Integral and Emergency Reception Program for People and Families in Temporary Protection Regime in Spain and Migrants in Extreme Vulnerability Situation in the Municipal Shelter of Mejía Lequerica

Practice Aim

To provide emergency accommodation and basic needs coverage at the Mejía Lequerica Shelter, to international protection applicants and migrants in situations of vulnerability or social emergency during their stay in the city of Madrid.

Target Groups

Asylum Seekers and vulnerable migrants.

Identification of stakeholders that made an identification of the practice: Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR) – Madrid


Pilar Feo – CEAR Madrid volunteer technician. (Tlf: 915550698 Ext. 7802) Avda. Asturias, 33. Local CP.: 28029

Application setting: context

Applicants and beneficiaries of international protection who are waiting to join the Spanish Asylum system. Formed mainly by families with minors and single people who are in the city of Madrid, without family support and in an emergency situation or at risk of being there, migrants in a situation of high vulnerability may be assessed, who are left out of the protection system For refugees.


The general objective of the program is to provide emergency accommodation and basic needs coverage at the Mejía Lequerica Shelter, to international protection applicants and migrants in situations of vulnerability or social emergency during their stay in the city of Madrid.

  1. Specific Objective 1: Provide adequate residential care and coverage of basic needs for a given period to people (men and women) and / or families with minors in an emergency situation or with high vulnerability and migrants in a situation of high vulnerability, while they are incorporated to the state protection system for applicants for international protection.
  2. Specific Objective 2: Provide information and advice on the state reception system for men and women applicants for international protection and refugees.
  3. Specific Objective 3: Develop an individual or family intervention design for those people who, due to exceptional circumstances, stay more than 30 days in the device, addressing in this design the social, health, psychological, legal, training and leisure and living areas.
  4. Specific Objective 4: Support and facilitate access to the network of care for migrant and homeless women and men and those who are denied access to the asylum system shelter and / or have been denied protection international or that are in an irregular administrative situation and / or that lack economic resources and / or family network.
  5. Specific Objective 5: Provide resources and skills that favor coexistence and adequate and progressive incorporation into the host society, especially encouraging the participation of the largest number of women and actively promoting the role of prominence on their part.


Annual agreement

Requirements/ accessibility issues

The time of stay in the device is 7 days, extendable according to technical criteria established by the coordination of CEAR in Madrid and / or by the direction of the Hostel after the assessment of the team of social workers and after communicating to the reference person of the Department of Immigration and shelter. This period may be extended according to criteria and always with the express authorization of the Department of Immigration and Refuge in the following situations:

  • Depending on the vulnerability criteria established in Art. 46 of the Asylum Law.
    • When the response to the re-entry requests to the host system exceeds that period.
    • In exceptional cases authorized by the coordination of CEAR in Madrid or the Directorate of the hostel.

Users may have access to the program through different channels, listed below:

  • CEAR, from the different services that compose it.
    • Red Cross reception service at Madrid-Barajas Airport for cases in which the Dublin Regulation applies.
    • In addition to the existing ones, according to the aforementioned profiles, other NGOs that participate in the Asylum Reception System could be derived, always with the express authorization of the Madrid City Council.

Performance procedures

The Madrid City Council is coordinated through the General Directorate of Primary Care, Community Intervention and Social Emergency, on which the Department of Immigration and Shelter, and the Department of Homeless People and Social Samur depend. They maintain periodic coordination with the Ministry of Labour Migration and Social Security, to establish mechanisms that expedite the appointments with the Social Work Unit of the people and families that are in the municipal devices and have formalized the asylum application.

For the development of the Program there is the collaboration of the Social Samur, for the knowledge of cases, the coordination with the Ministry, the transfers of the families and people to the device, and to other places, OAR, train stations etc.

Principles of action, and values

The work methodology is based on a rights approach, on the reception, diagnosis, referral and, where appropriate, intervention design of the people who arrive at the Shelter through the access roads determined in this agreement. The gender approach is included in the entire methodology

In the hours following their arrival, residents have an initial interview with social workers. In this first interview, an assessment is made of the trajectory, the migratory project, the previous socio-family history and the short-term expectations that each person raises. Depending on the initial assessment and the expected time of stay, a design of social intervention with the objectives to work will be considered. In this interview, information is provided on the steps to follow according to each specific situation and the appointment with the OAR is requested in the cases in which it proceeds

  • Proximity: generating close links between professionals and users.
  • Flexibility: It will involve adapting the regulations, actions and services of the Program to the needs of the users.
  • Transparency and clarity: the professionals, as well as the person, have knowledge of the services that can be provided from the Program.
  • Dignity: it will mean respect for the rights and freedoms of people, as well as their autonomy.
  • Equity and Equal Opportunities: guaranteeing access to all the services of the Program to all the people who need it.
  • Individualization: each action of the staff will take into account the specific situation of the person.
  • Coordination, complementarity and networking: with professionals from other services, both public and private, to carry out an attention aimed at the stabilization and integral improvement of the person’s situation.
  • Emergency / Temporary: providing support during the entire stay of the person in the Program and offering a framework of coexistence aimed at covering basic needs, as well as the containment of the emergency situation in which it is also promoted that the person can access, if appropriate, other resources, centers or services, institutionalized or not, to continue their improvement process.
  • Quality: orienting the actions of the professionals of the device towards continuous improvement, the search for the satisfaction of the participants and the efficiency and effectiveness of the actions carried out.

Difficulties or constrains for its implementation

The special situation of difficulty of this group, means that in the desirable results for each user, factors that exceed the municipal competencies and the capacity of action of the managing entity intervene, mainly the circumstances linked to the changes of criteria and instructions of the MITRAMISS and of the OAR and the European border guidelines and SECA (Common European Asylum System). For this reason, to evaluate the results of the measurable part of this project, activity indicators are used, which also guarantee that the entity has carried out the actions for which it has obtained the subsidy.

The evaluation also considers the process and the incidence of these factors on the beneficiaries, professionals and the environment. Qualitative and quantitative indicators are collected monthly, which allow measuring the degree of fulfilment of the objectives, taking into account the gender approach, disaggregating some indicators by gender.


The results obtained since its commissioning have been quite satisfactory, taking into account the limitations of the number of places, the difficulties in leaving in certain families and people due to the criteria of the Ministry that have been changing over the years


In the first moments in reception device AlbergueMejíaLequerica was conceived to facilitate the re-entry of people who had just left the reception centers of the Ministry, with the intention of leaving for Europe. The object is mainly Syrian families who arrived in Madrid, from Melilla Reception Center and were in Mendez Álvaro with the intention of traveling to Europe. Since its opening, the MejíaLequerica Hostel has been paying attention that was carried out since the citizen response, providing emergency accommodation, food, information and guidance on the Asylum system, especially what happens if they apply Dublin. Many families despite receiving information decide to abandon the resource to travel to Europe 966 people in 2016 and a smaller number in 2017, 612 people. After months they were deported to our country in application of the Dublin Regulation. So from the MejíaLequerica Shelter, access to the Protection System in the Ministry (Mitramis) was requested, since they are without livelihoods, to cover their basic needs.

The target profile in the Hostel has been redefined throughout 2017 mainly due to changes in the criteria of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security (former MEYSS) in relation to the coverage of First Reception accommodation to applicants for international protection. The waiting time for the appointment to submit an application for international protection has varied between 1 and 4 months, which has largely determined the significant increase in the average stay at the MejíaLequerica Hostel. Exceeding, widely, the times of stay established in the agreement reaching to reach, in some cases several months.

People who have exceeded periods between 15 days and 3 months of stay established in the agreement, are in one of the following situations:

  • Applicants for international protection who, due to lack of MEYSS First Reception places, cannot have emergency accommodation and must wait until the adjudication of a first-stage accommodation place for applicants for international protection
    • Young people from countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria, Guinea Conakry, Senegal and Ivory Coast who have entered patera along the Spanish coasts and that when arriving in Madrid, despite being applicants for international protection, cannot be treated in the First Reception of the MEYSS, for having already received emergency shelter, and are staying in our device pending the award of first-stage accommodation for applicants for international protection.
    • Young people from Afghanistan who have applied for international protection in some other EU country (Norway, Belgium, Italy), in some cases being minors, and who after being denied their application for international protection and before the imminence of deportation To country of origin, they decide to travel to Spain. These people cannot be treated at the First Reception of the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security, henceforth, Mitramiss and are housed in our device pending the award of first-stage accommodation for applicants for international protection. In a significant number of cases.
    • Applicants for international protection who, for having spent more than 2 years in Spain or in some EU country, cannot access the Mitramiss social protection system (first phase accommodation, second phase financial assistance) for applicants for international protection.
    • Applicants for international protection who had not previously submitted an application in Spain, and in application of the Dublin Regulation 604/2013, are transferred to Madrid, and who lack identification documentation so they cannot access First Place, staying in AML until your access to first-stage accommodation.
    • Applicants for international protection who had previously caused voluntary withdrawal in accommodation of the MEYSS to travel to other EU countries, and in application of the Dublin Regulation 604/2013, are transferred to Madrid, and their re-entry into the system is not readmitted. These people remain in AML waiting for a place in a resource of the municipal network of attention to immigrants and / or homeless.
    • People benefiting from voluntary return aid pending the processing of their trip back to their country of origin. The duration of this process will depend, among other issues, on the time of the year as organizations that work with voluntary returns try not to do them in high season in which the price of the ticket can double.
    • Migrant people derived by Samur Social who, once housed, state that they do not intend to apply for international protection and are referred to resources of the municipal network of care for immigrants and / or homeless, nor can they access the MEYSS accommodation place, despite submitting protection request international in Spain, for having previously stayed more than 2 years in EU territory, so they remain in AML waiting for a place in resource of the municipal network of attention to immigrants and / or homeless.
    •  People who finish the second phase of the social protection system of the MEYSS and who are in a situation of social unprotection lacking accommodation and / or economic resources, waiting for a place in resource of the municipal network of immigrants and / or without household, with some of these cases being families with minors, whose only alternative is the APOI Project, which has an important waiting list.
    • Youth supervised in juvenile centers in Ceuta from where, when they reach the age of majority, their transfer to the peninsula is facilitated, arriving in Madrid without resources or support network, and who are waiting for a place in a convivial preparation resource For autonomous life. These resources, whether from the municipal network or from different social NGOs that work with youth at risk of exclusion, have waiting lists longer than 6 months.
    • Persons with a negative resolution of their application for international protection, who file an appeal before the National Court at the Madrid Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport or the Asylum Office in Madrid, and who as a precautionary measure authorize their stay in Spain until Your appeal is resolved. During this time they cannot opt for the MITRAMISS social protection system.
    • Beneficiaries and / or applicants for international protection who finalize the first phase of the social protection system of MITRAMISS and are waiting for the mandatory financial aid to start autonomous life or, having these grants, find themselves serious difficulties in leasing a home due to lack of sufficient financial guarantees (employment contract).
    • Syrian-Spanish families repatriated from conflict zone.

In 2018, with the rigorous application of the Ministry of Interior Instruction in which the priority reception disappears, especially for families with minors, and is established as the start date of the right to the first reception, once the Asylum application has been a delay of six months. For this reason, the Emergency devices of the City of Madrid began to collapse, and specifically in reference to the MejíaLequerica Shelter.

The Madrid City Council promoted measures to produce a coordinated response between the relevant Ministries in the field (Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security (MITRAMISS), the Community of Madrid and the City Council of Madrid. Fruit of these meetings has resulting in the establishment of the necessary coordination mechanisms to expedite appointments with the Social Work Unit of the Ministry, responsible and competent bodies for the social protection of asylum seekers, by assigning places. housed in municipal devices.

Given the emergency situation created, as a result of the delay by the State in the appointment of appointments to the population requesting international protection (asylum and refuge) and which entails the delay in the allocation of places of first reception, together with the period winter in which the municipal squares of the Cold Campaign are at maximum occupancy. It was necessary to temporarily reinforce these emergency resources, with two more devices. One was for asylum-seeking families in Franco Rodriguez, with a capacity of 110 seats that has been in operation from November 23, 2018 until 30 June 2019 having welcomed 609 asylum seekers. And in January 2019 another emergency device is launched aimed at asylum seekers men alone waiting for social protection place for asylum seekers of the ministry (MITRAMISS). This center has a capacity of 120 people, and they have attended about 903 people so far this year.

The MejíaLequerica Shelter, with a capacity of 128 beds, has served some 6,561 asylum seekers mainly and vulnerable migrants who have been left out of the asylum system for refugees. At this time the majority profile are people of Latin American origin mainly from Venezuela, El Salvador, Colombia, whose intention to apply for asylum.