Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

Law on the right to asylum and subsidiary protection (12/2009)

Legal and administrative framework


This Law dated 30 October 2009 replaced the previous asylum law, which had been in place since 1984 and did not make any reference to resettlement. In 2010 and 2011, the Council of Ministers approved the establishment of resettlement programmes.

The law makes specific reference to resettlement programmes in the First Additional Provision (unofficial translation):

"The protection framework envisaged under the present law shall apply to persons who gain entry to Spain through resettlement programmes developed by the Government, in conjunction with the UNHCR and in some cases, other relevant international organisations. The Council of Ministers, upon receiving proposals from the Minister of the Interior and the Minister for Employment and Immigration, and following consultation with the Inter-ministerial Commission for Asylum and Refugees (CIAR), will agree on a number of persons to be resettled in Spain each year. Refugees who are resettled in Spain will have the same status as refugees who are recognised as such under the provisions of this Law."

Further to this, Spain responded to the UNHCR Global Resettlement Solidarity Initiative which requested more pledges from States to resettle refugees. In July 2013, eighty refugees (of Eritrean, Somali and Sudanese origins) arrived in Madrid for resettlement on the basis of the 2009 asylum law reform.

Files attached to this content:

Law regulating the right to asylum and subsidiary protection (12/2009) in Spanish