• Italian town faces backlash for ’sexist’ bronze statue of ’#La_Spigolatrice'

    Italian authorities in Sapri have defended a new bronze statue of a woman wearing a transparent dress.

    The sculpture is a tribute to La Spigolatrice di Sapri (The Gleaner of Sapri), an 1857 poem written by Luigi Mercantini.

    The poem refers to a female gleaner who leaves her job to join Italian revolutionary Carlo Pisacane’s failed expedition against the Kingdom of Naples.

    It was unveiled at a ceremony on Saturday in the province of Salerno, at a ceremony featuring local officials and former Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

    But the statue has generated some backlash on social media, with many labeling its design “sexist” and others calling for it to be taken down.

    Italian authorities in Sapri have defended a new bronze statue of a woman wearing a transparent dress.

    Laura Boldrini, an MP with the centre-left Democratic party, said the monument was “an offense to women and to the history it is supposed to celebrate”.

    “How can even the institutions accept the representation of women as sexualised bodies,” she added on Twitter.


    https://twitter.com/MonicaCirinna/status/1442204598190714891

    Monica Cirinnà, a member of the Italian Senate, also stated that it was a “slap in the face to history and to women who are still only sexualised bodies.”

    “This statue of the Gleaner says nothing about the self-determination of the woman who chose not to go to work in order to stand up against the Bourbon oppressor”.

    The mayor of Sapri has defended the statue as “a very important work of art which will be a great tourist attraction for our town”.

    In a post on Facebook, Antonio Gentile said that critics of the statue held “a lack of knowledge of local history”.

    “Our community...has always been committed to combating all forms of gender violence,” he added.

    La nuova statua della Spigolatrice di Sapri è stata realizzata con maestria e impeccabile interpretazione dall’artista...

    –—

    Meanwhile, the sculptor #Emanuele_Stifano stated that he was “appalled and disheartened” by the criticism.

    “All kinds of accusations have been made against me which have nothing to do with my person and my story,” Stifano said on Facebook.

    “When I make a sculpture, I always tend to cover the human body as little as possible, regardless of gender.”

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/09/28/italian-town-of-sapri-faces-backlash-for-sexist-bronze-statue-of-la-spigol
    #image #femmes #travailleuses #statue #Italie #commémoration #sexisme #espace_public #spigolatrice #corps

    ping @cede

    • Anche no

      Sui social da qualche giorno è in atto una forte polemica su una statua commissionata dal Comune di Sapri (Salerno) allo scultore Emanuele Stifano. Raffigura una giovane donna voluttuosa, coperta solo da un abito succinto e trasparente, in stile camicia bagnata vedo/non vedo che mette in risalto seni e glutei. Ricordo una polemica simile per la statua discinta della Violata ad Ancona, commissionata per portare l’attenzione sulla violenza maschile sulle donne.

      Il riferimento stavolta è alla spigolatrice protagonista di una notissima poesia di #Luigi_Mercantini ispirata a un tragico episodio del Risorgimento italiano: la spedizione del socialista Carlo Pisacane, che aveva lo scopo di innescare una rivoluzione antiborbonica nel Regno delle Due Sicilie, ma al posto delle masse rivoluzionarie trovò una popolazione ostile che si unì alla gendarmeria borbonica per trucidarli. La contadina immaginata dal poeta assiste allo sbarco, affascinata da una speranza di libertà lascia il lavoro per seguirli e inorridita e incredula piange i trecento giovani morti.
      Siamo in presenza di un’opera a destinazione pubblica, esposta in pubblico, pagata con fondi pubblici, che ha una dichiarata funzione celebrativa.  Poteva essere il simbolo della presenza femminile nelle battaglie, nella storia, nella letteratura. È diventata l’ennesimo triste ammiccante tributo non alla rappresentazione artistica del nudo femminile, ma agli stereotipi che l’accompagnano.
      Giunta e scultore ovviamente difendono l’iniziativa. La perversione è nell’occhio di chi guarda, dicono.
      L’inaugurazione avviene alla presenza delle autorità locali e del presidente M5s Giuseppe Conte in tour elettorale nella zona. Uomini con responsabilità di governo, noti e applauditi, si fanno fotografare compunti, con la mano sul cuore, di fronte a una statua di donna che stimola reazioni pruriginose e a noi pare ridicola per la storia, per la dignità, per il buonsenso e per il buon gusto.
      Non si pongono alcun problema, sembra che la banalità di questa iconografia non li riguardi.
      Le intenzioni non bastano quando il messaggio è sbagliato.
      No, Prassitele o Canova non c’entrano. Non c’entrano «le fattezze fisiche delle donne meridionali», come sostiene un arguto senatore. Figuriamoci se pensiamo che il nudo in sé rechi offesa. Non è la presenza di modelle più o meno vestite a determinare una lesione alla persona, ma l’uso del loro corpo e il senso della posa e dell’atteggiamento, troppo spesso evidentemente allusivi a una disponibilità sul piano sessuale.
      Dietro alla statua bronzea di Sapri c’è la plastica rappresentazione non della forza femminile o del risveglio della coscienza popolare (come pretende l’autore) ma dei più scontati sogni erotici maschili.

      Non c’entrano la censura né la cancel culture, né il puritanesimo. Le opere d’arte non devono per forza essere “politicamente corrette”, né pudiche, né rappresentare fedelmente una scena storica. Tuttavia per un’opera pubblica il problema del contesto culturale è importante (già Facebook sta riportando autoscatti orgogliosi di maschietti che palpano il sedere della statua. E ve le immaginate le gite scolastiche con ragazzini in pieno tumulto ormonale?).
      Lo scultore afferma di «prescindere dal sesso», ma eroi risorgimentali in perizoma nelle piazze italiane o nei parchi io non ne ho visti mai.
      Rompere l’assuefazione.
      Si possono raccontare le donne senza spogliarle, senza ridurle allo stereotipo della fanciulla sexy offerta agli sguardi, inchiodata al ruolo-gabbia di oggetto di piacere che i maschi hanno costruito per lei? Si può prescindere dalla ricca elaborazione che studiose di molte discipline hanno prodotto sulla mercificazione a scopi promozionali e pubblicitari dei corpi femminili? Può chi ha responsabilità pubbliche non interrogarsi sulle condizioni del discorso, ignorare il risultato sull’immaginario collettivo di decenni di offerte di immagini scollacciate?
      Oppure la rappresentazione stereotipata della donna è considerata in Italia un tratto antropologico così radicato che non si pensa valga la pena di contrastarlo con politiche evolutive?
      I commentatori si appiattiscono su quell’altro cliché, “che noia queste femministe”. Nessuno sa o comprende che molte delle voci che si levano sono di persone che sul tema riflettono da anni. Probabilmente ben pochi leggono, molti rifuggono da firme femminili. L’importante è ridurre tutto a un quadro di donne frustrate che polemizzano su qualsiasi cosa.

      Il sessismo: c’è chi lo riconosce e chi no. C’è chi pensa, parla e agisce per contrastarlo e chi per preservarlo. C’è chi fa l’indifferente, perché gli va bene così.

      In copertina, Jean-François Millet, Le spigolatrici (Des glaneuses), 1857, Parigi, Musée d’Orsay.

      https://vitaminevaganti.com/2021/10/02/anche-no

    • Italy: bronze statue of scantily dressed woman sparks sexism row

      Sculpture based on the poem The Gleaner of Sapri was unveiled by former PM Giuseppe Conte on Saturday

      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/6e3f31968859d9d7365fb84bdc985fa5432a7582/146_54_1486_892/master/1486.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=d07d56bfc81ea233dc82fb

      A statue depicting a scantily dressed woman from a 19th-century poem has sparked a sexism row in Italy.

      The bronze statue, which portrays the woman in a transparent dress, was unveiled on Saturday during a ceremony attended by the former prime minister Giuseppe Conte in Sapri, in the southern Campania region.

      The work by the sculptor Emanuele Stifano is a tribute to La Spigolatrice di Sapri (The Gleaner of Sapri), written by the poet Luigi Mercantini in 1857. The poem is based on the story of a failed expedition against the Kingdom of Naples by Carlo Pisacane, one of the first Italian socialist thinkers.


      https://twitter.com/lauraboldrini/status/1442235735478702081

      Laura Boldrini, a deputy with the centre-left Democratic party, said the statue was an “offence to women and the history it should celebrate”. She wrote on Twitter: “But how can even the institutions accept the representation of a woman as a sexualised body?”

      A group of female politicians from the Democratic party’s unit in Palermo called for the statue to be knocked down. “Once again, we have to suffer the humiliation of seeing ourselves represented in the form of a sexualised body, devoid of soul and without any connection with the social and political issues of the story,” the group said in a statement.

      They argued that the statue reflected nothing of the anti-Bourbon revolution nor the “self-determination of a woman who chooses not to go to work in order to take sides against the oppressor”.

      Stifano defended his work, writing on Facebook that if it had been up to him the statue would have been “completely naked … simply because I am a lover of the human body”. He said it was “useless” to try to explain artwork to those “who absolutely only want to see depravity”.

      Antonio Gentile, the mayor of Sapri, said that until the row erupted “nobody had criticised or distorted the work of art”.

      In photos of the ceremony, Conte, now the leader of the Five Star Movement, appeared puzzled as he looked at the statue, surrounded by a mostly male entourage.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/27/italy-bronze-statue-of-scantily-dressed-woman-sparks-sexism-row

  • Turkey builds a border wall to stop refugees from Afghanistan

    Fearing a new refugee crisis, Turkey is reinforcing its border with Iran to stop a potential influx of Afghans fleeing Taliban rule.

    Some refugees who fled weeks and months ago have already started to show up at the rugged border area.

    Now, three-metre-high concrete slabs are being installed to stop them.

    According to Turkish authorities, security forces have prevented the passage of over 69 thousand irregular migrants and arrested 904 suspects accused of being human traffickers.

    Local media report a 155-kilometre stretch of a planned 241-kilometre wall has already been erected at the border.

    Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers heading to Europe to flee war and persecution.
    We won’t become Europe’s ’refugee warehouse’, says Erdogan

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government had brushed off warnings and criticism from opposition parties about an increase in the number of migrants from Afghanistan.

    This week, he admitted that Turkey faces a new refugee wave from Afghanistan and said his cabinet would work with Pakistan to try and bring stability to the war-ravaged country.

    Erdogan also called on European nations on Thursday to shoulder the responsibility for Afghans fleeing the Taliban and warned that his country won’t become Europe’s “refugee warehouse.”

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/20/turkey-builds-a-border-wall-to-stop-refugees-from-afghanistan

    #murs #barrières_frontalières #Iran #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_afghans #Turquie

    • Turkey’ eastern Iran border to be safer with modular wall system

      To ensure the safety and security of the Turkish-Iranian border, a 295-kilometer (183-mile) long wall will be constructed along the entire shared border, Emin Bilmez, the governor of the eastern province of #Van, said Tuesday. It is hoped that the wall will help to prevent illegal crossings and the trafficking of contraband and that it will also hinder terrorists from infiltrating.

      “Due to the increasing waves of migration, our land forces have dispatched two reconnaissance and two commando companies along with armed vehicles to the region. The Ministry of the Interior has allocated 35 special operations teams and 50 armed vehicles to the zone to assist the troops guarding the border,” Bilmez said.

      “We have been digging ditches for the past two years at a width of 4 meters (13 feet) and a depth of 4 meters. Barbed wire will enclose the entrance of these ditches,” Bilmez added.

      “Along the whole 295-kilometer long border, we will put up a wall. We foresee that a section of 64 kilometers will be readied by the end of the year. A tender is being prepared for an additional 63 kilometers of wall. We expect the process to be finalized within this year. The remaining sections will be finished in the upcoming years. In addition to the wall construction, there will be 58 watchtowers and 45 communication towers. Towers will be equipped with thermal cameras, radars, sensors and fire control systems,” Bilmez said.
      300 organizers arrested

      Both armed and unarmed UAVs have been deployed on the border, conducting reconnaissance missions 24/7. Gathered images are being transferred to relevant departments. 105,000 irregular migrants have been either prevented from crossing the border or apprehended on Turkish soil over the last year, Bilmez added.

      “This year alone, we have captured and processed over 55,000 irregular migrants on our borders. 783 organizers (traffickers who make arrangements for migrants to cross illegally) have been processed and around 300 of them have been arrested, from January 2021 until July 2021. The sum of all organizers processed last year was 599."

      https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/turkey-eastern-iran-border-to-be-safer-with-modular-wall-system/news
      #modules #mur_modulaire

    • La Turquie construit un mur pour bloquer les réfugiés afghans à la frontière iranienne

      Dans la région de Van située à l’Est de la Turquie, les autorités ont érigé un mur en béton de 150 kilomètres le long de la frontière avec l’Iran. Le retour au pouvoir des Taliban suscite l’inquiétude des dirigeants et de la population turque. Ces derniers craignent une nouvelle crise migratoire, dans un pays qui accueille déjà 3,7 millions de Syriens ayant fui la guerre.

      Un mur en béton haut de quatre mètres s’élève désormais entre la Turquie et l’Iran, dans la région de Van, pour empêcher les migrants de passer. Quelque 500 km de frontières séparent les deux États traversés par des milliers de migrants, principalement afghans, en route vers l’Europe.

      Depuis la chute de Kaboul tombée aux mains des Taliban, le 15 août, les autorités turques craignent une augmentation des arrivées. Le pays accueille déjà 3,7 millions de Syriens ayant fui la guerre.

      Les patrouilles se multiplient pour protéger une frontière poreuse qui s’étend à flan de montagnes. Le nouveau mur se dresse sur 150 km et Ankara affirme que d’ici la fin de l’année, 50 km supplémentaires seront construits. Une équipe de journalistes de France 24 s’est rendue sur place.

      https://www.france24.com/fr/moyen-orient/20210906-la-turquie-construit-un-mur-pour-bloquer-les-r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s-a

  • Six countries urge EU to continue Afghan deportations

    Stopping deportations would “motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home,” the six states say. Afghan authorities have asked deportations to stop until October.

    Six EU countries have asked the European Commission not to stop the deportations of unsuccessful asylum migrants back to Afghanistan as thousands flee the Taliban’s takeover.

    Ministers from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Netherlands and Denmark said “stopping returns sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home.”

    The move follows a plea from the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation on July 8 to stop EU returns of its nationals for three months during the current resurgence of the Taliban.
    What did the letter say?

    The letter signed by the six states said that more moves should be made on the ground to support Afghanistan and neighboring countries rather than halt deportation from the EU.

    “We fully recognise the sensitive situation in Afghanistan in light of the foreseen withdrawal of international troops,” said the joint statement.


    https://twitter.com/kmlvrmln/status/1424646282505822210

    It recognized that there were 4.6 million Afghans that had already been displaced by the conflict with 570,000 asylum applications from the country lodged in the EU since 2015.

    “In view of of the expected likelihood that Afghanistan will continue to be a significant source of irregular migration to the EU, we would like to underline the importance of returning home those without genuine protection needs,” said the six countries.

    They urged “the Commission to intensify talks with the Afghan government on how returns to Afghanistan can and will be continue in the coming months.”

    EU countries have come under increasing attack from human rights groups for the decision to continue returning unsuccessful asylum applicants. On August 3 the European Court for Human Rights ruled not to send one of these migrants back to Afghanistan at least until the end of August.

    “That regions of a country are not safe does not mean that each national of that country automatically is entitled to protection,” added Belgium’s secretary for asylum and migration, Sammy Mahdi.
    What has the EU said?

    A spokesman for The European Commission said: "At an EU level there isn’t a list of countries considered safe relating to asylum applications or for returns.

    “It’s up to each member state to assess... the country of origin and the

    situation of the person concerned,” he said.

    But a senior EU official said on Tuesday that it wants to avoid “a massive flow of migration from Afghanistan.”

    According to the official, 80% of deportations to the war-torn country are “voluntary.”

    The official said the situation in the Middle Eastern country is “challenging” although it is not yet “desperate” in that it still had a solid government unlike Syria and Iraq in past refugee crises.

    But the EU was concerned about fighting stifling the arrival of humanitarian aid in the country, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said on Tuesday that the situation has “deteriorated” to the point that some cities have “medical facilities on the front lines.”
    What is the situation in Afghanistan?

    By Tuesday the Taliban had taken six Afghan provincial capitals forcing thousands to move to Kabul and other safer areas.

    The insurgents, who want to establish Sharia law in the country, are now looking to take Mazar-i-Sharif, the largest city in the north of Afghanistan.

    Its fall would mean an area that has voiced strongest opposition to the Taliban could now be out of government control.

    The US, which aims to withdraw all its troops by the end of August, has sent a special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad to Qatar to try to get a ceasefire with the Taliban.

    But Pentagon spokesman John Kirby admitted there was “not much” the US could do but trust the Afghan government forces to turn the tide.

    “Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government,” said Human Rights Watch on August 3.

    With the Taliban advancing through the country at an alarming rate, experts believe more revenge killings could be on the way.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/34221/six-countries-urge-eu-to-continue-afghan-deportations

    #Afghanistan #renvois #expulsions

    Et voilà, encore une fois, apparaître la belle #rhétorique de l’#appel_d'air :

    Stopping deportations would “motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home,” the six states say.

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Six EU countries want to keep forced return of Afghans despite Taliban offensive Access to the comments

      At least six EU countries insist that the forced deportation of migrants back to Afghanistan continues despite the Taliban’s alarming gains in recent weeks.

      Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and the Netherlands wrote to the European Commission claiming that halting returns "sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home for the EU.’’

      Adalbert Jahnz, the Commission’s spokesman for home affairs explained that “it’s up to each member state to make an individual assessment of whether the return is possible in a specific set of circumstances, that needs to take into account the principles, notable the principle of rule of law and other fundamental rights.”

      “But it’s not something that the EU specifically regulates,” he added.

      The call by the six member states comes a week after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) urged Austrian authorities not to proceed with the expulsion of an Afghan national until late August at the earliest because of “a clear risk of irreparable harm to the complainant”.

      Afghanistan had in July urged Europe to stop deportations for three months, as Finland, Sweden and Norway had done, due to the deteriorating security situation on the grounds.

      Taliban insurgents have captured five out of the country’s 34 provincial capitals in less than a week in a relentless campaign against government forces.

      They have been emboldened by the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.

      Cities claimed by the Taliban include strategically important Kunduz in the north that has transport links to many other cities including the capital Kabul.

      Afghan security forces, which have been backed, trained, and financed with billions of dollars in a 20-year-long Western military effort that included many EU countries, appear unable to cope with the offensive.

      https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/10/six-eu-countries-want-to-keep-forced-return-of-afghans-despite-taliban-off

      #réfugiés_afghans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #retour #renvois #expulsions
      #Austriche #Belgique #Danemark #Allemagne #Grèce #Pays_Bas

      #machine_à_expulser

    • Réfugiés afghans : l’hypocrisie européenne

      La plupart des pays de l’Union européenne ont attendu le dernier moment pour suspendre les expulsions d’Afghans venus demander l’asile sur leur sol. Alors que les talibans ont pris le pouvoir à Kaboul, les vingt-sept ministres des affaires étrangères se réunissent en urgence ce mardi pour décider des suites à donner à leur action. Accueillir dignement les exilés déjà arrivés sur leur sol serait un premier pas en matière de solidarité.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/160821/refugies-afghans-l-hypocrisie-europeenne#at_medium=custom7&at_campaign=104

  • Data et nouvelles technologies, la face cachée du contrôle des mobilités

    Dans un rapport de juillet 2020, l’#Agence_européenne_pour_la_gestion_opérationnelle_des_systèmes_d’information_à_grande_échelle (#EU-Lisa) présente l’#intelligence_artificielle (#IA) comme l’une des « #technologies prioritaires » à développer. Le rapport souligne les avantages de l’IA en matière migratoire et aux frontières, grâce, entre autres, à la technologie de #reconnaissance_faciale.

    L’intelligence artificielle est de plus en plus privilégiée par les acteurs publics, les institutions de l’UE et les acteurs privés, mais aussi par le #HCR et l’#OIM. Les agences de l’UE, comme #Frontex ou EU-Lisa, ont été particulièrement actives dans l’expérimentation des nouvelles technologies, brouillant parfois la distinction entre essais et mise en oeuvre. En plus des outils traditionnels de #surveillance, une panoplie de technologies est désormais déployée aux frontières de l’Europe et au-delà, qu’il s’agisse de l’ajout de nouvelles #bases_de_données, de technologies financières innovantes, ou plus simplement de la récupération par les #GAFAM des données laissées volontairement ou pas par les migrant·e·s et réfugié∙e∙s durant le parcours migratoire.

    La pandémie #Covid-19 est arrivée à point nommé pour dynamiser les orientations déjà prises, en permettant de tester ou de généraliser des technologies utilisées pour le contrôle des mobilités sans que l’ensemble des droits des exilé·e·s ne soit pris en considération. L’OIM, par exemple, a mis à disposition des Etats sa #Matrice_de_suivi_des_déplacements (#DTM) durant cette période afin de contrôler les « flux migratoires ». De nouvelles technologies au service de vieilles obsessions…

    http://migreurop.org/article3021.html

    Pour télécharger la note :
    migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/note_12_fr.pdf

    #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontières #mobilité #mobilités #données #technologie #nouvelles_technologies #coronavirus #covid #IOM
    #migreurop

    ping @etraces

    voir aussi :
    Migreurop | Data : la face cachée du contrôle des mobilités
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900232

    • European funds for African IDs: migration regulation tool or privacy risk?

      The first person you meet after you land at Blaise Diagne Airport in Dakar is a border guard with a digital scanner.

      The official will scan your travel document and photograph and take a digital print of your index fingers.

      It’s the most visible sign of the new state-of-the-art digital biometrics system that is being deployed in the airport with the help of EU funding.

      The aim is to combat the increasingly sophisticated fake passports sold by traffickers to refugees.

      But it also helps Senegal’s government learn more about its own citizens.

      And it’s not just here: countries across West Africa are adopting travel documentation that has long been familiar to Europeans.

      Passports, ID cards and visas are all becoming biometric, and a national enrolment scheme is underway.

      In Europe too, there are proposals to create a biometric database of over 400 million foreign nationals, including fingerprints and photographs of their faces.

      The new systems are part of efforts to battle illegal migration from West Africa to the EU.

      ‘Fool-proof’ EU passport online

      Many are still plying the dangerous route across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe, but a growing number are turning to the criminal gangs selling forged passports to avoid the treacherous journey over desert and sea.

      There’s a burgeoning market in travel documents advertised as ‘fake but real”.

      Prices vary according to the paperwork: an EU Schengen transit visa costs €5,000, while a longer-stay visa can be twice as high.

      Some forgers have even mastered the ability to incorporate holograms and hack the biometric chips.

      “Morphing” is an image processing technique that merges two people’s photographs into a single new face that appears to contain entirely new biometric data.

      Frontex, the EU’s border guard agency, says 7,000 people were caught trying to enter the Schengen area in 2019 carrying such documents — but it admits the true figure could be much higher.

      Sending migrants back

      Last year, the largest number of travellers with fake documents arrived via Turkish and Moroccan international airports.

      Many were caught in Italy, having arrived via Casablanca from sub-Saharan countries like Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

      A Frontex team responsible for deporting migrants without the correct paperwork was deployed this year at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

      It’s the first sign of a new European Commission regulation expanding the agency’s role, which includes access to biometric data held by member states, according to Jane Kilpatrick, a researcher at the civil liberties think-tank Statewatch.

      “The agency’s growing role in the collection of data, it links overtly to the agency’s role in deporting individuals from the EU,” she said.

      Over 490,000 return decisions were issued by member states last year, but only a third were actually sent back to a country outside the EU.

      There are multiple reasons why: some countries, for example, refuse to accept responsibility for people whose identity documents were lost, destroyed or stolen.

      Legally binding readmission agreements are now in place between the EU and 18 other countries to make that process easier.
      There are no records

      But a bigger problem is the fact that many African countries know very little about their own citizens.

      The World Bank estimates the continent is home to roughly half of the estimated one billion people on the planet who are unable to prove their identities.

      An absence of digitisation means that dusty registers are piling up in storage rooms.

      The same goes for many borders: unlike the scene at Dakar’s airport, many are still without internet access, servers, scanners and cameras.

      That, the Commission says, is why EU aid funds are being used to develop biometric identity systems in West African countries.

      The EU Trust Fund for Africa has allotted €60 million to support governments in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire in modernising their registry systems and creating a national biometric identity database.

      Much of the funding comes through Civipol, a consulting firm attached to France’s interior ministry and part-owned by Milipol, one of the most important arms trade fairs in the world.

      It describes the objective of the programme in Côte d’Ivoire as identifying “people genuinely of Ivorian nationality and organising their return more easily”.
      Data security concerns

      European sources told Euronews that the EU-funded projects in West Africa were not designed to identify potential migrants or deport existing ones.

      A Commission spokesperson insisted no European entity — neither Frontex, nor member states, nor their partners — had access to the databases set up by West African countries.

      But the systems they are funding are intimately connected to anti-migration initiatives.

      One is the Migrant Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), a migration database that can send automatic queries to Interpol watchlists to detect travel documents and people possibly linked to organised crime, including human trafficking.

      Connections like these, and the role of French arms giants like Thales in the growing biometric market, has led data protection experts to become worried about possible abuses of privacy.
      World’s newest biometric market

      As Africa becomes the coveted market for biometric identification providers, the watchdog Privacy International has warned it risks becoming a mere testing ground for technologies later deployed elsewhere.

      So far 24 countries on the continent out of 53 have adopted laws and regulations to protect personal data.

      A letter by Privacy International, seen by Euronews, says EU must “ensure they are protecting rights before proceeding with allocating resources and technologies which, in absence of proper oversight, will likely result in fundamental rights abuses.”

      It has published internal documents tracking the development of Senegal’s system that suggest no privacy or data protection impact assessments have been carried out.

      Civipol, the French partner, denies this: it told Euronews that the Senegalese Personal Data Commission took part in the programme and Senegalese law was respected at every stage.

      Yet members of Senegal’s independent Commission of Personal Data (CDP), which is responsible for ensuring personal data is processed correctly, admit implementation and enforcement remained a challenge — even though they are proud of their country’s pioneering role in data governance in Africa.

      For the Senegalese cyber activist Cheick Fall, the charge is more serious: “Senegal has sinned by entrusting the processing of these data to foreign companies.”

      https://www.euronews.com/2021/07/30/european-funds-for-african-ids-migration-regulation-tool-or-privacy-risk

      #biométrie #aéroport #Afrique #étrangers #base_de_données_biométrique #empreintes_digitales #passeports #visas #hologramme #Morphing #image #photographie #Frontex #EU_Trust_Fund_for_Africa #Trust_Fund #Civipol #Milipol #armes #commerce_d'armes #Côte_d’Ivoire #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #Migrant_Information_and_Data_Analysis_System (#MIDAS) #Interpol #Thales #Sénégal #Senegalese_Personal_Data_Commission #Commission_of_Personal_Data (#CDP)

  • Forget build back better - what if crisis is the new normal?
    New disasters are materialising in the form of deadly floods in Western Europe, India and China; forest fires are burning out of control around the Mediterranean, the West Coast of the USA and even Siberia; serious droughts are affecting Brazil, Madagascar and Mexico.

    High-temperature records are broken in Canada and other places. The human fatalities from these disasters may be smaller compared to those of the pandemic but the impact on lives, livelihoods and infrastructure is significant and growing.

    Polycrisia
    Welcome to “Polycrisia”, the period of human history when there is a succession of crises, one after another but also overlapping, straining the assets meant for emergency response and forcing a different kind of planning and implementation cycle on public administrations, private companies and individual households alike; or so it should.

    In Siberia, volunteers wage war on Russia’s wildfires with shovels and saws
    Spain’s emergency services hope rain will help extinguish Catalonia forest fires
    There is remarkable inertia, though, and hope against hope that the world will soon be able to get out of these continuous and interconnected crises. Thus, the talk about returning to strong GDP growth, with recovery and rehabilitation at all levels, “normalcy” eventually settling back and everybody going about their usual business like before. Comforting as this may sound, it is a fallacy and the sooner we turn our minds away from it the better.

    Political and economic thinking and decision-making are still done with a quick return to normalcy fixation in mind
    There is a huge difference between contemplating a “normal” world without pandemics, climate catastrophes and financial collapses, and a world that prepares itself for more of the above and even other calamities. In the first, “normal” world, one would try to restore global supply chains, move to industrial-scale renewable energy sources as a growth strategy, and rely again on the global financial system to provide the necessary resources with an emphasis on efficiency and profits.

    In the second world, one would ensure minimum local supply of key goods, promote energy communities that establish local energy sufficiency via locally relevant renewable energy sources, and would readjust finance to cater to the needs of small and medium enterprises, individuals and communities.

    In this second, “Polycrisian” world, there would be a lot more tolerance for positive inefficiencies, like undeveloped natural spaces and other adaptation measures to secure homes and key infrastructures against floods, local food production to minimise carbon footprint and ensure survival in case of supply cut-offs, water stocks in case of droughts.

    Adaptation would thus be on a par with mitigation, instead of remaining the neglected child of the international climate action regime and of commitments made by state and non-state actors.

    In the spirit of preparedness one should also ensure resilience against multiple other crises looming in the horizon, such as small or big telecommunication and internet disruptions, due to infrastructure problems or cyberattacks. Among the worst and most difficult potential crises to plan around are those associated with the apparent cracks in the fabric of societies, including authoritarian measures by governments, civil disobedience and “culture wars”. With the successive crises and the globalised economic system marginalising more and more people, exacerbating their precarious situation and increasing relative inequalities, the crisis of democratic governance will be a major challenge to tackle even in previously stable countries and regions.

    Unfortunately, despite the clear alarming signs and the prolific talk about resilience, the sense is that political and economic thinking and decision-making are still done with a quick return to normalcy fixation in mind.

    The assumption is that the mega-crisis we just faced (and are still facing) was a one-off phenomenon, a freak occurrence that will not repeat itself in any comparable way any time soon. So the talk about resilience is directed towards the past, dealing with unfinished business keeping us from returning to normalcy, or even “building back better”.

    Reality and the big picture, though, call for a much more cautionary approach in “building forward better”, which should be our goal. In the era of Polycrisia that has dawned, those who prepare – countries, regions, companies, people – will reap the benefits of resilience and decent survival, while the others will keep tormenting themselves and the world.

    Georgios Kostakos is Executive Director of the Brussels-based Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS). He has been extensively involved in global governance, sustainability and climate-related activities with the United Nations and beyond.

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/07/27/forget-build-back-better-what-if-crisis-is-the-new-normal-view?utm


    https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1419979404575272963/6hiiwEkE?format=jpg&name=small

  • Revealed: 2,000 refugee deaths linked to illegal EU pushbacks

    A Guardian analysis finds EU countries used brutal tactics to stop nearly 40,000 asylum seekers crossing borders

    EU member states have used illegal operations to push back at least 40,000 asylum seekers from Europe’s borders during the pandemic, methods being linked to the death of more than 2,000 people, the Guardian can reveal.

    In one of the biggest mass expulsions in decades, European countries, supported by EU’s border agency #Frontex, has systematically pushed back refugees, including children fleeing from wars, in their thousands, using illegal tactics ranging from assault to brutality during detention or transportation.

    The Guardian’s analysis is based on reports released by UN agencies, combined with a database of incidents collected by non-governmental organisations. According to charities, with the onset of Covid-19, the regularity and brutality of pushback practices has grown.

    “Recent reports suggest an increase of deaths of migrants attempting to reach Europe and, at the same time, an increase of the collaboration between EU countries with non-EU countries such as Libya, which has led to the failure of several rescue operations,’’ said one of Italy’s leading human rights and immigration experts, Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, professor of asylum law at the University of Palermo. ‘’In this context, deaths at sea since the beginning of the pandemic are directly or indirectly linked to the EU approach aimed at closing all doors to Europe and the increasing externalisation of migration control to countries such as Libya.’’

    The findings come as the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog, Olaf, has launched an investigation into Frontex (https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/20/eu-migration-chief-urges-frontex-to-clarify-pushback-allegations) over allegations of harassment, misconduct and unlawful operations aimed at stopping asylum seekers from reaching EU shores.

    According to the International Organization for Migration (https://migration.iom.int/europe?type=arrivals), in 2020 almost 100,000 immigrants arrived in Europe by sea and by land compared with nearly 130,000 in 2019 and 190,000 in 2017.

    Since January 2020, despite the drop in numbers, Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Spain have accelerated their hardline migration agenda. Since the introduction of partial or complete border closures to halt the outbreak of coronavirus, these countries have paid non-EU states and enlisted private vessels to intercept boats in distress at sea and push back passengers into detention centres. There have been repeated reports of people being beaten, robbed, stripped naked at frontiers or left at sea.

    In 2020 Croatia, whose police patrol the EU’s longest external border, have intensified systemic violence and pushbacks of migrants to Bosnia. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) recorded nearly 18,000 migrants pushed back by Croatia since the start of the pandemic. Over the last year and a half, the Guardian has collected testimonies of migrants who have allegedly been whipped, robbed, sexually abused and stripped naked (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/oct/21/croatian-police-accused-of-sickening-assaults-on-migrants-on-balkans-tr) by members of the Croatian police. Some migrants said they were spray-painted with red crosses on their heads by officers who said the treatment was the “cure against coronavirus” (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/28/they-made-crosses-on-our-heads-refugees-report-abuse-by-croatian-police).

    According to an annual report released on Tuesday by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) (https://www.borderviolence.eu/annual-torture-report-2020), a coalition of 13 NGOs documenting illegal pushbacks in the western Balkans, abuse and disproportionate force was present in nearly 90% of testimonies in 2020 collected from Croatia, a 10% increase on 2019.

    In April, the Guardian revealed how a woman from Afghanistan was allegedly sexually abused (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/07/croatian-border-police-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-afghan-migrant) and held at knifepoint by a Croatian border police officer during a search of migrants on the border with Bosnia.

    “Despite the European Commission’s engagement with Croatian authorities in recent months, we have seen virtually no progress, neither on investigations of the actual reports, nor on the development of independent border monitoring mechanisms,” said Nicola Bay, DRC country director for Bosnia. “Every single pushback represents a violation of international and EU law – whether it involves violence or not.”

    Since January 2020, Greece has pushed back about 6,230 asylum seekers from its shores, according to data from BVMN. The report stated that in 89% of the pushbacks, “BVMN has observed the disproportionate and excessive use of force. This alarming number shows that the use of force in an abusive, and therefore illicit, way has become a normality […]

    “Extremely cruel examples of police violence documented in 2020 included prolonged excessive beatings (often on naked bodies), water immersion, the physical abuse of women and children, the use of metal rods to inflict injury.”

    In testimonies, people described how their hands were tied to the bars of cells and helmets put on their heads before beatings to avoid visible bruising.

    A lawsuit filed against the Greek state in April at the European court of human rights (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/26/greece-accused-of-shocking-pushback-against-refugees-at-sea) accused Athens of abandoning dozens of migrants in life rafts at sea, after some had been beaten. The case claims that Greek patrol boats towed migrants back to Turkish waters and abandoned them at sea without food, water, lifejackets or any means to call for help.

    BVMN said: “Whether it be using the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown to serve as a cover for pushbacks, fashioning open-air prisons, or preventing boats from entering Greek waters by firing warning shots toward boats, the evidence indicates the persistent refusal to uphold democratic values, human rights and international and European law.”

    According to UNHCR data, since the start of the pandemic, Libyan authorities – with Italian support since 2017, when Rome ceded responsibility (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/23/mother-and-child-drown-after-being-abandoned-off-libya-says-ngo) for overseeing Mediterranean rescue operations to Libya – intercepted and pushed back to Tripoli about 15,500 asylum seekers. The controversial strategy has caused the forced return of thousands to Libyan detention centres where, according to first hand reports, they face torture. Hundreds have drowned when neither Libya nor Italy intervened.

    “In 2020 this practice continued, with an increasingly important role being played by Frontex planes, sighting boats at sea and communicating their position to the Libyan coastguard,” said Matteo de Bellis, migration researcher at Amnesty International. “So, while Italy at some point even used the pandemic as an excuse to declare that its ports were not safe for the disembarkation of people rescued at sea, it had no problem with the Libyan coastguard returning people to Tripoli. Even when this was under shelling or when hundreds were forcibly disappeared immediately after disembarkation.”

    In April, Italy and Libya were accused of deliberately ignoring a mayday call (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/25/a-mayday-call-a-dash-across-the-ocean-and-130-souls-lost-at-sea) from a migrant boat in distress in Libyan waters, as waves reached six metres. A few hours later, an NGO rescue boat discovered dozens of bodies (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/25/a-mayday-call-a-dash-across-the-ocean-and-130-souls-lost-at-sea) floating in the waves. That day 130 migrants were lost at sea.

    In April, in a joint investigation with the Italian Rai News and the newspaper Domani, the Guardian saw documents from Italian prosecutors detailing conversations between two commanders of the Libyan coastguard and an Italian coastguard officer in Rome. The transcripts appeared to expose the non-responsive behaviour (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/16/wiretaps-migrant-boats-italy-libya-coastguard-mediterranean) of the Libyan officers and their struggling to answer the distress calls which resulted in hundreds of deaths. At least five NGO boats remain blocked in Italian ports as authorities claim administrative reasons for holding them.

    “Push- and pull-back operations have become routine, as have forms of maritime abandonment where hundreds were left to drown,’’ said a spokesperson at Alarm Phone, a hotline service for migrants in distress at sea. ‘’We have documented so many shipwrecks that were never officially accounted for, and so we know that the real death toll is much higher. In many of the cases, European coastguards have refused to respond – they rather chose to let people drown or to intercept them back to the place they had risked their lives to escape from. Even if all European authorities try to reject responsibility, we know that the mass dying is a direct result of both their actions and inactions. These deaths are on Europe.’’

    Malta, which declared its ports closed early last year, citing the pandemic, has continued to push back hundreds of migrants using two strategies: enlisting private vessels to intercept asylum seekers and force them back to Libya or turning them away with directions to Italy (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/20/we-give-you-30-minutes-malta-turns-migrant-boat-away-with-directions-to).

    “Between 2014 and 2017, Malta was able to count on Italy to take responsibility for coordinating rescues and allowing disembarkations,” said De Bellis. “But when Italy and the EU withdrew their ships from the central Mediterranean, to leave it in Libya’s hands, they left Malta more exposed. In response, from early 2020 the Maltese government used tactics to avoid assisting refugees and migrants in danger at sea, including arranging unlawful pushbacks to Libya by private fishing boats, diverting boats rather than rescuing them, illegally detaining hundreds of people on ill-equipped ferries off Malta’s waters, and signing a new agreement with Libya to prevent people from reaching Malta.”

    Last May, a series of voice messages obtained by the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/19/exclusive-12-die-as-malta-uses-private-ships-to-push-migrants-back-to-l) confirmed the Maltese government’s strategy to use private vessels, acting at the behest of its armed forces, to intercept crossings and return refugees to Libyan detention centres.

    In February 2020, the European court of human rights was accused of “completely ignoring the reality” after it ruled Spain did not violate the prohibition of collective expulsion (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/13/european-court-under-fire-backing-spain-express-deportations), as asylum applications could be made at the official border crossing point. Relying on this judgment, Spain’s constitutional court upheld “border rejections” provided certain safeguards apply.

    Last week, the bodies of 24 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were found by Spain’s maritime rescue (https://apnews.com/article/atlantic-ocean-canary-islands-coronavirus-pandemic-africa-migration-5ab68371. They are believed to have died of dehydration while attempting to reach the Canary Islands. In 2020, according to the UNHCR, 788 migrants died trying to reach Spain (https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/esp).

    Frontex said they couldn’t comment on the total figures without knowing the details of each case, but said various authorities took action to respond to the dinghy that sunk off the coast of Libya (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/25/a-mayday-call-a-dash-across-the-ocean-and-130-souls-lost-at-sea) in April, resulting in the deaths of 130 people.

    “The Italian rescue centre asked Frontex to fly over the area. It’s easy to forget, but the central Mediterranean is massive and it’s not easy or fast to get from one place to another, especially in poor weather. After reaching the area where the boat was suspected to be, they located it after some time and alerted all of the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centres (MRCCs) in the area. They also issued a mayday call to all boats in the area (Ocean Viking was too far away to receive it).”

    He said the Italian MRCC, asked by the Libyan MRCC, dispatched three merchant vessels in the area to assist. Poor weather made this difficult. “In the meantime, the Frontex plane was running out of fuel and had to return to base. Another plane took off the next morning when the weather allowed, again with the same worries about the safety of the crew.

    “All authorities, certainly Frontex, did all that was humanly possible under the circumstances.”

    He added that, according to media reports, there was a Libyan coast guard vessel in the area, but it was engaged in another rescue operation.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/may/05/revealed-2000-refugee-deaths-linked-to-eu-pushbacks

    #push-backs #refoulements #push-back #mourir_aux_frontières #morts_aux_frontières #décès #morts #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #responsabilité #Croatie #viols #Grèce #Italie #Libye

    ping @isskein