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Arkiveringsdatum 220429:

Statewatch 22-04-28:

Spain and Morocco agreement linking organised crime and "irregular" immigration till sidans topp

Translation of a statement published by Migreurop and EuroMed Rights regarding the recent agreement between Spain and Morocco, which "anchors migration in a logic of securitisation, which can only lead to more rights violations at the borders." Statewatch is a member of Migreurop.

Spain and Morocco renew security cooperation agreement linking organised crime and "irregular" immigration

The cooperation agreement on security and the fight against crime, drawn up between the two countries in February 2019, will enter into force on 30 April 2022.

New stage in Moroccan-Spanish bilateral relations at the expense of exiles

This agreement, based on the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Morocco, signed in Rabat on 4 July 1991, represents a new stage in bilateral relations between the two countries.

After months of disputes in a context of diplomatic crisis,[1] the two countries are renewing their relations by reinforcing their border securitisation policies, in line with European migration policies, which increasingly criminalise the migration process. Spain, for its part, continues to externalise its southern border in close collaboration with its Moroccan neighbour, thus consolidating an area of rights violations.

This is not the first time that so-called irregular immigration has been associated with organised crime. The effect of the terrorist attacks that have occurred around the world in recent years (2001, 2015, 2016) has made it possible to legitimise the strengthening of the fight against terrorism and cross-border crime, and to associate them with the European Union's external border controls.

An ambiguous and unclear wording of the agreement


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Arkiveringsdatum 220215:

Medecins Sans Frontieres 22-02-02:

Five years of EU-sponsored abuse in Libya and the central Mediterranean till sidans topp

Nine-hundred dollars meant the difference between imprisonment and freedom for 23-year-old Kouassi*, who fled his home in Côte d'Ivoire only to be sold to human traffickers in Libya. After being rescued from an unseaworthy boat drifting in the central Mediterranean by MSF's search and rescue ship Geo Barents, Kouassi told the team on board that he had been detained in Libya for three months in 2020 after crossing the border from Algeria.

"They [the guards] put shackles on our ankles and wrists," says Kouassi. "I have many scars on my ankles. I spent three months in shackles. They beat us - they hit us with wooden and metal sticks. I still have scars from cuts with knives on my back," he says.

"It was a prison in the desert, a house that wasn't finished. There were around 10 of us in one room and there were several rooms. They removed everything we had on us and asked for half a million CFA francs [US$900] from our parents for our release," says Kouassi.

Like Kouassi, thousands of women, children and men are trafficked, exploited, arbitrarily detained, tortured and have money extorted from them in Libya simply because they are migrants. On arrival in the country, many migrants are kidnapped and kept captive by militias or other armed groups, or used by traffickers and smugglers as currency. Migrants living in cities are discriminated against, persecuted and face the constant threat of mass arrests and arbitrary incarceration.

"Catastrophic, that's how I'd describe the current situation in Libya," says Mustafa*, a migrant from Mali who has lived in Libya for several years. "A foreigner is like a blood diamond - they can be kidnapped to make money out of them.


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Statewatch 22-02-02:

Appeal for the immediate withdrawal of the Italy-Libya Memorandum till sidans topp

An appeal signed by over 170 organisations and individuals, including Statewatch, calls on the Italian government to "immediately revoke the Memorandum of Understanding" signed with Libya, due to its facilitation of "models of exploitation and enslavement within which violence that constitutes crimes against humanity is systematically perpetrated." The appeal, organised by the Italian legal association ASGI, is open for further signatures.

The system based on the Italy-Libya Memorandum has not led to any significant improvements in the Libyan situation. On the contrary, it demonstrated the impossibility of guaranteeing effective access to protection for migrants stranded in Libya.

In early October, the Libyan government carried out raids and random mass in Tripoli neighbourhoods. Many foreign nationals were arrested including people officially registered by UNHCR and those in particularly vulnerable situations, such as minors and pregnant women.

The foreign nationals were later imprisoned in detention centres run by the Libyan Ministry of the Interior where they were subjected to ill-treatment and torture. In the Al Mabani centre, six people were killed and 24 injured by gunfire.

The reaction to such violent and discriminatory measures was unprecedented: thousands of migrants have been protesting for almost two months in front of the UNHCR office in Tripoli, demanding to be transferred to a safe country and and their safety to be guaranteed. For the first time, even in the international press, a new entity emerges under the name Refugees in Libya, formed by a committee of migrants interacting with international organisations and actors in Libya and elsewhere.


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Arkiveringsdatum 211210:

Statewatch 21-11-29:

Joint statement of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France on migration issues till sidans topp

The statement published following the meeting on Channel crossings, to which the UK was "disinvited", is entirely concerned with law enforcement and migration control measures, with no mention of humanitarian issues despite the drastic situation in Calais and other sites along the French and Belgian coasts. It is noteworthy that the statement announces the first major deployment of EU resources that aims to prevent departures from - rather than arrivals into - the EU.

Gathered today in Calais at the invitation of France are the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the French Republic, in the presence of the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, as well as the Union agencies Europol and Frontex.

Represented by Stephan MAYER, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community of the Federal Republic of Germany; Annelies VERLINDEN, Minister of the Interior, Institutional Reforms, and Democratic Renewal; Sammy MAHDI, State Secretary for Asylum and Migration of the Kingdom of Belgium; Ankie BROEKERS-KNOL, Minister for Migration of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Gerald DARMANIN, Minister of Interior of the French Republic; Ylva JOHANSSON, European Commissioner for Home Affairs; Catherine DE BOLLE, Executive Director of EUROPOL; Fabrice LEGGE RI, Executive Director of FRONTEX.


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Arkiveringsdatum 210904:

Georgetown Immigration Law Journal March 2021

Buying your way out of the convention: Safe third country agreements in practice till sidans topp

Jacqueline Lewis

In the last decade, the world has seen an historic increase in the number of displaced persons. By the end of 2010, there were 43.7 million forcibly displaced people worldwide-what was then the highest number in 15 years.

By 2019, the number of displaced persons had nearly doubled to 79.5 million. With many asylum systems overwhelmed, States have increasingly sought to construct alternatives to the traditional asylum regime by externalizing the processing of asylum applications through bilateral and multilateral agreements, wherein a designated safe third country processes asylum applications.

Although initially conceived as burden-sharing systems, after three decades of implementation in different States, these "safe third country agreements" ("STCAs") have generally failed to provide sustainable solutions to mass flows of refugees. Instead, STCAs with significant power and wealth disparities between parties have allowed wealthy States to clandestinely buy their way out of their obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention4 and have resulted in the direct and indirect refoulement, or return of millions of asylum seekers, despite these agreements purportedly protecting against it.

This Note examines the expansion of STCAs in the last three decades, focusing on the American and European systems, analyzing their efficacy at providing sustainable solutions to unprecedented displacement.

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National Immigrant Justice Center 21-08-03: New report: How offshoring and externalization policies imperil the right to asylum (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210616:

FTDES 21-06-12:

Decrypting ICMPD - "The Tunisian border is also an Austrian border" till sidans topp

'The Tunisian border is also an Austrian border when it comes to preventing irregular, illegal migration', Austria's Minister of Interior Karl Nehammer proclaimed in June 2020 during a press conference in Vienna, jointly held with the General Director of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) Michael Spindelegger. On this occasion, Nehammer and the ICMPD director announced the launch of the Integrated Border Management Program's third edition (IBM Tunisia III), yet another border control and surveillance project in Tunisia featuring a budget of EUR 8,3 Million and co-funded by the governments of Austria, Germany and Denmark. Contracted to coordinate and implement the project is the Vienna-based ICMPD, an international organization providing research and consultancy services as well as on-the-ground operations in the field of 'migration management' and border control across dozens of countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Although ICMPD has been already established in 1993 and had turned ever since into an important player regarding the externalization of the European border regime to Tunisia and other countries in the region, the organization is still largely unknown in Tunisia and Europe. After the opening of its Tunis office in 2015, ICMPD significantly expanded its Tunisia operations and is today involved in a wide array of Europe-funded projects, aimed at fortifying Tunisia's land and sea borders and at externalizing the European border control regime to North African shores. In Tunisia, ICMPD is contracted to coordinate 'migration governance' projects, capacity building for Tunisian authorities, a data collection program and informal dialogues between government officials and civil society.


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Arkiveringsdatum 210520:

UNHCR 21-05-19:

UNHCR warns against "exporting" asylum, calls for responsibility sharing till sidans topp

Amid considerations by some governments to send asylum seekers abroad for processing, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is urging states not to externalize their asylum and protection obligations. UNHCR warns that such practices jeopardize the safety of those in need of international protection.

"UNHCR remains firmly opposed to externalization initiatives that forcibly transfer asylum seekers to other countries. Externalization simply shifts asylum responsibilities elsewhere and evades international obligations. Such practices undermine the rights of those seeking safety and protection, demonize and punish them and may put their lives at risk," said UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

"It is ironic that, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, attempts are being made to weaken its principles and spirit. Instead, the priority must be to find more effective ways to guarantee the universal right to seek asylum and other rights provided by international refugee law."

Externalization attempts typically involve the forced transfers of asylum seekers to third, often developing, nations where human rights safeguards and resources may not be adequate. This may lead to their indefinite "warehousing" in isolated places or in punitive conditions, at great harm to their physical and mental health.

"I am dismayed by the argument that it is more cost effective to send and host asylum seekers in countries of the global south. I find this morally reprehensible - we must not put price tags on human lives. Refugees are not commodities that can be traded by wealthier nations. To do so is dehumanizing, exploitative and dangerous," warned Triggs.

"Externalization exploits both the vulnerabilities of overstretched, developing nations and those of refugees".


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UNHCR 21-05-28: UNHCR Note on the "Externalization" of International Protection (Extern länk)

Annex to UNHCR Note on the "Externalization" of International Protection: Policies and practices related to the externalization of international protection (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201124:

ECRE 20-11-13:

Italy considers patrols off Tunisia to halt sea arrivals till sidans topp

Italy is considering patrols off Tunisian territorial waters to reduce sea arrivals. Human rights advocates, including Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovi?, condemn the use of quarantine ships as the approach would raise human rights concerns.

Italy is considering to deploy ships and planes off Tunisian territorial waters to monitor migratory movements, said Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese during a press conference with her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin. The plan aims at strengthening information channels between Italy and Tunisia for the sake of reducing migratory movement across the Mediterranean Sea. "We would give an alert to Tunisian authorities to make it easier to track down the boats that leave from those territories to come to Italian shores," she said.

More than 11,000 Tunisian nationals have reached Italy by sea in 2020, but most receive removal decisions. Based on an agreement between the two countries, up to eighty people are deported to Tunisia on a weekly basis. The new plan on increasing surveillance capacity in the Mediterranean Sea follows the non-disclosure of an agreement reached in August that, according to media reports, includes financial support of 11 million euro for the strengthening of border control systems and training of security forces aimed at both preventing the departure of migrants and intercepting vessels in Tunisian territorial waters.

High numbers in arrivals at Italian shores continued in November, with 2,430 people who disembarked in Lampedusa within six days. After health checks and identity screening, 650 people were transferred from the island's overcrowded hotspot to the Rhapsody quarantine ship and more than 200 people boarded the Suprema quarantine ship.


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Arkiveringsdatum 200624:

Human Rights Watch 20-05-19:

Deportation with a Layover till sidans topp

Failure of Protection under the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement

An agreement between the United States and Guatemala, the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement (ACA), enables the United States to rapidly expel non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala without allowing them to lodge asylum claims in the United States, but also leaves them without access to effective protection in Guatemala. As a result, they are effectively compelled to abandon their asylum claims, and some who have a well-founded fear of persecution appear to be returning to their home countries where they are at real risk of serious harm.

Guatemala does not meet the standard required in US law for a "safe third country" - the ability to provide "access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection."[1] Guatemala's asylum system is hamstrung by a limited legal framework that only allows high level officials to approve claims, which causes massive bottlenecks in a system that has only recently begun to function at all. At the end of March 2020 there was a backlog of 713 cases,[2] including every one of the few asylum applicants among ACA transferees;[3] the interministerial committee that decides asylum cases had not met from the time Covid-19 restrictions went into place in mid-March through the time of writing this report in late April.[4]


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Arkiveringsdatum 200410:

Statewatch March 2020:

Italy renews Memorandum with Libya, secret Malta-Libya deal surfaces till sidans topp

Analysis by Yasha Maccanico

The 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Italy and Libya was tacitly renewed without amendments on 2 February 2020, amid widespread criticism over its legality and effects since October 2019. Appeals from civil society and MPs for the MoU to be scrapped were repeated at the time of its renewal, including the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovi?, calling on the Italian government to "urgently suspend the co- operation activities in place with the Libyan Coast Guard."

This article outlines the parliamentary debate that accompanied the interior minister's declared intention to renew the MoU in November 2019. Luciana Lamorgese, the interior minister, promised improvements, despite acknowledging the agreement's inherent flaws and problematic nature. An outline of the arguments by MPs from across the political spectrum is followed by a focus on the debate's blind spots, omissions and biases.

Instrumental reasoning is used to justify systemic abuses against migrants and refugees, as well as collusion with criminals, to stop migration flows. A crucial requirement for the official account at the EU and national levels to work, is to disregard judicial sentences and official statements that repeatedly declare that the MoU, returns to Libya and cooperation with the Libyan coastguard are unlawful because they contravene the international normative framework.

The interior minister informs Parliament

On 6 November 2019, the Italian interior minister, Luciana Lamorgese, informed Parliament of developments regarding renewal of the MoU between Italy and Libya, signed on 2 February 2017 by the then Italian prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, and the Libyan (Government of National Accord, GNA) president, Al-Serraj.


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Analysis by Yasha Maccanico March 2020: Anti-migration cooperation between the EU, Italy and Libya: some truths (Extern länk)

Statewach Observatory: Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200208:

Amnesty International 20-01-30:

Renewal of migration deal confirms Italy's complicity in torture of migrants till sidans topp

The decision by the Italian government to ignore the horrific abuses being inflicted on tens of thousands of people in Libya, and renew the Italy-Libya deal that traps them in the war-ravaged country, is a shameful display of how far EU governments are prepared to go to keep refugees and migrants from Europe's shores, said Amnesty International.

On 2 February, exactly three years after it was first signed, the Memorandum of Understanding on Migration between Italy and Libya will be extended for a further three years with no amendments. Under the deal, Italy helps Libyan maritime authorities to stop boats at sea and return people to detention centres in Libya where they are unlawfully detained and face serious abuse, including rape and torture.

"During the three years since original deal was struck, at least 40,000 people, including thousands of children, have been intercepted at sea, returned to Libya and exposed to unimaginable suffering. These include 947 people intercepted this month alone," said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International's Europe Director.

"It defies comprehension that, despite the evidence of suffering inflicted as a direct result of this abhorrent deal, and despite the escalation of the conflict in Libya, Italy is prepared to renew it. Italy should demand that Libya release all the refugees and migrants currently held in its detention centres, and that it close those centres once and for all."

Migrants and asylum seekers held in detention centers remain subject to abhorrent conditions of detention, and face serious abuses including torture and rape, as well as overcrowding. Further, their lives remain at risk due to the escalation of the ongoing conflict. On 30 January, UNHCR announced that it is suspending its operations at the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF), a transit centre inaugurated just over a year ago in Tripoli, fearing for the safety and protection of people at the facility, its staff and partners.


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Human Rights Watch 20-02-12: Italy: Halt abusive migration cooperation with Libya (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191214:

Human Rights Watch 19-12-04:

France drops plan to give boats to Libya till sidans topp

Libya could have used ships to commit abuses against migrants and asylum seekers

France's decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this "gift" to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya.

In February, the French Defence Minister announced that France would transfer six "semi-rigid" speed boats to the Libyan Coast Guard, which would have been used to intercept people fleeing Libya. The announcement, which came even though the French government was well aware that people intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard face a clear risk of being systematically detained in Libya in atrocious conditions, caused a wave of outrage and criticism. Many nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), including Human Rights Watch, urged French authorities publicly and privately to reverse its decision.

We were pleased to learn in recent meetings that the French Ministry of Defence had finally cancelled the delivery. This decision was officially confirmed in a memorandum sent by the ministry to the Paris Administrative Court of Appeal on November 26, in the context of the legal action brought by Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières, and six other nongovernmental organizations to block the boat transfer.

That the French government heard their criticisms is a win for rights and humanitarian groups. Nevertheless, France should do much more to stop the nightmarish situation for migrants and refugees arbitrarily detained in Libya.


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Källor: Informationen på denna sida är hämtad från följande källor (externa länkar): EU (kommissionen, ministerrådet, parlamentet och domstolen), Europarådet (mr-kommissionären, domstolen, kommittén mot tortyr), FN:s flyktingkommissariat UNHCR, FN:s kommitté mot tortyr m.fl. FN-organ, Sveriges Radio, SvT, andra svenska media via Nyhetsfilter och pressmeddelanden via Newsdesk, utländska media till exempel via Are You Syrious och Rights in Exile, internationella organisationer som Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ECRE, Statewatch och Picum, organisationer i Sverige som Rädda Barnen, Asylrättscentrum, Svenska Amnesty, FARR och #vistårinteut samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

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