Yasha Maccanico, Ben Hayes, Samuel Kenny, Frank Barat
02 October 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.
Where would you mark Europe's border? Would it include Bangladesh? This video introduces the EU's policy of border externalisation and why it should concern all those who care about democracy, human rights and development.
The Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) holds a special session to address Europe's policies on migrants and refugees. Fortress Europe has led to many disappeared persons and the death of thousands during their journey to reach the borders of southern and eastern Europe.
For people affected by displacement, land is much more than just an economic asset. Being able to return to one’s original place is a deeply felt aspiration about restoring the social relations that constitute a person’s identity. The long-standing displacement of people, land-grabbing and non-existence of rights to land in many parts of the country mean that land reform and land restitution must be a central issue in any peace settlement. What happens today with the land is inextricably tied to the country’s future prospects for peace and democracy.
While border militarisation has been disastrous for refugees, it also has its winners. Most notably, it has provided a booming business for the defense, security and IT industries in a market that is growing at roughly 8% a year.
This briefing updates the July 2016 report ‘Border Wars: the arms dealers profiting from Europe’s refugee tragedy’ . It shows that the European policy response to the refugee tragedy continues to provide a booming border security market for Europe’s arms and security firms, some of whom are involved in selling arms to the Middle East and North Africa and all of whom encourage European policies focused on keeping refugees out. It’s a win-win for the security corporations, but the cost is a deadly toll for migrants forced into ever more dangerous routes as they flee wars, conflict and oppression.
The European Union’s investment in border security measures boomed in 2016, a new report reveals, with prominent arms and security firms being the main beneficiaries. The militarisation of EU’s borders has however come at a terrible human cost, with the highest ever recorded yearly death toll of over 4700 known deaths in the Mediterranean sea, as refugees are forced to resort to ever more dangerous routes to enter Europe.
While tens of thousands of refugees have died fleeing terrible violence and hardship to get to Europe, not everyone has lost out. This report exposes the military and security companies that have profited from the tragedy, winning contracts to provide the equipment to border guards, the surveillance technology to monitor frontiers, and the IT infrastructure to track population movements.
The Celtic Tiger might just find its strength and appetite for action in the growth of left leaning electorates and local citizens initiatives. The tailspin of economy caused by austerity policies should be countered by a transparent debt audit.
The official discourse on migration has sought to criminalise migrant and refugee communities, ignoring the root causes of migration and the rights of communities; the Peoples' Global Action on Migration offers an alternative approach based on human rights and inter-cultural dialogue.
Migrants' rights have to be addressed on two fronts: end the neoliberal policies that are responsible for creating poverty in their home countries, thus forcing them to emigrate, and demand that they are given full rights in their host countries.