The Canary Islands was the fifth autonomous community with the most requests for international protection, registering 2018 requests for 2,079 people, a figure that was distributed almost equally by provinces, due to the exodus of Venezuelan citizens. Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR).
Through a press release CEAR regretted that Spain only resolved 1 out of every 4 asylum applications in 2018, an admission rate well below the main European host countries, recognizing the international protection of 2,895 people, of whom only 575 obtained refugee status, less than 5% of the requests resolved.
Juan Carlos Lorenzo, territorial coordinator of CEAR in the Canary Islands, underlines that the Archipelago "is a border territory, close to Africa and with emotional and historical links with Latin America, a very present perspective in the increase of the requests of international protection experimented in the year 2018 ".
In his opinion, "for people requesting protection, it is essential, on the one hand, to speed up the allocation of temporary shelters in cases where they are necessary, on the other, accelerate the processing of asylum files and thus provide certainty about their nearest future. "
Spain registered a new record with 54,065 asylum-seekers admitted for processing, although this only accounts for 0.1% of the total population, detailed from CEAR, with data available in masquecifras.org, before announcing an increase in the number of pending files to be resolved to 78,710 requests.
"From CEAR we demand measures to solve this jam in the asylum system that has been accumulating in recent years. This situation highlights the need for greater material and human resources to guarantee both access to the procedure and its resolution, "said Estrella Galán, director of CEAR.
By nationalities, Venezuela was again the first country of origin of the applicants with more than 19,000 requests, followed by Colombia (8,650), Syria (2,775) and Honduras (2,410), added the same sources before warning, however, that the Bolivarian country was one of the nationalities with the highest percentage of asylum applications denied, with 30 resolutions favorable and 1,495 rejected.
"We trust that the proposal announced by the Government to grant permission for humanitarian reasons to a large part of these people will be applied, but it should also be applicable to those from other countries that require it," said Galán.
From February 1, 2019, Spain requires the visa of airport transit to Palestinian people, a requirement that prevents them from reaching the Spanish borders since then and request asylum there and that has also been extended since last year to the people of the Gambia and Cameroon.
"At a time when the deaths of people who want to reach our country are counted by hundreds, Spain not only does not enable legal channels, but reduces the chances that people can seek refuge in our country without having to risk their lives and get in the hands of traffickers", said Galán.
In addition, from CEAR they warn especially of the lack of protection that the victims of gangs because, despite the strong increase in requests from countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, only 15 resolutions favorable to people from these 3 countries were counted.
For those responsible for the non-governmental organization, "the Spanish authorities continue to look the other way with regard to gang violence, contradicting the criterion of the National Audience who has repeatedly recognized the acts and threats of these groups as a reason for persecution. "