This statement reflects the government’s commitment to continue moving towards a Spain that makes the European pillar of social rights a reality for all people living in the country. It is about fulfilling the duty to welcome people who arrive seeking refuge and asylum; to facilitate the inclusion and integration of asylum seekers, as well as immigrants who remain among us, ensuring access to quality employment, education, vocational training, social inclusion, equal access to healthcare and other basic services. It is also about preventing xenophobia, racism and other related forms of intolerance that hinder social cohesion and a secure life for all citizens, native and foreign. Intolerance also prevents people who are victims of intolerance from developing their full economic, social and cultural potential, which is necessary for progress and for fostering links between their countries of origin and our own.
Racism and xenophobia are the most frequent causes of discrimination, according to various European and national reports. It is necessary to combat it and to make possible the aspirations of dignity and future of all people, to promote new social realities that are fairer and more equitable, and to eradicate all forms of discrimination so that human rights become an everyday reality for citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed, on the one hand, to the emergence and increase of inequality, worsening the social and economic crisis that already existed and, on the other, to the increase of discriminatory, racist and xenophobic discourse, which is evident in examples such as the criminalisation suffered by the Asian population, who were blamed for the arrival and spread of the virus both in the media and in political discourse. In the framework of the project «Racism and discrimination: human rights under threat», developed by the MULTIHURI team of the Human Rights Institute of the University of Valencia (Spain), it is considered that the situation of migrants has been particularly affected in five areas: 1) social representations; 2) multicultural coexistence; 3) guarantee of rights; 4) working conditions; 5) living and health conditions.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in its annual report on Fundamental Rights 2021 devotes a main chapter to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fundamental rights (in terms of health, education, employment, justice, etc.). It refers to specific groups, including the Roma population, and how they have been affected by the health and social crisis. In particular, it shows how many Roma people were already in a situation of previous vulnerability and have not only experienced a higher risk of infection but have also been more affected by the confinement measures, which, for example, have left many Roma families unemployed and without other means of subsistence. Moreover, during the pandemic, the Roma population has been subjected to discrimination, intolerant attitudes and violation of their fundamental rights.
The motto of the European Union is: «United in diversity». Living up to these words and respecting their meaning requires strong commitments and actions by states, implemented at a structural level, not only through fragmented policies or projects, and converging with the new EU cohesion policy 2021-2027 .
The evolution of society requires a comprehensive and effective response to address the new challenges posed by racist and xenophobic attitudes and manifestations, and to ensure the protection and enjoyment of human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity. Therefore, seven years after the last «Strategic Plan for Citizenship and Integration» (PECI 2011-2014) and a decade since the approval of the «Comprehensive Strategy against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance», it is essential to carry out a new programmatic framework to promote the inclusion of immigrants, applicants and beneficiaries of International Protection, and to prevent and combat xenophobia, racism and other related manifestations of intolerance.
This «Strategic Framework for Citizenship and Inclusion, against Xenophobia and Racism, 2021-2027» (hereafter Strategic Framework) offers a unique holistic scenario for action that places potential victims of discrimination at the centre of the social justice and equality agenda, includes a gender perspective, pays attention to intersectionality and offers coherence across different priority areas of action.
The approach is designed to enable actions to be carried out from a multilevel and multi-stakeholder multilevel and multi-stakeholder governance, so as to combine the efforts of the different administrations (state, autonomous administrations (state, autonomous and local) to establish a set of policies aligned with the respective with the respective competency frameworks, and in addition to those of civil society organizations and other relevant actors, civil society organizations and other relevant actors.
As a result of this review and analysis, seven major policy blocks are proposed, framed within a human rights perspective. within a human right, intersectional and gender perspective, these are: humanitarian care policies and policies for the reception of applicants for International International Protection; active inclusion policies; participation and coexistence policies; policies of reparation and attention to the victims of xenophobia, racism and associated intolerance, and to the victims of and victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. All of them are crossed by a legal-administrative block and by a administrative block and by the block of prevention, awareness-raising and intervention policies against xenophobia, racism and related intolerance, against xenophobia, racism and intolerance.
Administrative proceedings (within the framework of state/autonomous/local competences)
International protection reception system