News Employment and Social Policies

6.500 migrants were served by the Basque Red Cross and Basque institutions in 2018 on their way to central Europe

2019 January 29
  • 40% from Guinea-Conakry
  • The DG of Migration of the European Commission thanked the Basque Government "to put on the table an encouraging debate"
  • Artolazabal: "the Basque institutions analyze forecasts in the short and medium term and estimate a joint planning of the entire European Union"

VG 2019 01 29

6,500 migrants in transit have been served by the Basque Red Cross from June to December 2018 -6,800 as of today- in the facilities of Bilbao, Donostia, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Irun: in Araba / Álava 4%; in Bizkaia 60% and in Gipuzkoa 36%. Of those people, 85% have been men; 13% women and 2% minors. By nationality, their origins are 40% of Guinea-Conakry; 20% Mali; 12% Ivory Coast and 28% from Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal and Burkina Faso. In 90% of cases these migrant people know the french language.

Since it was detected, in June of last year, a bus in Donostia that had on board migrants from the Andalusian coast. These people are in a migratory process that mainly have as destination Europe.

The Department of Employment and Social Policies of the Basque Government, in collaboration with the provincial councils of Araba, Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia, and the municipalities of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastián and Irun, activated a system of cooperation with the Basque Red Cross. humanitarian assistance that facilitated resettlement with their contacts, facilitating the loading of telephones and wifi network, and meeting the basic needs of food, shelter and healthcare.

As of today, the number of arrivals has been 273 in Araba-Álava; 12,686 in Bizkaia and 3,469 in Gipuzkoa for a total of 16,428. Overnight stays were 307 in Araba; 7,611 in Bizkaia and 4,563 in Gipuzkoa. The total of Euskadi amounts to 12,481.

The total number of overnight stays was 307 in Araba, 7,586 in Bizkaia and 4,563 in Gipuzkoa, with a total in Euskadi of 12,456. Not all the people who have been assisted have spent the rest of their stay in the host resources, since they already had a network of contacts that allowed them to continue their trip.

The week of August 6 to 12 registered the highest number of arrivals with 435; 55 in Araba, 330 in Bizkaia and 50 in Gipuzkoa. The week of the 13 to the 19 August received last year the greater number of welcome with 52 in Araba, 739 in Bizkaia and 80 in Gipuzkoa adding a total of 871. The total number of meals served to these people rises in 2018, to 7,160 and 7,234 dinners.

The Minister Beatriz Artolazabal, as well as the Deputy Minister Lide Amilibia and the Director of Family Policy and Diversity Ernesto Sainz, has maintained since June last year institutional meetings and contacts with the State Government, the General Directorate of Migrations of the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, demanding "more information on migratory movements demanding EU planning in the short, medium and long term to solve the phenomenon and asking for sincere co-responsibility from the states of the Union".

The Basque Government has proposed to Europe the Share plan for attention to migrants that provides for a proportional and co-responsible distribution of migrants. Beatriz Artolazabal, detailed on December 4 to Mr. Simon Mordue, Deputy Director General of Migration at the European Commission who thanked the Basque Government "to put on the table an encouraging debate."

The European Commission encouraged the Basque Government to participate in the Association for the inclusion of migrants and refugees within the framework of the Urban Agenda to work towards integration through a multilevel governance model; and to access the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund items managed from Madrid (Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security) and from Brussels (European Commission) for actions related to MENAs or community sponsorship. The European Commission compares the SHARE initiative with the Dublin reform, paralyzed in the EU Council.

For cases of particularly vulnerable migrants or with demands for political asylum, the Basque Government has resources in Berriz and Oñati. The European forecasts for 2019 indicate that the south / north flow of these people will continue for what the Basque institutions, in collaboration with other social organizations, prepare a humanitarian response based on the experience of these last months.

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(XI term 2016 - 2020)