Foreigners account for 46% of all sexual assault convictions in Spain

By John Cody
5 Min Read

New data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE) paints a bleak picture about diversity and multiculturalism in the Mediterranean country, showing that 45.62 percent of all of those convicted of sexual assault do not have Spanish nationality despite foreigners making up only a small fraction of the overall population.

Almost 500 people were convicted in 2021 in Spain for crimes related to sexual assault. Of these, 267 have Spanish nationality (54.38 percent), and 224 are foreigners (45.62 percent). Within this second group, 93 Africans were convicted of such crimes while Africans only represent 2.4 percent of the Spanish population, reports The Objective Spanish news outlet.

Convictions do not give a true picture of the sexual assault situation in Spain, as some rapes are never reported, while in other cases the assailant pleads to a lesser charge, or the assailant is simply never arrested. However, the data shows overall that sexual assaults are rising. In 2020, there were 428 sexual assault convictions. Spaniards were responsible for 238 cases and foreign nationals 190 (44.39 percent). Five years ago, in 2017, this percentage was 42.38 percent, of which 13.44 percent were African. The share of Africans involved in such cases has nearly doubled in five years.

African migrants
Migrants run on Spanish soil after crossing the fences separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco in Melilla, Spain, Friday, June 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Javier Bernardo)

If rape is considered, the most serious case of sexual assault, the data is similar. Of the 46 convictions for rape issued in 2021, 22 were Spaniards compared to 24 cases involving foreign nationals: 52.1 percent. That means that with foreign nationals representing 11.39 percent of the Spanish population (5.4 million people out of 47.4 million), this group commits more than half of the cases involving conviction for rape.

The Objective newspaper has obtained this data by filtering via the search mechanism on the INE portal, since the report provided by this body on Sept. 15 did not offer a selection by nationality for those convicted of the crime of sexual assault. The report did, however, specify, that “most of those convicted in 2021 had Spanish nationality” (75.2 percent), but most of these crimes were far less serious crimes than rape or murder.

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However, considering the rate of convicted persons per 1,000 inhabitants of legal age, the rate of convicted foreign nationals (15.9 percent) is 2.6 times higher than those of Spanish nationality (6.1 percent). Among foreigners, the countries of the Americas accounted for the highest percentage of sentenced persons (33.9 percent of the total).

Similar trends are present in Italy, where migrants account for nearly 50 percent of rapes. In Germany, they account for 36 percent of all sexual assaults, including half of all gang rapes, and France features similar numbers. In Sweden, foreigners are drastically overrepresented in sexual assault cases.

In Denmark, nearly 25 percent of all rapes are committed by foreign nationals, and the government there has not been shy about pointing out the issue.

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“The figures clearly show that we have a problem with an ethnic slant when relatively many foreigners are convicted of rape, just as we have an obvious problem when more than half of the inmates in the country’s prisons and detention centers are immigrants, their descendants, or foreigners,” said Denmark’s Minister of Justice, Nick Hækkerrup, of the Social Democrats.

“It is first and foremost a huge problem for our community and our society that there are groups that make such a significant impact in terms of committing crime,” the justice minister added. “It challenges our cohesion, and therefore it is also the government’s policy that foreigners without Danish citizenship who are convicted of rape must be deported, to the extent there is a basis for it.”

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