• Spain's news in English
 

Spain's 'starving' school kids shock Europe

Published: 10 Oct 2013 11:58 GMT+02:00

The report describes accounts of "children fainting at  school due to lack of proper meals" and "wearing the same clothes at school for three consecutive weeks, due to poverty."
 
"Cuts in social, health and educational budgets have led to a worrying growth of family poverty in Spain," said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on the release of the report. 
 
Based on Muižnieks' five-day fact-finding mission to the Spanish cities of Madrid and Seville in June, the report looks at Spain's human rights record both in terms of children, and more generally.  
 
Child poverty reached 30 percent in 2011, the report says, while also noting cuts to education budgets of 14.4 percent to 21.4 percent in the last three years.
 
"The growing child poverty, malnutrition and inadequate housing are issues of serious concern because of their potentially devastating long-term impact on children and the country," Muižnieks said on Wednesday.
 
The Latvian also stressed that the impact of Spain's austerity measures on people with disabilities and mental illnesses.
 
The Spanish authorities should "adjust policies to ensure that adequate resources are available for their education and employment opportunities", he argued.
 
The Spanish Government responded to the report by saying education spending as a percentage of GDP had risen from 4.36 percent in 2007, or before the crisis, to 4.55 percent in 2013.
 
The government also noted subsidies to people with disabilities had risen — from €757,199 in 2010–11 to €977,759 in 2013–14.
 
On Wednesday Muižnieks also criticized Spain's disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officials to control anti-austerity demonstrations and the imposition of fines on demonstrators. 
 
"I am also concerned about the frequent lack of visible identification numbers of law enforcement officials, especially during demonstrations, as this has impeded the prosecution and sanctioning of perpetrators of abuse," he said.
 
"The recent changes in the size and display of the identification numbers of national police officers is a step forward. However, the numbers should be worn in a way that facilitates easy identification of the officers," the commissioner added.
 
The Commissioner said authorities should also fight to stamp out ethnic profiling practices, which target and stigmatize migrants in stop-and-search operations.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Gravedigger trapped under 200kg tombstone

Gravedigger trapped under 200kg tombstone

A young gravedigger in northern Spain was trapped under a gravestone weighing 200kg (440 pounds) when the scaffolding on which he was working collapsed. READ  

Weaker euro to boost UK tourism to Spain

Weaker euro to boost UK tourism to Spain

A drop in the value of the euro against pound sterling is expected to lift the number of British tourists visiting Spain this year. READ  

Missing UK man thought to be in Spain
Graham Wragg's family believe he may be in the Santander area of Spain (left) and are hoping he will get in touch. Photo: Photo of Santander: Shutterstock/Derbysh

Missing UK man thought to be in Spain

UK police are calling for help in their search for a man who went missing from his home in Derbyshire and who they now believe could be in the Barcelona or Santander areas of Spain. READ  

Police smash 'Pig's Head' prostitution ring

Police smash 'Pig's Head' prostitution ring

Police in Madrid have arrested six men thought to be members of a prostitution ring formerly led by an infamous Romanian clan leader known as 'Pig's Head'. READ  

Environment
Pyrenean snowfall halves in 60 years

Pyrenean snowfall halves in 60 years

Snow accumulation in the Pyrenees has halved since the 1950s, a new study shows, with some experts saying global temperature is to blame. READ  

Looted Egyptian treasures seized in Spain
Spanish police examine seized Egyptian artefacts. Photo: Guardia Civil.

Looted Egyptian treasures seized in Spain

Over 2,200 looted artefacts, many from ancient Egypt, were seized as part of a Europe-wide crackdown that also snared 35 suspected traffickers, Europol announced on Wednesday. READ  

UN peacekeeper from Spain killed in Lebanon
Spanish soldiers with the United Nations in Lebanon in an armoured emergency vehicle after picking up the body of Spaniard Francisco Javier Soria Toledo. Photo: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP

UN peacekeeper from Spain killed in Lebanon

Updated: Spain on Wednesday said Israeli fire had killed a Spanish UN peacekeeper serving in south Lebanon, and called on the United Nations to fully investigate the violence. READ  

Opinion
The five strangest things about Spaniards

The five strangest things about Spaniards

After two years at the helm of The Local Spain, George Mills is moving on. Here he reflects on some of the most puzzling aspects of life in a country he believes is one of the greatest places to live in the world. READ  

Found in Spain: traces of Hannibal's troops
Students from the University of Barcelona reconstruct the route taken by Hannibal's troops on their way through Spain to Rome. Photo: University of Barcelona.

Found in Spain: traces of Hannibal's troops

Spanish archaeology students have discovered a 2,200-year-old moat in what is now the Catalan town of Valls, filled with objects providing evidence of the presence of troops of the Carthaginian general Hannibal in the area. READ  

Priests charged in Granada sex abuse case

Priests charged in Granada sex abuse case

A judge in Granada has charged ten Roman Catholic priests and two lay people with sex abuse in a case that came to light after a former altar boy petitioned the Pope. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Eleven dead as F-16 jet explodes at Spanish air base
National
Police seize jihadi cell prepared to attack Spain
What's On
What's on in Spain: February 2015
National
Spanish jobseekers fail exam with answers
National
Moving to Spain: a guide for beginners
National
Spain's new penal code: key talking points
International
Spain among Europe's cheapest nations: study
Features
Top ten surprising Spanish inventions
National
Spain's Repsol ends Canary oil exploration
National
Court to study paternity suit against ex-king
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Politics
Catalan president calls early regional election
National
Top ten: must-know Spanish superstitions
International
'Change Schengen rules to catch Islamists': Spain
What's On
Ten ways to spice up your Spanish life in 2015
Health
Spain tops world organ donation rankings
National
5 things no one tells you about renting in Spain
National
'No Pants Subway Ride' hits Madrid Metro
National
Spain's satirical mags back Charlie Hebdo
National
Spain tightens security after Paris terror attack
National
Finally: a Spanish PM bothers to visit Andorra
National
Woman fined for being kissed while driving
Travel
Top travel highlights in Spain for 2015
National
Gallery: Hits and misses of Antonio Banderas
National
Spain's top news in 2015: The Local's predictions
National
Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list
National
Christmas fireball lights up Spanish skies
National
Top ten: Spain's biggest stories of 2014
International
Madrid: mouse delays international flight for six hours
National
Confirmed: Spain's Princess Cristina to be tried for fraud
National
Did Vikings settle as far south as Spain?
National
Nativity donkey squashed by fat fan
Society
Lifting the lid on Spain's mysterious Christmas lottery
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
What's On
Top 12 things to do in Spain over Christmas
Politics
Spain passes tough new 'anti-protest' law
Business & Money
Google News quits Spain in paid content row
What's On
How to party like a Spaniard: the ultimate guide
Society
Madrid's shocking slum shames Spanish capital
National
Policeman mauled by lions at Barcelona zoo
Business & Money
Uber eyes appeal against Spain ban
Travel
Google offers virtual views of Spain's wonders
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

655
jobs available