Background information

Balkan Region Report - December 2020

During December 2020, the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) gathered 25 testimonies of pushbacks, impacting a total of 707 people-on-the-move. This rounds off a year of consistent and compelling evidence collected by BVMN, exposing the systematised use of pushbacks at the European Union external border. In this report, updates cover a variety of violations including pushback practices, internal violence and the crisis around winterised shelter.

This report analyses among other things:

Tri-border pushbacks from Bulgaria to Turkey
Expulsion of transit groups from Lesvos
Fire pits used by the Croatian police
The burning of camp Lipa in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Legal proceedings against Croatia and Hungary
Gateway removals near Idomeni
Read the full report to find out more about these, and further events from the region that occured in December. Other topics include an update from activists working with arrivals in Trieste, analysis of Greek Ministry of Asylum videos, coverage of right wing attacks in Thessaloniki and fires on Samos, and challenging transit conditions for people in Serbia as winter intensifies. read more

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

Sea rescue in the Mediterranean Sea the review of 2020

Since 2015, several civilian sea rescue organizations from various European countries, primarily Germany, Italy and Spain, have been operating mainly in the central Mediterranean Sea - repeatedly emphasizing that sea rescue is actually a state task, but that it is not being adequately performed. According to their own figures, they were able to rescue more than 3,500 people from distress at sea in 2020. But for some time now, their work has been increasingly hindered by political measures, for example because Mediterranean states such as Italy and Malta refuse to shelter refugees and prohibit them from entering their ports, while the EU has suspended "Sophia," its rescue mission in the Mediterranean.
read more

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

KISA denounces the new act of repression by the government.

PRESS REEASE – 16/12/2020
KISA denounces the new act of repression by the government.

KISA denounces a mew attempt by the government to repress its action and vision for a society without racism and discrimination
The Minister of Interior, immediately after his appointment last December, unleashed an unprecedented defamation attack against KISA and other NGOS active in the field of migration and asylum, making his intention to close them down very clear.
The Minister, with no substantiation whatsoever of his positions, repeatedly accused KISA for cooperation with terrorist religious organisations collaborating with Turkey, for corruption and participating in money laundering as well as for participation in the pursued, according to him, demographic and cultural identity changes of Cyprus by Turkey. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei

LOCKED UP AND EXCLUDED - Informal and illegal detention in Spain, Greece, Italy and Germany

The report of Migreurop “Locked up and excluded" : Informal and illegal detention in Spain, Greece, Italy and Germany” looks back at how four EU member states practiced the administrative detention of non- nationals in 2019. The report shows how, in both first arrival countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain and in a presumed destination country, Germany, the detention of non-nationals is evolving, taking new forms and based on new grounds. In particular, this report argues that, in 2019, administrative detention was increasingly happening outside or at the margins of existing legal frameworks. We consider that locking migrants up without respecting or by bending existing legislations amounted to a generalization of ad hoc and informal detention and that it led to the further precarisation and deterioration of detention conditions. read more

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

Balkan Region Report – October 2020

In October, the Border Violence Monitoring Network published 40 reports of pushbacks and police violence at European Union borders. These cases, which relate the experience of 1003 people-on-the-move, are a testament to the brutal border systems in place at internal and external EU borders. Respondents experienced a range of physical, psychological and structural violence, which is examined in detail in this report. Read the full report for further updates on the criminalisation of solidarity work in Croatia, forced removals to the South of Serbia, Frontex pushbacks in the Aegean and deaths of people-on-the-move killed on the route last month. read more

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

Deadly Crossings and the militarisation of Britain’s borders

Military-style solutions won’t solve humanitarian problems, argues our new report that details the nearly 300 border-related deaths in and around the English Channel since 1999. Deadly Crossings and the Militarisation of Britain’s Borders reveals the human tragedies caused by inhumane border enforcement at a time when the UK Home Office is seeking to make Channel crossings ‘unviable’. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Frankreich, Großbritannien

A Walled World - towards a global Apartheid

We are truly living in a walled world. These fortresses segregate people, protecting privilege and power and denying others human rights and dignity. This report argues that 30 years after its dismantling in South Africa, our walled world is creating a new kind of global apartheid. Such borders are constructed on racist ideologies, deny groups of people basic rights and perpetuate violence. As this report argues, the concept of global apartheid ‘helps explain tendencies and structures of power and global segregation’ in which ‘walls are just one of the physical and visible dimensions of the growing cultural, structural and physical violence that this system creates in the world’. read more

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

The Increase in arrivals of migrants in the Canary Islands highlights structural issues

Migration flows between the Canary Islands, Morocco and Senegal are at an all-time high, reproducing what happened in 2006 on this route. As of 15 November 2020, the number of people crossing has been multiplied by six, compared to 2019, reaching a total of 16,950 people. An increase in crossings leads to an increase in deaths at sea. In one week at the end of  October,  480 people died or were reported missing. On 29 October, 140 people lost their lives off the Senegalese coast. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Spanien, Nordafrika, Europa, Weltweit

Report to the Greek Governmenton the visit to Greece carried out by the European Committeefor the Prevention of Torture and Inhumanor Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

The European Committeefor the Prevention of Torture and Inhumanor Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) wishes to emphasise that it acknowledges the significant challenges the Greek authorities are facing in dealing with large numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants entering the country. It has repeatedly stressed that addressing this phenomenon requires a coordinated European approach as well as support by the European Union and its member States. The response of the Greek authorities cannot rely on a policy of detention. At the same time, it wishes to reiterate that this situation cannot absolve the Greek authorities from their international human rights obligations as regards the treatment of foreign nationals deprived of their liberty. The State must exercise its duty of care to all persons deprived of their liberty and treat them with humanity and with dignity read more

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

Migranti climatici - Cause, definizioni e numeri di un fenomeno in crescita

Oggi l’1% del pianeta Terra è una zona calda appena vivibile e miliardi di persone chiamano questa terra “casa”. Entro il 2070, a causa del riscaldamento globale, questa percentuale potrebbe arrivare al 19%, forzando così la popolazione di queste aree a spostarsi in altri luoghi, e dando ulteriore impulso al fenomeno dei migranti climatici. read more

Language(s): Italienisch / Italiano
Region(s): Weltweit

New Pact on Migration – Policy Analysis

On 23rd September 2020, the European Commission presented its plans for the future of migration and asylum management in Europe. Whilst it has been widely acknowledged that an overhaul of the current system is imperative, the New Pact does little to quell concerns from INGOs, civil society groups, and human rights watchdogs. The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) has decided to focus on independent border monitoring, pre-screening procedures and mechanisms that immediately follow for the purpose of this policy analysis. These indicate a system in which external borders will be fortified in the interest of accelerating decision making processes for new arrivals into the bloc. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Italien / Malta, Griechenland / Türkei, Europäische Union

Technological Testing Grounds

Migration Management Experiments and Reflections from the Ground Up - This report offers the beginning of a systemic analysis of migration management technologies, foregrounding the experiences of people on the move who are interacting with and thinking about surveillance, biometrics, and automated decision-making during the course of their migration journeys. Published by EDRI and Refugee Law Lab read more

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

Populations at Risk: Implications of COVID-19 for Hunger, Migration and Displacement, November 2020

The joint WFP-IOM report highlights the close interconnection between hunger, conflict, migration and displacement, which has been further aggravated by COVID-19. The study explores the impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods, food security and protection of migrant workers households dependent on remittances and the forcibly displaced. Using the latest available data, the report highlights food security trends in some of the major migration and hunger hotspots across the world. The key findings have informed joint recommendations put forward by both agencies to mitigate the immediate negative effects on mobile and displaced populations, while preparing the pathway to recovery. read more

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

MONTHLY REVIEW: OCTOBER 2020

This monthly review covers topics such as Eurafrican migration control, migration and displacement in African countries and news on the European border regime. read more

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

Shrinking Spaces: Report on Criminalisation of Solidarity in the Western Balkans

This report documents the trend to de-legitimise, stigmatise and criminalise acts of humanity and solidarity with people on the move. It seeks to provide an overview, including some selected cases from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as well as analysis of particular key events. For this purpose semi-structured interviews with different grassroots actors who were impacted by forms of criminalisation of solidarity were conducted between January and November of 2019. read more

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

Ever-changing Travel Routes in the Western Med - the Move to the South and the East

The report covers another turbulent four months of crossings, political developments and daily struggles against the European border system in the Western Med. As we described in our last report, the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in both Morocco and Spain, as well as raids and arbitrary arrests, have had a significant impact on arrivals to Spain. From June onwards, it became clear that both the Spanish and Moroccan state are using Covid-19 as another means of harrassing and arresting migrants or denying them basic necessities like decent accomodation. Despite these obstacles, people are leaving in search of a better life and fighting for their freedom of movement. read more

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

Croatian authorities leading choreographed violence near Cetingrad

In the last fourteen days, BVMN-member No Name Kitchen have collected testimonies alluding to a spike in pushback violence in the Cetingrad area of the Croatian border with Bosnia-Herzegovina. The veracity of these testimonies is further supplemented with reports from local people and media outlets. The characteristics of this trend in violence have been complex and coordinated assaults by Croatian police, consisting of repetitive baton strikes, lashing and kicking. read more

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

The Real Common Interest

For too long the EU’s migration policies have ignored the priorities of the countries it partners with for the sake of its own border security and domestic priorities. These have permeated the domestic migration and asylum policies of the Maghreb countries it supports, including Tunisia and Morocco, in a convergence of national interests of states, at the cost of people’s interests. The EU’s cooperation with its neighbours should encourage a real common interest: protecting people and fulfilling their rights. read more

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

Alarm Phone: Aegean Regional Analysis

Human rights violations reached a new level in the Aegean Sea and at the Greek-Turkish land border from the beginning of March. The escalation went along with acts of repression against NGOs and solidarity structures for refugees and migrants. Most recently, Greek authorities published a press release about a criminal investigation into 33 people from four different NGOs. Even though the press statement does not name the Alarm Phone nor as yet has there been an official statement including us, several media reports claim that Alarm Phone is among the groups targeted. Our position is still as our statement of 1 Oct 2020 and we refrain from commenting on the investigation or the rumours which surround it. Instead we want to focus on the real crimes that are ongoing in the Aegean: the push backs and human rights violations by the Greek government. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei

Der »New Pact«: Neue Grenzverfahren, mehr Haft, keine Lösung alter Probleme

Am 23. September 2020 hat die Europäische Kommission mit ihrem »New Pact on Migration and Asylum« einen neuen Vorschlag für eine Reform des Gemeinsamen Europäischen Asylsystems sowie die dazugehörigen Rechtsakte vorgestellt. PRO ASYL hat die Vorschläge analysiert und stellt die problematischsten Aspekte der Screening-Verordnung, der Asylverfahrensverordnung, der Asyl- und Migrationsmanagement-Verordnung und der Krisen-Verordnung vor. In ihrem Zusammenspiel untergraben sie das Recht auf Asyl in Europa, welches in Art. 18 Grundrechte-Charta verankert ist. read more

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

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