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Analyzing the Spanish reception system

A report called "Welcome without integrating?” has been released on February 15th. This report has been prepared by three Jesuit institutions: Chair in Forced Migrants and Refugees (IUEM) of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, the Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute of the University of Deusto and the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM)

Its goal is to highlight the integration conditions of refugees in Spanish society and the role that the Shelter System plays in this. In 2016 the number of asylum applications from people from conflict zones in the Middle East, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa tripled. However, Spain only welcomed 1.29% of all refugees entering the EU between 2007 and 2016. A proportion very far from its economic and political importance.

Thus, in 2014 the applicants were 5,952 and in 2016 already 16,554. This increase severely tensed Spain's international protection system, provoking a crisis since the end of 2014. This generated a lack of protection for many applicants who chose to continue on their way to Northern Europe. The Spanish administration faced the crisis with some measures, such as the increase in vacancies (from 930 in 2015 to 4,300 in January 2017) but with no stable framework. The welcoming system is unable to overcome the integration difficulties that refugees face in Spanish society.

The report focuses on these problems that asylum seekers face when integrating into our society. For example, access to the labor market. 20% of refugees have university studies but their employment is precarious. The report proposes 17 measures to facilitate the integration of refugees into Spanish society. These are some of them:

  • Reforming the distribution system during the reception phase.
  • Flexibilizing the system according to the needs of integration, supporting people in the processes of transition between the stages of reception, autonomy and full social integration.
  • Protecting the education of the refugee population by facilitating the homologation of degrees and creating a scholarship fund for studies and specific maintenance, which, in addition to public funding, can be funded by private funds.
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