustive explanation, see AIDA Country Report: Spain 2020 Update.
The Constitutional Court’s ruling of 19 November 2020
On 19 November 2020, the Spanish Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) endorsed the Organic Law on the protection of citizen security, which establishes a special regime for the rejection at the borders in Ceuta and Melilla. After analysing the constitutional doctrine and the ECtHR’s jurisprudence, the Constitutional Court concluded that the law is in line with the Spanish Constitution. As regards specifically the legal framework on Ceuta and Melilla, the Court concluded that the special regime foreseen is constitutional because it is in line with the ECtHR’s jurisprudence on the material execution of a rejection at the border. Nevertheless, the Court underlined the importance of judicial control and effective remedies to appeal a rejection at the border. In addition, the Court stated that a rejection decision at the border should be issued in light of all the guarantees provided by national and international law, and that the procedure for allowing or refusing legal entry to Spain must be real and effective. The Court further held that law enforcement officials have to pay particular attention to vulnerable groups (i.e. children, pregnant women and elderly persons).
Following the decision, more than 80 NGOs asked the Government to “put an end to such practices, at least up until a legislative framework is adopted in line with the Constitutional Court’s requirements”.
Other pushback cases and incidents
Pushback practices in Spain have been strongly condemned in recent years. This includes a decision adopted on 12 February 2019 by the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding the case D.D. vs Spain.
Moreover, the Provincial Court of Cádiz, which has its headquarters in Ceuta, has ordered the re-opening of the “El Tarajal” case, which concerns 15 migrants who drowned in February 2014 after attempting to reach the Spanish enclave of Ceuta by sea and were repelled with rubber bullets and smoke grenades by officers from the Guardia Civil. The case was shelved in October 2015 after a court in Ceuta decided that the migrants, who departed from El Tarajal beach along with some 200 others and attempted to swim around the fence that separates Ceuta from Moroccan territory, “were not persons in danger in the sea” in the sense of the UN Convention on Safety of Life at Sea because “they assumed the risk of illegally entering Spanish territory by swimming at sea.” It ruled that responsibility for the deaths could not be allocated to any of the 16 Guardia Civil officers who were accused of murder and causing injury.
Since the event in El Tarajal, each year many NGOs, groups activists and other stakeholders join in Ceuta at the border, in order to commemorate the deaths and strive for justice. Amnesty International denounced again in 2021 the lack of accountability for what happened, as well as the lack of compensation to victims’ families, and the illegality of pushbacks. The Platform for the International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) also underlined that the Tarajal case testifies the racism of Spain’s migration system and enforcement.
Following previous decisions and removals of the case from the register, in September 2019, the judge of the Court of Ceuta charged 16 officers from the Guardia Civil with homicide and serious negligence resulting in death. The State Attorney appealed the decision, claiming that the facts did not occur on Spain’s territory and that the individuals had been returned back to Morocco in good condition. At the end of October 2019, however, the same judge of the Court of Ceuta upheld the appeal lodged by the Public Prosecutor and decided to remove the case from the register for the third time. Despite evidence suggesting that the officers were guilty of homicide and serious negligence, and despite the fact that the families of the victims wanted to be heard, the judge decided to remove the case from the register on the basis of a lack of private prosecution (acusación particular). In July 2020, the Provincial Court of Cádiz dismissed the appeal lodged by different NGOs against the removal of the case from the register. It concluded that there is no evidence indicating that the Guardia Civil’s officers acted in contradiction with applicable principles in the context of such operations.
Throughout 2021, and at the beginning of 2022, pushback practices continued to be reported.
In January 2021, around 100 NGOs reached out to political groups to oppose pushbacks and require from the Government to immediately stop such practices.
Following an attempt to jump the fence in Ceuta in April 2021, when the Moroccan police prevented around 250 people from crossing, at least one young migrant achieved to enter the Spanish territory, but was immediately pushed back to Morocco by the Spanish Guardia Civil through a small door in the fence. Human rights organisations have denounced this case of refoulement, and that such practice is still common at the Southern border, and urged the Government to apply the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court on the matter.
In April, 30 young migrants who reached Ceuta by swimming were pushed back to Morocco.
As mentioned above, in mid-May 2021, in a 36-hours’ time span, around 8,000 migrants – a quarter of them minors – entered the city of Ceuta by swimming. One man died in the attempt, and the police has immediately expelled at least 4,000 persons, without any clarity on the procedure put in place by the Minister of Interior for carrying out such expulsions.
Different human rights organisations denounced the collective pushbacks of migrants, including children, as well as the lack of legal assistance, and urged the Government to manage the situation adopting a human rights perspective, as well as to stop the instrumentalization of migrants as a bargaining chip. Amnesty International also urged the Spanish and Moroccan Governments to stop using migrants as pawns in a political game between the two countries.
The Platform for Childhood (Plataforma de Infancia) expressed its concern about the possible pushback of children. Similarly, the European Parliament condemned the use of children by Morocco as a manner to pressure Ceuta, and it qualifies the situation as a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
A report on the situation of children in Ceuta published in June 2021 by the NGOs Maakum, ELIN and No Name Kitchen denounced the sub-standard conditions – due to overcrowding among other reasons – in three industrial units that were used to accommodate children after the jump, following the collapse of the child protection system and existing facilities in the city.
The Public Prosecutor opened an investigation on pushbacks against minors. In November 2021, the Public Porsecutor dismissed the case, for impossibility of establishing the minority of the children affected by the push back, not the identity of the police officers, and justifies the lack of instructions to police officers from the leadership to the situation of crisis of that days.
After few hours from their entrance, the Minister of Interior confirmed the return of 2,700 migrants, amounting to 7,000 persons returned to Morocco after 4 days. In addition, due to the high number of children who entered the city and the lack of sufficient resources, hundreds of them were obliged to sleep on the streets and many of them were returned to Morocco. In order to face such situation, the Government of Ceuta set up pavilions for the reception of children, and arranged agreements with the Autonomous Communities in order to relocate children in reception facilities at the mainland. For this purpose, the Spanish Government decided to allocate 5 million Euros for the accommodation of those children in other Autonomous Communities. Despite the additional funding allocated, the Minors’ Prosecutor of Ceuta denounced the inadequate reception conditions provided by Spanish authorities.
According to the information available, the massive entrance was the consequence of a diplomatic dispute between Morocco and Spain, following the reception of Brahim Ghali – the Secretary General of the Polisario Front – at a Spanish hospital. For this reason, Morocco decided to call back the Moroccan Ambassador in Spain, and to leave the border with Ceuta uncontrolled in order to allow migrants free access to the Spanish enclave. According to testimonies, children were told by Moroccan police to cross the border and to reach Ceuta where they could see playing famous football players.
In August 2021, the Ministry of Interior announced having started returning the children who entered Ceuta in May to Morocco. Concretely, Spain and Morocco agreed to transfer around 700 unaccompanied children to a reception facility in the Moroccan city of Tetuan while waiting to be reunited with their parents. According to available information, 45 unaccompanied children were in fact subjected to unlawful collective expulsions from Ceuta on 13 August 2021 carried out by the Ministry of Interior and the Territorial Governmental Delegation in Ceuta (Delegación de Gobierno). This procedure violates Spanish law (the Immigration Law and its Regulation), which establishes that children’s return can only take place when: 1) it is in the child’s best interest, 2) safe integration of the child in his or hers home country is guaranteed, 3) the return is voluntary, and 4) the child has been granted the opportunity to be heard. Therefore, it is essential that authorities assess each child’s best interest after their arrival and determine lasting solutions that are best suited to their needs and well-being. The Spanish Ombudsman, Amnesty International, Save the Children, the Platform for Childhood, the Spanish Law Bar, the progressive Union of Public Prosecutors, and many other stakeholders called the Ministry of Interior for immediately stopping the return of children, by denouncing that such returns are in breach of the law. Besides, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child asked Spain to stop the return of 10 children, and required information to the Government on the issue, following the claim lodged by three organisations (Save the Children, Gentium, and Andalucía Acoge). UNICEF warned that many girls fled to Ceuta to escape being sold for domestic servitude, or obliged to forced marriage. The Public Prosecutor Office asked the Ministry of Interior the return orders issued and how the respect of children’s rights is guaranteed. Thirty-five organisations also called for the resignation of the Ministry of Interior. The UNHCR informed having collected testimonies of potential asylum seekers forced to return to Morocco through violent means, and that not all the returns were carried out according to the standards foreseen by the law.
The request to apply precautionary measures against the return of unaccompanied children lodged by the NGO Coordinadora de Barrios was dismissed by the first instance and instruction judge nº2 of Ceuta. Successively, however, the request was upheld, and a judge stopped the return of nine unaccompanied children to Morocco. The Administrative Court nº1 of Ceuta (Juzgado de lo contencioso administrativo) also stopped the return of children for not complying with law, after the organisations Coordinadora de Barrios and Fundacion Raíces lodged an appeal. The Spanish Network for Migration and Support to Refugees lodged an appeal in front of the National Court (Audiencia Nacional) for breaches of fundamental rights. Following such appeal, the National Court (Audiencia Nacional) demanded the Minister of Interior to present within 24 hours the order providing for the expulsion of children to Morocco. The Public Prosecutor of Ceuta started assessing the possibility to lodge an appeal in case the judge would activate again returns of children. At the end of September, the Public Prosecutor declared null and void the return of Moroccan children from Ceuta.
Different NGOs denounced the lack of legal basis for l the criteria adopted by the Government of Ceuta for returning children, as it decided to prioritize the return of those children close to reaching 18 years of age, considering them as not satisfying vulnerability criteria.
Save the Children sent to the competent authorities a set of recommendations on how to assess the durable solution for any child. A report issued by the same organisation in November 2021, based on 617 interviews with the children who entered in Ceuta in May, states that the 98.6% of them do not want to come back to Morocco. In addition, one out of three children interviewed have experienced physical violence and abuse in their home country and 23% of them would have been able of receiving international protection. Besides, the fear of being subjected to returns created a climate of mistrust among unaccompanied children that led to some of them abandoning reception centres. In February 2022, a judge in Ceuta (Juzgado de lo Contencioso Administrativo número 1) ordered the Government to bring back to Spain the children who were returned to Morocco in August 2021, establishing that the repatriation was not in line with Spanish legislation and that it generated a serious risk for the children involved.
In June 2021, the European Court of Human Rights issued the judgement on the Doumbe Nnabuchi v. Spain case, following a similar reasoning than in the N.D. and N.T. v. Spain decision. Actually, the claimant’s application was declared inadmissible, because, according to the Court, he was not able to prove he participated to the jump of the fence in Melilla on 15 October 2014, and he contradicted himself in different elements.
At the end of August, different NGOs denounced a possible pushback of 41 persons, including 20 women (3 of them pregnant) and 6 children from the Isla de la Tierra, an island belonging to the Spanish archipelago of Alhucemas Islands nearby Melilla. The organisation Coordinadora de Barrios lodged a complaint to the Spanish Ombudsman. Many of them were from Mali, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and expressed their intention to apply for asylum in Spain.
At the end of December, nine Syrians expressed their intention to apply for asylum after stranding at the Spanish island ‘El Congreso’ (belonging to the archipelago of ‘Chafarinas’, close to Melilla). Despite that, they were pushed back to Morocco. After spending three days in a prison in Casablanca, the Syrians came back to Nadord (a Moroccan city close to Melilla). The Spanish Ombudsman called the Spanish Government to respect the national and international legislations, as well as the non-refoulement principle.
The Jesuit Migrant Service and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) denounced that, since 2020, migrants reaching the Chafarinas Islands (a Spanish archipelago in the Mediterranean, located at around 4 km from Morocco) are systematically pushed-back to Morocco instead than being transferred to Melilla.
Bilateral agreements with third countries
Spain has signed different bilateral agreements with third countries such as Mauritania, Alegria, Senegal and Morocco, in order to swiftly return individuals back.
Since 2019, Mauritania has become the main country to receive deportation flights from Spain (chartered by Frontex), inter alia due to the increase of arrivals to the Canary Islands. This is based on a bilateral agreement signed back in 2003. In January 2020, 72 persons from Mali, out of which at least 14 were asylum seekers, were returned to Mauritania in the framework of a bilateral agreement with Spain, as Mauritania accepts returned migrants who have transited through its territory. One of the returned persons stated that they had not be been provided food during three days; that they had been abandoned at Mali’s border with Mauritania; and that they were subject to mistreatment by the Mauritanian authorities. This case of return takes part as one of the seven flights that the Spanish Ministry of Interior has been carrying carried out since June 2019. As denounced by different organisations, these practices amount to indirect pushbacks, are in violation with the no-refoulement principle and are contrary to UNHCR’s call not to return Malians to their country of origin.
In November 2020, Spain further resumed the expulsion of migrants, which had been suspended following the COVID-19 spread. The authorities returned 22 migrants to Mauritania that had arrived to the Canary Islands. Amnesty International denounced that the repatriations from the Canary Islands are carried out without guarantees. Migrants are not provided legal assistance and risk to be expelled without having the possibility to apply for international protection.
In December 2020, Algeria joined Morocco and Mauritania as third countries accepting repatriations of migrants. Thus, Algerian migrants were returned from Spanish CIEs. In the same month, Spain increased the deportation of Moroccan migrants arriving to the Canary Islands. In November 2020, Spain had also reached a similar agreement with Senegal. Consequently, the Government announced in February 2021 that it would resume deportation flights to Senegal by the end of the month. The agreement also foresees the reinforcement of the Spanish monitoring mechanism in Senegal against irregular migration, through the allocation of a Guardia Civil’s patrol boat and an airplane. The flight that the Minister of Interior organised at the end of February for repatriating migrants from the Canary Islands to Senegal was finally cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the CIE of Hoya Fría. It was then rescheduled to 10 March, but it was once more suspended. Apparently, the difficulties experienced in the organisation of the deportation flights were also due to Senegal’s resistance to carry them out in practice.
Following a parliamentary request, the Government informed that between January and February 2021, 153 persons were repatriated from the Canary Islands to their countries of origin.
It should be further noted that the Government addressed a tender of €10 million to airlines, aiming exclusively at fund exclusively deportation flights. Moreover, in 2020, the Minister of Interior announced that it was tripling financial support to African countries with the aim of stop irregular migration. In November 2020, the Government also adopted a plan aimed at providing third countries (e.g. Senegal, Mauritania and Morocco) with equipment such as vessels, helicopters and airplanes in order to stop migration and increase expulsions of rejected applicants for international protection. At the time of writing, no further information is available regarding whether – and if so, through which means – the plan was implemented.
Arrivals by sea
In 2021, 40,100 persons and 2,149 boats arrived in Spanish shores by sea.
Amnesty International called on the Government to provide more transparency on data regarding arrivals to the Spanish coasts, also underlining the importance of collecting information on their situation and on the number of persons in need of international protection. The organisation also called on the Autonomous Communities for more solidarity in providing reception conditions.
Out of the total number of persons arriving by sea, more than a half (22,316 persons) disembarked on the Canary Islands, which became one of the main destinations for boats since the last months of 2019, while 17,341 persons arrived on mainland and the Balearic Islands. Only a few migrants disembarked in Ceuta (404 persons) and Melilla (39 persons).
As regards the number of deaths in the Mediterranean, several figures have been reported. The NGO Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) estimated that 4,404 persons died while reaching Spain in 2021, which would constitute a 102.95% increase compared to 2020. It further reported that 94.8% of victims disappeared at sea without their bodies been recovered, and that a total of 83 vessels disappeared with all persons on board.
The dismantlement of a smuggling and drug trafficking network brought to light the ‘business of boats’, as referred to the high costs migrants are required to pay to enter Spain by boat. The prices that such network asked migrants to pay ranged between 4,000 and 7,500 Euros, depending on the services provided (including accommodation in caves).
An investigation carried out by the trade union of journalists in Andalucía and the producer EntreFronteras revealed the obstacles that media face when covering migration related issues at places where migrants mainly arrive by boat. The report refers to the deterioration in press freedom that could be observed in relation to the lack of possibilities for journalists access to information and sources in at least 6 of the 7 main ports, which includes the different denounces of prior censorship in the Canary Islands, and the closure of the ports to journalists in Alicante and Murcia.
The Spanish Bar Association published a practical guide for providing legal assistance during arrivals by sea, with the aim of guaranteeing migrants the best service and protecting them in the framework of their rights and liberties.
Situation on the Canary Islands
As demonstrated by the figures above, the arrivals of boats to the Canary Islands has greatly continued throughout 2021. It is very likely that the Canary Island will continue to be the main point of entry to Spain for migrants and refugees throughout 2022, especially given the increased border controls at the Ceuta and Melilla border points and the increased capacity of Morocco to control the Northern part of the country, inter alia through EU funds. Already in 2020, UNHCR warned against the danger of the ‘Canary route’ and the risks of deaths as this deadly route continues to be used by migrants. It has also stated that around the 40% of the persons arriving to the Canary Islands could be in need of international protection. According to the NGO CEAR, 2021 has been the more deadly year in the Canary route since data have been collected.
Nevertheless, while the focus has continuously been on the Canary Island during the last years, the so-called ‘Algerian route’ has also recorded many arrivals during 2021, especially the port of Almería.
Serious concerns regarding the access to reception, overcrowding and poor living conditions on the Canary Islands are described in the Reception Chapter of this report (see Access and forms of reception conditions). As regards the access to the asylum procedure, several shortcomings were reported in 2020, especially regarding the lack of legal assistance for migrants arriving by sea to the Canary Islands, resulting in important violations of their rights and the law.
At the end of 2020, different stakeholders, including UNHCR, called for an enhanced provision of legal assistance to migrants reaching the Canary Islands. As mentioned, in order to support the authorities in the early identification of international protection needs, in capacity building, in registration and assistance to newcomers, UNHCR deployed a team in the archipelago since January 2021. Similarly, EASO deployed a team of experts to the Canary Islands in March 2021 with the aim of supporting the Spanish authorities to manage the reception centres, in light of the increase in arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers. In August, the Government of the Canary Islands, together with the Bar Association and in collaboration with UNHCR, started to implement a project to provide legal assistance to detained persons, migrants and asylum seekers.
Following a needs assessment realised at the end of 2020, IOM started its operations in the Canary Islands at the beginning of 2021, aiming at addressing the significant increase in arrivals. IOM’s operation is based in Tenerife, where the organisation manages a facility with 1,100 reception places (reduced to 1,054 due to COVID-19 prevention measures). With a staff of 53 employers, IOM provides for humanitarian reception places and direct assistance to migrants reaching the archipelago. The organisation’s work includes provision of legal assistance as well as the identification of vulnerabilities and addressing protection needs.
During a hearing at the Senate in February 2021, different organisations (i.e. CEAR, IOM and the Spanish Red Cross) called for the activation of territorial solidarity mechanisms allowing the relocation of migrants and asylum seekers between the Autonomous Communities, in order to avoid persons being blocked on the Canary Islands. In April, more than 160 organisations, including trade unions as well as the Spanish Ombudsman, claimed the Government to change the migratory policy in the Canary Islands in front of the human rights violations that migrants suffer.
A report published by the NGO CEAR in March 2021 focused on the reasons for the increase in arrivals experienced on the Canary route in the last years. Among them, the organisation refers to police pressure and enhanced border control (both by Spain and Morocco) both in the central and western Mediterranean routes, and in Ceuta and Melilla; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the closure of many land routes previously used by people on the move; Morocco’s role as an agent of containment of migratory routes leading to Spain; and the persistent humanitarian crises in West Africa, especially the conflicts in the Sahel region and in Mali.
With the aim of asking the dismantlement of Frontex, in June different activists wrapped the building where the agency has its office with papers listing the names of the migrants dead while trying to reach the EU since 1993, in an action coordinated and carried out in nine countries.
According to information released by the Minister of Interior, the cooperation on police control between Spain and its African partners (i.e. Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, etc.) has prevented the arrivals of about 8,000 migrants to the Canary Islands in 1 year.
Search and Rescue (SAR) operations
Since April 2015, the NGO CEAR, in coordination with other NGOs (including Accem), is running the campaign ‘UErfanos’ to denounce the deaths in the Mediterranean Sea and the breaches to the right to asylum by the EU, which produce more ‘UEorphans’. The webpage of the campaign contains updated information on number of arrivals and deaths on the route to Europe and Spain.
Maritime Rescue (Salvamento Marítimo), an authority under the Ministry of Transport, is responsible for search and rescue carried out in the search and rescue zone belonging to Spain and Morocco. The Police (Guardia Civil) usually participates along with the personnel of Maritime Rescue in Almería, but not in Algeciras. The Maritime Rescue always informs the Spanish Red Cross (Cruz Roja Española) of arrivals. The Spanish Red Cross notifies its Emergency Immediate Response Teams (Equipos de Respuesta Inmediata en Emergencia, ERIE) that operate in Almería, Motril, Málaga, Tarifa and Ceuta, where migrants are taken upon their arrival.
In November 2021, the personnel of the Maritime Rescue requested additional resources to cope with the arrival of migrants at the Canary Islands. In December, the Government approved the new Plan for Security and Maritime Rescue 2021-2024, with a budget of more than 173 million Euros.
The ERIE is composed of Red Cross staff and volunteers who are usually medical personnel, nurses and some intercultural mediators. Their first action consists in a health assessment to check the state of health and detect medical needs and the preparation of a health card for each of the newly arrived persons, which contains their personal data. As already mentioned, UNHCR also deployed personnel in different points of arrival in Spain. The main objective of the presence of UNHCR is to work in the field of identification, referral and protection of people who need international protection.
After this health screening, the ERIE distributes food, water, dry clothes and a hygiene kit. Normally, men are separated from women in shelters. The Spanish Red Cross further provides humanitarian and health care at this stage. This process must be carried out within a period of 72 hours in accordance with the maximum term of preventive detention foreseen by the Spanish legal system.
Several worrying developments regarding limitations to search and rescue operations have been noted since the beginning of 2019, notably through the criminalisation of SAR activities carried out by NGOs.
One such example was the persecution of the Spanish activist Helena Maleno, founder of the NGO Caminando Fronteras, accused in 2020 by Salvamento Marítimo of being responsible of the deaths of migrants, even after the charges of migrant smuggling and human trafficking held against her, which were dropped in March 2019 by the Appeal Court of Tangier. In April 2021, while entering Morocco through Tangier, where she has been living with her family for 20 years, she was expelled from the country. In an urgent press conference organised after the incident, she has explained the reasons for which these charges were held against her, and urged the Spanish and the Moroccan Governments to stop criminalising her as human rights defender. Following the incident, 700 organisations and 10,000 persons asked the Spanish Government to protect Helena Maleno. In November 2021, the World Organisation against Torture included Helena Maleno among those activists in Europe who are criminalised for their solidarity with harassment, assault and torture.
In January 2021, the Major of Barcelona expressed instead solidarity with NGOs involved in Search and Rescue activities. In the same month, the Municipality announced the intention to intervene as civil party in the criminal procedure in process in Palermo (Italy) against the former Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, for impeding the disembarkation of the Open Arms boat in Italy. The Open Arms was carrying 130 migrants and refugees during the summer of 2019. The judgement started in Palermo in October 2021.
It should be further noted that, in February 2019, the Spanish Ombudsman addressed a recommendation to the Ministry of Interior, asking to modify the instructions related to irregular immigrants as they affect possible asylum seekers found in vessels navigating in Spanish territorial waters. In particular, the Ombudsman considers that these instructions should provide for the obligation of the competent Sub delegation of the Government to communicate in writing to the port authority the presence of asylum seekers on Spanish vessels. In addition, port authorities should not allow the departure of a vessel until the OAR takes a decision on the applications for international protection that have been lodged, as asylum seekers have the right to stay in the Spanish territory or sea as long as a decision is pending. The instructions should also explicitly foresee the obligation to deliver without delay copies of relevant documents to lawyers, in order to ensure that adequate legal assistance is provided to asylum seekers. The Minister of Interior accepted the recommendations, but the new instructions have not been published so far.
The role of Moroccan authorities in migration and border control
The Moroccan Government affirmed that during 2019 it hindered the arrival of 70,000 migrants to Spain thanks to the deployment of its security forces. The NGO APDHA (Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía) further stated that the reduction by half of the number of arrivals during 2019 is mainly due to the position taken by the Spanish authorities, which includes committing serious human rights violations through its polices forces, allowing repression from Moroccan authorities and enabling the deployment of FRONTEX in the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, in December 2019, Morocco redefined its maritime borders with Mauritania and Spain, by incorporating to its waters those of the Western Sahara. When Morocco took this decision, Spain was still without the new Government formed. Spain refused to accept any unilateral modification made to maritime borders realised without reaching a common agreement in line with international law. Morocco confirmed its intention to reach a mutual agreement on the matter. In November 2020, the Moroccan King engaged with Spain in order to clarify the maritime border between the two countries. So far, no additional developments were made public.
In 2020, Morocco further reinforced its controls to prevent migrants from entering Spain, and the two countries strengthened their alliance during the pandemic in the field of migration control. Regardless, some tensions between Spain and Morocco were reported throughout 2020 because of the situation in Ceuta and Melilla. As already mentioned, tensions between Morocco and Spain arose in May 2021 following the hospitalisation of the Sahrawi leader in a Spanish hospital. As a consequence, around 8,000 persons entered Ceuta by swimming.
In January 2021, the Council for Transparency and Good Governance (Consejo de Transparencia y Buen Gobierno) backed up a decision of the Minister of Interior to not disclose information on the financial support provided to Morocco aimed at fighting irregular migration, as it would damage public security and Spanish external relations.
In November 2020, the Spanish Government announced it would provide the Moroccan Ministry of Interior with 130 vehicles for the purpose of border and migration control. The tender amounts to €7,150,000 without VAT and the contract will last 12 months. This tender is part of the programme named “Support to the integrated management of borders and migration in Morocco” that started on 17 April 2019 and will finish on 17 April 2022. Overall, it seems that the contract involves a total of €91 million.
As part of such programme, in May 2021 the Council of Ministers approved the allocation of 30 million Euros to the Moroccan Minister of Interior, for collaborating in funding the police with the aim of stop migrants before trying to cross the Mediterranean and reaching Spain.
The closure of the Moroccan borders, along with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Spanish migration policy in the Mediterranean, are probably the main reasons why the route to the Canary Islands experienced a notable increase in boat arrivals since the end of 2019 and throughout 2020, despite the high risks to life involved. In November 2020, the Spanish Government further announced a joint mission with Frontex aimed at limiting arrivals and closing the ‘Canary migratory route’. In January 2021, Frontex and Spain agreed on renewing the activities of the EU agency for one more year, with 257 officers deployed covering the Gibraltar Strait and the Alborán Sea, as well as the Canary Islands.
In March 2022, the President of the Spanish Government changed the historical position of Spain in relation to the auto determination of Western Sahara, by announcing to support Morocco’s proposal of granting a regime of autonomy to such area, that entails recognition of the Moroccan territorial sovereignty over said territories. The Association for Human Rights in Andalucía lamented the policy change adopted by the Spanish Government, and called for an immediately rectification of the declaration. Numerous gathering and demonstrations have been organised in various Spanish cities to support the Sahrawi population and to protest against the new Government’s position.
Denial of asylum following disembarkation from the Aquarius vessel
In September 2019, the CIAR started to deny asylum to some of the persons rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the vessel Aquarius in 2018, who were disembarked in Valencia, following the policy of closed ports adopted by the then Italian Minister of Interior. Similarly, persons disembarked in Barcelona from the Open Arms’ vessel were denied asylum and the right to reception conditions, thus raising heavy criticism from experts. By March 2020, the trend seemed to be confirmed, as 94% of asylum applications lodged by individuals who arrived with the Aquarius were denied, meaning that just 4 out of 62 cases decided by the CIAR so far have received international protection. These negative decisions continued to be issued throughout the year 2020.
By November 2020, the Spanish government had granted international protection to only 9 persons out of 374 who applied for asylum, while 49 of them were denied any form of protection and 300 of them are still waiting an answer on their application after 2 years and a half. The same situation persisted during 2021. In April 2021, just 153 asylum application out of the 374 lodged were processed: 87 applications were denied, 49 persons were recognised the refugee status, 1 person the subsidiary protection, 16 applications were dismissed. During 2021 World Refugee Day, many migrants who arrived with the Aquarius gathered at a square in Valencia, asking the Government to regularise their situation after three years since their arrival.
Police stations, CATE and CAED
All adults arriving to mainland by boat are placed in detention for up to 72 hours in police facilities for identification and processing. This is also the case of families and women travelling with children, while children who arrive unaccompanied are usually taken to the competent protection centre.
All persons rescued at sea are issued an expulsion order. If the person who irregularly entered Spain and received an expulsion order lodges an application for international protection, the expulsion order is suspended during the asylum procedure and resumes only in case of rejection of the application. If the person does not apply for international protection, but the order cannot be executed within a period of 72 hours, migrants are transferred to detention in a Foreigners Detention Centre (CIE) in order to proceed with the expulsion. The majority of migrants who are sent there are eventually not removed from the country, as Spain does not have bilateral agreements with the relevant countries of origin. Once the maximum 60-day Duration of Detention in CIE has expired, the person is released with a pending expulsion order.
Shortcomings concerning access to legal assistance for persons arriving by sea have been reported in recent years. This includes contacting lawyers only following the notification of the expulsion order rather than at the moment of arrival of migrants in Spain. Lawyers meet with clients once they are in the CIE, but these interviews are in most cases collective and are conducted in the presence of police officers. In Motril, Tarifa and Almería the expulsion procedure is very similar and collective interviews and collective hearings in court, in addition to collective detention orders have been reported.
The situation slightly improved in 2018, with some Bar Associations adopting specific protocols/guidelines providing guidance to lawyers on how to assist migrants arriving by sea and in October 2019, the Federation Andalucía Acoge published guidelines on how to provide counselling upon arrival. In August 2021, the General Council of the Spanish Bar Association published guidelines on legal assistance during maritime arrivals, that contains practical guidance for lawyers on how to guarantee a quality legal assistance to newcomers, including information on how to access the asylum procedure, and the right to defence.
In addition, in order to respond to the increasing number of arrivals, during 2018 the Spanish Government put in place resources in order to manage arrivals and to carry out the identification of persons’ vulnerabilities in the first days of arrival. Specific facilities for emergency and referral have been created: these are referred to as Centres for the Temporary Assistance of Foreigners (Centros de Atención Temporal de Extranjeros, CATE) and Centres for Emergency Assistance and Referral (Centros de Atención de Emergencia y Derivación, CAED).
- CATE are managed by the National Police and are aimed at facilitating the identification of persons by the police, i.e. recording of personal data, fingerprinting etc. In practice these are closed centres which function as police stations and all newly arrived persons must pass through CATE. The maximum duration of stay in CATE is 72 hours.
As of the end of 2020, there were four CATE: San Roque-Algeciras in Cádiz, Almería, and Motril in Granada. In addition, a new CATE has been opened in Málaga at the end of July 2019. CATE are usually large facilities; the one in San Roque has a capacity of about 600 places, for example. The one in Málaga has a capacity for 300 persons, with a space of 2.3m² per person, which is considered to be a 42.5% less than what is foreseen by the law for those detained in police station’s prisons. Concerns relating to the conditions of detention, i.e. overcrowding and violation of the right to free movement, have been raised in vain. The construction of a new CATE in Cartagena, announced in 2020, was due to be finalised in 2021, but its construction was still underway at the beginning of February 2022. The Government further announced the construction of two additional CATEs in 2021, namely in Motril (Granada), which will be opened in 2022, and Las Palmas on the Canary Islands, which construction was undergoing in September 2021. A CATE in Barranco Seco (Canary Islands) with a capacity of 1,000 places has been opened.
Based on available information, the Government has not adopted (or at least not yet published) any legal instrument defining and regulating these centres created to manage sea arrivals. The same was highlighted also by the Spanish Ombudsman in its capacity as National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture in its 2020 annual report, which underlines that such facilities are considered as an “extension” of the National Police stations on which they depend. Thus, they are subject to the same regime as police stations.
- CAED are open centres managed by NGOs, i.e. the Spanish Red Cross and CEAR, under the coordination of the Directorate-General for Inclusion and Humanitarian Assistance (Dirección General de Inclusión y Atención Humanitaria, DGIAH) Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, and are usually large centres where certain assistance services are provided, including information, social and legal assistance. For example, the CAED in Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz is managed by the Spanish Red Cross and has capacity for 600-700 persons. Its aim is to establish the status of each newly arrived migrant and to facilitate them the possibility of contacting family members and friends across Spain and the EU.
As of February 2022, there was a total of eleven CAED manages by NGOs (i.e. CEAR, Red Cross, etc.).
Updated public statistics on CAED’s were not made available for 2021. The inadequacy both of CATE and CAED has been highlighted since their creation, as there are some places of arrival where conditions have been considered unacceptable.
In its 2021 annual report, the Spanish Ombudsman – in its capacity as National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture – continues to express concerns on the practice that just Algerian and Moroccan nationals are held at the CATEs, while irregular migrants from Sub-Saharan countries are referred to facilities within the humanitarian assistance programme, contrary to the rules of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
During 2020, the Spanish Ombudsman visited three CATEs (Almería, Málaga and San Roque). Among the Ombudsman’s suggestions after his visits, was that at the CATEs of Almería and Málaga migrants should be identified by their names and surnames, instead that through numbers, in different kinds of documents; for the CATE in Málaga, that a book to register complaints of ill treatment should be used, in the absence of a mechanism for control and submission of complaints. For the three facilities visited, the Ombudsman also suggested to set up appropriate spaces to carry out activities during the day, in order to avoid the negative effects of forced inactivity. Following a previous recommendation made to the CATE of Almería, bunk beds were put in the women’s area; during the visit, however, the Ombudsman observed the bad conditions of mattresses and other common elements of the facility. Finally, the installation of additional mobile chargers, to be used by migrants in order to communicate with the outside world, was recommended as an improvement for the CATE of Málaga. Other recommendations presented to CATEs by the Spanish Ombudsman in its capacity as National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture related to the training of personnel on the treatment to migrants hosted in the centres; the presence of more female professionals; and the necessity to provide information on the rules of such facilities in a language that migrants understand.
The Association for Human Rights in Andalucía (APDHA – Asociación pro Derechos Humanos en Andalucía), in its 2021 annual report on the Southern border, highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the conditions at these facilities, and brought to an increase of alleged human rights violations, especially in relation to the maximum time limits for police detention. Beside exceeding the 72 hours’ time limit for police detention without a judicial decision established by the law, the organization denounced that many migrants were reportedly pressured to sign a declaration indicating their stay at CATEs was on a voluntary basis as soon as they arrived.
As regards the provision of collective and inadequate legal assistance at CATEs, as identified by the Spanish Ombudsman in the previous year, several recommendations were addressed to the Bar Associations of Cádiz and Granada. In order to address legal assistance for migrants at maritime arrivals, as well as that provided at CATEs, in 2021 the Spanish Bar Association published a practical guide for lawyers.
Already in 2020, human rights activists and organisations called for more guarantees for detainees held at the CATEs, and more broadly for the closure of such facilities. This call emerged as a result of the fact that 33 persons were held in poor detention conditions and were not released after 72 hours, as foreseen in law. Similarly, at the beginning of 2021, one of the 418 migrants and asylum seekers staying in a tent used as CATE in Barranco Seco (Canary Islands) reported to have been held for 16 days at the facility in extremely poor conditions; i.e. with no access to showers, bad weather conditions and water leaks in the ceiling. A child spent 8 days at this facility before being formally identify as minor, facing the same deplorable conditions (i.e. no water, no electricity, rationing of food and water, etc.). In a thematic report on the Canary Islands, the Spanish Ombudsman indicated his concerns on the detention of migrants for longer periods of time than those established by the law, as well as on the conditions of the CATE in Barranco Seco. The substandard conditions of such facility have been reported on also in 2021. In particular, they were addressed in in a thematic report on migration to the Canary Islands published by Amnesty International.
Similar concerns were also expressed by APDHA, which in addition indicates that the insufficient legal assistance offered to migrants prevented that many of them could know their rights, including the right to asylum. Additionally, the organisation denounced the practice of separating mothers from their children, until the protocol to manage such cases was changed.
In April 2021, the Minister of Interior received 13,5 million Euros for improving the police capacity to respond to migrants’ arrival. Such budget will be used to improve the conditions and infrastructure of the CATE in Barranco Seco, create two additional mobile CATEs, as well as to provide services and other necessary assistance.
In its 2022 annual report on human rights at the Southern border, the Association for Human Rights in Andalucía (APDHA) denounced the lack of transparency and the information blackout by the Government on the situation and on data regarding CATEs.
 Ministerio de Inlusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones, ‘El Ministerio de Inclusión acoge a 116 ref refugiados de Siria, Irán, Iraq y Afganistán dentro del Plan Nacional de Reasentamiento’, 15 December 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3yDWq4v.
 Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones, ‘El Gobierno aprueba el Programa Nacional de Reasentamiento de Refugiados para 2022 por el que se acogerá a 1.200 personas’, 28 December 2021, press release, available at: https://bit.ly/346mWZf.
 Accem, ‘Día Internacional del Migrante – Vías legales y seguras, respeto a los DD.HH. y protección de niños, niñas y adolescentes no acompañados’, 17 December 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3JtnzfD.
 El Diario, ‘El Puerto de Santander instala concertinas en su perímetro para intentar frenar la entrada de polizones albaneses con destino a Reino Unido’, 14 October 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3gmCvyH.
 Abc, ‘Luz verde a los palestinos de El Prat para tramitar el asilo’, 20 November 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3G22LcY; El Periódico, ‘29 pasajeros palestinos de El Prat ya tienen reconocido el derecho de pedir asilo’, 19 November 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3HzoXeQ.
 Guardia Civil – Gabinete de Prensa, ‘España obtiene de Europol más de un millón de euros para luchar contra el crimen organizado transnacional’, 4 January 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3zssUix.
 Information provided by UNHCR on 1 February 2022.
 Info Migrants, ‘Pushbacks on Spain’s southern border’, 8 March 2018, available at: https://bit.ly/2D07bzL. See also CEAR, Refugees and migrants in Spain: The invisible walls beyond the southern border, December 2017, available at: https://bit.ly/2FC6ceC, 25. See also the pending case before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, Applications No 8675/15 and 8697/15. A case summary may be found in the European Database of Asylum Act (EDAL) at: http://bit.ly/21xtu7g.
 Público, ‘Menos concertinas y más altura: colectivos de Melilla y Ceuta denuncian que las nuevas vallas continúan vulnerando los derechos humanos’, 29 August 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/QhcBFWN.
 Caritas Europa, Friedrich Ebert, The impact of EU external migration policies on sustainable development: A review of the evidence from West, North and the Horn of Africa, 12 October 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/2NMoTSk, 9.
 El Diario, ‘Así es la nueva valla de Melilla: 10 metros de altura, barrotes y un cilindro “antitrepado”, 14 October 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/8hxh1pI; El País, ‘Interior ultima la construcción de la nueva valla de Ceuta y Melilla’, 14 October 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/Xhxh6Bk.
 Público, ‘Más de 150 inmigrantes intentan saltar la valla de Melilla’, 8 March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3DpABHn; Info Migrants, ‘Dozens of migrants scale fences into Spain’s Melilla enclave’, 9 March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3kKvo5R.
 Público, ‘Valle de Melilla: Unos 2.500 migrantes subsaharianos intentan entrar en Melilla en el salto de la valla’, 2 March 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/34nk5eP; El País, ‘Unas 2.500 personas intentan acceder a Melilla en un salto a la valla’, 2 March 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3IXnq3w.
 El País, ‘ONG internacionales exigen investigar agresiones a migrantes durante los saltos en Melilla’, 4 March 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3IVBJpc; El Nacional, ‘Un vídeo muestra cómo la Guardia Civil se ensaña con un migrante en Melilla’, 4 March 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3HRDRgq; El Diario, ‘Agentes policiales propinan una brutal paliza a un joven migrante cuando se descolgaba de la valla de Melilla’, 4 March 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3sRXjoZ.
 Organic Law 4/2015 of 30 March 2015 on the protection of citizen security.
 UNHCR Spain, ‘Enmienda a Ley de Extranjería vincula gestión fronteriza y respeto de obligaciones internacionales’, 13 March 2015, available in Spanish at: http://bit.ly/1oEUcMD. See also ECRE, ‘Spain: New law giving legal cover to pushbacks in Ceuta and Melilla threats the right to asylum – Op-Ed by Estrella Galán, CEAR’, 27 March 2015, available at: http://bit.ly/1FRab0K.
 ECtHR, N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, Application Nos 8675/15 and 8697/15, Judgment of 3 October 2017.
 See EDAL summary at: https://bit.ly/39fa7bV. For an analysis, see also Stavros Papageorgopoulos, N.D. and N.T. v. Spain: do hot returns require cold decision-making?, 28 February 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/33JWK25.
 Atresmedia, ‘La Unión Progresista de Fiscales tilda de “brutal retroceso” el fallo del Tribunal Europeo que avala las devoluciones en caliente’, 15 February 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3dmLywW.
 Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, ‘Nota de prensa Sentencia TEDH: Una sentencia dolorosa para demandantes y sociedad civil, pero que no legitima las devoluciones sumarias’, 14 February 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/crNqKam.
 Tribunal Constitucional, Recurso de incostitcuionalidad STC 2015-2896, 19 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/VhYgIhu; Tribunal Constitucional, NOTA INFORMATIVA Nº 108/2020. El Pleno del TC avala la constitucionalidad de la ley de protección de la seguridad ciudadada de 2015 salvo las grabaciones “no autorizadas” a la policía, 19 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/EhYgLWZ.
 Committee on the Rights of the Child, Views adopted by the Committee under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure, concerning communication No. 4/2016 – CRC/C/80/D/4/2016, 12 February 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2TJ9Euf.
Platform for the International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), ‘Tarajal and the legacy of racism in Spain’s migration system, 8 February 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3u6KBBh.
 The Provincial Court of Cádiz (Audiencia Provincial de Cádiz) stated on 12 January 2017 that there are survivors who were never called as witnesses and that the forensic investigations undertaken on the dead bodies were “unnecessarily rushed”, although there was no possibility of undertaking further examinations of the corpses. The court confirmed the lack of witness evidence and that the post-mortems carried out were inadequate. Nevertheless, the court struck out the case at the end of January 2018. At the end of August 2018, however, the Fourth Section of the same Court decided to reopen the case in order to allow two survivors living in Germany to testify. In particular, the Court noted that no efforts had been made to carry out a proper and effective investigation, including allowing survivors to testify. See: CEAR, ‘El archivo del caso Tarajal, “un paso hacia la impunidad” según Coordinadora de Barrios y CEAR’, 27 January 2018, available in Spanish at: http://bit.ly/2DKRodp; RTVE, ‘La Audiencia de Cádiz ordena reabrir el caso de las muertes de inmigrantes en el Tarajal, Ceuta’, 31 August 2018, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2FFxW1w; CEAR, ‘CEAR celebra la reapertura de la causa Tarajal ordenada por la Audiencia de Cádiz’, 31 August 2018, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2LHPCsx.
 El Confidencial, La jueza manda al banquillo por homicidio imprudente a los guardias civiles del Tarajal, 24 September 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/HeLgfF8; CEAR, Las acusaciones a los 16 agentes del caso Tarajal son un paso decisivo para la justicia, 25 September 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/seLgBAB.
 El Diario, Los argumentos del Gobierno para pedir la absolución de los agentes en el caso Tarajal chocan con los vídeos oficiales, 3 October 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/keLv2eH.
 El Diario, La jueza de Ceuta usa la doctrina Botín para archivar el caso Tarajal tras procesar hace un mes a 16 agentes, 30 October 2019, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2UwWKi3. It should be noted that the so-called “Botin doctrine” (Doctrina Botín) foresees that, if the public prosecutor and the private prosecution (acusación particular) do not accuse a person, the latter cannot be judged, even if the popular prosecution (acusación popular) accuses that person.
 This is in accordance with the so-called “Botin doctrine” (Doctrina Botín) which foresees that, if the public prosecutor and the private prosecution (acusación particular) decide to drop the case i.e not to accuse a certain person, the latter cannot be judged, regardless of whether the popular prosecution (acusación popular) is requesting a prosecution.
 Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía, ‘Un centenar de organizaciones reclaman a los grupos políticos contrarios a las devoluciones en caliente que exijan al Gobierno su cese inmediato’, 19 January 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3kai9tF.
 El Faro de Ceuta, ‘España y Marruecos frenan un nuevo ‘salto a la valla’ en Ceuta y devuelven en caliente, al menos, a un joven subsahariano’, 13 April 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3CnhnRG.
 El Salto Diario, ‘Las organizaciones de DD HH denuncian que el Gobierno está incumpliendo la ley con las expulsiones colectivas de Ceuta’, 19 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3nmUiKq; Al Jazeera, ‘As migrants continue to reach Ceuta, Spanish pushback hardens’, 19 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3DaSVU1; RTVE, ‘Las ONG piden acabar con las devoluciones en caliente de menores en Ceuta y recuerdan que son ilegales’, 19 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3DiSTcF; Asociación Pro derechos Humanos de Anadalucía – APDHA, ‘APDHA exige el cese de las vulneraciones de derechos humanos contra las personas migrantes en Ceuta’, 19 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/31lwqyk.
 European Parliament, Breach of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and the use of minors by the Moroccan authorities in the migratory crisis in Ceuta, 10 June 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/359iJo7.
 Canal Sur, ‘Ceuta acondiciona otro pabellón para atender a los menores llegados desde Marruecos’, 22 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3I9Hkbz; Público, ‘Ceuta levanta otra nave de la vergüenza atestada de cientos de niños marroquíes’, 21 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3Ible8v.
 Reuters, ‘Spain seeks help to relocate children from Ceuta migrant crisis’, 19 May 2021, available at: https://reut.rs/31p69Pv; El País, ‘Las comunidades aceptan el reparto de 200 menores de Ceuta’, 25 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3Dg3MvK.
 El País, ‘España y Marruecos acuerdan el retorno de los más de 700 menores que entraron en Ceuta en mayo’, 13 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3q4gcT5; Atalayar, ‘Llegan a un centro de acogida de Tetuán los primeros menores sacados de Ceuta’, 14 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3q7CpiW.
 Information provided by Save the Children on 11 February 2022.
 Amnistía Internacional, ‘Ceuta: Las devoluciones de menores no acompañados deben pararse inmediatamente mientras no se cumplan las garantías de protección’, 13 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3seG2WY; Cadena Ser, ‘El Defensor del Pueblo pide a Interior el cese de las devoluciones de menores desde Ceuta’, 13 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/33HFejr; El País, ‘El defensor del Pueblo, sobre la devolución de menores a Marruecos: “Hacemos un llamamiento al ministro del Interior para que respete la ley”’, 15 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3e0TXYv; El Diario, ‘La Abogacía exige el cese inmediato de repatriaciones de menores a Marruecos’, 14 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3qnEckj; El Diario, ‘La Unión Progresista de Fiscales publica un comunicado dirigido a Marlaska: “Los derechos de la infancia migrante deben ser respetados”’, 14 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3F8PP4x; Accem, ‘Ceuta: Accem se une a más de 25 ONG para solicitar al Gobierno la suspensión inmediata de repatriaciones de menores no acompañados’, 17 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/32dtvrL.
 El Salto Diario, ‘Fernando Grande-Marlaska | 36 organizaciones piden la dimisión de Marlaska por las devoluciones ilegales de menores en Ceuta’, 20 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3E5Axfx.
 Público, ‘ACNUR no puede asegurar que todas las devoluciones de migrantes en Ceuta hayan sido legales’, 25 June 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3hP5hc7; El Diario, ‘Acnur desmiente a Marlaska y dice tener testimonios de potenciales solicitantes de asilo devueltos “con violencia” en Ceuta’, 25 June 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3hQFZKI.
 Ceuta TV, ‘La Red Española de Inmigración y Ayuda al Refugiado presenta un recurso ante la Audiencia Nacional, por vulneración de derechos fundamentales’, 16 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3qnJUmf.
 El Diario, ‘Las ONG tachan de “sinsentido” el criterio del Gobierno de Ceuta de priorizar el retorno de los menores que se acercan a los 18 años’, August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3rFAnau.
 Save the Children, ‘Ceuta: Save the Children manda a las autoridades una propuesta sobre cómo debe decidirse la solución duradera para cada niño y niña no acompañado’, 27 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3shnhub.
 Information provided by Save the Children on 11 February 2022.
 Save the Children, ‘Ceuta: Save the Children insiste en que casi todos los niños y niñas migrantes entrevistados no quieren regresar a Marruecos y pide que se tengan en cuenta sus vulnerabilidades’, 16 November 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3p8x4bj.
 El Diario, ‘Un juzgado de Ceuta ordena al Gobierno retornar a España a los menores devueltos a Marruecos en agosto’, 17 February 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/352CTjO; Público, ‘La Justicia ordena al Gobierno retornar a varios menores repatriados’, 17 February 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3shppK8.
 Cadena Ser, ‘“¡Huimos de la guerra. No queremos que nos expulsen de España!”. 41 personas llegan a la Isla de Tierra, entre ellas mujeres y niñas’, 21 August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/33YhvLX.
 El Faro de Melilla, ‘Devueltos a Marruecos nueve inmigrantes desde las Chafarinas a pesar de haber pedido asilo’, 3 January 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3rc80k1; El Faro de Melilla, ‘Segunda devolución de inmigrantes desde Chafarinas en lo que va de 2022’, 3 January 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3rhXeJ0 .
 El Diario, ‘Devoluciones exprés de Canarias a Mauritania: Interior ha expulsado a malienses que declararon su intención de pedir asilo’, 31 January 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/ir7o2KQ.
 Europapress, ‘SJM denuncia que España repatría a personas malienses a Mauritania, “devoluciones indirectas” a un país en conflicto’, 24 January 2020, available at: https://cutt.ly/wtqES5g; La Provincia, ‘Las devoluciones indirectas de migrantes a Mali contravienen directrices de la ONU’, 3 February 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/3tqW6Ew.
 El País, ‘Interior expulsa a Mauritania a 22 inmigrantes llegados a Canarias’, 10 November 2020, available at: https://cutt.ly/BhYvHtn; El Salto Diario, ‘España retoma los vuelos de deportación hacia Mauritania’, 5 November 2020′, available at: https://cutt.ly/2hYblTs.
 El País, ‘Interior incrementa la deportación de los marroquíes llegados a Canarias’, 7 December 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2LYQ9w4; El Español, ‘Rabat acepta la devolución de migrantes de Canarias en la negociación con la UE para lograr más visados’, 3 December 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2NfY7Sd.
 El Confidencial, ‘España alcanza un acuerdo con Senegal para repatriar a los migrantes irregulares’, 22 November 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/3IORSMt; El Salto Diario, ‘El plan de España en Senegal: extractivismo para empobrecer pero migración criminalizada’, 10 April 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/32IZ2CC.
 Diario de Avisos, ‘Un macrovuelo recoge hoy en las Islas a decenas de senegaleses para deportarlos’, 10 March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3G8Gb1C; El Día, ‘Interior mantiene las deportaciones a Senegal pese a las revueltas en el país’, 10 March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3HkiuVq; Canarias7, ‘Interior suspende por segunda vez el vuelo de repatriación a Senegal, 10 March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3KR9k53.
 El Diario, ‘El Gobierno activa un plan para “evitar la salida de pateras” a Canarias que incluye el envío de más aviones y buques a los países de tránsito,’ 13 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/395jHS1; El Día, ‘Repatriaciones y más vigilancia, el plan del Estado ante la inmigración, 14 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/35ZGblf; Canarias7, ‘El Gobierno deportará a inmigrantes sin protección internacional y no los derivará a la península’, 13 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2LPqWV9.
 Entre Fronteras, Sindicato de Periodistas de Andalucía (SPA), ‘Informe periodismo y migraciones la cobertura periodística sobre los procesos migratorios en los puertos españoles durante el estado de alarma’, March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3gdkZwJ.
 Consejo General de la Abogacía Española, Fundación Abogacía Española, ‘Asistencia jurídica en llegadas marítimas. Guía práctica para la abogacía’, August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3GLQFoR.
 Abogacía Española, Consejo General, ‘La Subcomisión de Extranjería denuncia la falta de asistencia jurídica a inmigrantes llegados a Canarias’, 11 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/Ph1mmHf; CEAR, ‘CEAR lamenta la “clara indefensión jurídica” de las personas migrantes que llegan a Canarias’, 11 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/Dh1mME9.
 Information provided by the IOM on 4 March 2022.
 Europa Press, ‘Más de 160 ONG reclaman al Gobierno un cambio en las políticas migratorias en Canarias ante las “violaciones de DDHH”, 26 April 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3AYLxLP; Público, ‘La gestión migratoria en Canarias desata el clamor dentro y fuera de las islas contra el bloqueo impuesto por el Gobierno’, 27 April 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3L9RZ7j.
 CEAR, ‘Refugiados y migrantes en España: Los muros invisibles tras la frontera sur’, December 2017, 8.
 Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana, ‘El Gobierno consolida el sistema de respuesta ante accidentes en la mar con el nuevo Plan de Seguridad y Salvamento Marítimo 2021-2024’, 7 December 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/34yvUOW.
 Defensor del Pueblo,’El Defensor del Pueblo recomienda al Ministerio del Interior modificar las instrucciones sobre polizones extranjeros para proteger a posibles solicitantes de asilo’, 28 February 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/EeZQGsA.
 Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía – APDHA, ‘APDHA alerta de que el descenso a la mitad de la migración es a costa de vulnerar los derechos humanos’, 3 February 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/Br1omW1.
 Atalayar, ‘Marruecos redefine su frontera marítima con Mauritania y España e incorpora a sus aguas el mar del Sáhara Occidental’, 20 December 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/Arc3ouC.
 Atalayar, ‘Marruecos y España: causas de las recientes fricciones’, 28 December 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3axCRjU; Atalayar, ‘La embajadora de Marruecos rebaja la tensión y asegura a España que no varía la postura sobre Ceuta y Melilla’, 23 December 2020, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3dqMgvt.
 El Confidencial Digital, ‘Interior recibe el aval para no informar sobre las ayudas a Marruecos contra la inmigración irregular’, 22 January 2021, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3bruWEi.
 ECSaharaui, ‘El Gobierno de Pedro Sánchez regala a Marruecos otros 31 millones de euros en vehículos 4×4’, 5 May 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/YhLac11; El Independiente, ‘España destina a Marruecos 86,8 millones en dos años para financiar el ‘tapón’ de la inmigración ilegal’, 19 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3Ks3A1c; Europa Press, ‘España ha dado más de 90 millones en ayudas a Marruecos en tres años para controlar la inmigración ilegal’, 19 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3nHtkNB.
 ECSaharaui, ‘Covid-19 cambia la ruta de la inmigración ilegal procedente de Marruecos; del estrecho de Gibraltar a Gran Canarias’, 19 July 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/nhLoOE1.
 El Diario, ‘Concentraciones en apoyo al Sáhara Libre: “Han creído que podrían imponer su voluntad sobre un pueblo soberano”’, 24 March 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/35fHO0W; RTVE, ‘Unas 2.000 personas se manifiestan frente a Exteriores contra el giro del Gobierno: “Sánchez, el Sáhara no se vende”’, 26 March 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3iEQAZy.
 La Vanguardia, ‘Los migrantes del Aquarius reclaman regularizarse tres años después de llegar’, 20 June 21, available at: https://bit.ly/3mnKNd8; El Diario, ‘Los migrantes que llegaron a València a bordo del Aquarius reclaman su regularización tres años después’, 20 June 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3qdhICq
 Ibid, 10.
 Europapress, ‘Un total de 22.082 personas han sido atendidas a pie de playa en lo que va de 2018, casi la cifra total de 2017’, 30 July 2018, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2RNdsKL; El Periódico, ‘La inusual llegada de pateras a Málaga obliga a buscar soluciones de emergencia’, 13 November 2018, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/2Rygwed.
 El Diario, ‘El nuevo centro de migrantes del puerto de Málaga dedica 2,3 m² por persona, la mitad que un calabozo para detenidos’, 28 July 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/AeLTIAg.
 Europapress, ‘El PP marca en sus enmiendas como prioritaria la construcción del CATE en Cartagena’, 23 November 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/Lh1Jrep; Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Sur, May 2020, available at: https://cutt.ly/hh1JY2r; La Verdad, ‘La apertura del CATE de Cartagena depende ahora de una prórroga sobre el suelo’, 4 February 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3sr4uUK.
 Ocio Latino, ‘El Gobierno instalará en 2021 reconocimiento facial en sus fronteras y reformas en los CIES’, 31 December 2020, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/rjamzAB; Ministerio del Interior, ‘Acciones en ejecución 2021’, 30 September 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3soEhGu.
 Ibidem, 69.
 APDHA, Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Sur 2019, February 2019, 36-37.
 Ibidem, 65.
 Consejo General de la Abogacía Española, Fundación Abogacía Española, ‘Asistencia jurídica en llegadas marítimas Guía práctica para la abogacía’, August 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/35jB2Yk.
 Ministerio del Interior, ‘Interior obtiene 13,5 millones de euros de la UE para el refuerzo de las capacidades de atención policial a los migrantes’, 16 April 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3vQ9Zib.