Spain – Salesian Social Platforms encourage people to welcome via words and fraternal discourse

18 June 2021

(ANS - Madrid) - World Refugee Day will be celebrated on Sunday 20 June. In Spain, last year, only 5% of the approximately 115,000 asylum applications were accepted, a percentage far below the European average of 33%. The Salesian Social Platforms assist about 1,000 people seeking international protection or refugee status, through residential resources for international protection, social and work integration programs, language learning, and hospitality.

Currently, the number of refugees and displaced persons in the world amounts to around 80 million. But beyond the numbers, there are people and their life stories that led them to flee their countries. People who, after having suffered serious violations of their fundamental rights, often encounter rejection and misunderstanding, lies and ignorance.

For this reason, this year the Salesian Social Platforms are encouraging people to become the first refuge for people who come to the Country in search of protection. With a message: “My voice does not spread lies or hoaxes, it does not share prejudices or join in xenophobic discourses. Even my voice is a refuge.”

In 2020, 88,762 people filled out asylum applications in Spain: a figure that is 25% lower than in 2019, but only due to the closure of the borders due to the pandemic, not because there have been improvements in the countries of origin. But these applications face many obstacles. The first is certainly the length of time to process them. “This means that refugees are forced to live on the street or in overcrowded camps,” the Salesian Social Platforms report.

Another problem is the lack of resources and personnel, especially specialized resources to deal with the circumstances of people seeking international protection. Add to this, the uncertainty as regards the model and the very continuity of the reception system.

Due to the slowness in receiving the necessary documents, "I always encounter many difficulties when I have to deal with bureaucratic formalities," testifies one refugee.

For this reason the Salesian Social Platforms request:

-       to increase the structures necessary to deal with requests for international protection within the terms established by law.

-       to provide more means for reception, which ensure adequate accompaniment of applicants seeking international protection and refugees already in the initial phase.

-       to provide more resources and stability to what already exists to promote the integration process at different levels: legal, administrative, linguistic, cultural ... in order to promote the integral development of people.

The Salesian Social Platforms have an integral reception program for young people aged 18 to 26 seeking international protection and refugees, supported by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, which welcomes about one thousand people.

Despite the pandemic, during 2020 and in this first part of 2021, the Platforms assisted 150 young people in their request for international protection: 14 applications were accepted, 19 rejected: but above all 80% of the applications presented by the Salesian Social Platforms are still awaiting resolution.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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