A refugee is any person outside their country of origin or usual residence who cannot return for fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, membership of a social group, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions.
The 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and Spain's Right of Asylum and Subsidiary Protection Act.
Looking for protection
The world is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. All records were broken in 2014. Internal violence, international conflicts and persecution forced nearly 14 million people to leave their homes. Of those, 11 million became new, internally displaced persons, and 3 million became new refugees. The overall total at the end of 2015 exceeded 65 million people.
Role of the European Union
Eighty-six percent of refugees survive in developing regions and countries bordering on Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. The European Union hosts very few in comparison: about 1 million known refugees and more than 800,000 asylum seekers waiting for a response to their application. In the absence of a safe legal passage, more than 1.5 million people seeking protection entered the EU irregularly in 2015.
This is not just a number.
They are the defenceless people seeking protection who have died in the Mediterranean sea.
Memorial for victims
The lack of legal and safe means of reaching Europe has turned the Mediterranean sea into an enormous mass grave. The memorial 'Som i serem ciutat refugi' [a city of refuge, now and always], located at the Barceloneta beach, profiles and pays homage to all victims and is an urgent call for a safe passage to be established. Data is to be updated periodically.
Flow of arrivals to the European Union in 2015
Source: ACNUR, Organización Internacional para las Migraciones(IOM) and Frontex, 2015
Map showing the flows of people that reached, or tried to enter, the European Union in 2015. It shows the countries of origin and the countries of provenance. A total of 845,852 arrived in Greece, 153,600 in Italy and 13,039 in the Spanish State. The figures are from the UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European agency that controls external borders (Frontex).