The two latest reports by Frontex  show that joint surveillance operations with countries neighbouring the European Union (EU) are still a priority for its member states. The externalisation of migration controls at the borders of the EU continues, and it has resulted in many migrants being deported.
In a recent report for the European Commission entitled ’a comparative study of best practice in the monitoring of forced returns’  , the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) stated that 17 member states either had a system in place to supervise migrant deportations already, or were on the verge of setting one up.
What these reports have in common is the fact that they present entry refusals and deportations as ordinary operations. They are not: they often involve violence towards migrants. European democracies constantly violate the rights of migrants, when they come in and when they leave. Like many statements made by politicians responsible for immigration, these reports undermine European values by presenting the denial of rights, the use of force and imprisonment as standard tools of border management.
The Migreurop network will be meeting in Paris on 18 - 19 November 2011 for its two-day annual general meeting to discuss ways to counter this trend: joint campaigns, legal action, mobilisation against the detention of migrants, against Frontex and maritime surveillance operations. A discussion of freedom of movement is also on the agenda.
Migreurop’s third annual report, ’At the margins of Europe: The externalisation of migration controls’, will be presented at the end of the first day. It concentrates on two little-known aspects of the process of contracting out migratory controls on Europe’s border. The first concerns the situation on Turkey’s border with Iran, where the Turkish government, under pressure from Europe, is building reception and detention centres for migrants. These centres are supposed to improve their living conditions; and yet they also appear a means to isolate them and deprive them of their liberty. The second concerns the treatment meted out to ’clandestine passengers’ on boats and in European ports. The regime applied to them (to preventing them coming, to their capture, their imprisonment, their deportation) is marked by a growing, and unacceptable, transfer of responsibility from states to the private sector.
The presentation of Migreurop’s report ’At the margins of Europe: The externalisation of migration controls’ is open to the public and will take place between 3.45 and 5p.m. at (address as below)
21 ter rue Voltaire 75011 Paris
Big room, the basement floor
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