Spain: Highest ever number of dinghy deaths in 2004
- report by the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía
A report on illegal immigration in 2004 published by the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), provides an in-depth review of the tragedy of would-be migrants dying as they attempt to cross the border into Spain - either by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Morocco to reach Andalusia, by crossing the stretch of Atlantic Ocean separating the Canary Islands from the north-western coast of Africa, or by trying to enter the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast.
Its monitoring work shows that 2004 has been the year when the highest number of deaths (289) has been recorded. The report also provides an eight-year overview of this phenomenon, questions the growing expenditure that is being allocated to the extension of the hi-tech border surveillance system that has been established in parts of the Andalusian and Canary Island coasts, examines the high number of deaths that have taken place during Guardia Civil sea rescue operations and details some of the human rights violations that are being suffered by detained immigrants. Other aspects that come under scrutiny in the report are the repatriation of immigrant minors, the implications for human rights in Morocco of calls by EU institutions and Spanish governments for the country to toughen its activities to control migration, and the need for a radical shift in Spain's closed border immigration policy, which is deemed to be responsible for the ongoing tragedy.
Full report by the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (unofficial translation by Statewatch, pdf)
APDHA website: http://www.apdha.org
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