The Office of Asylum and Refuge (OAR) is the competent body for reviewing and processing asylum and stateless status applications in Spain. It also publishes an annual report entitled “Asilo en cifras” with information about asylum seekers, refugees and applicants and beneficiaries of the stateless status. ‘
Until last year (“Asilo en cifras 2018”), the data on statelessness was very limited, as the report only offered a single page including the number of applications and the number of positive decisions and rejections regarding applications from the specific year reviewed. The rest of the report focused on international protection (asylum applications, refugee status, resettlement and relocation, and decisions granting and rejecting protection).
However, for the first time, the new report “Asilo en cifras 2019” includes six pages of disaggregated data on statelessness. It includes the number of applications and the outcomes of the ones decided in 2019, but also information on the applicants of the stateless status in terms of sex (men/women), age (0-13; 14-17; 18-34; 35-64; +65), continent and country of origin. It also shows data on positive outcomes and rejections disaggregated by the same criteria.
This is a major step forward as it helps to understand the different needs of applicants and beneficiaries of the stateless status. For instance, it was already known that the second country of origin in terms of applications received was Spain, but the new data offers information showing that 83.8% of them are lodged by people under 14 years of age. More research is needed, but this could suggest that there might be problems with birth registration or acquisition of Spanish nationality at birth.
Fundación Cepaim has been advocating for more public and disaggregated data on applicants and beneficiaries of the stateless status in Spain. We have expressed our concern to the OAR previously, and we welcome their new approach.
Source: Oficina de Asilo y Refugio (2020). Asilo en cifras 2019. Madrid: Ministerio del Interior. Available here.