Press conference: New report "EU AD HOC RELOCATION - A lottery from the sea to the hotspots and back to unsafety"

What happens to people after being rescued from distress at sea?

Since 2019, borderline-europe, in cooperation with Borderline Sicilia, Council of Refugees Berlin, Equal Rights Beyond Borders and Sea-Watch investigated the ad hoc relocation procedures in Italy, Malta and Germany. The new report is based on interviews that were conducted with protection seekers rescued at sea. It includes an in-depth policy analysis combined with the first hand experience of those in the process of a relocation procedure and after their relocation. It shows that people who are seeking protection in EUrope are being denied fundamental rights.

Therefore, we invite you to an online press conference on March 5 at 10am on the publication of the report on ad hoc relocation mechanisms. We will talk about the current situation of relocated people in Germany and share their demands.

Registration for journalists for Zoom access data:

To watch live:

We feel trapped and tricked and get the feeling that we were only brought to Germany to be deported back to unsafe places. We are not objects but human beings that should be treated as human beings and not as objects of an unequal system where some are worth more than others”, says Musa Khalifa from Nigeria, who was relocated to Germany.

Speakers: Sara Bellezza from borderline-europe, Musa Khalifa from Nigeria, who was relocated to Germany, and Giuseppe Platania from borderline Sicilia.

Moderation: Nora Brezger, Council of Refugees Berlin

Translation in German and Italian will be available during the conference (registration needed!).

Background information:

The new report by borderline-europe in cooperation with Borderline Sicilia, Council of Refugees Berlin, Equal Rights Beyond Borders and Sea-Watch shows the degrading, non-transparent and inhumane procedures that asylum seekers have to go through under the ad hoc relocation mechanism. With inhumane and unjustified detention in Italian and Maltese hotspots, there is a massive lack of fair access to information. Legal assistance for protection seekers in the EUropean border states is not granted. Many protection seekers remain stuck after being excluded from the relocation procedure because of dubious security screenings by the German Domestic Intelligence Service. Once in Germany, most protection seekers face renewed insecurity, accelerated asylum procedures without access to prior counselling and legal remedy, in the end, threaten to be deported.

The conducted research led to the following results:

  • Protection seekers do not have adequate access to legal assistance or information about the procedure while being held in hotspots for months or years
  • The procedure is detrimental to the well-being of protection seekers and the selection procedure shows clear discriminatory practices
  • The relocation procedure takes too long before protection seekers are being relocated. Not all protection seekers were actually relocated, with a part stuck in Italy and Malta
  • The majority of those who were relocated in Germany also received a fast rejection and are now under deportation threat

Therefore we demand:

  • full transparency of the entire relocation and asylum procedure for the affected people
  • no discrimination against persons seeking protection in EUrope
  • no detention in border statessafe passage to and inside EUrope
  • international protection and the right to stay

The ad hoc relocation mechanism is used as a blueprint for the New Pact on Migration 2020. The Pact is a proposal and needs to be changed. There is a great danger that these procedures will continue to establish and facilitate the perpetuation of human rights abuses: “While the Malta Agreement states that relocation should be swift and take no longer than 4 weeks, asylum seekers have waited up to a year and a half before being transferred. The Italian hotspots and the reception centres used for the relocation are lacking any basic services. We continuously witness situations verging on the inhuman”, says Giuseppe Platania from Borderline Sicilia.

The EU creates dubious and extra-legal procedures in the relocation mechanism. EASO guidelines suggest that relocation serves to guarantee international protection for protection seekers in the EU. Contrary to that promise, people are excluded from relocation procedures with no further explanation. For those who are eventually relocated, the lottery for a right to stay continues: Germany rejected most asylum applications, ignoring the fact that people survived human trafficking, sexualized violence and the life-threatening journey to the EU”, says Sara Bellezza from borderline-europe.


Our report will be released on March 5!


Our demands are supported by:

  • Seebrücke
  • Welcome United Berlin Brandenburg
  • Jugendliche ohne Grenzen
  • Watch the Med Alarmphone
  • iuventa10
  • Mare Liberum
  • Kritnet- Netzwerk für Kritische Migrationsforschung
  • Mediterranea-Saving Humans
  • Flüchtlingsrat Baden-Württemberg e.V.
  • Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg e.V.
  • Flüchtlingsrat Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V.
  • Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen e.V.
  • Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein e.V.
  • Flüchtlingsrat Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.
  • LasciateCIEntrare
  • Rete Antirazzista catanese
  • Statewatch


funded by Stiftungsfonds zivile Seenotrettung

Monday, 1st of March 2021