There is an urgent need for a change of course in European migration policy, based on expulsions and the externalisation of borders, which has turned the Canary Islands and other island or outermost territories into large detention zones as laboratories for these strategies.
While thousands of people risk their lives at sea in the absence of legal and safe ways, Europe offers them this type of response. Last year, at least 850 people died in the attempt and many of those who survived were left isolated.
These migration containment policies are part of the problem, not the solution. For this reason, CEAR calls for a fair and courageous migration policy, with a mechanism of shared responsibility between member states, with mandatory relocation quotas, and which puts people and human rights at the centre”.
Manage the migration challenge in the Canaries with planned migration policies, which are coordinated with regional and local institutions, civil society and the public and which have a focus on human rights, rather than relying on emergency reactive policies.
Provide a stable framework for dignified humanitarian reception of migrants which, in addition to covering basic needs, develops processes for full and inclusive care and attention.
Activate mechanisms for territorial solidarity, ensuring a fair and equitable redistribution of people across the Autonomous Communities.
Guarantee a flexible, transparent and well organised policy for the movement of those arriving into the Canaries from the Islands to the Peninsula, which does not discriminate on the basis of nationality and which prioritizes the most vulnerable, in order to prevent the Canaries from becoming huge migrant retention camps. Freedom of movement should not be limited as a deterrent to prevent people from arriving.
Protect the best interests of the more than 2,500 children who have arrived in the Canaries, providing them with care and guardianship by the Autonomous Communities on the basis of territorial solidarity.
Respect the maximum legal period for detention of 72 hours, independently of Covid protocols in place. What happened in Arguineguín and in Barranco Seco cannot happen again.
Guarantee individualized legal attention, translation and interpretation, access to effective legal assistance and guarantee access to the international protection procedure, establishing a flexible mechanism for the detection of the most vulnerable people, especially children, who should be urgently referred to specialist resources.
Launch information and awareness campaigns to eradicate hate speech and prevent the spread of racist and xenophobic falsities or other actions against migrants
Promote and develop policies for coexistence, integration and the fight against discrimination at the regional, local and municipal levels, with a community focus and in close collaboration with citizens.
Urge the European Commission and other EU Member States to offer relocation places outside of Spain in order to apply the principle of European solidarity.
Guarantee that operations carried out by FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, are undertaken within the framework of fundamental rights.
Develop mechanisms for safe, orderly and regular migration in accordance with the Global Compact for Migration signed by the Spanish State.
“This is like being in prison”.
“My children are not well - I had to flee my country so that I would not be killed and the only thing I want is to be able to help them, but I cannot do so here”.
“Now that I know that I am going to the Peninsula it is like the prison doors have been opened and I can see light again”.
“Why do they leave us here locked up, instead of letting us go to the Peninsula where we have people who can help us?”.