• 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
Barca man banned from showing pals round park
Park Güell in Barcelona. Photo: Cesar Rangel/AFP

Barca man banned from showing pals round park

Barcelona’s struggle with tourists has been well publicized recently, but now residents are getting told off for showing their own friends around some of the city's biggest sites. READ  

Could olive 'ebola' wipe out crop in Spain?
Spanish olive groves. Photo: Jorge Guerrero

Could olive 'ebola' wipe out crop in Spain?

Spanish olive groves are under threat from a bacteria that has made its way from America and is currently blighting Italian olive groves. READ  

My Spanish Career
'Americans laugh louder, Spaniards are reserved'
Amy Elliott acts in a production of Jack and The Beanstalk. Photo: Steppingonstage.com

'Americans laugh louder, Spaniards are reserved'

In the latest instalment of My Spanish Career, The Local talks to Amy Elliott, an American born and raised in Pennington, New Jersey who has managed to combine a passion for theatre with Spain’s ever growing thirst for English learning. READ  

Election results
Ada Colau, Barcelona's 'Indignada' protest mayor
Ada Colau, Barcelona's new 'indignada' protest mayor. Photo: Quique Garcia/AFP

Ada Colau, Barcelona's 'Indignada' protest mayor

A career spent pounding the streets in anti-austerity campaigns has brought Ada Colau close to leading one of Spain's most powerful and most visited cities, Barcelona. READ  

Elections results
Blonde grans locked in battle to be Madrid mayor
Esperanza Aguirre and Manuela Carmena during a TV debate last week. Photo: Screenshot TeleMadrid

Blonde grans locked in battle to be Madrid mayor

Esperanza Aguirre just wins most votes in City Hall but protest candiadate Manuela Carmena could forge an alliance with socialists to take the City Hall. READ  

Election results
Protest movement deals PP an historic battering
Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias celebrates after results on Sunday. Photo: Pedro Armestre /AFP

Protest movement deals PP an historic battering

Sunday's election saw a dramatic shake-up of Spanish politics. In Madrid the ruling PP saw their majority shattered, while in Barcelona, a 41-year-old "indignado" won the most votes toppling CiU's grip on City Hall. READ  

Opinion
Elections will be critical test for fractured system
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at a PP rally in Valencia. Photo: Jose Jordan / AFP

Elections will be critical test for fractured system

You have to be either foolish or very brave to try and predict the outcome of Sunday’s local elections in Spain. READ  

Police manhunt: Have you seen this couple?
'Patsy' Adams and his wife Constance could be on the run in Spain. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police manhunt: Have you seen this couple?

Police believe the notorious north London gangster Patrick Adams and his wife may have fled to Spain where they have previous links to Torremolinos. READ  

Gallery
Seven adorable animals facing extinction in Spain
Photo: Iberian Lynx Exsitu Conservation Programme / Wikimedia Commons.

Seven adorable animals facing extinction in Spain

To mark International Day for Biodiversity, The Local takes a look at some of the Spanish animals most at risk of extinction. READ  

Magaluf bans drunk badly-behaved tourists
British tourists on a night out in Puente Ballena last summer. Photo: Jaime Reina / AFP

Magaluf bans drunk badly-behaved tourists

Bare chests, sex parties, falling down drunk in the streets and balconing will no longer be tolerated in Magaluf under new bylaws. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
National
Can Edurne win for Spain in Vienna on Saturday?
Education
7 reasons for Spain's newfound love of English
Features
7 reasons why Spain's the best place on earth
National
What’s on in Spain: May 2015
National
The perks and quirks of having a baby in Spain
National
Iceland revokes order to 'kill Basques on sight'
National
Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain
National
Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures
National
Spain among ten best countries to be a mum
National
The ten greatest things about Spain (in the UK)
National
British expats fall victim to NHS clampdown
Features
Top ten: Madrid's best rooftop bars
Travel
Benidorm: Cultural wonder of the world?
National
King Juan Carlos led 'double-life' with lover
Features
Ten best UNESCO world heritage sites in Spain
Features
Happy book day! Top ten Spanish literary gifts
Features
All the fun of the fair: Seville's Feria de Abril
National
Off with her hair! Queen Letizia debuts new do
National
Barcelona bans tourists from famous market
National
Rockers pen 'We don't love Ryanair' ballad
Travel
Location tours start for 'Game of Thrones' fans
National
Top ten things to do in Castellón
First house sold by lottery ticket in Spain
National
Official: Francisco Franco was a dictator
National
Olives and vino at risk from climate change
National
Olé! Madonna orders tour bullfighting suits
National
Jihadists planned attacks in Spain: judge
Politics
Spain's 'Citizens' party fires up voters
Travel
'No pooing': village tells pilgrims in north Spain
National
Spain gets first memorial stones to Nazi victims
National
Town in shock at expat double murder
National
Brit family of four dead after Gibraltar stabbing
National
What's on in Spain: April 2015
National
Priest arrested for exorcism on anorexic girl
National
Could this be Spain's own Maggie Thatcher?
National
Spain outstrips France and Italy in wine exports
National
What country is Catalonia most like?
International
Exposed: actress who faked Oscar glory
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
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

3,371
jobs available