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Spain Racism: U.N. Official Urges Madrid To Tackle Discrimination Against Immigrants

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Would-be immigrants rest at Tarifa's harbour, on December 9, 2012, after being rescued off the Spanish coast by a boat of the Spanish emergency services. (MARCOS MORENO/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

MADRID — The U.N. expert on racism is urging Spain to take greater steps toward eliminating racist and discriminatory practices against migrants.

U.N. Special Rapporteur Mutuma Ruteere said Monday the chief problems in Spain included restricting access to health services, cases of police racial profiling, the treatment of migrants in holding centers and living conditions found in shanty-type camps.

He gave no specific details and declined to compare Spain with other countries.

Ruteere was in Spain for a weeklong visit, seeing five cities and meeting with officials and NGO groups.

He said Spain had made much progress in eliminating racism and discrimination but warned that it should not use the economic crisis as an excuse to ease up the fight.

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