Migrants: Ombudsman, Spain's hosting program inadequate

Proposal for protocol to improve assistance

16 February, 13:19

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, FEBRUARY 16 - Spain's human rights ombudsman on Friday urged Spain to change its protocol of intervention to improve the assistance it provides to undocumented migrants who reach the country.

    Addressing a mixed commission of the Congress and the Senate, the 'Defender of the People' Francisco Fernandez Marugan, slammed Spain's handling of illegal immigration as ''inefficient, insufficient and cruel on too many occasions''.

    ''Spain must be prepared to ensure that these people return to their country of origin in dignified conditions, guaranteeing their safety'', Marugan was quoted as saying by El Pais.

    After visits carried out in temporary migrant hosting centers in Algesiras, Malaga, Motril, Almeria, Cartagena and Murcia, the ombudsman spoke about ''inadequate conditions'' when foreigners are first hosted and in the assistance provided to them, reporting the presence of ''mothers with children in cells, unaccompanied minors and men sleeping on the floor''.

    It proposed a protocol of intervention with adequate structures, specialized personnel, the presence of representatives of international organizations and civil society. In order to confront in a more effective way ''an ever-changing reality'', Francisco Fernandez Marugan suggested to form teams that can be immediately dispatched to handle situations on the ground, identifying those who are especially vulnerable''.

    (ANSAmed).

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