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Police and sworn interpreters and translators have reveal the existence of labour intrusiveness and precariousness in the sector.

Professional blame administration for the reduction of costs because they have selected unskilled employees through outsourcing companies.


The Spanish Professional Association of Court and Sworn Interpreters and Translators (APTIJ) has organized a commemorative ceremony in the headquarters of the European Parliament in Madrid on its 10th anniversary. The Association has exposed the situation where sworn interpreters are freelancers when working for these outsourcing companies. Many leading members of the judiciary, education, ministries and Police have participated in this analysis.


It is exposed that there are no qualification controls in the sector, among other issues. That is why employees, who have not passed the oppositions of the Ministry of Justice, are freelancers in sworn interpreting. An example of that are waiters that study languages and see this as an opportunity to earn another wage or those interpreters who invent testimonies. However, it is not the first time that this problem comes to the fore. Some associations and universities achieved that a complaint was admitted last year. This complaint included interpreters with criminal records or others who filter information to those who were investigated.


One thing is certain: it is a serious situation. It is so serious that reach the “violation of the right of defence and procedural guarantees” of defendants and detainees. María Jesús Blasco, vice dean of the degree in Translation and Interpretation at Jaume I University, demands “training for sworn translation so that they can work in a secured way” because, nowadays, “anyone who accredit that they know a language can go to any of these enterprises to get a court assigned. That’s it”.


Miguel Ángel González, coordinator of sworn interpreters who oversees guaranteeing the translation quality in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – which are special because of its geographic location -, claims that “a business of this must not be done, although there is always an economic interest”.


The association of professionals of the sector, yet without regulation, claims that this precariousness and tariffs will lead to vulnerable workers. José Luis Díez, Catalan representative of the sector, argues that “in criminal trials, I have refused to work for 8 Euros per hour, because of professional dignity.”   Many professional sworn interpreters with higher qualification have been forced to leave the world of translation and sworn interpretation. That is because enterprises are saturating the market and they do not comply the requirements. They are downgrading working conditions.


José Antonio Yubero, head of the Translation and Interpretation Service of National Police, recognized and speaks out against the situation of intrusiveness. He demands that “the situation is regulated” and that it is necessary to “sensitize higher echelons about these problems”.


Finally, after this intervention, the situation will be examined – as promised the assistants on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and the Foreign Office – as well as quality certifications and interpreters supply to end with the easing of the sector, that has an impact in translations’ quality.


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