In May 2012, on the occasion of the Spain’s first appearance in eight years before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, CESR together with a coalition of 18 Spanish NGOs presented a parallel report comprising detailed evidence of retrogressions in human rights due to austerity measures. Since the crisis hit in 2008, Spain’s unemployment level has increased dramatically. Spain also has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the EU and the economic crisis has exacerbated this problem. The impacts of the crisis have been most severely felt by disenfranchised young people and marginalized groups such as immigrants, women and the Roma community, in a climate of rising discrimination and xenophobia.
Indicators relating to government revenue in Spain, which is Europe’s fifth largest economy, show that the State could make more equitable efforts to generate potential resources as an alternative to austerity, in line with its obligation to employ the maximum of available resources towards the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, without discrimination or deliberate retrogression.
CESR affirms that any meaningful, equitable and sustainable solution to the crisis can only be accomplished by putting people at the center of such strategies. At this critical juncture, national human rights organizations are pressuring the government to adopt an effective human rights response to the crisis and uphold its international human rights obligations.