Spain/France: In-depth reports on the situation in detention centres for foreigners

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Cimade and CEAR, two organisations, respectively French and Spanish, that work to support the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, have produced wide-ranging, comprehensive reports on the situation in the two countries' detention centres for foreigners, that are named centres de rétention administrative (CRAs) in France, and centros de internamiento de extranjeros (CIEs) in Spain.

The Cimade report provides a wealth of material, statistics and analysis ranging from objective data, applicable regulations and legislative measures and orders approved over the year, as well as including the eye-witness and professional testimonies of Cimade members who are active in the assistance of migrants within the centres and facilities, and accounts of incidents such as revolts, hunger strikes and the problems that migrants in the centres experience. The viewpoints presented are from official sources, staff working in the centres, volunteers supporting the migrants through legal and psychological work, and the detainees themselves.

The CEAR report published in December 2009 on conditions of detention in CIEs focussed on those in Aluche (Madrid), Malaga (named Los Capuchinos) and Valencia (Zapadores). The sources used include interviews with the centres' directors and/or security chiefs, staff, in-depth interviews with detainees, interviews to ascertain or confirm fact about relevant events, visits by the team's members to the CIEs, and the monitoring of practices to verify the way in which the centres effectively operate. External sources such as official documents and press reports were also used, alongside analysis of the CIEs' legal framework, profiles of the people detained therein, the situation of refugees and asylum seekers, legal and judicial aspects, conditions within the centres, the medical care provided, the possibility of communicating with the outside world, the treatment of detainees with a special emphasis on cases and allegations of ill-treatment, special care provided to members of vulnerable groups, the impact of detention on detainees physical and mental health, and how detainees respond to the situation that they experience in the centres.


Situación de los centro de internamiento para extranjeros en España. Informe Técnico realizado por la Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR) en el marco del proyecto europeo DEVAS, dir. Pau Pérez-Sales, December 2009 (pdf, 246 pages, in Spanish)

Centres et locaux de rétention administrative. Rapport 2008. La Cimade, Service œcuménique d'entraide (pdf, 418 pages, in French)

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