• Spain edition
 
Spain's 'starving' school kids shock Europe
File photo: Óttar Martin Norðfjörð

Spain's 'starving' school kids shock Europe

Published: 10 Oct 2013 11:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law
The controversial draft bill angered thousands of pro-choicers who took to the streets to voice their discontent.Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law

Updated: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday announced his government would shelve plans for a tough new law on abortions, saying there was not enough support for the legislation. READ  

James Blunt under fire for illegal Ibiza wedding
Blunt (R) and Sofia Wellesley, granddaughter of the Duke of Wellington, were celebrating their third wedding bash this September. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

James Blunt under fire for illegal Ibiza wedding

British pop star James Blunt has upset Ibiza locals after the company he paid to organize his recent wedding bash on the island closed off a beach without obtaining the necessary permits for the event. READ  

Uber row
Taxi app Uber kicks off Madrid operations
"The European Union tells countries like Spain to fight illegal economic activity but then allows the use of services of Uber. It doesn't make any sense," taxi driver Daniel told The Local. Photo: Ube

Taxi app Uber kicks off Madrid operations

The app-based chauffeur car service Uber began operations in Madrid on Tuesday but local taxi drivers told The Local they are far from happy about the move, claiming it promotes Spain's submerged economy. READ  

Sexism in tennis
'Men's dressing room no place for female coaches'
Rafa Nadal's coach and uncle Toni (L) and Spain's newly appointed Davis Cup captain Gala León. Photo: Martin Bureau,Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

'Men's dressing room no place for female coaches'

Rafa Nadal's uncle and coach has been slammed for calling into question the appointment of Spain's first female Davis Cup captain, a decision he considers illogical and inappropriate for the all-male dressing room. READ  

Barcelona to fight smog with cheaper train tickets
A blanket of pollution lies over Barcelona in December 2013. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Barcelona to fight smog with cheaper train tickets

Barcelona is planning to slash the price of travel on public transport during periods of high pollution in a bid to improve the city's air quality. READ  

Man stabs five strangers in horror knife attack

Man stabs five strangers in horror knife attack

Updated: Police in the Catalan town of Lleida have narrowed down their search area in a massive manhunt to find the person who stabbed five people on the street on Monday in what appears to have been a random attack. READ  

Catalan mayor charged over Russian mafia links
Xavier Crespo, a former politician with Catalonia's ruling CiU party, is now facing up to two and half years in prison for accepting bribes over a period of eight years. Photo: CiU

Catalan mayor charged over Russian mafia links

The former mayor of the Catalan town of Lloret de Mar is facing bribery and graft charges after the region's high court ruled there was strong evidence of a criminal link between him and Russian crime boss Andrei Borisovich Petrov. READ  

IAG snaps up new Airbus jets for Iberia
President of Iberia and Chairman of International Airlines Group Antonio Vazquez poses during the presentation of Iberia new logotype in Madrid in October 2013. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

IAG snaps up new Airbus jets for Iberia

International Airlines Group said Monday it has finalized a deal to buy eight long-haul Airbus A330-200 aircraft worth $1.48 billion (€1.15 billion) at list prices for Spain's Iberia airlines. READ  

'Hit-and-run' politician smacked with mic
A swarm of journalists surrounded the 62-year-old former president of Madrid as she walked up the steps of a criminal court in the Spanish capital. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

'Hit-and-run' politician smacked with mic

Controversial Spanish politician Esperanza Aguirre has become Monday's social media sensation after a journalist hit her in the face with a microphone as she was arriving at a court hearing. READ  

Spain's royal 'bad boy' to be sent to UK school
Froilán made national headlines in 2012 when at just 14 he shot himself in the foot (literally) while out hunting with his father. Photo: Juan Carlos Hidalgo/AFP

Spain's royal 'bad boy' to be sent to UK school

Felipe VI's nephew, fourth in line to the Spanish throne, continues to be viewed as the black sheep of the royal family after being kicked out of his school for failing his end-of-year exams twice. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
National
Loud porn movie scares locals into calling cops
National
'We'll axe Catalan autonomy but won't send in tanks'
National
Spain's Thatcher square defaced by 'Brits'
National
Top 10: best Spanish movies of all time
National
Gravedigger suspended for corpse photo gaffe
Society
Named: the best city to live in Spain
National
Catalonia's 'Diada': 5 things you need to know
Travel
Top ten amazing activities in Tenerife
National
Spain opens door to ban on burqas
Travel
Top ten: best bike rides in Spain
Travel
Spain to reopen 'world's most dangerous walk': The Camino del Rey
National
'Catalonia could be the shock Spain needs'
National
Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions
Sport
Think you know Spanish football? Try these amazing facts
International
Australia set to welcome young Spanish workers
Opinion
Is tourism destroying Barcelona?
Society
Fashion fail: Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids
National
Man hurt as friend swaps ice bucket for plane
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Politics
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
International
Spanish police mistake Morocco's king for people smuggler
What's On
What's on in Spain: September
Society
Miss Spain comes out of closet on Instagram
Travel
Top ten: Spain's best natural swimming pools
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

1,705
jobs available