Legal guarantees that aren’t just empty words

The Migrantes con Derechos (Migrants with Rights) network warns that people are being immediaetly sent back to Morocco after the latest jumping of the fence in Melilla.

Considering the latest jump of the fence in Melilla by hundreds of immigrants, with one person dead and a new dashed dream that should have been avoided, the Migrantes con Derechos network wants, firstly, to express it’s pain and helplessness at this new loss of human life on our borders. The fences continue to be a sign of violation of rights, synonymous with tragedy and frustration, the walls where our society’s incapacity to transform the migration drama into an opportunity for refuge, meeting and hospitality crashes down.

Secondly, and with the news of the immediate deportation to Morocco of at least fifty of these people in the last few hours, the entities of the Church which we at Migrantes con Derechos participate in – and that is present in the Diocese of Málaga through the Delegación de Migraciones (Delegation of Migrations) in Málaga and Melilla, the Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (Jesuit Service to Migrants), the Hermanas Apostólicas-Santo Ángel (Santo Angél Apostolic Sisters) and Cáritas Málaga – we insist that, in this case, too, the following guarantees of any deportation process are met:

  • Identification of each person, establishing the necessary mecahnisms for detecting the presence of minors among newcomers.
    • Verification of their personal circumstances, such as causes of vulnerability, state of health etc.
    • Information, in a language that newcomers can understand, on the possibility of and procedure for requesting international protection, as well as on the possible deportation procedure and the available remedies against it.

    We recall again that these basic guarantees require time and resources, as they entail the provision of interpreters, legal assistance (with sufficient time to see to and understand the situation of each individual), and effective remedies against the decision to send them back.

    We also warn that the deportation of these people to Morocco with the level of urgency that seems to be confirmed would be in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as has been pointed out by the Commissioner for Human Rights to the Committee for the Prevention of Tortue.

    Speed does not always mean efficiency when the lives and futures of people who, in most cases, bring with them the traumatic experience of a long migratory transit, are at stake. Legal guarantees are also a requirement of a democratic and inclusive society which we cannot forego and which we must reinforce, especially at a time when we can hear voices trying to place the most vulnerable human beings outside the law.



‘This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Phoebe Thomas’