A Brief History | Mission, Vision and Values | Awards | Our Network

With over 25 years of experience, we are a leading organisation in the fight to defend the right of all human beings to seek protection and asylum. CEAR-Euskadi defends the rights of refugees, stateless people and migrants and we work to support their integral development to ensure their success in the new society that welcomes them.

A Brief History

CEAR was born in 1979, when a group of people who were concerned with the plight of people arriving in Spain seeking protection created the Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid, or CEAR).

An offshoot of the project developed in the Basque Country in 1989, with few resources but a great deal of hope. In 1996 CEAR-Euskadi was established as its own independent non-governmental organisation.

Mission, Vision and Values

CEAR y CEAR-Euskadi are two separate sister organisations united by a common mission:

Our mission is to protect and promote the human rights and integral development of refugees, displaced people, stateless people and migrants in need of international protection and/or at risk of social exclusion.

The staff of CEAR-Euskadi, which consists of paid employees, partners and volunteers, works together to realise a common vision:

CEAR-Euskadi strives to be an agent of change and transformation that works toward achieving a sustainable, just society that is free of discrimination and based on equal opportunities and respect for individual and collective identities; along with networks of partners, we organise processes of social, cultural, professional and political integration that engage all affected parties.

These are the values that guide our organisation:

  • Justice
  • Ethical responsibility
  • Effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Care
  • Independence
  • Participation
  • Transparency
  • Trust
  • Activism/engagement/commitment


We have received a number of awards for our work over the years. To name a few:

The René Cassin Human Rights Award, 2013

Este premio, concedido por la Secretaría General de Paz y Convivencia, a través de la Dirección de Victimas y Derechos Humanos del Gobierno Vasco, This award, given by the General Secretariat for Peace and Coexistence through the Basque Government’s Office of Human Rights and Victims of Terrorism, recognised CEAR-Euskadi for its many years of work ‘in defence of refugees and migrants’ and its efforts to carry out ‘social work and educate the public in order to build intercultural understanding in Basque society’.

The René Cassin award  was created by the Basque Government to recognise individuals and organisations for outstanding achievement in human rights. The award was named after René Cassin, born in Bayonne in 1887, who played an instrumental role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968.


The Fundación Sabino Arana Award, 2015

In 2015, the Fundación Sabino Arana (Sabino Arana Foundation) recognised CEAR-Euskadi for ‘working for over 25 years to defend and promote human rights and the integral development of refugees and migrants in need of protection and/or at risk of social exclusion’.

The foundation praised the ‘work that CEAR-Euskadi has been doing since 1996, which includes providing refugees and immigrants with reception services and assistance, empowering these individuals and aiding them in integrating into society, working to raise awareness of and promote human rights, speaking out against violations of such rights and defending the principle that all people are equal in dignity and rights’.

Pretty Rosa Gutiérrez, a refugee from Venezuela, and Javier Galparsoro, the director of CEAR-Euskadi, accepted the award on behalf of the organisation. You can watch them speak in the video below.

Our Network

CEAR-Euskadi has a large number of alliances and partnerships that form the strong network that is a driving force behind our work.

Type of Relationship
Coordinator of Basque NGOs providein Support to Inmigrants (Harresiak Apurtuz) Member organisation Coordinator of Organisations – Assembly. Residential Exclusion Committee. Social and Health Services Committee
BESTEBI Platform Member organisation Network for residential inclusion and support for homeless individuals
EAPN – Euskadi Member organisation European Anti-Poverty Network in the Basque Country. Participation Committee. Assembly. Health
EKAIN NETWORK Member organisation (through Harresiak Apurtuz and EAPN) Participation in work groups
GIZARDATZ Member organisation Management of social engagement sector. Assemblies
HEMEN Consortium Support for young immigrants. Head of the consortium, in charge of financial management
Kolektiba Colombia (Paz con Dignidad, Mugarik Gabe, Solidaridad Internacional, Posada de los Abrazos y CEAR-Euskadi) Consortium Alliance of human rights and philanthropic organisations whose aim is to speak out against and raise awareness regarding human rights violations in Colombia
MATIKO Community Collaboration agreement Zabalbide youth housing
URETAMENDi Community Verbal agreement Ureta youth housing
Bizkaia Regional Council. IFAS Collaboration agreement Provides facilities
Basque Office of Human Rights and Victims of Terrorism Agreement Basque Programme for Interim Protection for Defenders of Human Rights
Platform for Peace and Human Rights in Colombia Member organisation National network for the defence of human rights in Colombia
Consejo Vasco de Cooperación para el Desarrollo Council member Council of the Basque Government representing stakeholders in development cooperation, with the authority to propose actions, make decisions and monitor public development cooperation
Basque Volunteers Council Council member Council of the Basque Government providing a venue for discussion, guidance and consultation in volunteer matters
Volunteer Forum Member organisation A forum for reflecting on general matters of volunteering and promoting volunteering in Bizkaia
Human Rights Defenders Relocation Platform (European Commission) Member organisation European platform for coordinating and encouraging cooperation among national, regional and international organisations that work on relocation programmes for
BASQUE GOVERNMENT Department of Employment and Social Policy Assignment agreement Provides housing
City Council of San Sebastián. Office of Youth, Cooperation and Human Rights Collaboration protocol Making recommendations and participating in ‘Film and human rights’ events
University of Deusto Agreement Work placement programme for students of the Faculty of Philosophy and Education. Faculty of Psychology. Faculty of Sociology. Social Work. Social Care. Faculty of Law. Pedro Arrupe Institute of Human Rights. NOHA Master’s Programme
University of the Basque Country Students in work placement programme Training on the right to asylum in the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Social Work, Hegoa Master’s Programme, Migrations Master’s Programme
Association of Barristers of Bizkaia Agreement Students in work placement programme. Education on the right to asylum. Planning public events
IEFPS ATEGORRI-TARTANGA GLHBI (vocational training school) Agreement Students in work placement programme
Bilbao City Council. Office of Social Engagement Collaboration agreement Registering homeless people as official residents of the city
IEFPS-Botica Vieja (vocational training school) Collaboration agreement Students in work placement programme
Fundación EDE. Fundación EDE Development NGO School Collaboration agreement Training in working with unaccompanied foreign minors. Students in work placement programme
Women’s Empowerment Schools of Biscay (Escuelas Empoderamiento de Mujeres de Bizkaia) Collaboration agreement Raising awareness regarding asylum and gender-based persecution
NAHIA Collaboration agreement Network working towards a gender and sexual diversity-based approach
Gernika Gogoratuz Collaboration and cooperation Initiative entitled ‘Memorias compartidas: una mirada al derecho de asilo desde las experiencias del exilio durante el franquismo’ (Shared Memories: A Look at the Right to Asylum Based on the Experience of Exiles During Franco’s Regime)
ZZAS (Basque Anti-rumours Network) ZAS Basque Anti-rumours Network Coordinating on an anti-rumours strategy in the Basque Country
ERABEREAN Network for Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination Branch of ERABEREAN in Araba/Álava Network run by the Basque Government to fight discrimination based on race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, sexual identity and gender identity
Gora Gasteiz Member organisation of the Steering Committee and the Communications Committee Community advocacy initiative developed to defend the diverse city of Vitoria-Gasteiz from xenophobic attacks and defend the human rights of the city’s culturally diverse residents
Gasteiz Irekia Member organisation of the Steering Committee and the Communications Committee Community platform formed to help various initiatives to make Vitoria-Gasteiz a ‘safe city’ join forces
‘Circles of Silence’ in Vitoria-Gasteiz Member organisation, secondary role A local community advocacy group that meets every first Thursday of the month to protest against the poor management of resources for people at risk of social exclusion; their motto is ‘Your silence speaks louder than your scream’