The Spanish Ombudsman makes six recommendations aimed at improving social, judicial and cultural assistance of the internment facilities for foreigners

The Spanish Ombudsman makes six recommendations aimed at improving social, judicial and cultural assistance of the internment facilities for foreigners


On the International Migrants Day, the Spanish Ombudsman, Francisco Fernández Marugán, has reaffirmed the Institution’s commitment to the protection of the rights of foreigners.

Fernández Marugán has made six recommendations to the General Department of Alien Affairs and Borders in order to improve the social, judicial and social assistance that is provided in the internment facilities for foreigners (CIEs).

Following the detection of multiple gaps when visiting the facilities, the Institution started an action that has resulted in these recommendations. The CIE Regulation indicated the necessity of a profound reform in these centres, which the Ombudsman has not seen concerning social, judicial and cultural assistance.

Therefore, the Institution has recommended to establish  a number of common guidelines for the management of the social, judicial and cultural assistance in every CIE, that will be coordinated from the General Department of Alien Affairs and Borders.  It has also urgently recommended the supply of furniture in leisure areas at all internment facilities, together with a budget line for its maintenance and replacement when necessary.

Moreover, the Ombudsman considers that the public subsidy terms through which the social and cultural assistance services are outsourced must be examined, in view of the substantial gaps that have been detected during the visits of the Institution’s staff.

The Ombudsman has requested the issuing of instructions aimed at applying the right of interns to contact NGOs in every CIE, along with the right of these organizations to visit the facilities and conduct interviews.

Finally, the Institution wishes the promotion of conventions with bar associations for the provision of a judicial orientation service in those internment facilities where it has not been provided yet.

Healthcare Action Protocol

Furthermore, the Institution has recently recommended the State Security Secretary preparing a healthcare action protocol aimed at taking care of the people who arrive to the Spanish coastline in illegal vessels.

The interventions that have been conducted expose that there is no guarantee that the CIE medical services have a documented knowledge of the healthcare assistance that foreigners receive following their rescue. For the Institution, this translates into a health risk for the people affected by a disease and could lead to dangerous situations for public health.

In 2012, the Ombudsman also recommended creating measures in order to coordinate healthcare attention for the foreigners who are transferred from a CETI to a CIE, aimed at knowing the medical history of the intern since his or her arrival to the country, and the prescribed treatments by the CETI medical services. This recommendation was approved and nowadays this information is being transferred to the CIE medical services by the workers who accompany foreigners during their relocations.




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