November 2020: Youssef and Alan are only two of too many children who have lost their lives on the move in recent years. The International Migration Organization (IOM) reported that 337 children have died while migrating in Africa between 2014–2018, 200 of them died as a result of drowning in the Mediterranean sea. However, this number does not reflect the grim reality: according to IOM, over 70 per cent of people whose deaths were reported in the Central Mediterranean between 2014 and 2018 were never found.
Implementing the Marrakesh Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: commentary on the IOM Regional Meetings 11 – 12 November
November 2020: On 11 and 12 November 2020, IOM is hosting a regional meeting of UNECE countries (56 countries in Europe and North America) to examine progress on the Marrakesh Compact. Many states have submitted reports on their actions (though far from all in the region) and many IOs and other stakeholders have made submissions for consideration. In this blog, after examining the structure of the meeting, I will look specifically at the submission by the EU outlining how it has sought to comply with the Compact objectives.
October 2020: Asylum and migration policy are highly contested, emotional and ideologically fragmented issues, especially in times when migratory numbers are high. Analyzing social media discourses on migration and asylum issues can reveal new cleavages in society, political polarization and ideological fragmentation – and help us understand how discourses differ across different social media platforms.
October 2020: In Tunisia, deterioration of the economic situation, a rising unemployment rate, and the reduction of civil rights are currently causing a new flow of Tunisian migrants heading for Italy, seeking both work and safety in Europe. The silent, growing, and continuous exodus from Tunisia is a new form of migration that should spark a revision of international norms on international protection and a new form of migration governance aiming at capturing determinants, processes, and outcomes of the actual migration. What can the Tunisian exodus teach us about current protection needs?
October 2020: Of the 107,800 refugees resettled in 2019, only 30,100 were welcomed by Canada. Although it is often lauded on the world stage for its resettlement policies, Canada can significantly improve its promotion of comprehensive and effective solutions to forced displacement.
October 2020: In the New Pact possibilities for solidarity through relocation are widened and complemented by ‘return sponsorship’ schemes, under which a Member State should commit to support returns from another one. What seems to be missing, however, are the new incentives for EUMS to get engaged in this pact.
September 2020: It is precisely by aiming at the center of a very polarized political spectrum, and by presenting itself as a compromise, that the proposal can hope to spark a fruitful debate. Any expansive or restrictive suggestion from the angle of Northern, Eastern, or Southern states would be immediately dismissed by the opposing fringe.
September 2020: If the Greek authorities were to work faster, more than half of the asylum seekers on Moria would no longer be asylum seekers subject to detention conditions but refugees, or beneficiaries of international protection. However, at the rate at which Greek authorities are making decisions on asylum applications in comparison with the numbers they are receiving each year, it will be a very long time before many asylum seekers can hope to be recognised as a refugee.
September 2020: The pandemic has worsened living conditions for migrants and refugees significantly – not only in refugee camps like Moria, but everywhere in EU countries. COVID-related health emergency measures have diverted both funds and consideration – and government policies have turned more intolerant, placing migrants in a limbo, with no rights or assistance, no access to testing or health and social facilities. The virus seems to have offered an excuse to legitimize government policies aiming at closing borders and causing exclusion. In steps NGOs, who have provided refugee relief in the absence of the state.
September 2020: As much as the Greek state tries to present the fire and misery that unfolded as an unpredictable event and a state of emergency, this disaster was preventable, foreseeable and, therefore, foretold and avoidable. It is the outcome of a series of inadequate and patchy political decisions as well as the largely exclusionary, discriminatory and deterrent policies.
August 2020: From the definition of refugees to the practical implementation of the right to asylum, refugee regimes are an issue leading to sharp political divisions or outright stand-off in a number of countries. Is this no-exit-road impression the truth of the matter, and what are the prospects of the Global Compact in this not-so-rosy scenario?
“The US is not safe for asylum seekers” – Federal Court of Canada strikes down the Canada-US Agreement
July 2020: The Federal Court of Canada has determined that the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) infringes upon asylum seekers’ right to international protection and has given the Parliament six months to take necessary action. Until then, Canada can continue handing over asylum seekers to the US officials, exposing them to arbitrary detention and the possibility of immediate deportation to where they have fled persecution or other life-threatening situations. The Federal Court should rescind the STCA immediately, not six months from now, say PROTECT researchers, Idil Atak, Zainab Abu Alrob and Jona Zyfi in this blog piece.
What does the new EU budget have in store for migration and asylum? The effect of crises on EU spending
July 2020: On 21 July 2020, after four days and nights of intense negotiations, EU leaders reached an agreement and announced the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). As far as migration and border policy are concerned, the new MFF as agreed upon by the European Council looks little like the budget the Commission had in mind in the first place.
June 2020: The impact of the New York Declaration and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) on the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees (including the 1967 Protocol) is only just now beginning to become visible. From our perspective, the most important development the GCR constitutes is the alignment of refugee rights with human rights. The GCR commitments link together refugee protection and human rights in a UN instrument which, while not legally binding, sets out the common will of the international community.
June 2020: The world is in an uproar following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020. In outrage and desperation, demonstrators worldwide have taken to the streets to protest – denouncing the racism and discrimination towards black populations which is still deeply embedded in all layers of society. Racism is also one of the most widespread and devastating experience refugees, asylum seekers and migrants face on their journey to find a new home – and it is alive and well.
The challenge of making academic research feed into policy debates: three lessons to take away from the Brexit process
May 2020: Academics play a significant role in public policy debates providing both governments and citizens with evidence-based advice and encouraging dialogue and curiosity. But researchers’ engagement should not be a one-way street: academics also have to make sure they listen carefully to the needs of the public and provide them with advice and research of real use. Three main lessons from the Brexit process might help us along the way.
May 2020: As the Covid-19 pandemic has tightened its grip on many western states, many refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants continue to be detained in reception and detention centres, without any prospect of release. With asylum processing at a standstill and returns to countries of origin on hold, detention of these individuals risks becoming arbitrary, if not inhumane, write Elspeth Guild and Kathryn Allinson in this blog post.
As the Corona pandemic worsens, EU borders shut down: “A new low point for the EU’s respect for refugee rights and international law”
April 2020: Human rights in international law and the EU Charter are not dispensable in times of pandemics. They are essential characteristics and integral to promoting the European Way of Life which “is founded on the values of the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for the human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.”, Elspeth Guild and Kathryn Allinson write in this blog post.
How is the Corona pandemic affecting the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Greece and Italy? Two Protect researchers share their insights
April 2020: In this blog post Dr. Theofanis Exadaktylos from University of Surrey and Professor Francesca Longo from University of Catania address the situation for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Greece and Italy amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
How is the Corona pandemic affecting the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in South Africa and Canada? Two Protect researchers share their insights.
April 2020: This is one of two blog posts where Protect researchers reflect upon how the Corona pandemic is affecting people on the move across the world. In this post, Professor Jo Vearey from Wits University and Professor Idil Atak from Ryerson University share their insights from South Africa and Canada.
March 2020: In this blog post Professor Elspeth Guild reflects upon how shutting Europe’s internal and external borders amidst the Covid-19 outbreak might pose a threat to human rights. Professor Frank Caestecker looks at how pandemics throughout history have led to stricter border control and xenophobia.