Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University)
One of the ethnic minorities in Spain, whose human rights situation is far from being trouble-free is its Muslim community, consisting mainly of residents of Maghreb states, predominantly Moroccans. Its size began to grow since 1985, when the scale of immigration into Spain increased dramatically due to the need of inexpensive labour force. In the early 2004 there were 333,800 Moroccans in Spain, or 20.3% of the total number of the settlers, by far exceeding the number of other ethnic minorities that arrive in Spain from different countries.
The routes immigrants use to enter Spain are diverse. Some of them get to Spain having obtained a residence permit from the country's authorities or an official permit, enabling them to be engaged in a number of businesses. Others cross the border as tourists.
Some of those "travellers" happen to obtain a work permit by striking a contract with a businessman that enables them to stay in Spain legally, enjoying the rights of social security, health care and school education for their children as well as other advantages that the official status can provide. But the preponderance of these "tourists" become illegal after their visa expires. Many of their country fellows act in the same way when they fail to prolong the expiring contract. And, of course, the many people arrive to Spain illegally.
In the last decades the country was actually "flooded" by north African Muslims. Many people cross the Gibraltar and sail to the Canary Islands in their shallops or cutters. Some of these immigrants are apprehended and deported back home by Coast Guards, whereas for those who dare cross the sea in dilapidated boats the trip ends in a tragedy: they die.
Paradoxically, immigrants are able to find jobs even though Spain has had one of the highest Europe's unemployme ... Read more