Spain: National High Court removes obstacles for the registration of third-country national children

Sunday, March 24, 2019

On 24 March 2019, the Administrative Chamber of the National High Court in Spain declared as final the judgment in a ruling from 28 December 2018 to remove the obstacles in place for the registration of third-country national children in Spain.

The NGO Cáritas Española submitted that the different requirements for entry into a municipal register between Spanish children and third-country national children was discrimination. While Spanish children can be registered with a family book or a birth certificate, third-country national children had to follow the same procedure required of adult third-country nationals. As a result, the regulations made registration in the municipal register for third-country national minors more difficult and consequently impacted their access to healthcare, education, and social services.

The Court recognized that this was formally creating fewer protections for third-country national children in contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 10 (3) of Ley Orgánica 1/1996, which stipulate that third-country national children have the right to education, healthcare and social services and benefits in the same condition as Spanish children. The Court acknowledged that equal access to these benefits required equal access to the same formalities and registration processes. Further to this, it was stated that the differences in these processes violated the principle of equality under Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution.

The Court ruled that the procedure for the entry of a third-country national minor into the municipal register should not have more requirements than those in place for Spanish children. It therefore ruled that third-country national minors up to the age of 14 can be registered through the same procedure as a Spanish minor, by providing only a family book or a birth certificate.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.




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