The French-Italian border: at the heart of violence and of violation of rights

Atlas of migrants 2017

In the heart of the Schengen area, the border between France and Italy – which has been crossed by migratory movements for many centuries – has been closed, with the restoration of internal border controls in November 2015 [1]

Now becoming a militarized and controlled area, the French-Italian border has highlighted for three years migration policies aiming to push back so-called migrant people, in disregard of fundamental rights : ethnic profiling, forced returns without respect for procedures, non-respect of unaccompanied minors or asylum seekers, deprivation of freedom in inhumane conditions and without any legal framework.

Here and elsewhere [2], the logic of control and border militarization is leading migrant people to take more and more risks during their travels. Thus, the number of deaths now figuring in tens around the French-Italian border reminds us that the external and internal UE borders can and do kill (see the map below).

In order to promote welcome for exiles, and to denounce the «solidarity offence» and the closure of the French border, a citizens walk for migrants was launched on April 30, 2018 from Ventimiglia to Calais.

Map by Morgane Dujmovic and Thibaud Duffey

from: Migreurop (2017), Atlas des Migrants en Europe. Approches critiques des politiques migratoires, Paris, Armand Colin. English translation published by the end of 2018