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Recognition of the right to asylum to victims of trafficking: positive developments in Spain

Over the last quarter of 2016, Spanish authorities have granted international protection to 13 women who have been victim of trafficking for sexual exploitation. All women originate from African countries and some of them have children under their care. They had all received legal support from the Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR).

“I didn’t know I could seek asylum, I simply told my story and CEAR’s lawyer asked for my protection to the authorities. I feel grateful as I have no fear now”, stated one of the 13 victims whose asylum claim has been solved positively

 

Very few victims of trafficking have been granted international protection before September 2016, therefore these developments are extremely positive and constitute a step forward to save lives in particular in the context of sexual exploitation. According to Paloma Favieres, legal services coordinator at CEAR, “Human trafficking for sexual exploitation is a gross violation of Human Rights of those persons, and an attack to their integrity and dignity that can even cause their death”.

 

For years, CEAR has advocated before legal and public bodies - both at Spanish and European level - for Member States to meet their obligations to effectively protect victims of trafficking, including through recognising their right to asylum as persons belonging to a particular social group. In a recent press release, CEAR recalls all Member States their obligation to guarantee the non-refoulement principle and is confident that this criterion will be applied to all the victims of trafficking whom asylum claims are pending and whose life or integrity are at risk in their country of origin.