Background information

The Balkan route. Migrants without rights in the heart of Europe

Since 8 September 2015, hundreds of thousands of people - mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - have arrived in Europe through Balkan countries, impacting the morphology and boundaries of these areas. In October 2015 - under the leadership of then President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker - representatives of UNHCR and Frontex met in Brussels alongside the leaders of Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, to discuss joint management of the Western Balkans migrant route, strength- ening of border controls and the creation of a coordinated “hot spot” system between the various countries involved. Refugee transit camps, ad hoc railway stations, food and cloth- ing distribution centres and medical clinics have sprung up along this effectively legalised corridor monitored by the mil- itary. In addition to support provided by non-government or- ganisations, the mobilisation of local and international civilian society in solidarity with migrant people was fundamental. Since November 2015, border crossings have become increas- ingly difficult. read more

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

Complaint to the European Commission concerning infringements of EU law by Greece

In recent years, many refugees have attempted to enter the European Union via the Greek borders, by land and overseas. Numerous reports indicate that those that did manage to cross the border over land or sea were denied their right to seek asylum by the Greek authorities. Instead, reports indicate these individuals were beaten, stripped and forcibly pushed back over the border.
The situation in Greece is in contravention of the protection asylum seekers are entitled to under EU law and in breach of their fundamental rights. WeMove Europe and Oxfam call upon the Commission to immediately take action and fulfill its duty to ensure EU lawis applied in full by the Greek authorities and that those in need of protection are indeed protected. read more

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

Malta: Waves of Impunity - Malta's human rights violations and Europe's responsibilities in the Central Mediterranean

In the first half of 2020, Maltese authorities were implicated in multiple failures to respect and protect the rights of refugees and migrants at sea.
This report describes violations by Maltese authorities for which they must be held accountable and how these violations are part and parcel of a wider regional strategy of containment of refugees and migrants in Libya. It also describes the consequences of this strategy, and it recommends steps which must urgently be put in place by Malta, Italy and EU member states and institutions, to protect the lives of refugees and migrants in the central Mediterranean. read more

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

IOM - Willing deportation logistician or helper in need?

What is the IOM - the United Nations Migration Office - actually doing in North Africa, the Sahara and the Sahel?
In July, Medico International and Brot für die Welt published a study on the IOM program of voluntary return of migrants (AVR) from Libya to sub-Saharan Africa. Shortly before, the Pan-European channel Euro News had published several reports on that very programme. Both sources criticize the program, saying that this kind of return is not voluntary, not humane. read more

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

Rekonstruktion einer Räumungswoche

Nach dem symbolträchtigen Besuch des neuen französischen Innenministers Gerald Darmanin in Calais am 12. Juli kam es zu einer Räumungswelle der provisorischen und von Geflüchteten bewohnten Zeltstadt in der Nähe von Calais. Die Räumungswelle des sogenannten Jungles unterschied "sich in ihrem Umfang und in ihrer Heftigkeit von vorausgegangenen Polizeiaktionen dieser Art" und erinnert an "die medienwirksam durchgeführte Räumung des bislang größten Calaiser Jungle im Oktober 2016".

Im Rahmen des Calais-Blogs von Bordermonitoring versucht Thomas Müller die aktuellen Ereignisse in Calais vorläufig zu rekonstruieren.

Den gesamten Beitrag findet ihr hier: read more

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

Emergency returns by IOM from Libya and Niger

Far beyond its own territory, the European Union and its member states are cooperating with third countries to prevent migrants and refugees from moving towards its external borders.
The EU outsources border controls, trains border police, concludes readmission agreements, funds “volun- tary return” programs and rewards countries that align their migration policies with European interests. Meanwhile, for refugees and migrants, it becomes more and more difficult to access safe pathways and find refuge and protection.

Bread for the World (Brot für die Welt) and medico international together with their partner organizations in the respective countries have closely monitored the impact of these policies on the human rights and well-being of refugees and migrants and have convincingly outlined how the vast majority of the EUTF migration projects ended up being aimed at controlling and preventing migration within and out of the African continent. read more

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

Get out! Zur Situation von Geflüchteten in Bulgarien

Bordermonitoring.eu hat einen neuen Bericht zur Situation von Geflüchteten in Bulgarien veröffentlicht:

„Bulgaria is very bad“ ist eine typische Aussage jener, die auf ihrer Flucht bereits etliche Länder durchquert haben. Der vorliegende Bericht geht der Frage nach, warum Bulgarien seit Langem einen extrem schlechten Ruf unter den Geflüchteten genießt.

Hierzu wird kenntnisreich die massive Gewalt nachgezeichnet, die Bulgarien im Zuge sogenannter „Push-Backs“ anwendet. Auch auf die intensive Kooperation mit der Türkei beim Schutz der gemeinsamen Grenze wird eingegangen. Da die Inhaftierung von Geflüchteten in Bulgarien obligatorisch ist, werden überdies die rechtlichen Hintergründe hierfür und die miserablen Haftbedingungen beschrieben. Weiterhin wird das bulgarische Asylsystem thematisiert und auf die besondere Situation von Geflüchteten eingegangen, die im Rahmen der Dublin-Verordnung nach Bulgarien abgeschoben wurden. Das bulgarische Integrationskonzept, das faktisch nur auf dem Papier existiert, wird ebenfalls beleuchtet. read more

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

Deutungshoheit in der Logik des Grenzregimes: Verbrechen im Rahmen der europäischen Migrationspolitik

Dokumenation der Geschehnisse einige Monate nach der "Grenzöffnung" durch die Türkei. Diese Stellungnahme nimmt insbesondere das europäische Grenzregime in den Fokus . read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei

The situation of refugees and the impact of the corona virus

The critical health situation that is shaking the world in general and refugees in particular has led the anti-racist group Corasol to compile a brochure with contributions from various solidarity groups. The brochure provides information on the situation of refugees in times of pandemic, whether in camps and shelters or in the border regions. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Italien / Malta, Griechenland / Türkei, Nordafrika, Deutschland, Europäische Union, Europa, Afrika

Pushbacks in Melilla: ND and NT V. Spain

On 13 February 2020, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered a judgment in the case of ND and NT v. Spain, the first trial to address ‘pushbacks’—the cross-border expulsion of refugees and migrants—at Europe’s land borders. read more

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

Politiques du non-accueil en Tunisie : des acteurs humanitaires au service des politiques sécuritaires européennes

Le présent rapport tente de documenter ces politiques de « non-accueil », tout en les inscrivant dans le contexte plus large des politiques d’externalisation des frontières de l’Union européenne et en accordant une attention particulière à la manière dont ces politiques, dans le contexte tunisien, mêlent étroitement registres humanitaire et sécuritaire. read more

Language(s): Französisch / Français
Region(s): Nordafrika

The brutal side of the French Riviera

Rights violations, detentions and pushbacks: a daily reality for migrants’ at the French-Italian border, where Europe’s weaknesses weigh heavily on people’s lives read more

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

Press Release: Collective Expulsion from Greek Centres

In response to the recent spike in pushbacks from Greece to Turkey, the ​Border Violence Monitoring Network, with members ​Mobile Info Team and ​Wave Thessaloniki​, are releasing first hand testimony and photographic evidence indicating the existence of violent collective expulsions. In the space of six weeks, the teams received reports of 194 people removed and pushed back into Turkey from the refugee camp in Diavata and the Drama Paranesti Pre-removal Detention Centre. read more

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

Notes from Pazarkule/Evros

We are gathering and reposting the field notes taken by local activist for three weeks during the crises in Pazarkule/Evros border which was aggravated by Turkey, Greece and EU’s border policies and politics of bargaining over human lives. You can find the same report series in Turkish and German (partially translated). read more

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

Rights denied during Greek asylum procedure suspension

RSA’s analysis of the impact of Greece’s decision to suspend access to asylum in March 2020 on the rights of sylumseekers and on redress mechanisms at domestic and European level. read more

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

Les mort•e•s en Méditerranée ne sont pas une fatalité ! La solidarité, dernier rempart face aux politiques mortifères de l’Union européenne (UE)

« Après plusieurs jours d’incertitude et de confusion, le bilan de ce début du mois d’avril en Méditerranée centrale — bien que pour l’heure encore provisoire — est particulièrement funeste : des centaines de personnes migrantes épuisées après avoir été abandonnées plusieurs jours en mer sans aucun secours, 12 personnes mortes de fatigue, de déshydratation ou noyées et plusieurs centaines renvoyées dans l’enfer libyen qu’elles tentaient de fuir à tout prix. Mais alors que l’Europe essaie de faire passer cette tragédie comme l’un des inévitables « dégâts collatéraux » de la crise sanitaire du COVID 19, il convient de retracer la genèse des politiques du « laisser mourir » que l’UE a élaborées en Méditerranée depuis plusieurs années. » read more

Language(s): Französisch / Français
Region(s): Nordafrika, Europäische Union

The COVID-19 excuse? How migration policies are hardening around the globe

“While perhaps necessary from a public health standpoint, the limitations on movement make it more difficult for people fleeing wars and persecution to access protection, and raise pressing questions about what special steps governments need to take to safeguard asylum seekers and irregular migrants in these unusual times. But migration policy experts also warn that some governments are taking advantage of the crisis to push through legally dubious, hardline migration policies that can’t be justified by public health concerns and that could stay in place long after the COVID-19 outbreaks subside – in particular, ending or curtailing access to asylum.”
read more

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

Balkan Region Report – March 2020

The Border Violence Monitoring Network is releasing its latest report covering updates from the Western Balkans and Greece. In March, illegal pushbacks at multiple borders continued unabated, placing transit groups at physical risk and violating their fundamental rights to asylum and due process. Two simultaneous crises also amplified and brought into sharp relief the breakdown of legal and humanitarian protections along the route. The movement of thousands of people in Turkey towards the Greek border drew the issue of collective expulsion across the Evros river into view. Meanwhile, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe was used as justification for new and concerning policy at several points along the route, such as detention and militerisation. read more

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

Struggles of women* on the move

Watch The Med Alarmphone: 'Our new report on Struggles of women* on the move is out! It covers the whole Mediterranean, gathering the voices and experiences of women* living in refugee camps, resisting deportations and protesting the violence they suffer.' read more

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

De « la guerre contre le virus » à la guerre aux exilé·e·s : les réponses sécuritaires au Covid-19 exacerbent les violences aux frontières

« Les hotspots grecs dans lesquels sont entassé•e•s les exilé•e•s sans protection de leurs droits ou de la pandémie exemplifient la précarisation de leurs trajectoires par les politiques sécuritaires des États. Migreurop dénonce les violences infligées aux exilé•e•s exercées au nom de la « guerre contre le virus », l’inégalité de traitement à leur égard face à la pandémie, et demande la fermeture immédiate de tous les espaces de détention pour garantir leur droit à être protégé•e•s. » read more

Language(s): Französisch / Français
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei

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