Migration to Spain from north Africa increasing this year. | Archive

According to Rafael Lara, spokesperson for the NGO Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos Andalucía, Spain is facing "quite a difficult" year because of changes in migratory routes from north Africa. Less movement is expected from Libya and more from Morocco. Lara explains that factors which caused migration to increase last year are still present and that is only likely to increase further.

The Spanish interior ministry says that so far this year the arrival of immigrants by sea has gone up by 45%, with 2,828 people having arrived by boat on the Mediterranean coasts and in the Balearics, Canaries, Ceuta and Melilla.

In 2017, Lara points out, there was a trebling in the number of migrants. This was despite the fact that the Italian navy had some success in closing routes from Libya. Morocco started to become more important because of wretched conditions in Libya, which were deterring people from passing through that country. In Morocco itself, he notes, there is an "economic, social and political crisis" that is forcing people to emigrate. In addition, Morocco has loosened tight border and coastal controls.

Lara criticises the failure of policies on migration which try to stem migratory flows. There needs to be a serious analysis of the situation because policies are "causing many deaths and a lot of suffering".