Spain: Denouncing refugee detention conditions

Two programs in Barcelona and Madrid - including a mobile primary care and needle exchange outreach project for drug addicts in Barcelona, and psychological support and tuberculosis (TB) treatment for immigrants in Madrid - were completed and evaluated in early 2002.

Several new programs are set to begin in late 2002, including public health follow-up to the TB project and research on future needs in Madrid, and a new intervention in Ceuta, a Spanish department on the north coast of Morocco (see page 16). MSF has been studying the situation of unaccompanied, undocumented children in need of protection in Ceuta.

Some of society's most vulnerable continue to be those without legal status. In January 2002, MSF drew attention to the plight of detainees at Fuerteventura airport in the Canary Islands, where undocumented immigrants, most from Africa, were being held. Around 500 people were living in less than 2,000m2 with only two showers and three toilets.

With no ventilation, minimal water and sanitation facilities and inadequate medical care, the old airport was clearly unsuitable even as temporary housing. MSF denounced the situation and called on the authorities to find an appropriate solution. By May 2002, some female detainees had been moved to a new detention center, but many people remain.

MSF has carried out programs in Spain since 1994.

Paid staff: 27
Volunteers: 15