Social Issues

Spain must restore electricity supply to Madrid shantytown: rights committee

(Correction: Fixes entity, Council of Europe, not European Council.)

Paris, Oct 27 (EFE).- Spain must immediately restore electricity supplies or offer alternative accommodation to residents of a shantytown on the outskirts of Madrid, where some 4,500 people, including around 1,800 children, struggle for light and heating due to power outages, a Council of Europe committee ruled Thursday.

The European Committee of Social Rights published its decision based on a complaint lodged in March by four human and social rights NGOs, including Defence for Children International, and the Spanish CCOO union.

Countries that have ratified the European Social Charter must heed the decisions of the Strasbourg-based ESCR, although it does not have the power to enforce adherence, Council of Europe sources told Efe.

The ESCR said the situation at the Cañada Real, a sprawling and impoverished slum in the Madrid region, breached several provisions of the Charter, including the right to the protection of health, the right of children and young people to social, legal and economic protection and the right of protection against poverty.

The complainants alleged that in October 2020, the electricity supply was cut to sectors 5 and 6 of the Cañada Real shantytown and has yet to be restored.

In its initial response, the Spanish government said electricity has been restored to sector 5 but that it was not possible to resupply sector 6, for which it had taken “several corrective measures,” adding that there was a plan to rehouse the families living in that zone. EFE


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