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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Franciscans condemn Spain's 'harsh' immigration policies
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 Franciscans International (FI) and eight other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have strongly criticised Spain for its harsh and discriminatory policies against immigrants, and are urging the Spanish government to ratify the United Nations convention on migrant workers. FI-Spain and the other groups listed a string of criticisms and suggestions in a six-page document presented today to the UN Special Rapporteur on Migrant Workers, Gabriela Rodríguez Pizarro. FI-Spain, the Dominican Family, Caritas-Spain, and the other six groups are the only NGOs to meet Ms Rodríguez Pizarro during her 15-26 September fact-finding mission in the country. The NGOs expressed alarm that Spain's policies treat immigrants as second-class citizens and depict them as a threat to society, rather than a valuable resource. They also state concern over the way the government deals with the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women. In one of their strongest criticisms, the NGOs said certain government leaders including the Spanish interior minister have exaggerated the crime rate among immigrants. "We consider this very grave and irresponsible," they said in their report. "The Interior Minister's affirmation that in 2001 immigrants committed 50% of all crimes in Spain is completely false and contradicts the data of his own ministry," the NGOs said. FI-Spain and the other NGOs say that, overall, Spain's immigration policies place barriers to the social integration of foreigners in the country. Source: FI
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