Background information

AYS Weekend Digest 15-16/02/20 - Balkan: Polizeiliche Repression, Menschenrechtsverletzungen und institutionelle Lügen

Balkans: Bosnian police respond to protest with human rights violations and repression, Croatian authorities keep spreading lies when faced with their illegal policies. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten

Fishermen – The Invisible Solidarity Workers at Sea

Over the past week, the Alarm Phone was alerted to many boats in distress off the coast of Libya. People continue to flee the country, beset by conflict and violence. Amidst the dramatic scenes of rescue carried out by civil actors, the important role of other actors is often forgotten. Some forms of solidarity do not receive the same media attention because the people who practice them are poor or lack networks to make their actions visible. Sometimes, they are too scared to publicly talk about what they do. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Nordafrika, Afrika


The Border Violence Monitoring Network is releasing it’s January Report, covering the pushback of 263 people, across fourteen different incidents. Work by volunteers in the field shone a light on the continued use of blunt physical force to damage, impair and brutalise people-on-the-move. Reports involved a range of perpetrators, with Croatia carrying out the majority of recorded pushbacks, alongside three chain removals from Slovenia and two mass explusions from North Macedonia to Greece. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Europäische Union

Entre expulsion et retour volontaire, la frontière est fine

Une nouvelle sémantique s’est construite au sein de l’Union européenne : celle du « retour volontaire » des migrants irréguliers. Découvrez sur le blog « Dialogues économiques » l'analyse du politologue Jean-Pierre Cassarino, qui travaille depuis de longues années sur la migration de retour et met en garde contre l’utilisation abusive du terme « retour » dans le discours politique. À l’heure des fake news et des décodex, les mots prennent des tournures ambivalentes. Langue de bois et autres artefacts langagiers construisent, au-delà des mots, des murs. Des murs qui n’ont plus d’oreilles et brouillent notre compréhension. read more

Language(s): Französisch / Français
Region(s): Europa, Weltweit

Bundesregierung einigt sich auf Asylkonzept

Die Bundesregierung hat sich auf ein Konzept für eine Reform des Asylsystems der Europäischen Union verständigt. Wie der Sprecher von Bundesinnenminister Horst Seehofer (CSU) bestätigte, gibt es für die Verhandlungen auf EU-Ebene nun eine abgestimmte Position der Bundesregierung. Ein wesentlicher Eckpunkt sei, dass es künftig eine "Vorprüfung" von Asylanträgen an der EU-Außengrenze geben soll. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Deutschland, Europäische Union

Beschleunigte Asylverfahren in der Schweiz

Seit knapp einem Jahr werden in der Schweiz Asylverfahren beschleunigt durchgeführt. Heute wurde eine erste Bilanz gezogen: Das Staatssekretariat für Migration SEM wie auch Hilfsorganisationen sind grundsätzlich zufrieden - allerdings gibt es Verbesserungspotential. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Österreich / Schweiz

UN strengthens call for ceasefire in Syria

Because of the escalating situation in the Syrian civil war zone Idlib, the United Nations has intensified its calls for an urgent ceasefire. At a special session of the UN Security Council, the UN mediator for Syria, Geir Pedersen, and UN emergency aid, coordinator Mark Lowcock described the current situation in Idlib as bleak. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Naher Osten

Italy guilty of refoulements in 2009 handover of Eritrean shipwreck survivors to Libya

On 14 November 2019, the first section of the Rome civil court ruled on a case brought by 14 Eritrean nationals against the interior, defence and foreign affairs ministries and the Cabinet presidency, for a collective refoulement at sea on 1 July 2009. The court, presided over by judge Monica Velletti, handed down a sentence upholding the claims made by the 14. The Italian state has been ordered to pay €15,000 in compensation to each individual and to permit them entry into Italy to apply for international protection. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Italien / Malta, Nordafrika, Afrika

Trotz Suizidalität: Knast und Folter zur gewaltvollen Durchsetzung von Abschiebungen

Die skandalöse Abschiebung einer hochgradig suizidalen Person aus der Abschiebehaft in Büren (NRW) nach Marokko schlägt leider keine Aufmerksamkeitswellen. Viel zu sehr hat sich die brutale Abschiebepraxis der BRD schon in der Gesellschaft normalisiert. Herr H. ist schwer suizidal und dementsprechend dringend behandlungsbedürftig. Der Kampf gegen seine Abschiebung endete leider erfolglos: Am 9. Januar 2020 wurde er aus dem Abschiebeknast in Büren nach Marokko abgeschoben. Trotz der Nachweise mehrerer Aufenthalte in psychiatrischen Kliniken sowie mehrfachen Selbstmordversuchen, welche Grund genug sein sollten für eine Bescheinigung und letztendliche Akzeptanz seiner Haft- und Reiseunfähigkeit, wurde er für insgesamt drei Monate in Abschiebehaft in Büren gesperrt. Innerhalb dieser Zeit unternahm Herr H. mindestens einen weiteren Suizidversuch. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Deutschland

Gewalt im Sahel, West- und Zentralafrika eskaliert weiter

Weitgehend unbemerkt von der Weltöffentlichkeit hat sich in der Sahelzone, in West- und Zentralafrika die Sicherheitslage und die humanitäre Situation drastisch verschlechtert. Inzwischen sind 1,2 Millionen Menschen in die Nachbarländer geflüchtet. 5 Millionen Menschen leben derzeit als Binnenvertriebene, als Flüchtlinge im eigenen Land. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Afrika

Caught in Iran crisis, Afghan refugees go to Turkey

Decades ago, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan prompted thousands of people to flee to neighboring Iran. Now, many of these refugees are once again seeking a new home in a new land, Turkey, desperate to escape the dire economic conditions fueled by U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
Tens of thousands made the dangerous, cross-border trek last year into Turkey. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Naher Osten

Reception conditions in Italy

Asylum seekers in Italy threatened with human rights violations
The conditions for asylum seekers in Italy are miserable. The Federal Administrative Court recently called on the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) to carry out more in-depth investigations into the situation in Italy. A new report by Swiss Refugee Aid (SFH) shows Asylum seekers who are sent back to Italy as part of a Dublin procedure have little access to adequate accommodation. Their basic rights are not guaranteed. The SFH therefore advises against transfers to Italy.

read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Italien / Malta


The document analyzes the transformative process set off by the new Regulation.
The evolution of Frontex into a super-agency is examined through the expansion of
its human resource capacity, an examination of its investment strategy in
infrastructure and services, a description of its emerging role as a key surveillance
data administrator and returns operation manager, and concludes with an analysis
of questions and concerns regarding accountability and legal issues that will
inevitably define the character of the agency in the years to come. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europäische Union


Together with a number of NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Are You Syrious / Centre for Peace Studies, and Amnesty International, the Border Violence Monitoring Network has been working to document illegal pushbacks and police violence along the EU’s external borders in the Western Balkans since the formal closure of the route in 2017. While the existence of systematic illegal pushbacks along the Croatian and Hungarian borders with Serbia and Bosnia is evidenced extensively, this report focuses on the increasing violence that is applied to refugees and migrants under the framework of the Croatian case. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Europäische Union

AYS Special 2019/2020: A Year of Violence — Monitoring Pushbacks on the Balkan Route

In 2019, The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) shared the voices of thousands of people pushed back from borders on the Balkan Route. Each tells their own tale of illegal, and regularly violent, police actions. Each represents a person denied their fundamental rights, eyewitnesses to EU led reborderization. This article shares just some of the more startling trends which define border management on the eve of 2020, such as the denial of asylum rights, systemic firearms use, water immersion, and dog attacks. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten

Central Mediterranean Regional Analysis

The Alarm Phone’s Central Mediterranean Regional Analysis is out! It covers the period 1 October to 31 December 2019 and discusses key developments, including:
- Civil Fleet and Alarm Phone rescues
- The “borderisation” of Search and Rescue zones
- Non-assistance, interceptions, refoulements by proxy by Europe and its allies
- “Privatised” push-backs to Libya
- Recent shipwrecks and invisibilised deaths at sea
- Messages from behind bars in Libya read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Italien / Malta, Nordafrika, Europäische Union

Sea- Watch Sonderbeilage 2019: 701 Tonnen Solidarität – Für das Recht zu bleiben, Für das Recht zu gehen

Nach einem Jahr mit viel Aufmerksamkeit für die Seenotretter*innen, beschäftigt sich diese Beilage für die Taz mit den Geschichten derer, die sonst nicht auf der Titelseite landen. Es geht um die Geschichten von Achuil (Anfang 2019 zu Gast auf der Sea-Watch 3) und drei Jugendlichen, die für ihre Courage vor Gericht stehen. Auch die Arbeit an den Grenzen der Festung Europa wird geschildert. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Europäische Union

Sea Rescue NGOs: a Pull Factor of Irregular Migration?

The argument that maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operations act as a ‘pull factor’ of irregular seaborne migration has become commonplace during the Mediterranean ‘refugee crisis’. This claim has frequently been used to criticize humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) conducting SAR off the coast of Libya, which are considered to provide “an incentive for human smugglers to arrange departures”. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Italien / Malta, Nordafrika


The Border Violence Monitoring Network just published it’s November report, covering pushbacks and police violence from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Greece. This report covers several different trends, analysing the illegal and life threatening police practices which govern the external border of the European Union. In focus was the near fatal use of firearms by Croatian authorities, supported by the recent publication of BVMN’s wider statistics on the exercise of guns during collective expulsion. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten

Europe spends billions stopping migration. Good luck figuring out where the money actually goes

Since the summer of 2015, when countless boats full of migrants began arriving on the shores of Greece and Italy, Europe has increased migration spending by billions. And much of this money is being spent in Africa. Within Europe, the political left and right have very different ways of framing the potential benefits of that funding. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europa, Afrika