Special procedural guarantees

Spain

Country Report: Special procedural guarantees Last updated: 25/03/21

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The law does not foresee specific procedural guarantees for vulnerable asylum seekers, except for the special rule on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who are entitled to have their application examined through an urgent procedure, which halves the duration of the whole process. As explained in Regular Procedure: Fast-Track Processing, the urgent procedure reduces time limits for the whole asylum process from 6 months to 3. Beyond this, the existing protocols on unaccompanied children and victims of trafficking do not imply special guarantees.

The OAR states that its staff is trained on European Asylum Support Office (EASO) modules but that there are no specialised units dealing with cases from vulnerable groups.[1] In his 2016 report, the Spanish Ombudsman urged for indispensable training of caseworkers, prior to the beginning of their work, regarding interviewing techniques, techniques for an effective credibility assessment and dealing with cases on LGBTI persons or gender-related issues.[2] The OAR still did not have caseworkers specialised in gender violence as of 2020.

A report published by Accem in 2019 on LGTBI+ asylum seekers investigates how their credibility is assessed during the international protection procedure. The publication underlines that the adoption of common guidance on the criteria to follow while assessing credibility during the asylum procedure represents an important measure in order to reduce and avoid discriminatory, unequal or prejudicial elements during such an assessment.[3]

Several concerns regarding the measures and provisions regarding identification, age assessment and protection of unaccompanied children are discussed in Identification.

Although the Asylum Act does not foresee the exemption of persons with special needs from the Border Procedure, in practice the OAR makes exceptions for applicants such as pregnant women or persons requiring medical assistance, who are admitted to the territory.[4] This was still the case in 2020.

[1] Information provided by OAR, 20 August 2017.

[2] Ombudsman, El asilo en España: La protección internacional y los recursos del sistema de acogida, June 2016, available in Spanish at: http://bit.ly/2n88SpE.

[3] Accem, ‘Condiciones sociales y legales de las personas solicitantes de protección internacional y refugiadas LGTBI en España’, December 2019, available in Spanish at: https://cutt.ly/OtUGbah.

[4] Information provided by OAR, 20 August 2017.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation