In 2012, Spain received 2.580 asylum applications, the lowest figure since asylum applications started to be registered in 1988, the Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR) shows in a new report.

In the same year, only 220 persons were recognised as refugees and 289 were granted subsidiary protection, amounting for 9.2% and 12.1% of the decisions taken respectively.

According to CEAR, the decrease in the number of applications is particularly alarming in the Northern African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, where applications have gone down from 505 to 184 and from 42 to 33 respectively. This is due to enhanced border control in cooperation with Morocco and Algeria, to the failure to provide information on the possibility to apply for asylum to migrants entering Ceuta and Melilla irregularly, and due to the travel prohibition to mainland Spain imposed on asylum seekers who file their applications there.

Furthermore, applications made from detention and at border posts were particularly low in 2012; 160 claimed asylum from detention and 402 lodged an application for protection at the border. According to CEAR, this is due to obstacles to reach the Spanish territory and to access asylum procedures and an over emphasis on expulsions and returns. The report also points out that the accelerated procedure which is applied to asylum claims made from borders or from detention results in more than half of the claims submitted at the border or from detention being declared inadmissible, as opposed to only 5% of those presented in the territory.

The European Commission’s 4th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum points out that of the 316,060 persons refused entry to the EU in 2012, 63% were refused in Spain.

The report also briefly analyses the situation of refugees worldwide and in Europe as well as touching on issues such as integration and access to the labour market.



This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 21 June 2013
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