Throughout this year, Médecins Sans Frontières has been implementing a
medical humanitarian aid project to support a large number of immigrants,
most of them seeking asylum with the Spanish Government, in the
Autonomous Town of Ceuta.
Our organisation has been a firsthand witness to the extremely vulnerable situation these people have to endure, as a result of the inadequate reception conditions. Condition which the Spanish Government should offer within the scope of its responsibilities and powers.
Spain has been among the signatory countries to the Geneva Convention on the Statute of Refugees, and to a whole range of Human Rights Protection-related International Agreements, all of them included in Chapter I of our Constitution. Despite this fact, in some border areas, as is the case in Ceuta, nearly 600 asylum seekers are living without adequate housing, with inadequate food supplies, poor hygienic conditions, and no right to receive formal medical care, whilst being
kept in a state of confinement by Spanish authorities, awaiting a resolution to their asylum applications. This situation also violates the
European Union provision, passed in January 2003, on minimum reception conditions for asylum seekers in any Member State.
These facts are being denounced in our country by well-known and grassroots organisations and institutions, like the People’s Protecting
Officer’s Bureau and the Catholic Church, that has recently issued an official press release, through the Episcopal Conference Secretary-General, urging an immediate, humane and effective solution to this situation.
The Spanish Government has been ignoring the calls uttered by several organisations and institutions like Médecins Sans Frontières to finish with this serious situation, which violates these people’s most basic rights in our country. So far there has been no response to our appeal.
Recently, the UNHCR in Spain has confirmed this situation, and shown their concern, requesting the appropriate measures be adopted to guarantee humane reception conditions for this group of asylum seekers in
The attached document was released in the UNHCR international web page from friday 22nd of November until monday the 24th.
We have many more available information in Spanish regarding this situation, including an extensive report on reception condictions in Ceuta and Melilla. Please do not hesitate contacting us.