The UK’s plans to prevent migration from Libya show a dangerous unwillingness to learn from the past

The UK’s plans to prevent migration from Libya show a dangerous unwillingness to learn from the past

Simon McMahon, Coventry University.

Although much of the attention concerning the migration crisis has recently focused on Greece and Turkey, dangerous boat crossings from Libya continue to present a significant problem. Simon McMahon writes on a proposal by David Cameron to intercept boats in the Mediterranean and return them to the Libyan shore. He argues that the proposal could prove extremely dangerous in practice, noting that previous attempts to implement such a policy in Libya in 2009 created more problems than they solved. Continue reading

European policy is driving refugees to more dangerous routes across the Med

European policy is driving refugees to more dangerous routes across the Med

Heaven Crawley, Coventry University & Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham, with contributions from Franck Duvell, University of Oxford.

It is estimated that in 2015, more than a million people crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in search of safety and a better life. 3,770 are known to have died trying to make this journey during the same period. This so-called “migration crisis” is the largest humanitarian disaster to face Europe since the end of World War II.

That’s why we’ve been working to examine the conditions underpinning this recent migration across, and loss of life in, the Mediterranean. Continue reading

The EU’s Deal with Turkey Is a No-Win Situation

The EU’s Deal with Turkey Is a No-Win Situation

Franck Duvell‘s commentary regarding EU’s recent deal with Turkey was published on the Fortune website 22nd March. The article discusses the problematic nature of the deal, which means Turkey would receive visa-free travel and billions in aid in exchange to the sending back irregular migrants and argues that further steps are needed to unravel the situation. The article can be viewed here.

Crisis or opportunity? How European countries use refugees for political gain

Crisis or opportunity? How European countries use refugees for political gain

Heaven Crawley, Coventry University.

After no fewer than five emergency summits, a solution to Europe’s refugee crisis remains elusive. The list of failures is long and growing including the failure to deliver “hotspots”, reception centres meant to process refugees who arrive in frontline states such as Italy and Greece, and to provide humanitarian assistance for those trapped in the Balkans as a result of fences which have been hastily thrown up in an effort to stop the flow. Continue reading

Mind the gap: why are unaccompanied children disappearing in the thousands?

Mind the gap: why are unaccompanied children disappearing in the thousands?

Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham and Jenny Allsop, University of Oxford.

The ‘disappearance’ of 10,000 migrant children after arriving in the EU made recently headlines in British newspapers and across the world. The Observer reported data from Europol, the EU’s criminal intelligence agency, drawing an explicit link between the fact that thousands of young migrants had vanished after registering with EU state authorities and the alleged intervention of a ‘sophisticated pan-European criminal infrastructure’ that is ‘targeting minors for sex abuse and slavery’. But does this speak to the reality? Continue reading

Why the jury is out on the Commission’s latest proposal for a ‘distribution key’ to help solve the refugee crisis

Why the jury is out on the Commission’s latest proposal for a ‘distribution key’ to help solve the refugee crisis

Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham.

The European Commission is expected to announce new proposals in the coming months which will aim to reform the so called ‘Dublin regulation’ that assigns responsibility over asylum applications to EU member states. According to a recent statement by the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the new proposal will be based on a ‘distribution key’ system, which will semi-automatically assign applications to individual states. Nando Sigona argues that given the slow implementation of previous agreements, notably the relocation scheme for asylum seekers agreed in September 2015, there are reasons to doubt whether such a proposal would have the capacity to help solve the current crisis.

The Dublin regulation, which determines the EU member state responsible for asylum applications, has attracted plenty of criticism since it was established in the 1990s. The regulation, which has existed in three separate incarnations, has been critiqued on various grounds and from various statutory and non-statutory actors – the most noticeable objection perhaps being that it is a system which impacts unevenly on EU member states, with those countries at the EU’s southern border particularly exposed because of their geographic position. Continue reading

Escapism Magazine: Understanding the refugee crisis

Escapism Magazine: Understanding the refugee crisis

Heaven Crawley, Coventry University.

As hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers make their way to Europe from dangerous, war-torn countries, Heaven Crawley examines the current refugee crisis for Escapism Magazine, explaining exactly what the situation is in the UK and beyond, and highlights why it’s absolutely crucial that we act now to welcome and support refugees. Continue reading