• Spanish authorities summarily expel migrants to Morocco from the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, sometimes employing excessive force. Police fired rubber bullets at migrants trying to reach Ceuta by sea in February. At least 15 drowned. The government adopted limited reforms to block some evictions on defaulted mortgages, improve safeguards in court cases involving foreclosures and mortgage debt, and allow for debt forgiveness, with advocates arguing for broader measures. The government announced a contentious draft law to restrict access to abortion only in cases of rape and when the woman’s physical or mental health is at risk, and another to restrict spontaneous public assemblies through steep fines. Congress adopted reforms restricting prosecutions for crimes against humanity under universal jurisdiction.

  • European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. © Reuters 2012
    Amid economic crisis and much contested austerity measures in many member states, discrimination, racism, and homophobia remained serious problems in European Union member states.  Roma, migrants, and asylum seekers are particularly marginalized. The Council of the European Union acknowledged for the first time that more is needed to ensure human rights violations within EU borders are adequately addressed, with an ongoing policy debate focused on improving responses to rule of law crises. Meanwhile, abusive practices around the EU continued without adequate action by EU institutions and member states.

Reports

  • Impact of Spain’s Housing Crisis on Vulnerable Groups
  • No End to Unaccompanied Migrant Children’s Institutionalization in Canary Islands Emergency Centers
  • Spain’s Push to Repatriate Unaccompanied Children in the Absence of Safeguards

Spain

  • Nov 24, 2014
    The Spanish Congress should amend a deeply flawed public security bill that would curb spontaneous protest and formalize abusive expulsions of asylum seekers. The congressional committee on home affairs is due to adopt the bill on November 25, 2014, after which the bill will go the plenary for debate and vote in the coming days.
  • Nov 6, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to express their grave concern in relation to proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would formalize the documented practice of summary expulsions to Morocco from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa. These practices and the proposed amendment violate not only Spain’s obligations under international human rights law but also European Union law, in particular the Asylum Procedures Directive, the Schengen Borders Code, the Return Directive, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
  • Nov 4, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to vote against proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of European and international human rights law.
  • Nov 4, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to withdraw proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of European and international human rights law.
  • Oct 30, 2014
    The Spanish government should immediately drop its plans to provide a legal basis for summary returns from its enclaves in North Africa, 13 human rights groups said today.
  • Oct 30, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to use your mandate to make an urgent appeal to the Spanish government to withdraw proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of EU and international human rights law.
  • Oct 30, 2014
    The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to use your mandate to make an urgent appeal to the Spanish government to withdraw proposed changes to Spanish immigration law that would facilitate summary returns from Spain’s enclaves in North Africa in violation of European and international human rights law.
  • Oct 21, 2014
    Spanish authorities should investigate the beating and pushback of a man by Guardia Civil officers in Melilla on October 15, 2014.
  • Sep 24, 2014
  • Sep 16, 2014