Migrants and Refugees



20/04/2023 – 09/05/2023

  • On 4 May 2023, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson in Madrid to meet with Government Ministers. Talks focused on the Migration Pact and migration external dimension.
  • On 19 and 20 April 2023, 445 people were rescued on the Canary Islands in Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. Moreover, 19 people (including 7 women and a child) died when their boat sank off Lâayoune on 19 April.
  • More than 200 Algerian migrants, also known as “harragas“, were rescued by the Spanish coast guard in April 2023, according to activist Francisco José Clemente Martin, who works at the International Centre for the Identification of Missing Migrants (CIPIMD). According to his posts on his twitter account Heroes Del Mar, several boats have been rescued from shipwrecks in Spanish waters. They were carrying children, women and men from Algeria. Not all of them are Algerian nationals, some are also sub-Saharan.

04/04/2023 – 20/04/2023

  • On April 8, a boat sank off the coast of Guelmin, killing 11 migrants. The boat was heading for the Canary Islands. Among these 11 people, there were 8 Moroccans (7 men and 1 woman) and three sub-Saharans (a couple and a two-year-old child).

07/03/2023 – 04/04/2023

  • On March 15, 21 people in distress were rescued, safely brought to the Alboran Island and subsequently transferred to Melilla by Salvamento Marítimo. On March 9, 16 people stranded on Alboran to be safely taken back to mainland in Motril three days later.  
  • On March 13, the Spanish ombudsman closed his investigation into the deadly tragedythat took place last year on June 24 when dozens of migrants were killed by Moroccan security forces at the border between the city of Nador and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. According to what was reported by El País, the ombudsman concluded that the 470 deportations from Melilla back to Morocco that were carried out that day, when more than 1700 migrants attempted crossing the border, were illegal. Migrants were returned through accelerated procedures and, once in Morocco, brutally beaten up by Moroccan security forces, according to the videos and the testimonies released by the survivors. On March 22, Spanish Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska appeared before the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament to provide explanations and shed light on the event. Grande-Marlaska denied any responsibility for the death of the 23 migrants who tried to cross the border between Morocco and Melilla last June, insisting that no death had taken place on Spanish soil. On September 21, during an appearance before the Spanish deputies, Grande-Marlaska had defended the action of the police against what he had then described as a “violent aggression”. 

For the period from June 2021 to May 2022, click here.