Deconstructing ‘The Jungle’, Reconstructing the British Border

Deconstructing ‘The Jungle’, Reconstructing the British Border

Heaven Crawley responds to the eviction of ‘The Jungle’ camp at Calais, arguing that it is largely a symbolic attempt by the British government to reassert ‘control’ over borders in the context of Europe’s political crisis. The eviction, and the reinforcement of the wall alongside the port of Calais, does not address the refugee crisis and the diverse reasons for why people move. Continue reading

After the Calais Jungle: is there a long-term solution?

After the Calais Jungle: is there a long-term solution?

Ever since the French president François Hollande went to Calais in late September 2016 and promised that the migrant camp on its outskirts, known as “the Jungle”, would be dismantled, its residents have been preparing to be moved. On October 24, queues of people who had been living in the camp in hope of crossing to Britain, waited to be registered before being transported on buses to refugee centres in other parts of France. However, it’s feared there are some residents who do not want to leave. Continue reading

Barack Obama says the refugee crisis is a ‘test of our humanity’ – is Britain failing it?

Barack Obama says the refugee crisis is a ‘test of our humanity’ – is Britain failing it?

Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham

In a compassionate and compelling speech, Barack Obama called the response to the global refugee crisis “a test of our humanity” and invited world leaders attending the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on September 20 to do more to assist those fleeing war and persecution.

The British prime minister, Theresa May, went to the same summit in New York, but with a different agenda – to stop uncontrolled migration. She had three key proposals: to help refugees to claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, to make a better distinction between refugees and economic migrants, and to bolster the right of all countries to control their borders. It is worth considering each of these proposals in turn to assess what impact they may have on the current crisis. Continue reading

After the Boats: Refugee Reception and the Production of Irregularity in Italy’s Migration

After the Boats: Refugee Reception and the Production of Irregularity in Italy’s Migration

Simon McMahon, Coventry University

“We must stop this carnage.” These five simple, powerful words were used by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to describe the migration situation in the Mediterranean Sea in April 2015.[1] His impassioned call to arms came in the same month that over a thousand men, women, and children lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. In this article for the Middle East Institute, Simon McMahon asks: but what happens once people have been taken to land?

Continue reading

Selling up, settling down: how a Turkish neighbourhood adapted to its Syrian refugees

Selling up, settling down: how a Turkish neighbourhood adapted to its Syrian refugees

Heaven Crawley, Coventry University and Gökay Özerim, Yaşar University.

İzmir is Turkey’s third largest city, and plays host to a significant number of the estimated 2.7m Syrian refugees now living in the country. The city has hosted refugees for a long time, and during the 1990s and 2000s it was a particularly important destination for Iraqis and Afghans. But since the war in Syria began in spring 2011, its Syrian population has increased significantly.

While many Syrians have made İzmir their home, the city is also a natural stopping point on the way to Greece, a mere 8km across the Aegean Sea. During the summer and autumn of 2015, İzmir became one of the most important transit points for those hoping to reach Europe via the Greek islands. More than 850,000 people made the crossing, around half of them Syrian. Continue reading

Britain is to take 3,000 refugee children by 2020… Generous? Think again

Britain is to take 3,000 refugee children by 2020… Generous? Think again

Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham

The UK government has offered to take 3,000 extra lone refugee children in its existing resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees. But the offer has two caveats: it is only for refugee minors currently living outside the European Union and it is spread over five years, meaning there will be an average of 600 per year.

The government’s press release called it “The largest resettlement programme for refugee children.” But others, including the Labour peer Alf Dubs have called it “a deliberate ploy to muddy the debate”. Continue reading

Allegra Lab: Migrant deaths: explaining variations over time and across smuggling routes

Allegra Lab: Migrant deaths: explaining variations over time and across smuggling routes

Ferruccio Pastore discusses the importance of intellectual resources to unravel the migration crisis in this article published on Allegra Lab, 4th April. According to Pastore, more attention should be paid to the data at hand in terms of deaths and arrivals across the Mediterranean, instead of allowing certain incidents become the trends. The article can be read here.

Ferruccio Pastore is Director of FIERI and our international co-investigator in Italy.