A. Executive Summary
The Kingdom of Spain, located at the crossroad of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Europe and Africa, is a key political, cultural, and migratory bridge across five continents. Thus, it is one of the main countries affected by migration movements. Its modern history was marked by the 1936-1939 civil war and four decades of dictatorship. In 1975, Spain made the transition to parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. It has been a member of the European Union since January 1, 1986 and of the Schengen area since March 25, 1995.
Spain is a destination and transit country for international migrations. As of 2022, there were 5,417,883 migrants living in the country, accounting for 11.42% of the total population. Their leading countries of origin were Morocco, Romania, Colombia, the UK, Italy, and China. The Western African Route is one of the deadliest migration routes in the world, used by migrants coming from Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, and Algeria to enter Spain through the Canary Islands. The Western Mediterranean Route is also used to enter Spain through the Gibraltar Strait or by land into the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla. As of 2018, this became the most common way to enter Europe, but over the years its usage has been decreasing. Moreover, in 2021, 380,786 people emigrated from Spain to Romania, the United Kingdom, Morocco, France, and Colombia. Most of them were immigrants returning to their country of origin. Many young people have also emigrated in search of better-remunerated jobs abroad, although the net migration rate is still positive.
Internal migration is an important phenomenon in Spain, mostly involving migratory flows into the capital city, Madrid. Regarding Internally displaced persons (IPDs), in 2021 13,672 forced displacements were recorded in Spain, mainly due to volcanic activity, floods, and wildfires. For instance, the eruption of the Palma’s volcano caused the displacement of approximately 7,000 people.
Spain officially introduced the euro currency in 1999. The most important sectors of the economy are public administration, defence, education, human health and social work services (20.5%), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (19.7%), and industry (16.1%). In 2021, Spain’s GDP amounted to US$ 1,427,380,680, experiencing an annual growth rate of 5.5%, compared to -11.3% in the previous year, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the same year, the inflation rate on consumer prices was 3.1% of the GDP. Furthermore, foreign direct investment accounted for 3.1% of the GDP, and unemployment represented 14.8% of the total labour force.
B. Country Profile
I. Basic Information
Spain is a southwestern European country occupying 85% of the Iberian Peninsula. It borders Portugal to the west, France, Gibraltar, the Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean Sea, and the North Atlantic Ocean. Most of the territory is covered by highlands, divided by the Cordillera Central mountains. It is administratively divided into 8,131 municipalities, 52 provinces, 17 autonomous communities, and two autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla).
Its territory extends for 505,944 sq. km, and its population is 47,615,034. Madrid is the capital and largest city. Castilian is the official language. However, there are other official languages in their respective autonomous communities: Catalan in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, Valenciano in Valencia, Euskara in the Basque Country and Basque-speaking areas of Navarra, and Gallego in Galicia. Although there is no official religion, about 60% of the population is Catholic, followed by atheists (15%) and agnostic (12%). Concerning the ethnic distribution, Spanish represent around 85% of the whole population, followed by Moroccan and Romanian. Other minor groups include British, Chinese, Italian, and Latin American nationals.
II. International and Internal Migration
According to the Kingdom of Spain’s official statistics, as of January 2022, there were 5,417,883 migrants residing in Spain, amounting to 11.42% of the country’s population. In addition, there were 2,546,563 people (5.37% of the population) that were foreign-born but later on became Spanish citizens. According to the same source, 530,401 migrants came into the country in 2021, with a positive migratory balance of 148,677 people. The volume of the country’s migrant stock sharply increased around the beginning of the 21st century and then balanced itself off (and even at some point decreased) as a consequence of the 2008 financial crisis. In 1998, immigrants were 637,085 (1.58% of the country’s population of the time); 2,664,168 in 2003 (6.31% of the population); 5,268,762 in 2008 (11.47% of the population); 5,546,238 in 2013 (11.7% of the population); and 4,734,791 in 2018 (10.12% of the population).
As of 2022, the primary countries of origin of migrants living in Spain were Morocco (883,243 people, 16.3% of the stock, and 1.86% of the country’s population), Romania (627,478 people, 11.58% of the population, and 1.32% of the country’s population), Colombia (314,679 people, 5.81% of the stock), the UK (293,171 people, 5.41% of the stock), Italy (275,564 people, 5.09% of the stock), and China (223,999 people, 4.13% of the stock).
There are two main migration routes to access Spain, and both of them come from Africa. As of 2022, the most used seems to be the Western African Route. It passes over different West and North African countries leading into the coast of Morocco by land, and from there it crosses by sea into the Canary Islands, thus accessing Spanish soil. This is also the most dangerous way to get to Spain, and one of the deadliest migration routes in the world. Nevertheless, in 2022 it witnessed a 116% increase in its usage in comparison to 2021. Migrants using this route come from and/or go across countries like Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, and Algeria. The other one is the Western Mediterranean Route, originating from roughly the same area and specific nations like the other one, but reaching Spain by sea through the Gibraltar Strait or by land into the North African Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla. As of 2018, this route became the most common way to enter Europe, but lately its usage has been decreasing considerably.
As of 2022, migrant workers made up 12.73% of the Kingdom of Spain’s workforce. Among the different economic sectors, migrants were noticeably overrepresented in agriculture (24.38%) and construction (20.64%). Conversely, they were underrepresented in manufacturing (8.72%). Their presence in the labour market was basically equal to that of the overall workforce (12.18%).
Some problems or abusive situations migrants have been facing in Spain include labour exploitation and inhumane working and living conditions, especially in the agriculture sector, in places like Huelva or Almeria (including denial of the due protections they were entitled to during the COVID-19 pandemic); mistreatment in the borders while trying to access the country; poverty and economic, social, and spatial segregation.
The internal migration movement has played a central role in Spanish society. According to the country’s official statistics, in 2021, the main community receiving more internal migrants was the city of Madrid, with a positive internal migratory balance of over 16,000 people. Other net-receiving autonomous communities were Catalonia (over 4,000), the Basque Country (nearly 3,000), and the Balearic Islands (over 2,000). The autonomous communities with the lowest inter-regional migratory balance were the Valencian Community (-9,100), Andalusia (-5,200), Castille-La Mancha (-4,300), and Galicia (-3,600).
III. Emigration and Skilled Migration
Until the 1970s, Spain had been a sending country for migration, and people mostly moved into American countries. Between 1971 and 1975, the number of migrant outflows was 412,945. However, between 1976 and 1989, there were only 80,111 emigrants, mostly relocating into European countries. According to the National Statistical Institute, in 2021, 380,786 people emigrated from Spain to other countries. Of those, 304,586 were foreign-born migrants, and 70,200 were nationals. The leading destination countries were Romania (54,796 emigrants), the United Kingdom (46,690), Morocco (30,189), France (23,061), and Colombia (21,645). Most of them were, then, immigrants returning to their country of origin.
Lately, many young Spaniards have migrated to Germany to work in the industrial sector. The main pull factors are the search for better-remunerated jobs, the desire to live in another country, and finding alternative work experiences abroad. During the 2008 crisis, there was a high percentage of qualified workers leaving Spain, and this phenomenon raised some concerns regarding brain drain. However, even during this time, emigration was not a major concern and its phenomenon did not outrun the immigration flow. As a matter of fact, the emigration rate was minimal compared to immigrants moving to Spain. In the first half of 2022, the migratory balance was positive amounting to 258,547 people. These data maintain the growing trend of immigration and returnees observed since 2019, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Spanish emigrants abroad have suffered higher unemployment and lower average salaries.
Spain is also a transit country for migrants arriving from Africa and moving into the European Union, and it is also making serious efforts to reduce irregular migratory flows. The route from West Africa to Mauritania, Morocco, and the Canary Islands was reactivated in 2019, experiencing an exponential growth resulting in higher risks, deaths, and disappearances.
IV. Forced Migrants (Internally Displaced Persons, Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Climate Displaced Persons)
In 2023, the cumulative data from January 1 to March 31 recorded 39,827 applications submitted for international protection in Spain. The leading countries of origin were Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Honduras, and Cuba. People fleeing these countries were forced to migrate for various reasons, including war, violence, and poverty. Most of these applications were registered in the national territory, at border crossing points, and Spanish migrant detention centres (C.I.E). As of 2023, there were 1,685 people with refugee status and 1,422 people for subsidiary protection. The recognition rate of the refugee status is attributed to people arriving from Mali (91.81%), Burkina Faso (92.11%), Sudan (87.25%), Afghanistan (84.49%), and Russia (74.55%). There were 17,671 people that were granted subsidiary protection for humanitarian reasons coming from Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. The protection rate in Spain involves countries like Venezuela (99.71%), Mali (95.81%), Panama (94.44%), Burkina Faso (92.11%), and Sudan (87.25%).
In 2022, the leading countries whose people applied for international protection were Venezuela (38.49%), Colombia (30.30%), Peru (7.52%), Morocco (3.29%), and Honduras (2.54%). In 2021, 65,404 applications for international protection were lodged in Spain, a decrease of more than 26% compared to the previous year, confirming the downward trend attested since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. During the two years of the global pandemic driven by the COVID-19, asylum applications in Spain fell by more than 55%. Furthermore, there was a change in trend in relation to the profile of people seeking international protection. While in recent years the main profile was Latin American people with large family groups, in 2021 it involved more young men of African origin with solitary migratory journeys.
So far, the Asylum and Refugee Office of the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police have processed and granted a total of 170,193 temporary protections to Ukrainian refugees. The temporary protection program automatically enables persons displaced by the conflict to live, work, or study in the European Union for a period of one year, and this can be extended up to a maximum of three years without the need to seek asylum. Ukrainian refugees in Spain have access to residence and work permits, social benefits such as accommodation, legal and psychosocial assistance, social support and language learning, and access to healthcare and education for minors under the same conditions as nationals.
The government of Spain has implemented a reception and integration support program for asylum seekers with sufficient economic resources to cover their personal needs or the ones of their family members. The Ministry of Social Inclusion, Social Security and Migration handles the reception program. The integration support program includes shelter, social welfare, psychological support, aid and assistance for training and language classes, and support in finding employment. The International and temporary protection reception system fosters those applicants for international and temporary protection, beneficiaries of international protection, stateless persons and beneficiaries of temporary protection, to have the right to the necessary reception conditions to meet their basic needs and proper living conditions. The system provides an itinerary of actions and services organised in a network of resources and centres distributed throughout the national territory, with the double objective of guaranteeing reception conditions and to facilitate the progressive sustenance and social insertion of the people who are recipients of the System.
Regarding Internally displaced persons (IPDs), in 2021 there were 13,672 forced displacements recorded in Spain, mainly due to volcanic activity, floods, and wildfires. In this very year, the eruption of the Palma’s volcano caused the displacement of around 7,000 people.
V. Victims of Human Trafficking
According to the government, in 2021 there were 4,704 persons at risk of sex trafficking. It carried out 1,380 administrative inspections in places of prostitution. The main nationalities were Spanish, Romanian, Colombian, Brazilian, and Dominican. 131 of the total 136 victims of sex trafficking were female. As for victims of labour trafficking, 5,218 inspections were carried out with 13,836 workers. 33 of the 51 victims identified were female, and 28 of them were located in Andalusia. Their main nationalities were Honduras, Colombia, and Nicaragua.
Spain is Tier 1 in the U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report because it meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Human traffickers exploit foreign victims in Spain and, to a lesser extent, Spanish victims in Spain and abroad. The pandemic increased worker vulnerabilities and contributed to the rise in labour trafficking, especially in agriculture, domestic work, and cannabis cultivation in Catalonia. Traffickers from Romania, Spain, Nicaragua, and Honduras often exploit their own family members in labour trafficking. Criminal organisations run by Vietnamese and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) nationals increasingly exploit Vietnamese victims in labour trafficking in agriculture and in illegal cannabis plantations. In Spain, sex traffickers exploit women coming from Eastern Europe, South America, Central America, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, PRC, and Nigeria. NGOs believe that 80 to 90% of the 500,000 individuals involved in the commercial sex industry in Spain are unidentified trafficking victims. Sex traffickers are increasingly using online platforms, like social networks, mobile applications, and the dark web, to recruit, exploit victims, and book apartment rentals to make their illicit operations difficult to track.
In 2021, law enforcement initiated 55 human trafficking investigations, resulting in the arrest of 173 suspects. Courts convicted 43 traffickers (38 for sex trafficking). Labour trafficking is generally under-identified in Spain. Most of them were people coming from Nigeria, Colombia, and Romania. 86 victims received restitution in 2021. In 2021, the government conducted at least 57 international investigations and operations, including 20 in South America, which resulted in the identification of at least 37 victims and the arrest of 85 suspected traffickers. Government-funded NGOs reported providing at least 105 potential trafficking victims with workforce re-entry training, four with legal assistance, 121 with shelter, and 29 with asylum and residence permit application assistance. Victims could also access language training and psychological services. However, not all regions and cities had victim service offices. GRETA reported that victim services were available in all regions except Castile-La Mancha, La Rioja, and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. In December 2021, the city of Madrid opened its first 24/7 short-term emergency shelter for up to 15 female sex trafficking victims and their children. The government also maintained prevention efforts through awareness campaigns on social media and dissemination of anti-trafficking awareness materials in several languages to health, education, social services and other professionals. In 2021 it adopted two anti-trafficking national action plans. However, despite these efforts, fraudulent labour recruitment remains a real concern, especially in the agricultural sector. Several organisations also expressed concern over the lack of adequate procedures to identify potential trafficking victims in areas with large numbers of migrant arrivals (especially the Canary Islands, as well as Ceuta and Melilla).
VI. National Legal Framework
The Civil Code, modified by Law 51/1982, set up the Spanish citizenship regime. This reform of the civil code established jus sanguinis (law of the blood) as the core principle determining the acquisition of nationality and a general requirement of 10 years of residence for naturalisation. The 29/1995, 36/2002, 40/2006, 52/2007, 12/2015 and 19/2015 Laws modified and complemented the Civil Code regulation.
The Spanish Constitution, Article 149.1.2, establishes that competencies regarding immigration and asylum belong to the state administration. The Law on Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain, Law 4/2000, «BOE» No. 10 (January 12, 2000), introduced provisions related to the social integration of migrants living in Spain. Law 4/2000 was repealed by Laws 8/2000, 14/2003 and 2/2009. The Royal Decree 557/2011 executes the legal precepts of the last reform of the law. The Spanish National framework on international protection is based on Article 13.4 of the Constitution, which recognises the right to seek asylum. This constitutional provision was implemented through the 2009 Asylum Law. Law 12/2009 establishes the rights and conditions of refugee status. In 2003, the government approved the Royal Decree 1325/2003, allowing for temporary protection status in case of massive arrivals of displaced persons, but the decree has never been implemented.
Article 177 bis of the Penal Code criminalises sex and labour trafficking, prescribing charges from five to eight years imprisonment, which were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as kidnapping. The rapporteur, NGOs, and Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings emphasised that the Penal Code did not clearly define forced labour, which made prosecution difficult.
Spain ratified the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. Spain is also a party to the 1949 Migration for Employment Convention, and the ILO Forced Labour Convention and its Protocol.
Spain acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in 1978. It also ratified the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons in 1997, and in September 2018, it acceded to the 1961 Convention for the Reduction of Statelessness. Spain has not acceded to the 1997 European Convention on Nationality.
VII. Main Actors
The Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations is responsible for migration management and integration in Spain. The Secretary of State for Migration is the body in charge of developing the migration policy defined by the Government in matters of immigration, integration of immigrants and Spanish citizenship abroad. Its General Directorate of Migrations handles the procedures for granting authorisations provided for in the general regulations on foreigners and immigration, sets out the means and infrastructure needs for the management of immigration procedures and the coordination for their implementation by the competent authorities, manages the selection in hiring processes of foreign workers in their country of origin and designs and implements the return plans for Spanish emigrants. The subsidy and aid programs for Spaniards abroad and returnees are also supervised by the General Directorate of Migrations.
The General Directorate of Humanitarian Attention and Social Inclusion of Immigration oversees the functional coordination of relevant actors and the planning, development and management of humanitarian assistance programs for migrants, monitors migration centres within the country, and develops voluntary return programs for migrants or family reunification. This Directorate also plans urgent intervention actions for situations of an exceptional nature and humanitarian emergency in collaboration with the autonomous communities, Government Delegations and Sub-delegations, local corporations, and public and private entities. The General Directorate of Management of the Reception System of International and Temporary Protection plans to develop and monitor the reception system in terms of international protection, in coordination with the General Secretariat of Objectives and Policies of Inclusion and Social Security.
The Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Migrations works closely with the Permanent Immigration Observatory, which conducts research on migration-related topics, analyses, and exchange of quantitative and qualitative information received from offices of the General State Administration with powers in matters of foreigners, immigration, international protection and nationality. The Inter-Ministerial Commission on Aliens is in charge of coordinating different departments and the General State Administration. The Sectoral Conference on Immigration aims at coordinating actions and competencies of the general administration and regional governments. The Forum for the Social Integration of Immigrants represents the main channel of participation for NGOs and associations in integration policies.
The Ministry of Interior coordinates law enforcement efforts and has professional law enforcement units to address human trafficking. The Intelligence Centre Against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO) prosecutes human trafficking crimes together with the National Police and Civil Guard. The National Police also published an operational manual to combat labour trafficking, including forced criminality.
The UNHCR Office in Spain works to protect the rights and well-being of asylum-seekers and refugees present in the country. UNHCR participates in asylum procedures by analysing and issuing recommendations in relation to asylum requests. However, the office of UNHCR in Spain does not provide legal assistance, nor does it manage any assistance or direct aid on an individual basis. UNHCR also promotes the participation of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people in the welcoming society through the implementation of projects to access information for exploring the opportunities within the international protection system, support groups, initiatives and associations chaired by refugees, as well as training, empowerment, and volunteer opportunities.
The Red Cross in Spain is involved in the reception and integration process of refugees. It covers the basic needs of information in a language forcibly displaced people can understand, as well as maintenance, security, health, clothing and accommodation (at the time of arrival in a hostel, later in a centre, and finally in autonomous housing). The Red Cross takes care of the mental health condition of these people and provides legal assistance to guarantee equal access to the right to International Protection. The Red Cross in Spain accompanies asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to be integrated in the labour market through the improvement of their professional skills. The activity is covered within the framework of the Program for the Reception and Integration of Persons Seeking International Protection of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations.
IOM in Spain has carried out actions focused on international protection, voluntary return, integration, humanitarian assistance, and awareness-raising programs.
NGOs and Other Organisations
The Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR), a Spanish NGO, is one of the most relevant organisations in all matters related to supporting refugees in Spain. It was founded in 1979 and has been devoted to helping refugees, stateless persons, and migrants in need of international protection and/or at risk of social exclusion. According to their own estimates, they have been able to assist nearly 400,000 people in the last decade. One of their main activities involves running a large network of reception centres all over the country, where asylum seekers receive attention and integral care. Other lines of work developed by the organisation include providing legal assistance to vulnerable displaced persons and defending their rights, or doing public advocacy to promote regulatory and institutional changes to protect migrants’ and refugees’ rights.
The Catholic Church
The Spanish Episcopal Conference has the Pastoral Social and Human Promotion Commission, which fosters integral human development in the light of the Gospel and within the framework of the Social Doctrine of the Church. To this end, it analyses and attends to the needs of social groups that live at risk of exclusion: migrants, people who are vulnerable due to trafficking, precarious workers, the sick, and the imprisoned facing exploitation and lack of protection of their human dignity. This Commission maintains a close relationship with the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development and with the European Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences (COMECE) Secretariat.
The Commission for Social Pastoral and Human Promotion includes the Department for Migration, which is at the service of the dioceses to accompany and coordinate the local delegations and secretariats for migration. Through its activities, it collaborates with diocesan churches to involve them in their mission.
Likewise, the Spanish Episcopal Conference has two sub-commissions: Charitable and social action, and Migrations and human mobility. The Episcopal Subcommission for Migrations and Human Mobility is responsible to attend to all groups of people who, for various reasons, are related to the world of migrations and human mobility. This sub-commission comprises various agencies that support migrants and refugees, unaccompanied migrant children, victims of human trafficking, and the Roma population.
The Diocesan Migration Commissions are very involved in providing comprehensive services to the migrant population. The Diocesan Delegation of Migrations, which includes Caritas, CONFER (Conference of Religious), Pastoral Obrera and the Delegation of Migrations, is in charge of coordinating the monitoring commission of the so-called “refugee crisis” created by the Diocese of Getafe. These organisations are responsible for daily monitoring of various migration situations in their different facets, with the aim of detecting the most pressing needs and being able to provide attention to the migrant population.
Likewise, the Orihuela-Alicante Diocesan Secretariat for Migration is a pastoral body whose purpose is to welcome, promote and integrate immigrants into Spanish society, as well as to defend their rights and fight against human trafficking and smuggling. It provides legal assistance and management of all types of procedures related to foreigners in Alicante (work and residence permits, family reunification, community regime, nationality, etc.). Likewise, they also have a supporting programme for the labour integration of migrants. Finally, the Secretariat provides social care, which provides four services: employment guidance, respite housing, mother and child support, and mothers’ groups.
In the archdiocese of Seville, the main objectives of the Diocesan Delegation of Migration are the reception, protection, promotion, and integration of people who are forced to leave their places of origin. Through different programmes and services, especially supported by Cáritas Diocesana, it comprehensively accompanies people in developing their migratory projects. It provides them with the necessary tools to develop independently in Spanish society.
The Catholic Church in the European Union, which Spain belongs to, has also expressed concern and dismay at the tragic incidents taking place at the Morocco-Spain border crossing. COMECE also condemns the use of violence, both by people trying to cross the border and by law enforcement officers. They call for absolute respect for the human dignity and fundamental rights of migrants and refugees.
The Pope John XXIII Community Association is present in Spain, specifically in Guadalajara. It is integrated into the institutions and social organisations of the local territory, and its families are recognised by the Social Welfare of Castilla-La Mancha in the Social Services for Minors field as families available for the emergency reception of children at risk.
The Community of Sant’Egidio, which takes care of people in vulnerable situations, is present in different neighbourhoods of Madrid.
The Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo have also been active in Spain, specifically in the province of Guadalajara, since 2003. This congregation provides spiritual assistance to vulnerable populations, including migrants.
The Order of Malta operates in Spain under the umbrella of the Order of Malta’s Hospitaller Foundation in Spain. The fight against poverty is one of the Order’s general objectives, and it tackles this problem from various angles: food, health care, and hygiene. It aims to prevent the social exclusion of the vulnerable population, including migrants. The Order of Malta in Spain has five delegations in Madrid, Andalucia, Valencia, Catalonia, and the Canary Islands.
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Spain collaborates with the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM), a network present in six Spanish cities. SJM assists the migrant population from their arrival and throughout the process until they obtain citizenship. SJM visits detention centres to accompany the most vulnerable and provide legal advice. Likewise, in Spain, there is a high number of asylum seekers. However, the number of people obtaining refugee status is very low. In that sense, SJM tries to draw attention to this disparity through its research and advocacy reports.
Caritas in Spain, through various programmes, provides shelter, assistance, employment and social economy to families and elderly people. Even the migrant and refugee population is served by this organisation. Caritas has developed more than 35 projects aimed at the migrant and refugee population in Spain. The priority lines of action of the work with immigrants have been oriented towards increasing the number of places for these people in the Diocesan Caritas centres, strengthening resources and services aimed at reception and integration (individual and family accompaniment, legal and psychological support, intercultural mediation, language training, job, and pre-employment training, etc.); support for coexistence activities for migrants and refugees, etc.; support to the social and economic integration of the migrant and refugee population in Spain through various programmes.); support for intercultural coexistence activities (with projects in neighbourhoods and places with the highest concentration of immigrant populations); and improving the capacities of Caritas agents (through training and awareness-raising activities).
Furthermore, Cáritas Española, the Bishops’ Commission for Migration, Justice and Peace, CONFER, and the Social Sector of the Society of Jesus have created an Intra-Church Network and have approved a common working framework based on the defence of human rights to offer a coordinated response from the Church to the migration phenomenon. They have launched the initiative “Migrants with Rights,” aiming to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants and victims of human trafficking.