Spain: Crackdown in Morocco pushes people to take more dangerous journeys to the Canary Islands


200 people are camping in a port "with no shower or adequte sanitary conditions" on the island of Gran Canaria, as the number of people arriving on the Canary Islands by small boats reaches its highest level for over a decade following a crackdown on other routes to Spanish territory.

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"Migrants arriving in Spain’s Canary Islands are at their highest level in over a decade. On Gran Canaria, reception centers are full and over 200 people have been forced to camp on the dockside.

A boat carrying 32 people arrived at dawn on Thursday at the port of Orzola in the north of the island of Lanzarote. Local news reports said there were 17 men, 12 children and three women on board.

The Canary Island Emergency Service (SUC) and the Red Cross provided assistance to the migrants, all of whom were reportedly in good health.


Overall the number of migrants arriving in Spain by sea this year is down by 22% on 2019, the latest UN figures show. But arrivals to the Canaries have surged to over 4,000.


CEAR also called for urgent action to help those sleeping on the asphalt of the Arguineguin dock, which it described as a warehouse with no shower or adequate sanitary conditions."

Source: Surge in migrants reaching Canary Islands (InfoMigrants, link)

A previous report by InfoMigrants stated:

"Heightened security in the Mediterranean is pushing more migrants seeking a better life in Europe to try the longer - and more dangerous - Atlantic crossing to Spain's Canary Islands, which have seen a surge in arrivals.

Use of the route "exploded" after Morocco began moving migrants away from its northern shore in September 2019 to prevent them from setting off by boat to southern Spain, Txema Santana, of the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR), said.

The move followed an agreement with the European Union, which has struck similar deals with other nations, such as Libya and Turkey, that have long served as launch pads for attempted crossings of the Mediterranean to Europe."

See: Migrants return to dangerous Canary Islands route (InfoMigrants, link)

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