Yasha Maccanico, Ben Hayes, Samuel Kenny, Frank Barat
06 November 2018
Europe’s “refugee crisis” triggered a wave of solidarity actions by both civil society organisations and ordinary citizens. Their efforts were part of a wave of compassion, as people organised convoys to refugee reception centers, warmly greeted arrivals at train stations and lined highways to provide food and water to those making the journey from Syria and elsewhere. Just a few years later those same activists are treated as criminals and humanitarian search and rescue missions are criminalised.
The far right is increasingly active globally—at the level of governments, through civil society, and in the digital sphere. Their political parties are cooperating across borders, their anti- democratic actions are undermining the rule of law, their attacks on “globalists” are eroding the efficacy of international institutions, and their racist memes are spreading throughout culture. According to the 80 academics, researchers, and activists interviewed in this report, this threat to democracy and internationalism is urgent.
United Nations human rights expert Ben Emmerson today urged governments across the world to ensure that the NGO sector be allowed to continue to play an indispensable role in co-ordinated efforts to counter the spread of terrorism.
This report is set in a wider context in which more than 70.8 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, according to the 2018 figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (UNHCR, 2019). Some of these have reached the borders of the European Union (EU), seeking protection and asylum, but instead have encountered policy responses that mostly aim to halt and intercept migration flows, against the background of securitisation policies in which the governments of EU Member States see migration as a threat. One of the responses to address migration flows is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex), established in 2004 as the EU body in charge of guarding what many have called ‘Fortress Europe’, and whose practices have helped to consolidate the criminalisation of migrants and the securitisation of their movements.
Member states of the European Union and Schengen Area have constructed almost 1000 km of walls, the equivalent of more than six times the total length of the Berlin Walls, since the nineties to prevent displaced people migrating into Europe. These physical walls are accompanied by even longer ‘maritime walls’, naval operations patrolling the Mediterranean, as well as ‘virtual walls’, border control systems that seek to stop people entering or even traveling within Europe, and control movement of population.
Ruth Blakeley, Ben Hayes, Nisha Kapoor, Arun Kundnani, Narzanin Massoumi, David Miller, Tom Mills, Rizwaan Sabir, Katy Sian, Waqas Tufail
03 September 2019
This report offers an account of the failures of current counter-terrorism policies, an analysis of the reasons why they do not work and an outline of a progressive alternative that we hope will be the basis for a future Labour government’s approach.
The globalisation of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) policies is the most significant development in counterterrorism policy in the last decade. What began as a rhetorical commitment from a handful of agencies has developed into a plethora of policies, deployed from Finland to the Philippines. This report includes a foreword by UN Special Rapporteur Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin.
The EU has made migration control a central goal of its foreign relations, rapidly expanding border externalisation measures that require neighbouring countries to act as Europe's border guards. This report examines 35 countries, prioritised by the EU, and finds authoritarian regimes emboldened to repress civil society, vulnerable refugees forced to turn to more dangerous and deadly routes, and European arms and security firms booming off the surge in funding for border security systems and technologies.
Here are 12 essential reports that shed light on the issue of 'shrinking space' curated by Frank Barat. Sources range from UN rapporteurs and the European Parliament to civil society organisations like the Women Peacemakers Program.
This report examines the role of the world’s largest arms (as well as a number of other security and IT) firms in shaping and profiting from the militarization of US borders. Through their campaign contributions, lobbying, constant engagement with government officials, and the revolving door between industry and government, these border security corporations and their government allies have formed powerful border–industrial complex that is a major impediment to a humane response to migration.
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Despite the economic crisis, EU funding for new security tools and technologies will double in the 2014-20 period compared to the previous 6 years. The biggest winners have been the “homeland security” industry whose influence on European policy continues to grow, constructing an ever more militarised and security-focused Europe.