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The UN's special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, considers that Spain's actions of "hot returns" of migrants to Ceuta and Melilla and their "grave impact on human rights" to be "very concerning". In a report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on June 23rd, González Morales questions the "barriers placed by Spain to accessing asylum in practice" through what it sees as the "creation of areas of exception" in border territories like Ceuta, where areas near the frontier are treated as not fully part of Spanish territory, and migrants who enter them "can thus be pushed back".

The UN rapporteur also warns of "discrimination" against migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, referring to reports that they are not allowed to leave Morocco "because of their appearance". “In practice they have no access to Spain,” the report says. González Morales concludes that these types of "pushback" policies "manifest a deep-rooted prejudice against migrants, which translates into discriminatory treatment" and his report demands that governments put an end to this practice and respect the rights of migrants and refugees. 




The rapporteur quotes Spain's behaviour as an example of "the growing practive of externalizing border governance measures, including by physically keeping arriving migrants, including registered asylum seekers, away from State territory". The process may include "delegating migration-related border governance and entry procedures to cooperating States". As well as Spain, González Morales cites example in migrant policies of Australia and the United States.

European Parliament condemns Morocco

On the other hand, this Thursday, the European Parliament has strongly rebuked Morocco for its actions in its contention with Spain arising from its admission of Brahim Gali, leader of the Western Sahara independence group Polisario Front, which ended up triggering this migration crisis. The majority of parliamentary groups voted in favour of a resolution condemning "the use of border controls, migration and unaccompanied minors" as "political pressure" against a European country, referring to Spain.

The pressure from Morocco led all the Spanish parties to condemn their southern neighbour's actions, although with some differences. For example, former Popular Party minister and MEP Juan Ignacio Zoido expressed his "absolute refusal" on the use of child migration to pressure a member state, but blamed the Spanish government for mishandling the case of the Polisario Front leader.

Vox and Unidas Podemos also criticized Rabat, but from opposite perspectives. While the extreme-right deputy Jorge Buxadé called for the total closure of borders, Podemos MEP Miguel Urbán criticized the outsourcing of border management to authoritarian regimes such as that of Morocco.


Main image, minors who crossed the border to Ceuta in May / Europa Press.