NGO says migrant rights violated by Spain, Morocco

Andalucía Human Rights Association says Spain, Morocco work in tandem to violate migrant rights. Image: APDHA
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A non-governmental organization working to defend migrant rights in Spain says the reduction of some 50 percent in the flow of immigration from North Africa has been accomplished largely through the violation of the rights of migrants and refugees by the governments of Spain and Morocco, working in tandem.

In Cádiz on Monday, the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA, Andalucía Human Rights Association) issued its 2019 annual survey of the situation of human rights on Spain’s southern border, charging the Spanish government with the “strengthening of policies that seriously violate human rights” in order to effect a near-50-percent reduction last year in the number of migrants who arrive to Spain by boat from Morocco.

According to the APDHA, while there has been a marked year-on-year decrease in the number of migrants who arrived by boat from Morocco last year, the reduction was achieved by “the outsourcing of repression to Morocco and the deployment of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex” to stop the migrants at sea.

► News Sources: Europa Press, Público and Ceuta al Día …

Specifically, the NGO said that Spain and the European Union are paying Morocco to keep sub-Saharan migrants confined to the southernmost areas of Morocco and away from the coastline, where they can put to sea with the help of migrant traffickers to attempt to cross the Mediterranean by boat to reach Spain.

Last year, 33,261 migrants arrived illegally to Spain by boat across the Mediterranean, just slightly more than half the 64,120 arrivals in 2018, which was a record year for arrivals of undocumented “boat people” to Spain from North Africa.

Moroccan government officials make no bones about the support they have given Spain to slow the flow of undocumented migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing to the Spanish coastline.

In an interview with the French news agency AFP this week, the Moroccan government’s chief of borders and immigration, Khalid Zerouali, said that last year Morocco stopped an estimated 74,000 attempts by undocumented migrants to reach Spain from Morocco and managed to “reduce by 60 percent the arrivals to the Spanish coast.”

► Click to read more news about Immigration & Refugees in Spain …

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