ISSN 2330-717X

Spain To Double Amount For Spanish Red Cross Internment Centers For Foreign Citizens

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Spain’s Ministry for Home Affairs will give 823,500 euros to the Spanish Red Cross in 2016 – twice the amount provided in 2015 – for the development of social and humanitarian care programs at Internment Centers for Foreign Nationals, which will enable this institution to expand the services it provides to the Internment Centers for Foreign Nationals in Valencia, Murcia and Algeciras, as well as those in Madrid and Barcelona.

This measure by the Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs, which will be launched next year, forms part of the initiatives adopted by this ministerial department that also include an agreement signed on Thursday by the Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, and the President of the Spanish Red Cross, Javier Senent, to also provide social and humanitarian assistance at the Internment Centers for Foreign Nationals in Madrid and Barcelona. The financial aid to be provided under the agreement amounts to 400,000 in 2015.

An agreement was signed at the headquarters of the Ministry for Home Affairs that observes the rights of those people admitted to the Internment Centers for Foreign Nationals to receive social and humanitarian assistance, both from the services provided by the centre itself (managed under the Ministry for Home Affairs) and from the public or private, governmental or non-governmental, national or international immigrant protection organizations.

The following actions will be funded with the 400,000 euros being given to the Spanish Red Cross by the government:

  • Support for all those admitted, especially language interpretation, relations with family members overseas and the processing of documents
  • Liaison between families in Spain and the countries of origin
  • Social mediation, fostering dialogue and mutual understanding between those admitted and the authorities to prevent or reduce possible conflicts
  • Provision of information on the requirements for requesting international protection, as appropriate
  • Acting as a partner on efforts to plan and develop all sorts of activities at the centers

According to the Spanish government, besides demonstrating the commitment from the Ministry for Home Affairs to the people admitted to the Internment Centers for Foreign Nationals, this agreement seeks to provide an urgent, suitable and effective response to the growing needs from the people admitted to these centers.

Of the 400,000 euros being given for 2015, 188,000 euros have been allocated to the Internment Center for Foreign Nationals in Madrid. The same amount has been allocated to the Internment Center for Foreign Nationals in Barcelona and 24,000 euros have been allocated to oversight activities.

An oversight committee will be set up to supervise this agreement on the provision of social and humanitarian assistance at Internment Centers for Foreign Nationals. It will be equally formed by two representatives from each one of the signatories and will meet on a regular basis to review progress, resolve potential difficulties and, in general, propose and agree – as appropriate – any measures capable of ensuring the best possible development of the activities defined in the agreement to meet the corresponding objectives.

The agreement highlights that the admittance of foreign citizens to the Internment Centers for Foreign Nationals, which are not penitentiary in nature, must always take place in an orderly fashion and under judicial control. Their function and purpose is to guarantee the effective nature of both the processing and implementation of expulsion and return measures that may be applied to those admitted, considering the admittance thereof throughout their time at the center as an interim or provisional measure.

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