• #Canada Les recherches ne révèlent aucun reste humain sur le site de l’ancien Hôpital Camsell D’après les informations de Stephen David Cook
    https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1834031/hopital-camsell-edmonton-autochtones-arret-fouilles

    Des fouilles pour trouver des restes humains sur le site de l’ancien Hôpital Camsell, à Edmonton, ont pris fin vendredi après que des équipes n’en ont découvert aucun.

    L’établissement avait accueilli des patients autochtones du nord de l’Alberta et des Territoires du Nord-Ouest pendant des dizaines d’années, notamment pour traiter des cas de tuberculose. Le site situé au coin de la 128e Rue et de la 144e Avenue est prévu d’accueillir des propriétés résidentielles.

    L’été dernier, un radar à pénétration de sol avait permis de creuser dans 13 endroits, mais les recherches ont été infructueuses. Jeudi et vendredi, 21 anomalies ont fait l’objet de trous dans la terre, mais seuls des débris ont été remontés à la surface.

    D’autres recherches ne sont pas prévues sur le site.

    Selon le chef de la Première Nation Papaschase, Calvin Bruneau, des préoccupations persistent étant donné que tant de personnes ont déclaré que des gens avaient été enterrés à cet endroit : “Que leur est-il arrivé ? Ont-ils été retirés et enterrés autre part ? ”

    Il dit avoir entendu des témoignages au fil des ans de projets de développement qui ne prenaient pas en compte que des restes humains pouvaient exister à certains endroits.

    “L’ennui, c’est que personne ne veut parler, affirme le chef Bruneau, qu’il s’agit d’anciens employés, d’anciens promoteurs ou de constructeurs [ …] Tout est passé sous silence. ”

    Les recherches sur le site de l’ancien Hôpital Camsell ont été financées par le promoteur immobilier. L’architecte, Gene Dub, dit avoir fait ce geste après avoir été bouleversé par la découverte au printemps des restes de 215 enfants enterrés sur le site d’un ancien pensionnat autochtone à Kamloops, en Colombie-Britannique.

    #peuples_autochtones #histoire #disparitions #fosse_commune #enfants #pensionnat #école #cadavres #vol #viols #peuples_premiers #nations_premières #premières_nations #autochtones #colonialisme #extermination #génocide #tuberculose

  • Tombes découvertes au Canada : l’Église catholique versera 30 millions de dollars aux autochtones
    https://www.ouest-france.fr/monde/canada/tombes-decouvertes-au-canada-l-eglise-catholique-versera-30-millions-de

    Après des excuses formelles prononcées la semaine passée, l’Église catholique a annoncé, lundi, le versement de 30 millions de dollars aux survivants des pensionnats des peuples autochtones. Ces derniers mois, plus d’un millier de tombes ont été découvertes près d’anciennes institutions religieuses du pays.


    Des personnes s’embrassent devant un mémorial de fortune érigé, au niveau de l’ancien pensionnat indien de Kamloops, en hommage aux 215 enfants dont les restes ont été découverts enterrés près de cet établissements situé en Colombie-Britannique. | COLE BURSTON / AFP

    Les évêques catholiques du Canada se sont engagés lundi à verser 30 millions de dollars canadiens pour soutenir les initiatives en faveur des survivants des pensionnats pour autochtones après avoir présenté des « excuses formelles » la semaine dernière.

    Ces fonds seront débloqués sur cinq années pour « remédier à la souffrance causée par les pensionnats au Canada », expliquent les évêques dans un communiqué publié lundi 27 septembre.

    Il s’agira de « soutenir des programmes et des projets dédiés à l’amélioration de la vie » des survivants des pensionnats et de leur communauté, a déclaré Mgr Raymond Poisson, président de la Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada (CECC).

    Vendredi dernier, les évêques avaient exprimé leur « profond remords » et présenté « leurs excuses sans équivoque » aux peuples autochtones après la découverte ces derniers mois de plus d’un millier de tombes près d’anciens pensionnats dirigés par l’église catholique.

    « Traumatisme historique »
    Une nouvelle fois, les évêques reconnaissent dans le communiqué publié lundi l’existence d’un « traumatisme historique et toujours présent, causé par le système des pensionnats ».

    Dans le pays, très marqué par ces révélations, de nombreuses voix s’étaient élevées pendant l’été pour demander des excuses de l’Eglise et même du pape en personne.

    Au total, plus d’un millier de tombes anonymes près d’anciens pensionnats catholiques pour autochtones ont été retrouvées cet été, remettant en lumière une page sombre de l’histoire canadienne et sa politique d’assimilation forcée des Premières Nations.

    Quelque 150 000 enfants amérindiens, métis, et inuits ont été enrôlés de force dans 139 pensionnats à travers le pays, où ils ont été coupés de leurs familles, de leur langue et de leur culture.

    #Canada #peuples_autochtones #histoire #disparitions #fosse_commune #enfants #pensionnat #école #cadavres #vol #viols #peuples_premiers #nations_premières #premières_nations #autochtones #colonialisme #extermination #génocide

    • Toujours plus ignoble l’église catholique

      Les survivants des pensionnats des peuples autochtones devront donc faire approuver leur #projet par ceux qui :
      – Les ont volé.
      – Tué, entre autres par contamination de maladies.
      – Violé leurs enfants.
      – Tué leurs enfants dans d’immondes soit disant pensionnats.

      Et il ne faudra pas qu’ils oublient de dire merci.

  • Les oubliés de l’Espagne

    En octobre 2019, le cercueil du général Franco quittait le mausolée où il était enterré depuis 1975.

    Une construction à la gloire du national catholicisme qui abrite près de 30 000 cadavres de la guerre civile. Le film se propose d’explorer les lignes de fractures qui traversent toujours la société espagnole dans le prisme de son exhumation.

    https://pages.rts.ch/docs/doc/11923852-les-oublies-de-l-espagne.html
    #film #film_documentaire #documentaire
    #Espagne #Valle_de_los_Caídos #Valle_de_los_Caidos #Francisco_Franco #Franco #dictature #histoire #mausolée #mémoire #guerre_d'Espagne #monument #José_Antonio_Primo_de_Rivera #falange #Eglise #national-catholicisme #réconciliation #disparus #Calatayud #disparitions #amnésie_générale #silence #peur #Juan_Carlo_I #réconciliation_nationale #amnestie #fosses_communes #loi_de_mémoire_historique #association_Arico #exhumation #transition_démocratique #enseignement #statues #justice #dépouilles #sépulture_digne #oubli #droit

    • For an academic reference and #counter memory, see also

      1. Iturriaga N. At the Foot of the Grave: Challenging Collective Memories of Violence in Post-Franco Spain. Socius. January 2019. doi:10.1177/2378023119832135

      “Understanding the development and meaning of collective memory is a central interest for sociologists. One aspect of this literature focuses on the processes that social movement actors use to introduce long-silenced counter-memories of violence to supplant the “official” memory. To examine this, I draw on 15 months of ethnographic observations with the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) and 200 informal and 30 formal interviews with locals and activists. This paper demonstrates that ARMH activists, during forensic classes given at mass grave exhumations, use multiple tactics (depoliticized science framing, action-oriented objects, and embodiment) to deliver a counter-memory of the Spanish Civil War and Franco regime and make moral and transitional justice claims. This research shows how victims’ remains and the personal objects found in the graves also provoke the desired meaning that emotionally connects those listening to the classes to the victims and the ARMH’s counter-memory.”

    • Les derniers jours de Franco
      https://tv-programme.com/les-derniers-jours-de-franco_documentaire

      Retour sur la dictature espagnole du général Franco, qui a imposé son pouvoir autoritaire sur le pays du 1er octobre 1936 au 20 novembre 1975. Le 20 novembre 1975, le dictateur Francisco Franco s’éteint à 82 ans. Avec lui, c’est la plus longue dictature du XXe siècle qui disparaît. Le général a régné plus de quarante ans sur l’Espagne. Son médecin personnel décrit les coulisses saisissantes de l’agonie du Caudillo. Ses opposants évoquent la poigne de fer qui tenait le pays. Depuis la guerre civile de 1936, avec ses centaines de milliers de morts, jusqu’aux années 1970, prospères mais répressives, Franco a écrasé tous ses ennemis. Aujourd’hui encore, son fantôme hante l’Espagne. La crise catalane a réveillé de vieux antagonismes, Barcelone accusant le pouvoir de Madrid de sympathies franquistes. Carles Puigdemont, ex-président de Catalogne témoigne depuis son exil forcé.

      J’ai vu ce doc hier soir et son gendre (cardiologue véreux) qui a vendu les clichés, à prix d’or, de l’agonie du généralissime à Paris-match. Une vrai famille de pourris.
      https://seenthis.net/messages/816931
      https://seenthis.net/messages/748134

  • Canada : découverte macabre dans un ancien établissement pour enfants autochtones
    https://www.rfi.fr/fr/am%C3%A9riques/20210530-canada-d%C3%A9couverte-macabre-dans-un-ancien-%C3%A9tablissement-pour-e

    Les restes d’au moins 215 enfants seraient enterrés sur le terrain de cette école où des élèves de plusieurs nations autochtones dormaient et étudiaient entre 1890 et 1963. Des experts tentent maintenant d’identifier et de rapatrier ce qu’il reste des corps.

    Les chefs autochtones de Colombie-Britannique tentent de mettre sur pied un plan pour pouvoir rendre les restes de corps à leur famille, plusieurs décennies après leur disparition. Des historiens fouillent d’ailleurs les archives laissées par la congrégation religieuse qui gérait le pensionnat pour trouver trace des décès et des enterrements d’écoliers.

    Quatre mille enfants disparus

    Cela fait 20 ans que la communauté autochtone, où se trouve cette école, s’emploie à vérifier ce que racontent les survivants qui l’ont fréquentée. Plusieurs témoignaient des décès de leurs camarades suite à des privations, à des mauvais traitements, dans parler des épidémies. L’utilisation d’un radar a permis de détecter la présence de dépouilles dans ce pensionnat que fréquentaient environ 500 enfants autochtones chaque année.

    De tels établissements existaient aux quatre coins du Canada. Ils visaient à éduquer les jeunes selon la culture dominante, en les détournant de celle de leurs parents. Au fil du temps, plus de 4 000 enfants auraient disparu, sans que bien souvent leurs familles ne soient prévenues, ni qu’elles puissent se recueillir sur leurs tombes.

  • Nearly 17 child migrants a day vanished in Europe since 2018

    Investigation finds one in six were solo and under 15, as experts say cross-border cooperation ‘nonexistent’.

    At least 18,000 unaccompanied child migrants have disappeared after arriving in European countries including Greece, Italy and Germany.

    An investigation by the Guardian and the cross-border journalism collective Lost in Europe found that 18,292 unaccompanied child migrants went missing in Europe between January 2018 and December 2020 – equivalent to nearly 17 children a day.

    In 2020 alone, 5,768 children disappeared in 13 European countries.

    Most of the children who have gone missing over the past three years came to Europe from Morocco, but Algeria, Eritrea, Guinea and Afghanistan were also among the top countries of origin. According to the data available, 90% were boys and about one in six were younger than 15.

    The investigation, which collated data on missing unaccompanied minors from all 27 EU countries, as well as Norway, Moldova, Switzerland and the UK, found the information provided was often inconsistent or incomplete, meaning the true numbers of missing children could be much higher.

    Spain, Belgium and Finland provided figures only up to the end of 2019. Denmark, France and the UK provided no data at all on unaccompanied missing children.

    The findings of the investigation raise serious questions about the extent European countries are able or willing to protect unaccompanied child migrants.

    Federica Toscano, head of advocacy and migration at Missing Children Europe, a non-profit organisation that connects grassroots agencies across Europe, said the data was “extremely important” for understanding the scale of the problem in Europe. “The high number of missing children is a symptom of a child-protection system that doesn’t work,” she said.

    She said unaccompanied children were among the migrants most vulnerable to violence, exploitation and trafficking. “Criminal organisations are increasingly targeting migrant children,” said Toscano, “especially unaccompanied ones and many of them become victims of labour and sexual exploitation, forced begging and trafficking.”

    In March 2019, the Guardian and Lost in Europe found that at least 60 Vietnamese children had disappeared from Dutch shelters. Dutch authorities suspected they had been trafficked into Britain to work on cannabis farms and in nail salons.

    Herman Bolhaar, the Dutch national rapporteur on human trafficking, said the investigation showed the urgent need for cooperation at the European level to address why thousands of unaccompanied migrant children have disappeared without a trace. “We cannot lose sight of these children,” he said. “They deserve our protection.”

    While almost all of the countries in the investigation have detailed procedures in place intended to deal with the disappearance of unaccompanied minors, they do not always work well in practice, according to a 2020 report from the European Migration Network, part of the European Union. Problems include failure to follow up when children are reported missing and insufficient cooperation between police and asylum or child protection authorities.

    “Very little is recorded in a file of a missing migrant child,” said Toscano, “and too often it is assumed that a migrant child is somewhere safe in another country, although cross-border collaboration on these cases is practically nonexistent.”

    There are multiple reasons why children go missing, she said, including “the lengthy and burdensome procedures to obtain international protection or to be reunited with their family”. Many were also held in inadequate facilities, often with no access to education, she added.

    A spokesperson for the European commission said there was “deep concern about children going missing”, adding that member states needed “to take action to prevent and respond to the disappearances of children in migration … by improving data collection and cross-border collaboration.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/21/nearly-17-child-migrants-a-day-vanished-in-europe-since-2018

    #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés #asile #migrations #disparition #Europe #réfugiés #disparitions #enfants #enfance #réfugiés

    –-

    ajouté au fil de discussion autour des #statistiques de la « disparition » de MNA :

    https://seenthis.net/messages/714320
    #chiffres

    • Kako izbjeglička djeca nestaju u Evropi

      U posljednje tri godine nestalo je više od osamnaest hiljada izbjegličke djece koja su se domogla Evrope, pokazuje novo istraživanje. Državne institucije nemaju pojma gdje su djeca, ali su vjerovatno u velikoj opasnosti.

      Policijska kontrola na granici Njemačke i Poljske. Zaustavljen je automobil – vozač je Poljak, četvoro putnika su Vijetnamci bez isprava. Među njima je i djevojčica od petnaest godina. Kako je maloletna, a niko od saputnika joj nije rod, djevojčica završava u jednom državnom smještaju za djecu u njemačkoj pokrajini Brandenburg.

      Za taj slučaj su reporteri javnog servisa rbb doznali iz dokumentacije berlinskog Državnog tužilaštva. Jer djevojčica je nestala nedugo pošto je smještena u dom. Jedan od zaposlenih u domu prijavio je nestanak, i to je bilo to. Vijetnamska djevojčica je postala broj u statistici.

      Koliko ima djece sa sličnom sudbinom? To sada otkriva analiza novinarske grupe „Lost in Europe" („Izgubljeni u Evropi") u kojoj sarađuju reporteri londonskog Gardijana, holandskog servisa VPRO, njemačkog rbb i drugi. Prema istraživanju, od 2018. do 2020. je u Evropi nestalo 18.292 djece koja su stigla kao „maloljetne izbjeglice bez pratnje“ i za koju su bile nadležne institucije evropskih država.

      Ali, moguće je da je i više djece nestalo jer pojedine države vode manjkavu statistiku. Recimo, Francuska, Danska i Rumunija ne prikupljaju ove podatke. Bugarska ne pravi razliku između maloljetnika koji dođu sa starateljima i onih koji dođu sami.

      Evropska komisija zna za ove probleme. Ilva Johanson, komesarka za unutrašnje poslove, kaže da je Brisel već pozivao članice EU da „moraju da preduzmu više protiv nestanaka izbjegle djece, između ostalog boljim prikupljanjem podataka“.

      Prinuđena da trguje drogom

      Verena Kek iz međunarodne organizacije za dječija prava ECPAT vjeruje da je pravi broj djece kojima se u Evropi gubi trag zapravo mnogo viši. Kritikuje što se EU ne bavi ovim problemom zajednički, niti postoji centralni registar nestalih. „Za djecu i omladinu ovo može da ima fatalne posledice jer mogu dopasti u situaciju u kojoj su izrabljivani. A ako niko ne zna da su nestali, niko ih i ne traži.“

      Vijetnamska djevojčica sa početka priče nađena je poslije nekoliko mjeseci – slučajno. Policija je pronašla tokom racije u jednom stanu u Berlinu. Dijete je živjelo sa vijetnamskim parom koji je ilegalno prodavao drogu i cigarete. Ispostavilo se da je djevojčica bila primorana da radi u studiju za manikir za tri stotine eura mjesečno, da prodaje cigarete i isporučuje narkotike.

      U Njemačkoj je u posljednje tri godine prijavljeno 7.806 ovakvih nestanaka, ali se djeca uglavnom ponovo pronađu. Međutim, 724 njih nikada nije otkriveno. Najčešće nestaju djeca porijeklom iz Avganistana, zatim iz Maroka i Alžira.

      Pa i ovdje je statistika upitna. Savezni ured za kriminalistiku (BKA) koji je zadužen za registar nestalih priznaje da je to kod izbjegličke djece veoma teško jer nemaju papire. Neki bivaju registrovani više puta kao nestali, neki budu sasvim izostavljeni.

      To je skandal, grmi Holger Hofman iz organizacije Njemačka pomoć djeci. „Koliko znamo, nema pouzdanih podataka, čak ni približno. Takve rupe u znanju širom otvaraju vrata kriminalnim mrežama.“

      Evropski problem

      Europol je još 2016. upozoravao na kriminalne mreže koje iskorištavaju djecu koja sama izbjegnu u Evropu. U januaru ove godine je i BKA saopštio da se zna za vijetnamske bande koje trguju ljudima.

      Koliko je problem evropski, tragično je dokazao primjer iz oktobra 2019. godine. Tada je u kamionu-hladnjači nadomak Londona nađeno 39 mrtvih Vijetnamaca. Kamion je doputovao iz Belgije. Među žrtvama su bila dva dječaka koji su desetak dana ranije pobjegli iz jednog doma u Holandiji.

      Tamo ih je prethodno dovela holandska policija koja ih je pronašla u jednom drugom kamionu – koji je krenuo iz Kelna.

      https://www.dw.com/bs/kako-izbjegli%C4%8Dka-djeca-nestaju-u-evropi/a-57243605

  • Décryptage | Les incitations financières au renvoi et à la clandestinité. Le coût de l’humanité

    La « crédibilité » de la politique d’asile serait, selon les discours des autorités suisses, tributaire de sa capacité à exécuter les renvois des personnes dont la demande d’asile a été refusée. Une crédibilité qui s’entend comme la façon dont le public et les potentiels demandeurs d’asile perçoivent le système migratoire suisse. Celui-ci est volontiers présenté comme garant de la « tradition humanitaire » helvétique, à savoir « protégeant celles et ceux qui en ont besoin », tout en étant implacable avec les « indésirables », qui (ab)useraient de la porte de l’asile pour trouver une vie meilleure en Suisse. Berne encourage ainsi financièrement les cantons à user de tous les stratagèmes pour exécuter les renvois. Ou à pourrir la vie des gens de façon à ce qu’ils disparaissent, y compris dans la clandestinité, plutôt que de recourir au minimum de survie qu’est l’aide d’urgence. Des millions de francs de « réserves » ont ainsi été engrangés par certains cantons. Sans que la Confédération s’en émeuve. L’objectif est de rester crédible.

    PAYER POUR GARDER SON ÂME

    En avril 2019, le gouvernement bâlois a publiquement refusé d’exécuter le renvoi d’un jeune Afghan vers l’Autriche, pays responsable de sa demande d’asile en vertu du règlement Dublin. La décision du Secrétariat d’État (SEM) aux migrations avait été confirmée par le Tribunal administratif fédéral (TAF). Bâle a choisi de suivre la majorité de son parlement et de s’écarter de l’interprétation faite par Berne du droit applicable à la situation du jeune homme (voir encadré). Ce faisant, elle s’expose sciemment aux sanctions financières de la Confédération.

    La Loi sur l’asile révisée en 2016 fait en effet désormais peser sur les cantons la totalité des frais d’accueil et d’intégration des personnes non renvoyées « par leur faute ». Son article 89 b prévoit le non-versement ou le rembourse- ment des forfaits fédéraux prévus. Aux cantons d’assumer les coûts liés au séjour de la personne sur son territoire, qu’elle soit déboutée définitivement et placée à l’aide d’urgence ou qu’elle obtienne le statut de réfugié. Le « manque à gagner » en termes de participation fédérale peut être important. Dans l’affaire bâloise, la Basler Zeitung évoque le chiffre de 128000 francs dans le cas où le jeune Afghan se voit reconnaître un besoin de protection sous forme d’« admission provisoire ». Un chiffre qui ne tient compte ni du fait que le jeune pourrait contribuer à son canton d’accueil s’il s’intègre rapidement et trouve rapidement sa place sur le marché de l’emploi, ni du coût administratif ou humain des renvois.

    C’est ce que relève Aldo Brina, chargé d’information au Secteur réfugié du CSP Genève dans Le Temps[1]. Revenant sur les déclarations de la nouvelle conseillère fédérale responsable du DFJP Karin Keller-Sutter, il met en exergue la perversité d’un système qui, particulièrement dans le cas de l’application du Règlement Dublin, viole le droit d’asile et les droits fondamentaux et incite les cantons à pousser les « déboutés » dans la clandestinité.

    Karin Keller-Sutter annonçait en effet le 11 mars 2019 que le canton de Vaud aurait été sanctionné de quelque 4 millions de francs faute d’avoir exécuté avec suffisamment de zèle les renvois dans le cadre du Règlement Dublin entre octobre 2016 et décembre 2018. Pour sa défense, le Conseiller d’État Leuba fait valoir une lecture partiale des statistiques par Berne.[2] Si ses explications flirtent parfois avec les approximations, elles sont également riches d’enseignement.

    Réfugié avec ses parents en Iran, le jeune Afghan déclare avoir déserté l’armée iranienne, dans laquelle il avait été engagé comme soldat alors qu’il était encore mineur. L’Iran voulait l’envoyer en Syrie avec son frère. Celui-ci y a été tué. Entré en Europe via l’Autriche, le jeune homme y a été enregistré comme majeur. Sa demande d’asile y a été rejetée et il devait être renvoyé vers l’Afghanistan où il n’a jamais vécu. Il s’est alors tourné vers la Suisse, qui l’a, malgré ses déclarations, considéré comme majeur. Le Secrétariat d’État aux migrations (SEM) a rendu une décision de non-entrée en matière « NEM Dublin » à son encontre, confirmée par le Tribunal administratif fédéral (TAF). Le jeune Afghan a toujours prétendu être mineur en arrivant en Suisse. Si cet état de fait avait été reconnu par le SEM, celui-ci serait vraisemblablement entré en matière sur sa demande d’asile pour examiner ses motifs de fuite. C’est une pétition au Grand Conseil bâlois, adoptée par les 2/3 de l’hémicycle, demandant d’offrir une protection au jeune homme, qui évitera à ce dernier l’expulsion vers l’Autriche. Bien que non lié par le vote des députés, le Conseil d’État a publiquement choisi de suivre le parlement cantonal et de s’opposer à la décision fédérale. Même si pour cela, il doit assumer financièrement les frais d’accueil et d’intégration du garçon.
    Source : Basler Zeitung, 18.04.19

    50 % DE DISPARITIONS DANS 7 CANTONS

    Il souligne d’abord combien le canton de Vaud excelle dans le taux de « renvois contrôlés » par rapport au nombre de décisions Dublin : « Vaud est le cinquième canton qui exécute le plus de renvois ! » Il assure aussi qu’en comparaison à d’autres, Vaud comptabilise moins de disparitions. Par « disparitions », il entend les « départs non contrôlés » chiffrés par le SEM dans ses statistiques. Et les statistiques 2018 attestent effectivement que dans sept cantons suisses, plus de la moitié des personnes disparaissent. (Tableau ci-dessous)

    Philippe Leuba affirme à cet égard que son canton serait le seul à ne pas procéder à des arrestations dans les locaux du SPOP au moment où les personnes viennent renouveler leur demande d’aide d’urgence[3]. Il insinue que les autres profiteraient de la détresse des débouté-e-es pour tenter de les interpeller. Préférant la clandestinité au renvoi, une partie renoncerait à demander ce montant de survie.

    On rappellera à ce titre que cette « aide » d’urgence découle de l’article 12 de la Constitution suisse qui consacre le droit au minimum vital pour toute personne sur le territoire, indépendamment du statut de la personne. Elle vient compenser la suppression de l’aide sociale conjuguée à l’interdiction de travail faite aux personnes déboutées de leur demande d’asile. Qui surveille et garantit l’exercice effectif de ce droit fondamental dans les cantons ? Berne a en tous cas d’autres priorités.

    Départ non contrôlé ne veut pas dire départ de Suisse. Dans son interview, Philippe Leuba relève que ces personnes « ne quittent pas forcément le pays pour autant. » Il critique à cet égard une législation qui pénalise les cantons n’exécutant pas les renvois, et qui « ne dit rien sur les clandestins. Or la clandestinité est un risque pour les personnes concernées, de plus elle favorise le travail au noir, etc. »

    Il s’écarte ainsi du discours affirmant que le régime d’aide d’urgence pousserait les personnes à « quitter le territoire ».[4] Le Conseil d’État genevois l’affirmait encore récemment dans une réponse à une question urgente au Parlement, qui l’interrogeait sur les conséquences sociales et financières pour le canton d’un centre de départ, notamment en cas de passage de personnes concernées dans la clandestinité.[5] La réponse du Conseil d’État : « Concernant les ‹ départs non-contrôlés ›,il est à préciser qu’il s’agit, selon les observations de l’office cantonal de la population et des migrations sur le terrain, d’une catégorie de migrants qui, dans sa majorité, quitte le canton pour rechercher d’autres opportunités migratoires dans les pays d’Europe. En l’espèce, il s’agit généralement de migrants économiques utilisant la procédure d’asile comme moyen d’accès dans l’espace Schengen. »

    À l’heure où Genève fonce tête baissée vers la construction dudit centre au Grand-Saconnex, le gouvernement genevois serait avisé de se questionner à nouveau sur l’impact et les reports de charges que celui- ci impliquera. Au centre-test de Zurich et à Boudry, il a été constaté une forte augmentation du nombre de « départs non contrôlés ». Où sont parties les personnes découragées par la procédure d’asile accélérée ? Où sont aujourd’hui les personnes ayant renoncé aux prestations d’aide d’urgence ?

    Pour la Suisse, on peut imaginer qu’une partie d’entre elles, évincée de petits cantons ruraux, a choisi de se réfugier dans des centres urbains, plus propices à une vie informelle et invisible. Certain-e-s ont recours aux services sociaux et médicaux d’urgence de ces cantons, y travaillent, dans des conditions déplorables. Mais les autorités fédérales préfèrent ignorer ces conséquences « locales ». Comme elles ont ignoré le constat d’inefficacité de l’aide d’urgence à faire rapidement « disparaître » les gens, puisque certain-e-s préfèrent en survivre des années plutôt que d’être renvoyé-e-s vers la situation qu’ils ou elles ont fui. Se voilant la face, Berne s’est contenté de créer une nouvelle catégorie administrative, elle des bénéficiaires de longue durée de l’aide d’urgence.

    LES DISPARITIONS ENCOURAGÉES

    Les disparitions sont également encouragées par Berne via son mode de financement. La Confédération ne se préoccupe pas de savoir comment les cantons dépensent l’argent de l’aide d’urgence. Elle verse un montant unique, lorsque la décision négative entre en force, et prévoit la constitution de réserves par les cantons « pour financer les coûts ultérieurs durant les années suivantes »[6]. Or ces réserves s’accumulent dans certains cantons. Le dernier rapport de suivi publié par le SEM relève que « sur l’ensemble de la période 2008-2017,vingt cantons ont pu constituer des réserves dont le montant cumulé représente près de 128 millions de francs. Sur la même période, six cantons ont cumulé des déficits à hauteur de 83 millions de francs ».

    Le tableau ci-contre montre que les Romands, hormis Fribourg, sont largement déficitaires. Et que d’autres ont accumulé des millions de francs de réserves. Comment les ont- ils constituées ? Chaque canton, voire commune, gère l’hébergement, l’entretien et l’encadre- ment des personnes à l’aide d’urgence selon ses propres règles et son éthique. L’exhortation fédérale étant une « incitation au départ », que ce soit du territoire ou vers la clandestinité, le résultat ne peut être qu’un nivellement par le bas des conditions de vie. Françoise Kopf le dénonçait déjà en 2010 dans Vivre Ensemble.

    Et les choses risquent de se dégrader avec la restructuration qui prévoit une baisse conséquente des forfaits fédéraux de l’aide d’urgence aux cantons. Le montant unique de 6000 francs versés jusqu’ici par personne déboutée se réduira à 400 francs si celle-ci relève d’une procédure Dublin close, et à 2013 francs pour une personne sortant d’une procédure accélérée. Elle restera à 6006 francs dans le cadre d’une procédure étendue. Les réserves risquent d’en prendre un coup. Si les cantons s’étaient tardivement émus du report de charge prévu par la Confédération dans le cadre de la consultation de l’ordonnance sur la révision de la loi (Ordonnance 2), ils n’ont visiblement pas été entendus.

    Berne se sert là aussi du porte-monnaie pour inciter les cantons à durcir leur pratique en matière de renvois. À voir jusqu’où les cantons accepteront de s’abaisser. Face aux menaces de sanctions financières articulées par Keller-Sutter, Leuba relève que « parmi les personnes dont le renvoi n’a pas été exécuté en 2018, il y a des familles et des malades ». Une justification qui s’appuie sur des considérations, humanitaires, prévues par la loi. À Genève, le Conseil d’État vient de rendre son rapport sur une motion appelant à une « application digne et humaine de la politique d’asile » dans le cadre du Règlement Dublin. Il reconnaissait avoir été amené « à plusieurs reprises, à retarder un départ au motif d’une situation médicale particulière, pour garantir le respect du principe de l’unité familiale ou encore pour veiller à ce que le renvoi se déroule, en principe, hors d’une période scolaire, en informant préalablement le SEM ». Et s’engageait, « guidé par les valeurs humanitaires genevoises », à appliquer « avec pragmatisme et compassion le nouveau droit fédéral ». Reste à savoir si ces deux concepts vont trouver leur place dans la mise en œuvre de la restructuration.

    Bâle a montré la voie. On espère que d’autres se joindront à lui. Dans ce contexte, la société civile doit plus que jamais maintenir la pression.

    https://asile.ch/2019/07/22/decryptage-les-incitations-financieres-au-renvoi-et-a-la-clandestinite-le-cout
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Suisse #disparitions #statistiques #chiffres #exécution_des_renvois #renvois #expulsions #abus #clandestinisation #aide_d'urgence #responsabilité #dépenses #cantons

  • Data and displacement, Missing migrants

    The authors in our Data and displacement feature discuss recent advances in gathering and using data, the challenges that remain, and new approaches, including in the face of pandemic-imposed restrictions.

    Unknown numbers of migrants die or disappear during their perilous journeys, and their families are often left in limbo. In our Missing migrants feature, authors explore initiatives to improve data gathering and sharing, identification of remains, and assistance for families left behind.

    https://www.fmreview.org/issue66
    #données #statistiques #migrations #décès #disparitions #morts #pandémie #covid-19 #coronavirus #limbe #Missing_migrants #identification #ceux_qui_restent #celleux_qui_restent

  • Exilia Film | Koffi – Récit depuis le Centre fédéral de Giffers (FR)
    https://asile.ch/2020/09/22/exilia-film-koffi-recit-depuis-le-centre-federal-de-giffers-fr

    Koffi témoigne des nombreux actes de violences physiques et verbales dont il a été témoin au nouveau centre de Giffers. Il a également été lui-même victime de violence. En effet, après avoir passé plus de 6 mois dans ce centre de renvoi, alors que le maximum légal est de 140 jours, il est violenté physiquement, […]

  • What happens to migrants forcibly returned to Libya?

    ‘These are people going missing by the hundreds.’

    The killing last week of three young men after they were intercepted at sea by the EU-funded Libyan Coast Guard has thrown the spotlight on the fate of tens of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers returned to Libya to face detention, abuse and torture by traffickers, or worse.

    The three Sudanese nationals aged between 15 and 18 were shot dead on 28 July, reportedly by members of a militia linked to the Coast Guard as they tried to avoid being detained. They are among more than 6,200 men, women, and children intercepted on the central Mediterranean and returned to Libya this year. Since 2017, that figure is around 40,000.

    Over the last three months, The New Humanitarian has spoken to migrants and Libyan officials, as well as to UN agencies and other aid groups and actors involved, to piece together what is happening to the returnees after they are brought back to shore.

    It has long been difficult to track the whereabouts of migrants and asylum seekers after they are returned to Libya, and for years there have been reports of people going missing or disappearing into unofficial detention centres after disembarking.

    But the UN’s migration agency, IOM, told TNH there has been an uptick in people vanishing off its radar since around December, and it suspects that at least some returnees are being taken to so-called “data-collection and investigation facilities” under the direct control of the Ministry of Interior for the Government of National Accord.

    The GNA, the internationally recognised authority in Libya, is based in the capital, Tripoli, and has been fighting eastern forces commanded by general Khalifa Haftar for 16 months in a series of battles that has developed into a regional proxy war.

    Unlike official detention centres run by the GNA’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) – also under the Ministry of the Interior – and its affiliated militias, neither IOM nor the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, has access to these data-collection facilities, which are intended for the investigation of smugglers and not for detaining migrants.

    “We have been told that migrants are no longer in these [data-collection] facilities and we wonder if they have been transferred,” Safa Msehli, spokesperson for IOM in Libya, told TNH.

    “These are people going missing by the hundreds. We have also been told – and are hearing reports from community leaders – that people are going missing,” she said. “We feel the worst has happened, and that these locations [data-collection facilities] are being used to smuggle or traffic people.”

    According to IOM, more than half of the over 6,200 people returned to Libya this year – which includes at least 264 women and 202 children – remain unaccounted for after being loaded onto buses and driven away from the disembarkation points on the coast.

    Msehli said some people had been released after they are returned, but that their number was “200 maximum”, and that if others had simply escaped she would have expected them to show up at community centres run by IOM and its local partners – which most haven’t.

    Masoud Abdal Samad, a commander in the Libyan Coast Guard, denied all accusations of trafficking to TNH, even though the UN has sanctioned individuals in the Coast Guard for their involvement in people smuggling and trafficking. He also said he didn’t know where asylum seekers and migrants end up after they are returned to shore. “It’s not my responsibility. It’s DCIM that determines where the migrants go,” he said.

    Neither the head of the DCIM, Al Mabrouk Abdel-Hafez, nor the media officer for the interior ministry, Mohammad Abu Abdallah, responded to requests for comment from TNH. But the Libyan government recently told the Wall Street Journal that all asylum seekers and migrants returned by the Coast Guard are taken to official detention centres.
    ‘I can’t tell you where we take them’

    TNH spoke to four migrants – three of whom were returned by the Libyan Coast Guard and placed in detention, one of them twice. All described a system whereby returned migrants and asylum seekers are being routinely extorted and passed between different militias.

    Contacted via WhatsApp, Yasser, who only gave his first name for fear of retribution for exposing the abuse he suffered, recounted his ordeal in a series of conversations between May and June.

    The final stage of his journey to start a new life in Europe began on a warm September morning in 2019 when he squeezed onto a rubber dinghy along with 120 other people in al-Garabulli, a coastal town near Tripoli. The year before, the 33-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker had escaped from conflict in his village in the Nuba Mountains to search for safety and opportunity.

    By nightfall, those on board the small boat spotted a reconnaissance aircraft, likely dispatched as part of an EU or Italian aerial surveillance mission. It appears the aircraft alerted the Libyan Coast Guard, which soon arrived to drag them onto their boat and back to war-torn Libya.

    Later that day, as the boat approached the port, Yasser overheard a uniformed member of the Coast Guard speaking on the phone. The man said he had around 100 migrants and was willing to sell each one for 500 Libyan dinars ($83).

    “Militias buy and sell us to make a profit in this country,” Yasser told TNH months later, after he escaped. “In their eyes, refugees are just an investment.”

    When Yasser stepped off the Coast Guard boat in Tripoli’s port, he saw dozens of people he presumed were aid workers tending to the injured. He tried to tell them that he and the others were going to be sold to a militia, but the scene was frantic and he said they didn’t listen.

    “Militias buy and sell us to make a profit in this country. In their eyes, refugees are just an investment.”

    Yasser couldn’t recall which organisation the aid workers were from. Whoever was there, they watched Libyan authorities herd Yasser and the other migrants onto a handful of buses and drive them away.

    IOM, or UNHCR, or one of their local partners are usually present at disembarkation points when migrants are returned to shore. The two UN agencies, which receive significant EU funding for their operations in Libya and have been criticised for participating in the system of interception and detention, say they tend to the injured and register asylum seekers. They also said they count the number of people returned from sea and jot down their nationalities and gender.

    But both agencies told TNH they are unable to track where people go next because Libyan authorities do not keep an official database of asylum seekers and migrants intercepted at sea or held in detention centres.

    News footage – and testimonies from migrants and aid workers – shows white buses with DCIM logos frequently pick up those disembarking. TNH also identified a private bus company that DCIM contracts for transportation. The company, called Essahim, imported 130 vehicles from China before beginning operations in September 2019.

    On its Facebook page, Essahim only advertises its shuttle bus services to Misrata airport, in northwest Libya. But a high-level employee, who asked TNH not to disclose his name for fear of reprisal from Libyan authorities, confirmed that the company picks up asylum seekers and migrants from disembarkation points on the shore.

    He said all of Essahim’s buses are equipped with a GPS tracking system to ensure drivers don’t deviate from their route. He also emphasised that the company takes people to “legitimate centres”, but he refused to disclose the locations.

    “You have to ask the government,” he told TNH. “I can’t tell you where we take them. It’s one of the conditions in the contract.”

    Off the radar

    Since Libya’s 2011 revolution, state security forces – such as the Coast Guard and interior ministry units – have mostly consisted of a collection of militias vying for legitimacy and access to sources of revenue.

    Migrant detention centres have been particularly lucrative to control, and even the official ones can be run by whichever local militia or armed group holds sway at a particular time. Those detained are not granted rights or legal processes, and there have been numerous reports of horrific abuse, and deaths from treatable diseases like tuberculosis.

    Facts regarding the number of different detention centres and who controls them are sketchy, especially as they often close and re-open or come under new management, and as territory can change hands between the GNA and forces aligned with Haftar. Both sides have a variety of militias fighting alongside them, and there are splits within the alliances.

    But IOM’s Msehli told TNH that as of 1 August that there are 11 official detention centres run by DCIM, and that she was aware of returned migrants also being taken to what she believes are four different data-collection and investigation facilities – three in Tripoli and one in Zuwara, a coastal city about 100 kilometres west of the capital. The government has not disclosed how many data-collection centres there are or where they are located.

    Beyond the official facilities, there are also numerous makeshift compounds used by smugglers and militias – especially in the south and in the former Muammar Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid – for which there is no data, according to a report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI).

    Yasser told TNH he had no idea if he was in an official DCIM-run detention centre or an unofficial site after he was pulled off the bus that took him to a makeshift prison from the port of Tripoli. Unless UN agencies show up, it is hard for detainees to tell the difference. Conditions are dismal and abuses occur in both locations: In unofficial facilities the extortion of detainees is systematic, while in official centres it tends to be carried out by individual staff members, according to the GI report.

    Between Yasser’s description and information from an aid group that gained access to the facility – but declined to be identified for fear of jeopardising its work – TNH believes Yasser was taken to an informal centre in Tripoli called Shaaria Zawiya, outside the reach of UN agencies. Msehli said IOM believes it is a data-collection and investigation facility.

    During the time Yasser was there, the facility was under the control of a militia commander with a brutal reputation, according to a high-level source from the aid group. The commander was eventually replaced in late 2019, but not before trying to extort hundreds of people, including Yasser.

    Several nights after he arrived at the centre, everyone being held there was ordered to pay a 3,000 Libyan dinar ransom – about $500 on the Libyan black market. The militia separated detainees by nationality and tossed each group a cell phone. They gave one to the Eritreans, one to the Somalis, and one to the Sudanese. The detainees were told to call their families and beg, Yasser recalled.

    Those who couldn’t pay languished in the centre until they were sold for a lower sum to another militia, which would try to extort them for a smaller ransom to earn a profit. This is a widely reported trend all across Libya: Militias sell migrants they can’t extort to make space for new hostages.

    Yasser’s friends and family were too poor to pay for his release, yet he clung to hope that he would somehow escape. He watched as the militia commander beat and intimidated other asylum seekers and migrants in the centre, but he was too scared to intervene. As the weeks passed, he started to believe nobody would find him.

    Then, one day, he saw a couple of aid workers. They came to document the situation and treat the wounded. “The migrants who spoke English whispered for help, but [the aid workers] just kept silent and nodded,” Yasser said.

    The aid workers were from the same NGO that identified the data-collection facility to TNH. The aid group said it suspects that Libyan authorities are taking migrants to two other locations in Tripoli after disembarkation: a data-collection and investigation facility in a neighbourhood called Hay al-Andulus, and an abandoned tobacco factory in another Tripoli suburb. “I know the factory exists, but I have no idea how many people are inside,” the source said, adding that the aid group had been unable to negotiate access to either location.

    “We were treated like animals.”

    Msehli confirmed that IOM believes migrants have been taken to both compounds, neither of which are under DCIM control. She added that more migrants are ending up in another unofficial location in Tripoli.

    After languishing for two months, until November, in Shaaria Zawiya, Yasser said he was sold to a militia manning what he thinks was an official detention centre. He assumed the location was official because uniformed UNHCR employees frequently showed up with aid. When UNHCR wasn’t there, the militia still demanded ransoms from the people inside.

    “We were treated like animals,” Yasser said. “But at least when UNHCR visited, the militia fed us more food than usual.”

    Tariq Argaz, the spokesperson for UNHCR in Libya, defended the agency’s aid provision to official facilities like this one, saying: “We are against the detention of refugees, but we have a humanitarian imperative to assist refugees wherever they are, even if it is a detention centre.”

    Growing pressure on EU to change tack

    The surge in disappearances raises further concerns about criminality and human rights abuses occurring within a system of interception and detention by Libyan authorities that the EU and EU member states have funded and supported since 2017.

    The aim of the support is to crack down on smuggling networks, reduce the number of asylum seekers and migrants arriving in Europe, and improve detention conditions in Libya, but critics say it has resulted in tens of thousands of people being returned to indefinite detention and abuse in Libya. There is even less oversight now that asylum seekers and migrants are ending up in data-collection and investigation facilities, beyond the reach of UN agencies.

    The escalating conflict in Libya and the coronavirus crisis have made the humanitarian situation for asylum seekers and migrants in the country “worse than ever”, according to IOM. At the same time, Italy and Malta have further turned their backs on rescuing people at sea. Italy has impounded NGO search and rescue ships, while both countries have repeatedly failed to respond, or responded slowly, to distress calls, and Malta even hired a private fishing vessel to return people rescued at sea to Libya.

    “We believe that people shouldn’t be returned to Libya,” Msehli told TNH. “This is due to the lack of any protection mechanism that the Libyan state takes or is able to take.”

    There are currently estimated to be at least 625,000 migrants in Libya and 47,859 registered asylum seekers and refugees. Of this number, around 1,760 migrants – including 760 registered asylum seekers and refugees – are in the DCIM-run detention centres, according to data from IOM and UNHCR, although IOM’s data only covers eight out of the 11 DCIM facilities.

    The number of detainees in unofficial centres and makeshift compounds is unknown but, based on those unaccounted for and the reported experiences of migrants, could be many times higher. A recent estimate from Liam Kelly, director of the Danish Refugee Council in Libya, suggests as many as 80,000 people have been in them at some point in recent years.

    There remains no clear explanation why some people intercepted attempting the sea journey appear to be being taken to data-collection and investigation facilities, while others end up in official centres. But researchers believe migrants are typically taken to facilities that have space to house new detainees, or other militias may strike a deal to purchase a new group to extort them.

    In a leaked report from last year, the EU acknowledged that the GNA “has not taken steps to improve the situation in the centres”, and that “the government’s reluctance to address the problems raises questions of its own involvement”.

    The UN, human rights groups, researchers, journalists and TNH have noted that there is little distinction between criminal groups, militias, and other entities involved in EU-supported migration control activities under the GNA.

    A report released last week by UNHCR and the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) at the Danish Refugee Council said that migrants being smuggled and trafficked to the Mediterranean coast had identified the primary perpetrators of abuses as state officials and law enforcement.

    Pressure on the EU over its proximity to abuses resulting from the interception and detention of asylum seekers and migrants in Libya is mounting. International human rights lawyers have filed lawsuits to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the UN human rights committee, and the European Court of Human Rights to attempt to hold the EU accountable.

    Peter Stano, the EU Commission’s official spokesperson for External Affairs, told TNH that the EU doesn’t consider Libya a safe country, but that its priority has always been to stop irregular migration to keep migrants from risking their lives, while protecting the most vulnerable.

    “We have repeated again and again, together with our international partners in the UN and African Union, that arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees in Libya must end, including to Libyan authorities,” he said. “The situation in these centres is unacceptable, and arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees upon disembarkation must stop.”

    For Yasser, it took a war for him to have the opportunity to escape from detention. In January this year, the facility he was in came under heavy fire during a battle in the war for Tripoli. Dozens of migrants, including Yasser, made a run for it.

    He is now living in a crowded house with other Sudanese asylum seekers in the coastal town of Zawiya, and says that returning to the poverty and instability in Sudan is out of the question. With his sights set on Europe, he still intends to cross the Mediterranean, but he’s afraid of being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, trafficked, and extorted all over again.

    “It’s a business,” said Yasser. “Militias pay for your head and then they force you to pay for your freedom.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2020/08/05/missing-migrants-Libya-forced-returns-Mediterranean

    #chronologie #timeline #time-line #migrations #asile #réfugiés #chiffres #statistiques #pull-back #pull-backs #push-backs #refoulements #disparitions #torture #décès #morts #gardes-côtes_libyens #détention #centres_de_détention #milices

    ping @isskein

    • The legal battle to hold the EU to account for Libya migrant abuses

      ‘It’s a well known fact that we’re all struggling here, as human rights practitioners.’

      More than 6,500 asylum seekers and migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard so far this year. Since the EU and Italy began training, funding, equipping, and providing operational assistance to the Libyan Coast Guard in 2017, that number stands at around 40,000 people.

      Critics say European support for these interceptions and returns is one of the most glaring examples of the trade-off being made between upholding human rights – a fundamental EU value – and the EU’s determination to reduce migration to the continent.

      Those intercepted at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard – predominantly asylum seekers and migrants from East and West Africa – face indefinite detention, extortion, torture, sexual exploitation, and forced labour.

      This year alone, thousands have disappeared beyond the reach of UN agencies after being disembarked. Migration detention in Libya functions as a business that generates revenue for armed groups, some of whom have also pressed asylum seekers and migrants into military activities – a practice that is likely a war crime, according to Human Rights Watch.

      All of this has been well documented and widely known for years, even as the EU and Italy have stepped up their support for the Libyan Coast Guard. Yet despite their key role in empowering the Coast Guard to return people to Libya, international human rights lawyers have struggled to hold the EU and Italy to account. Boxed in by the limitations of international law, lawyers have had to find increasingly innovative legal strategies to try to establish European complicity in the abuses taking place.

      As the EU looks to expand its cooperation with third countries, the outcome of these legal efforts could have broader implications on whether the EU and its member states can be held accountable for the human rights impacts of their external migration policies.

      “Under international law there are rules… prohibiting states to assist other states in the commission of human rights violations,” Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International’s migration researcher, told The New Humanitarian. “However, those international rules do not have a specific court where you can litigate them, where individuals can have access to remedy.”

      In fact, human rights advocates and lawyers argue that EU and Italian support for the Libyan Coast Guard is designed specifically to avoid legal responsibility.

      “For a European court to have jurisdiction over a particular policy, a European actor must be in control... of a person directly,” said Itamar Mann, an international human rights lawyer. “When a non-European agent takes that control, it’s far from clear that [a] European court has jurisdiction. So there is a kind of accountability gap under international human rights law.”
      ‘The EU is not blameless’

      When Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2017 with Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) “to ensure the reduction of illegal migratory flows”, the agreement carried echoes of an earlier era.

      In 2008, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a friendship treaty with Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi that, among other things, committed the two countries to working together to curb irregular migration.

      The following year, Italian patrol boats began intercepting asylum seekers and migrants at sea and returning them to Libya. In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights, an international court based in Strasbourg, France – which all EU member states are party to – ruled that the practice violated multiple articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

      The decision, in what is known as the Hirsi case, was based on the idea that Italy had established “extraterritorial jurisdiction” over asylum seekers and migrants when it took them under their control at sea and had violated the principle of non-refoulement – a core element of international refugee law – by forcing them back to a country where they faced human rights abuses.

      Many states that have signed the 1951 refugee convention have integrated the principle of non-refoulement into their domestic law, binding them to protect asylum seekers once they enter a nation’s territory. But there are divergent interpretations of how it applies to state actors in international waters.

      By the time of the Hirsi decision, the practice had already ended and Gaddafi had been toppled from power. The chaos that followed the Libyan uprising in 2011 paved the way for a new era of irregular migration. The number of people crossing the central Meditteranean jumped from an average of tens of thousands per year throughout the late 1990s and 2000s to more than 150,000 per year in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

      Reducing these numbers became a main priority for Italy and the EU, and they kept the lessons of the Hirsi case in mind as they set about designing their policies, according to de Bellis.

      Instead of using European vessels, the EU and Italy focused on “enabling the Libyan authorities to do the dirty job of intercepting people at sea and returning them to Libya”, he said. “By doing so, they would argue that they have not breached international European law because they have never assumed control, and therefore exercised jurisdiction, over the people who have then been subjected to human rights violations [in Libya].”

      The number of people crossing the central Mediterranean has dropped precipitously in recent years as EU policies have hardened, and tens of thousands of people – including those returned by the Coast Guard – are estimated to have passed through formal and informal migration detention centres in Libya, some of them getting stuck for years and many falling victim to extortion and abuse.

      “There is always going to be a debate about, is the EU responsible… [because] it’s really Libya who has done the abuses,” said Carla Ferstman, a human rights law professor at the University of Essex in England. “[But] the EU is not blameless because it can’t pretend that it didn’t know the consequences of what it was going to do.”

      The challenge for human rights lawyers is how to legally establish that blame.
      The accountability gap

      Since 2017, the EU has given more than 91 million euros (about $107 million) to support border management projects in Libya. Much of that money has gone to Italy, which implements the projects and has provided its own funding and at least six patrol boats to the Libyan Coast Guard.

      One objective of the EU’s funding is to improve the human rights and humanitarian situation in official detention centres. But according to a leaked EU document from 2019, this is something the Libyan government had not been taking steps to do, “raising the question of its own involvement”, according to the document.

      The main goal of the funding is to strengthen the capacity of Libyan authorities to control the country’s borders and intercept asylum seekers and migrants at sea. This aspect of the policy has been effective, according to a September 2019 report by the UN secretary-general.

      “All our action is based on international and European law,” an EU spokesperson told the Guardian newspaper in June. “The European Union dialogue with Libyan authorities focuses on the respect for human rights of migrants and refugees.”

      The EU has legal obligations to ensure that its actions do not violate human rights in both its internal and external policy, according to Ferstman. But when it comes to actions taken outside of Europe, “routes for those affected to complain when their rights are being violated are very, very weak,” she said.

      The EU and its member states are also increasingly relying on informal agreements, such as the Memorandum of Understanding with Libya, in their external migration cooperation.

      “Once the EU makes formal agreements with third states… [it] is more tightly bound to a lot of human rights and refugee commitments,” Raphael Bossong, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, told TNH. “Hence, we see a shift toward less binding or purely informal arrangements.”

      Lawyers and researchers told TNH that the absence of formal agreements, and the combination of EU funding and member state implementation, undermines the standing of the EU Parliament and the Court of Justice, the bloc’s supreme court, to act as watchdogs.

      Efforts to challenge Italy’s role in cooperating with Libya in Italian courts have also so far been unsuccessful.

      “It’s a well known fact that we’re all struggling here, as human rights practitioners… to grapple with the very limited, minimalistic tools we have to address the problem at hand,” said Valentina Azarova, a lawyer and researcher affiliated with the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), a nonprofit organisation that pursues international human rights litigation.

      Uncharted territory

      With no clear path forward, human rights lawyers have ventured into uncharted territory to try to subject EU and Italian cooperation with Libya to legal scrutiny.

      Lawyers called last year for the International Criminal Court to investigate the EU for its alleged complicity in thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean, and legal organisations have filed two separate complaints with the UN Human Rights Committee, which has a quasi-judicial function.

      In November last year, GLAN also submitted a case, called S.S. and others v. Italy, to the European Court of Human Rights that aims to build on the Hirsi decision. The case argues that – through its financial, material, and operational support – Italy assumes “contactless control” over people intercepted by Libyan Coast Guard and therefore establishes jurisdiction over them.

      “Jurisdiction is not only a matter of direct, effective control over bodies,” Mann, who is part of GLAN, said of the case’s argument. “It’s also a matter of substantive control that can be wielded in many different ways.”

      GLAN, along with two Italian legal organisations, also filed a complaint in April to the European Court of Auditors, which is tasked with checking to see if the EU’s budget is implemented correctly and that funds are spent legally.

      The GLAN complaint alleges that funding border management activities in Libya makes the EU and its member states complicit in the human rights abuses taking place there, and is also a misuse of money intended for development purposes – both of which fall afoul of EU budgetary guidelines.

      The complaint asks for the EU funding to be made conditional on the improvement of the situation for asylum seekers and migrants in the country, and for it to be suspended until certain criteria are met, including the release of all refugees and migrants from arbitrary detention, the creation of an asylum system that complies with international standards, and the establishment of an independent, transparent mechanism to monitor and hold state and non-state actors accountable for human rights violations against refugees and migrants.

      The Court of Auditors is not an actual courtroom or a traditional venue for addressing human rights abuses. It is composed of financial experts who conduct an annual audit of the EU budget. The complaint is meant to encourage them to take a specific look at EU funding to Libya, but they aren’t obligated to do so.

      “To use the EU Court of Auditors to get some kind of human rights accountability is an odd thing to do,” said Ferstman, who is not involved in the complaint. “It speaks to the [accountability] gap and the absence of clear approaches.”

      “[Still], it is the institution where this matter needs to be adjudicated, so to speak,” Azarova, who came up with the strategy, added. “They are the experts on questions of EU budget law.”

      Closing the gap?

      If successful, the Court of Auditors complaint could change how EU funding for Libya operates and set a precedent requiring a substantive accounting of how money is being spent and whether it ends up contributing to human rights violations in other EU third-country arrangements, according to Mann. “It will be a blow to the general externalisation pattern,” he said.

      Ferstman cautioned, however, that its impact – at least legally – might not be so concrete. “[The Court of Auditors] can recommend everything that GLAN has put forward, but it will be a recommendation,” she said. “It will not be an order.”

      Instead, the complaint’s more significant impact might be political. “It could put a lot of important arsenal in the hands of the MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] who want to push forward changes,” Ferstman said.

      A European Court of Human Rights decision in favour of the plaintiffs in S.S. and others v Italy could be more decisive. “It would go a long way towards addressing that [accountability] gap, because individuals will be able to challenge European states that encourage and assist other countries to commit human rights violations,” de Bellis said.

      If any or all of the various legal challenges that are currently underway are successful, Bossong, from SWP, doesn’t expect them to put an end to external migration cooperation entirely. “Many [external] cooperations would continue,” he said. “[But] policy-makers and administrators would have to think harder: Where is the line? Where do we cross the line?”

      The Court of Auditors will likely decide whether to review EU funding for border management activities in Libya next year, but the European Court of Human Rights moves slowly, with proceedings generally taking around five years, according to Mann.

      Human rights advocates and lawyers worry that by the time the current legal challenges are concluded, the situation in the Mediterranean will again have evolved. Already, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, states such as Malta and Greece have shifted from empowering third countries to intercept people at sea to carrying out pushbacks directly.

      “What is happening now, particularly in the Aegean, is much more alarming than the facts that generated the Hirsi case in terms of the violence of the actual pushbacks,” Mann said.

      Human rights lawyers are already planning to begin issuing challenges to the new practices. As they do, they are acutely aware of the limitations of the tools available to them. Or, as Azarova put it: “We’re dealing with symptoms. We’re not addressing the pathology.”

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2020/08/10/Libya-migrant-abuses-EU-legal-battle

      #justice

  • Nous n’avons pas besoin d’autorisation pour lutter pour la vie
    Les femmes zapatistes s’unissent à la grève nationale du 9 mars

    https://lavoiedujaguar.net/Nous-n-avons-pas-besoin-d-autorisation-pour-lutter-pour-la-vie-Les-f

    Armée zapatiste de libération nationale. Mexique.

    Aux femmes qui luttent au Mexique et dans le monde,
    De la part des femmes indigènes zapatistes de l’EZLN.

    Compañera et sœur,

    Nous te saluons au nom des femmes indigènes zapatistes de tous âges, aussi bien les plus petites que les plus sages, en âge. Nous espérons que tu vas bien et que tu luttes en compagnie de tes familles, sœurs et compañeras.

    Nous avons beaucoup de problèmes ici à cause des paramilitaires qui maintenant sont du côté de Morena, et qui avant étaient du PRI, du PAN, du PRD et du Parti des verts écologistes.

    Mais ce n’est pas de cela que nous voulons parler, mais de quelque chose de plus urgent et de plus important : des grandes violences commises à l’encontre des femmes dont on voit qu’elles ne cessent pas, mais au contraire qu’elles augmentent ainsi que la cruauté. Les assassinats et disparitions de femmes sont déjà une folie qu’on ne pouvait pas imaginer avant. Aucune femme, de n’importe quel âge, classe sociale, militantisme politique, couleur, race ou croyance religieuse n’est en sécurité. (...)

    #Mexique #EZLN #femmes #violence #assassinats #disparitions #8_mars #mobilisation #organisation #grève #patriarcat #capitalisme #gouvernement

  • Près de 600 migrants portés disparus en Libye, alerte l’OIM

    Les autorités libyennes disent avoir libéré 600 personnes, dont des femmes et des enfants, détenus dans un établissement sous le contrôle du ministère de l’Intérieur. L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) s’inquiète du sort de ces migrants volatilisés.

    L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) a indiqué avoir perdu la trace de 600 migrants en Libye. « Des femmes et des enfants de tous âges font partie des disparus, ce sont des personnes vulnérables », a alerté Safa Msehli, porte-parole de l’OIM, contactée par InfoMigrants jeudi 20 février.

    Ce groupe de migrants était enfermé dans un établissement sous le contrôle du ministère de l’Intérieur libyen à Tripoli depuis début janvier, après avoir été intercepté en mer Méditerranée et débarqué en Libye par les garde-côtes.

    L’OIM indique ne jamais avoir eu l’autorisation d’accéder à ce #centre. « Ce que nous savons c’est que le gouvernement libyen dit avoir libéré les 600 migrants, mais nous n’avons #aucun_signe_de vie d’eux. Nous sommes très inquiets. Nous avons demandé des éclaircissements aux autorités libyennes », a précisé Safa Msehli.


    https://twitter.com/ONUmigration/status/1230168903348891651?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

    Bombardements d’un port de débarquement des migrants

    Sur place, la situation humanitaire continue de se détériorer, 10 mois après le début de l’offensive du maréchal Khalifa Haftar sur Tripoli, a prévenu l’OIM.

    Dernier incident en date, quelques heures à peine avant un débarquement de migrants interceptés en Méditerranée mardi : le port maritime de Tripoli ainsi que celui d’al-Chaab, un port secondaire, ont été la cible de plus de 15 roquettes. C’est la première fois que ces ports sont ciblés par de si lourds bombardements.

    « La Libye ne peut pas attendre », a réagi Federico Soda, chef de la mission de l’OIM en Libye, dans un communiqué. Dans un appel à la communauté internationale émis après cet incident, l’organisation enjoint plus spécifiquement l’Union européenne à réagir au plus vite en prenant « des mesures concrètes pour s’assurer que les vies sauvées en mer soient acheminées vers des ports sûrs, et pour mettre fin au système de détention arbitraire ».

    L’OIM plaide pour « un mécanisme de débarquement rapide et prévisible, dans lequel les États méditerranéens prennent une responsabilité égale pour trouver un port sûr aux personnes secourues ». Il demande aussi la reconnaissance des « efforts de sauvetage des navires des ONG opérant en Méditerranée » et une levée « de toute restriction et tout retard dans le débarquement ».

    Au moins 1 700 migrants ont été interceptés et renvoyés en Libye par les garde-côtes libyens depuis le début de la nouvelle année, selon l’OIM.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/22909/pres-de-600-migrants-portes-disparus-en-libye-alerte-l-oim
    #disparitions #IOM #OIM #Libye #asile #migrations #réfugiés #disparitions #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage (?) #Méditerranée #push-back #refoulements #Mer_Méditerranée

    @sinehebdo... c’est aussi un nouveau mot ?
    #migrants_volatilisés

  • Sur la piste des damnés de #Daech

    Nous sommes partis en Syrie, à la recherche de citoyens suisses qui ont cédé aux sirènes de l’Etat islamique. Tandis que des femmes et des adolescents livrent des témoignages inédits sur la vie à l’intérieur du #Califat, un détenu vaudois dénonce les mauvais traitements dont il est l’objet tandis qu’à Lausanne, pour la première fois, sa famille témoigne. Ils sont parmi les 11’000 combattants, femmes et enfants étrangers de Daech, détenus dans les prisons et camps tenus par les Kurdes au Nord-Est de la Syrie. Alors que leur famille et les autorités locales réclament leur rapatriement, les Etats européens, Suisse comprise, mettent le dos au mur.


    https://pages.rts.ch/emissions/temps-present/international/10646701-sur-la-piste-des-damnes-de-daech.html?anchor=10738842#10738842
    #EI #Etat_islamique #film #film_documentaire
    #Al-Hol #Daesh #femmes #enfants #camps #disparitions #Irak #Kurdistan #Baghouz #Centre_Hori (centre de #déradicalisation) #rapatriement #limbe #Syrie #prisons_kurdes #Suisse

    –---

    Sur le camp de Hal-Hol, voir aussi :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/806159
    https://seenthis.net/messages/805681

  • CFM | Personnes sortant du système d’asile : profils, échappatoires, perspectives
    https://asile.ch/2019/12/19/cfm-personnes-sortant-du-systeme-dasile-profils-echappatoires-perspectives

    La Commission fédérale pour les Migrations (CFM) a publié un rapport “Personnes sortant du système d’asile : profils, échappatoires et perspectives” au sujet des personnes qui n’ont pas obtenu de statut de séjour en Suisse suite à leur demande d’asile. Alors qu’une moitié environ disparaitrait des registres officiels, d’autres percevant l’aide d’urgence restent dépendantes des autorités, […]

    • Making misery pay : Libya militias take EU funds for migrants

      When the European Union started funneling millions of euros into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with EU promises to improve detention centers notorious for abuse and fight human trafficking.

      That hasn’t happened. Instead, the misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and highly lucrative web of businesses funded in part by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found.

      The EU has sent more than 327.9 million euros to Libya (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/region/north-africa/libya), with an additional 41 million approved in early December (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/all-news-and-stories/new-actions-almost-eu150-million-tackle-human-smuggling-protect-vulnerable), largely channeled through U.N. agencies. The AP found that in a country without a functioning government, huge sums of European money have been diverted to intertwined networks of militiamen, traffickers and coast guard members who exploit migrants. In some cases, U.N. officials knew militia networks were getting the money, according to internal emails.

      The militias torture, extort and otherwise abuse migrants for ransoms in detention centers under the nose of the U.N., often in compounds that receive millions in European money, the AP investigation showed. Many migrants also simply disappear from detention centers, sold to traffickers or to other centers.

      The same militias conspire with some members of Libyan coast guard units. The coast guard gets training and equipment from Europe to keep migrants away from its shores. But coast guard members return some migrants to the detention centers under deals with militias, the AP found, and receive bribes to let others pass en route to Europe.

      The militias involved in abuse and trafficking also skim off European funds given through the U.N. to feed and otherwise help migrants, who go hungry. For example, millions of euros in U.N. food contracts were under negotiation with a company controlled by a militia leader, even as other U.N. teams raised alarms about starvation in his detention center, according to emails obtained by the AP and interviews with at least a half-dozen Libyan officials.

      In many cases, the money goes to neighboring Tunisia to be laundered, and then flows back to the militias in Libya.

      The story of Prudence Aimée and her family shows how migrants are exploited at every stage of their journey through Libya.

      Aimée left Cameroon in 2015, and when her family heard nothing from her for a year, they thought she was dead. But she was in detention and incommunicado. In nine months at the Abu Salim detention center, she told the AP, she saw “European Union milk” and diapers delivered by U.N.staff pilfered before they could reach migrant children, including her toddler son. Aimée herself would spend two days at a time without food or drink, she said.

      In 2017, an Arab man came looking for her with a photo of her on his phone.

      “They called my family and told them they had found me,” she said. “That’s when my family sent money.” Weeping, Aimée said her family paid a ransom equivalent of $670 to get her out of the center. She could not say who got the money.

      She was moved to an informal warehouse and eventually sold to yet another detention center, where yet another ransom — $750 this time — had to be raised from her family. Her captors finally released the young mother, who got on a boat that made it past the coast guard patrol, after her husband paid $850 for the passage. A European humanitarian ship rescued Aimée, but her husband remains in Libya.

      Aimée was one of more than 50 migrants interviewed by the AP at sea, in Europe, Tunisia and Rwanda, and in furtive messages from inside detention centers in Libya. Journalists also spoke with Libyan government officials, aid workers and businessmen in Tripoli, obtained internal U.N. emails and analyzed budget documents and contracts.

      The issue of migration has convulsed Europe since the influx of more than a million people in 2015 and 2016, fleeing violence and poverty in the Mideast, Afghanistan and Africa. In 2015, the European Union set up a fund intended to curb migration from Africa, from which money is sent to Libya. The EU gives the money mainly through the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the High Commissioner for Refugees. (UNHCR).

      But Libya is plagued by corruption and caught in a civil war. The west, including the capital Tripoli, is ruled by a U.N.-brokered government, while the east is ruled by another government supported by army commander Khalifa Hifter. The chaos is ideal for profiteers making money off migrants.

      The EU’s own documents show it was aware of the dangers of effectively outsourcing its migration crisis to Libya. Budget documents from as early as 2017 for a 90 million euro (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/sites/euetfa/files/t05-eutf-noa-ly-03.pdf) outlay warned of a medium-to-high risk that Europe’s support would lead to more human rights violations against migrants, and that the Libyan government would deny access to detention centers. A recent EU assessment (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/sites/euetfa/files/risk_register_eutf_0.pdf) found the world was likely to get the “wrong perception” that European money could be seen as supporting abuse.

      Despite the roles they play in the detention system in Libya, both the EU and the U.N. say they want the centers closed. In a statement to the AP, the EU said that under international law, it is not responsible for what goes on inside the centers.

      “Libyan authorities have to provide the detained refugees and migrants with adequate and quality food while ensuring that conditions in detention centers uphold international agreed standards,” the statement said.

      The EU also says more than half of the money in its fund for Africa is used to help and protect migrants, and that it relies on the U.N. to spend the money wisely.

      The U.N. said the situation in Libya is highly complex, and it has to work with whoever runs the detention centers to preserve access to vulnerable migrants.

      “UNHCR does not choose its counterparts,” said Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency. “Some presumably also have allegiances with local militias.”

      After two weeks of being questioned by the AP, UNHCR said it would change its policy on awarding of food and aid contracts for migrants through intermediaries.

      “Due in part to the escalating conflict in Tripoli and the possible risk to the integrity of UNHCR’s programme, UNHCR decided to contract directly for these services from 1 January 2020,” Yaxley said.

      Julien Raickman, who until recently was the Libya mission chief for the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, believes the problem starts with Europe’s unwillingness to deal with the politics of migration.

      “If you were to treat dogs in Europe the way these people are treated, it would be considered a societal problem,” he said.

      EXTORTION INSIDE THE DETENTION CENTERS

      About 5,000 migrants in Libya are crowded into between 16 and 23 detention centers at any given time, depending on who is counting and when. Most are concentrated in the west, where the militias are more powerful than the weak U.N.-backed government.

      Aid intended for migrants helps support the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center, named for the militia that controls it, in the western coastal town of Zawiya. The U.N. migration agency, the IOM, keeps a temporary office there for medical checks of migrants, and its staff and that of the UNHCR visit the compound regularly.

      Yet migrants at the center are tortured for ransoms to be freed and trafficked for more money, only to be intercepted at sea by the coast guard and brought back to the center, according to more than a dozen migrants, Libyan aid workers, Libyan officials and European human rights groups. A UNHCR report in late 2018 noted the allegations as well, and the head of the militia, Mohammed Kachlaf, is under U.N. sanctions (https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/sanctions/1970/materials/summaries/individual/mohammed-kachlaf) for human trafficking. Kachlaf, other militia leaders named by the AP and the Libyan coast guard all did not respond to requests for comment.

      Many migrants recalled being cut, shot and whipped with electrified hoses and wooden boards. They also heard the screams of others emerging from the cell blocks off-limits to U.N. aid workers.

      Families back home are made to listen during the torture to get them to pay, or are sent videos afterward.

      Eric Boakye, a Ghanaian, was locked in the al-Nasr Martyrs center twice, both times after he was intercepted at sea, most recently around three years ago. The first time, his jailers simply took the money on him and set him free. He tried again to cross and was again picked up by the coast guard and returned to his jailers.

      “They cut me with a knife on my back and beat me with sticks,” he said, lifting his shirt to show the scars lining his back. “Each and every day they beat us to call our family and send money.” The new price for freedom: Around $2,000.

      That was more than his family could scrape together. Boakye finally managed to escape. He worked small jobs for some time to save money, then tried to cross again. On his fourth try, he was picked up by the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship to be taken to Italy. In all, Boakye had paid $4,300 to get out of Libya.

      Fathi al-Far, the head of the al-Nasr International Relief and Development agency, which operates at the center and has ties to the militia, denied that migrants are mistreated. He blamed “misinformation” on migrants who blew things out of proportion in an attempt to get asylum.

      “I am not saying it’s paradise — we have people who have never worked before with the migrants, they are not trained,” he said. But he called the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center “the most beautiful in the country.”

      At least five former detainees showed an AP journalist scars from their injuries at the center, which they said were inflicted by guards or ransom seekers making demands to their families. One man had bullet wounds to both feet, and another had cuts on his back from a sharp blade. All said they had to pay to get out.

      Five to seven people are freed every day after they pay anywhere from $1,800 to $8,500 each, the former migrants said. At al-Nasr, they said, the militia gets around $14,000 every day from ransoms; at Tarik al-Sikka, a detention center in Tripoli, it was closer to $17,000 a day, they said. They based their estimates on what they and others detained with them had paid, by scraping together money from family and friends.

      The militias also make money from selling groups of migrants, who then often simply disappear from a center. An analysis commissioned by the EU and released earlier this month by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (https://globalinitiative.net/migrant-detention-libya) noted that the detention centers profit by selling migrants among themselves and to traffickers, as well as into prostitution and forced labor.

      Hundreds of migrants this year who were intercepted at sea and taken to detention centers had vanished by the time international aid groups visited, according to Médecins Sans Frontières. There’s no way to tell where they went, but MSF suspects they were sold to another detention center or to traffickers.

      A former guard at the Khoms center acknowledged to the AP that migrants often were seized in large numbers by men armed with anti-aircraft guns and RPGs. He said he couldn’t keep his colleagues from abusing the migrants or traffickers from taking them out of the center.

      “I don’t want to remember what happened,” he said. The IOM was present at Khoms, he noted, but the center closed last year.

      A man who remains detained at the al-Nasr Martyrs center said Libyans frequently arrive in the middle of the night to take people. Twice this fall, he said, they tried to load a group of mostly women into a small convoy of vehicles but failed because the center’s detainees revolted.

      Fighting engulfed Zawiya last week, but migrants remained locked inside the al-Nasr Martyrs center, which is also being used for weapons storage.

      TRAFFICKING AND INTERCEPTION AT SEA

      Even when migrants pay to be released from the detention centers, they are rarely free. Instead, the militias sell them to traffickers, who promise to take them across the Mediterranean to Europe for a further fee. These traffickers work hand in hand with some coast guard members, the AP found.

      The Libyan coast guard is supported by both the U.N. and the EU. The IOM highlights (https://libya.iom.int/rescue-sea-support) its cooperation with the coast guard on its Libya home page. Europe has spent more than 90 million euros since 2017 for training and faster boats for the Libyan coast guard to stop migrants from ending up in Europe.

      This fall, Italy renewed a memorandum of understanding with Libya to support the coast guard with training and vessels, and it delivered 10 new speedboats to Libya in November.

      In internal documents obtained in September by the European watchdog group Statewatch, the European Council described the coast guard as “operating effectively, thus confirming the process achieved over the past three years” (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-council-libya-11538-19.pdf). The Libyan coast guard says it intercepted nearly 9,000 people in 2019 en route to Europe and returned them to Libya this year, after quietly extending its coastal rescue zone 100 miles offshore with European encouragement.

      What’s unclear is how often militias paid the coast guard to intercept these people and bring them back to the detention centers — the business more than a dozen migrants described at the al-Nasr Martyrs facility in Zawiya.

      The coast guard unit at Zawiya is commanded by Abdel-Rahman Milad, who has sanctions against him for human trafficking by the U.N.’s Security Council. Yet when his men intercept boats carrying migrants, they contact U.N. staff at disembarkation points for cursory medical checks.

      Despite the sanctions and an arrest warrant against him, Milad remains free because he has the support of the al-Nasr militia. In 2017, before the sanctions, Milad was even flown to Rome, along with a militia leader, Mohammed al-Khoja, as part of a Libyan delegation for a U.N.-sponsored migration meeting. In response to the sanctions, Milad denied any links to human smuggling and said traffickers wear uniforms similar to those of his men.

      Migrants named at least two other operations along the coast, at Zuwara and Tripoli, that they said operated along the same lines as Milad’s. Neither center responded to requests for comment.

      The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration acknowledged to the AP that it has to work with partners who might have contacts with local militias.

      “Without those contacts it would be impossible to operate in those areas and for IOM to provide support services to migrants and the local population,” said IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli. “Failure to provide that support would have compounded the misery of hundreds of men, women and children.”

      The story of Abdullah, a Sudanese man who made two attempts to flee Libya, shows just how lucrative the cycle of trafficking and interception really is.

      All told, the group of 47 in his first crossing from Tripoli over a year ago had paid a uniformed Libyan and his cronies $127,000 in a mix of dollars, euros and Libyan dinars for the chance to leave their detention center and cross in two boats. They were intercepted in a coast guard boat by the same uniformed Libyan, shaken down for their cell phones and more money, and tossed back into detention.

      “We talked to him and asked him, why did you let us out and then arrest us?” said Abdullah, who asked that only his first name be used because he was afraid of retaliation. “He beat two of us who brought it up.”

      Abdullah later ended up in the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center, where he learned the new price list for release and an attempted crossing based on nationality: Ethiopians, $5,000; Somalis $6,800; Moroccans and Egyptians, $8,100; and finally Bangladeshis, a minimum $18,500. Across the board, women pay more.

      Abdullah scraped together another ransom payment and another crossing fee. Last July, he and 18 others paid $48,000 in total for a boat with a malfunctioning engine that sputtered to a stop within hours.

      After a few days stuck at sea off the Libyan coast under a sweltering sun, they threw a dead man overboard and waited for their own lives to end. Instead, they were rescued on their ninth day at sea by Tunisian fishermen, who took them back to Tunisia.

      “There are only three ways out of the prison: You escape, you pay ransom, or you die,” Abdullah said, referring to the detention center.

      In all, Abdullah spent a total of $3,300 to leave Libya’s detention centers and take to the sea. He ended up barely 100 miles away.

      Sometimes members of the coast guard make money by doing exactly what the EU wants them to prevent: Letting migrants cross, according to Tarik Lamloum, the head of the Libyan human rights organization Beladi. Traffickers pay the coast guard a bribe of around $10,000 per boat that is allowed to pass, with around five to six boats launching at a time when conditions are favorable, he said.

      The head of Libya’s Department for Combating Irregular Migration or DCIM, the agency responsible for the detention centers under the Ministry of Interior, acknowledged corruption and collusion among the militias and the coast guard and traffickers, and even within the government itself.

      “They are in bed with them, as well as people from my own agency,” said Al Mabrouk Abdel-Hafez.

      SKIMMING PROFITS

      Beyond the direct abuse of migrants, the militia network also profits by siphoning off money from EU funds sent for their food and security — even those earmarked for a U.N.-run migrant center, according to more than a dozen officials and aid workers in Libya and Tunisia, as well as internal U.N. emails and meeting minutes seen by The Associated Press.

      An audit in May of the UNHCR (https://oios.un.org/audit-reports, the U.N. refugee agency responsible for the center, found a lack of oversight and accountability at nearly all levels of spending in the Libya mission. The audit identified inexplicable payments in American dollars to Libyan firms and deliveries of goods that were never verified.

      In December 2018, during the period reviewed in the audit, the U.N. launched its migrant center in Tripoli (https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2018/12/5c09033a4/first-group-refugees-evacuated-new-departure-facility-libya.html), known as the #Gathering_and_Departure_Facility or #GDF, as an “ alternative to detention” (https://apnews.com/7e72689f44e45dd17aa0a3ee53ed3c03). For the recipients of the services contracts, sent through the Libyan government agency LibAid, it was a windfall.

      Millions of euros in contracts for food (https://apnews.com/e4c68dae65a84c519253f69c817a58ec) and migrant aid went to at least one company linked to al-Khoja, the militia leader flown to Rome for the U.N. migration meeting, according to internal U.N. emails seen by the AP, two senior Libyan officials and an international aid worker. Al-Khoja is also the deputy head of the DCIM, the government agency responsible for the detention centers.

      One of the Libyan officials saw the multimillion-euro catering contract with a company named Ard al-Watan, or The Land of the Nation, which al-Khoja controls.

      “We feel like this is al-Khoja’s fiefdom. He controls everything. He shuts the doors and he opens the doors,” said the official, a former employee at the U.N. center who like other Libyan officials spoke anonymously out of fear for his safety. He said al-Khoja used sections of the U.N. center to train his militia fighters and built a luxury apartment inside.

      Even as the contracts for the U.N. center were negotiated, Libyan officials said, three Libyan government agencies were investigating al-Khoja in connection with the disappearance of $570 million from government spending allocated to feed migrants in detention centers in the west.

      At the time, al-Khoja already ran another center for migrants, Tarik al-Sikka, notorious for abuses including beating, hard labor and a massive ransom scheme. Tekila, an Eritrean refugee, said that for two years at Tarik al-Sikka, he and other migrants lived on macaroni, even after he was among 25 people who came down with tuberculosis, a disease exacerbated by malnutrition. Tekila asked that only his first name be used for his safety.

      “When there is little food, there is no choice but to go to sleep,” he said.

      Despite internal U.N. emails warning of severe malnutrition inside Tarik al-Sikka, U.N. officials in February and March 2018 repeatedly visited the detention center to negotiate the future opening of the GDF. AP saw emails confirming that by July 2018, the UNHCR’s chief of mission was notified that companies controlled by al-Khoja’s militia would receive subcontracts for services.

      Yaxley, the spokesman for UNHCR, emphasized that the officials the agency works with are “all under the authority of the Ministry of Interior.” He said UNHCR monitors expenses to make sure its standard rules are followed, and may withhold payments otherwise.

      A senior official at LibAid, the Libyan government agency that managed the center with the U.N., said the contracts are worth at least $7 million for catering, cleaning and security, and 30 out of the 65 LibAid staff were essentially ghost employees who showed up on the payroll, sight unseen.

      The U.N. center was “a treasure trove,” the senior Libaid official lamented. “There was no way you could operate while being surrounded by Tripoli militias. It was a big gamble.”

      An internal U.N. communication from early 2019 shows it was aware of the problem. The note found a high risk that food for the U.N. center was being diverted to militias, given the amount budgeted compared to the amount migrants were eating.

      In general, around 50 dinars a day, or $35, is budgeted per detainee for food and other essentials for all centers, according to two Libyan officials, two owners of food catering companies and an international aid worker. Of that, only around 2 dinars is actually spent on meals, according to their rough calculations and migrants’ descriptions.

      Despite the investigations into al-Khoja, Tarik al-Sikka and another detention center shared a 996,000-euro grant from the EU and Italy in February.

      At the Zawiya center, emergency goods delivered by U.N. agencies ended up redistributed “half for the prisoners, half for the workers,” said Orobosa Bright, a Nigerian who endured three stints there for a total of 11 months. Many of the goods end up on Libya’s black market as well, Libyan officials and international aid workers say.

      IOM’s spokeswoman said “aid diversion is a reality” in Libya and beyond, and that the agency does its best. Msehli said if it happens regularly, IOM will be forced to re-evaluate its supports to detention centers “despite our awareness that any reduction in this lifesaving assistance will add to the misery of migrants.”

      Despite the corruption, the detention system in Libya is still expanding in places, with money from Europe. At a detention center in Sabaa where migrants are already going hungry, they were forced to build yet another wing funded by the Italian government, said Lamloum, the Libyan aid worker. The Italian government did not respond to a request for comment.

      Lamloum sent a photo of the new prison. It has no windows.

      TUNISIA LAUNDERING

      The money earned off the suffering of migrants is whitewashed in money laundering operations in Tunisia, Libya’s neighbor.

      In the town of Ben Gardane, dozens of money-changing stalls transform Libyan dinars, dollars and euros into Tunisian currency before the money continues on its way to the capital, Tunis. Even Libyans without residency can open a bank account.

      Tunisia also offers another opportunity for militia networks to make money off European funds earmarked for migrants. Because of Libya’s dysfunctional banking system, where cash is scarce and militias control accounts, international organizations give contracts, usually in dollars, to Libyan organizations with bank accounts in Tunisia. The vendors compound the money on Libya’s black-market exchange, which ranges between 4 and 9 times greater than the official rate.

      Libya’s government handed over more than 100 files to Tunisia earlier this year listing companies under investigation for fraud and money laundering.

      The companies largely involve militia warlords and politicians, according to Nadia Saadi, a manager at the Tunisian anti-corruption authority. The laundering involves cash payments for real estate, falsified customs documents and faked bills for fictitious companies.

      “All in all, Libya is run by militias,” said a senior Libyan judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of risking his life. “Whatever governments say, and whatever uniform they wear, or stickers they put....this is the bottom line.”

      Husni Bey, a prominent businessman in Libya, said the idea of Europe sending aid money to Libya, a once-wealthy country suffering from corruption, was ill-conceived from the beginning.

      “Europe wants to buy those who can stop smuggling with all of these programs,” Bey said. “They would be much better off blacklisting the names of those involved in human trafficking, fuel and drug smuggling and charging them with crimes, instead of giving them money.”

      https://apnews.com/9d9e8d668ae4b73a336a636a86bdf27f

  • The business of building walls

    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.

    Who killed the dream of a more open Europe? What gave rise to this new era of walls? There are clearly many reasons – the increasing displacement of people by conflict, repression and impoverishment, the rise of security politics in the wake of 9/11, the economic and social insecurity felt across Europe after the 2008 financial crisis – to name a few. But one group has by far the most to gain from the rise of new walls – the businesses that build them. Their influence in shaping a world of walls needs much deeper examination.

    This report explores the business of building walls, which has both fuelled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states. Some of the corporate beneficiaries are also global players, tapping into a global market for border security estimated to be worth approximately €17.5 billion in 2018, with annual growth of at least 8% expected in coming years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAuv1QyP8l0&feature=emb_logo

    It is important to look both beyond and behind Europe’s walls and fencing, because the real barriers to contemporary migration are not so much the fencing, but the vast array of technology that underpins it, from the radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems. Similarly, some of Europe’s most dangerous walls are not even physical or on land. The ships, aircrafts and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean have created a maritime wall and a graveyard for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have no legal passage to safety or to exercise their right to seek asylum.

    This renders meaningless the European Commission’s publicized statements that it does not fund walls and fences. Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein, for example, rejecting Hungary’s request to reimburse half the costs of the fences built on its borders with Croatia and Serbia, said: ‘We do support border management measures at external borders. These can be surveillance measures. They can be border control equipment...But fences, we do not finance’. In other words, the Commission is willing to pay for anything that fortifies a border as long as it is not seen to be building the walls themselves.

    This report is a sequel to Building Walls – Fear and securitization in the European Union, co-published in 2018 with Centre Delàs and Stop Wapenhandel, which first measured and identified the walls that criss-cross Europe. This new report focuses on the businesses that have profited from three different kinds of wall in Europe:

    The construction companies contracted to build the land walls built by EU member states and the Schengen Area together with the security and technology companies that provide the necessary accompanying technology, equipment and services;

    The shipping and arms companies that provide the ships, aircraft, helicopters, drones that underpin Europe’s maritime walls seeking to control migratory flows in the Mediterranean, including Frontex operations, Operation Sophia and Italian operation Mare Nostrum;
    And the IT and security companies contracted to develop, run, expand and maintain EU’s systems that monitor the movement of people – such as SIS II (Schengen Information System) and EES (Entry/Exit Scheme) – which underpin Europe’s virtual walls.

    Booming budgets

    The flow of money from taxpayers to wall-builders has been highly lucrative and constantly growing. The report finds that companies have reaped the profits from at least €900 million spent by EU countries on land walls and fences since the end of the Cold War. The partial data (in scope and years) means actual costs will be at least €1 billion. In addition, companies that provide technology and services that accompany walls have also benefited from some of the steady stream of funding from the EU – in particular the External Borders Fund (€1.7 billion, 2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders Fund (€2.76 billion, 2014-2020).

    EU spending on maritime walls has totalled at least €676.4 million between 2006 to 2017 (including €534 million spent by Frontex, €28.4 million spent by the EU on Operation Sophia and €114 million spent by Italy on Operation Mare Nostrum) and would be much more if you include all the operations by Mediterranean country coastguards. Total spending on Europe’s virtual wall equalled at least €999.4m between 2000 and 2019. (All these estimates are partial ones because walls are funded by many different funding mechanisms and due to lack of data transparency).

    This boom in border budgets is set to grow. Under its budget for the next EU budget cycle (2021–2027) the European Commission has earmarked €8.02 billion to its Integrated Border Management Fund (2021-2027), €11.27bn to Frontex (of which €2.2 billion will be used for acquiring, maintaining and operating air, sea and land assets) and at least €1.9 billion total spending (2000-2027) on its identity databases and Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance System).
    The big arm industry players

    Three giant European military and security companies in particular play a critical role in Europe’s many types of borders. These are Thales, Leonardo and Airbus.

    Thales is a French arms and security company, with a significant presence in the Netherlands, that produces radar and sensor systems, used by many ships in border security. Thales systems, were used, for example, by Dutch and Portuguese ships deployed in Frontex operations. Thales also produces maritime surveillance systems for drones and is working on developing border surveillance infrastructure for Eurosur, researching how to track and control refugees before they reach Europe by using smartphone apps, as well as exploring the use of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) for border security, for the European Space Agency and Frontex. Thales currently provides the security system for the highly militarised port in Calais. Its acquisition in 2019 of Gemalto, a large (biometric) identity security company, makes it a significant player in the development and maintenance of EU’s virtual walls. It has participated in 27 EU research projects on border security.
    Italian arms company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica or Leonardo-Finmeccanica) is a leading supplier of helicopters for border security, used by Italy in the Mare Nostrum, Hera and Sophia operations. It has also been one of the main providers of UAVs (or drones) for Europe’s borders, awarded a €67.1 million contract in 2017 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to supply them for EU coast-guard agencies. Leonardo was also a member of a consortium, awarded €142.1 million in 2019 to implement and maintain EU’s virtual walls, namely its EES. It jointly owns Telespazio with Thales, involved in EU satellite observation projects (REACT and Copernicus) used for border surveillance. Leonardo has participated in 24 EU research projects on border security and control, including the development of Eurosur.
    Pan-European arms giant Airbus is a key supplier of helicopters used in patrolling maritime and some land borders, deployed by Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, including in maritime Operations Sophia, Poseidon and Triton. Airbus and its subsidiaries have participated in at least 13 EU-funded border security research projects including OCEAN2020, PERSEUS and LOBOS.
    The significant role of these arms companies is not surprising. As Border Wars (2016), showed these companies through their membership of the lobby groups – European Organisation for Security (EOS) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) – have played a significant role in influencing the direction of EU border policy. Perversely, these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration.

    Indra has been another significant corporate player in border control in Spain and the Mediterranean. It won a series of contracts to fortify Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco). Indra also developed the SIVE border control system (with radar, sensors and vision systems), which is in place on most of Spain’s borders, as well as in Portugal and Romania. In July 2018 it won a €10 million contract to manage SIVE at several locations for two years. Indra is very active in lobbying the EU and is a major beneficiary of EU research funding, coordinating the PERSEUS project to further develop Eurosur and the Seahorse Network, a network between police forces in Mediterranean countries (both in Europe and Africa) to stop migration.

    Israeli arms firms are also notable winners of EU border contracts. In 2018, Frontex selected the Heron drone from Israel Aerospace Industries for pilot-testing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean. In 2015, Israeli firm Elbit sold six of its Hermes UAVs to the Switzerland’s Border Guard, in a controversial €230 million deal. It has since signed a UAV contract with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as a subcontractor for the Portuguese company CEIIA (2018), as well as contracts to supply technology for three patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
    Land wall contractors

    Most of the walls and fences that have been rapidly erected across Europe have been built by national construction companies, but one European company has dominated the field: European Security Fencing, a Spanish producer of razor wire, in particular a coiled wire known as concertinas. It is most known for the razor wire on the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. It also delivered the razor wire for the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia, and its concertinas were installed on the borders between Bulgaria and Turkey and Austria and Slovenia, as well as at Calais, and for a few days on the border between Hungary and Slovenia before being removed. Given its long-term market monopoly, its concertinas are very likely used at other borders in Europe.

    Other contractors providing both walls and associated technology include DAT-CON (Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén and Eulen (Spain/Morocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov and Indra (Bulgaria/Turkey), Nordecon and Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft and SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Latvia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lithuania/Russia), Minis and Legi-SGS(Slovenia/Croatia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia and Zaun Ltd (France/UK).

    In many cases, the actual costs of the walls and associated technologies exceed original estimates. There have also been many allegations and legal charges of corruption, in some cases because projects were given to corporate friends of government officials. In Slovenia, for example, accusations of corruption concerning the border wall contract have led to a continuing three-year legal battle for access to documents that has reached the Supreme Court. Despite this, the EU’s External Borders Fund has been a critical financial supporter of technological infrastructure and services in many of the member states’ border operations. In Macedonia, for example, the EU has provided €9 million for patrol vehicles, night-vision cameras, heartbeat detectors and technical support for border guards to help it manage its southern border.
    Maritime wall profiteers

    The data about which ships, helicopters and aircraft are used in Europe’s maritime operations is not transparent and therefore it is difficult to get a full picture. Our research shows, however, that the key corporations involved include the European arms giants Airbus and Leonardo, as well as large shipbuilding companies including Dutch Damen and Italian Fincantieri.

    Damen’s patrol vessels have been used for border operations by Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK as well as in key Frontex operations (Poseidon, Triton and Themis), Operation Sophia and in supporting NATO’s role in Operation Poseidon. Outside Europe, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey use Damen vessels for border security, often in cooperation with the EU or its member states. Turkey’s €20 million purchase of six Damen vessels for its coast guard in 2006, for example, was financed through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), intended for peace-building and conflict prevention.

    The sale of Damen vessels to Libya unveils the potential troubling human costs of this corporate trade. In 2012, Damen supplied four patrol vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard, sold as civil equipment in order to avoid a Dutch arms export license. Researchers have since found out, however, that the ships were not only sold with mounting points for weapons, but were then armed and used to stop refugee boats. Several incidents involving these ships have been reported, including one where some 20 or 30 refugees drowned. Damen has refused to comment, saying it had agreed with the Libyan government not to disclose information about the ships.

    In addition to Damen, many national shipbuilders play a significant role in maritime operations as they were invariably prioritised by the countries contributing to each Frontex or other Mediterranean operation. Hence, all the ships Italy contributed to Operation Sophia were built by Fincantieri, while all Spanish ships come from Navantia and its predecessors. Similarly, France purchases from DCN/DCNS, now Naval Group, and all German ships were built by several German shipyards (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Other companies in Frontex operations have included Greek company, Motomarine Shipyards, which produced the Panther 57 Fast Patrol Boats used by the Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Shipyards and Israel Shipyards.

    Austrian company Schiebel is a significant player in maritime aerial surveillance through its supply of S-100 drones. In November 2018, EMSA selected the company for a €24 million maritime surveillance contract for a range of operations including border security. Since 2017, Schiebel has also won contracts from Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The company has a controversial record, with its drones sold to a number of countries experiencing armed conflict or governed by repressive regimes such as Libya, Myanmar, the UAE and Yemen.

    Finland and the Netherlands deployed Dornier aircraft to Operation Hermes and Operation Poseidon respectively, and to Operation Triton. Dornier is now part of the US subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. CAE Aviation (Luxembourg), DEA Aviation (UK) and EASP Air (Netherlands) have all received contracts for aircraft surveillance work for Frontex. Airbus, French Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and US Lockheed Martin were the most important suppliers of aircraft used in Operation Sophia.

    The EU and its member states defend their maritime operations by publicising their role in rescuing refugees at sea, but this is not their primary goal, as Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri made clear in April 2015, saying that Frontex has no mandate for ‘proactive search-and-rescue action[s]’ and that saving lives should not be a priority. The thwarting and criminalisation of NGO rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the frequent reports of violence and illegal refoulement of refugees, also demonstrates why these maritime operations should be considered more like walls than humanitarian missions.
    Virtual walls

    The major EU contracts for the virtual walls have largely gone to two companies, sometimes as leaders of a consortium. Sopra Steria is the main contractor for the development and maintenance of the Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS II) and European Dactyloscopy (Eurodac), while GMV has secured a string of contracts for Eurosur. The systems they build help control, monitor and surveil people’s movements across Europe and increasingly beyond.

    Sopra Steria is a French technology consultancy firm that has to date won EU contracts worth a total value of over €150 million. For some of these large contracts Sopra Steria joined consortiums with HP Belgium, Bull and 3M Belgium. Despite considerable business, Sopra Steria has faced considerable criticism for its poor record on delivering projects on time and on budget. Its launch of SIS II was constantly delayed, forcing the Commission to extend contracts and increase budgets. Similarly, Sopra Steria was involved in another consortium, the Trusted Borders consortium, contracted to deliver the UK e-Borders programme, which was eventually terminated in 2010 after constant delays and failure to deliver. Yet it continues to win contracts, in part because it has secured a near-monopoly of knowledge and access to EU officials. The central role that Sopra Steria plays in developing these EU biometric systems has also had a spin-off effect in securing other national contracts, including with Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Slovenia GMV, a Spanish technology company, has received a succession of large contracts for Eurosur, ever since its testing phase in 2010, worth at least €25 million. It also provides technology to the Spanish Guardia Civil, such as control centres for its Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) border security system as well as software development services to Frontex. It has participated in at least ten EU-funded research projects on border security.

    Most of the large contracts for the virtual walls that did not go to consortia including Sopra Steria were awarded by eu-LISA (European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) to consortia comprising computer and technology companies including Accenture, Atos Belgium and Morpho (later renamed Idema).
    Lobbying

    As research in our Border Wars series has consistently shown, through effective lobbying, the military and security industry has been very influential in shaping the discourse of EU security and military policies. The industry has succeeded in positioning itself as the experts on border security, pushing the underlying narrative that migration is first and foremost a security threat, to be combatted by security and military means. With this premise, it creates a continuous demand for the ever-expanding catalogue of equipment and services the industry supplies for border security and control.

    Many of the companies listed here, particularly the large arms companies, are involved in the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the most important lobby group on border security. Many of the IT security firms that build EU’s virtual walls are members of the European Biometrics Association (EAB). EOS has an ‘Integrated Border Security Working Group’ to ‘facilitate the development and uptake of better technology solutions for border security both at border checkpoints, and along maritime and land borders’. The working group is chaired by Giorgio Gulienetti of the Italian arms company Leonardo, with Isto Mattila (Laurea University of Applied Science) and Peter Smallridge of Gemalto, a digital security company recently acquired by Thales.

    Company lobbyists and representatives of these lobby organisations regularly meet with EU institutions, including the European Commission, are part of official advisory committees, publish influential proposals, organise meetings between industry, policy-makers and executives and also meet at the plethora of military and security fairs, conferences and seminars. Airbus, Leonardo and Thales together with EOS held 226 registered lobbying meetings with the European Commission between 2014 and 2019. In these meetings representatives of the industry position themselves as the experts on border security, presenting their goods and services as the solution for ‘security threats’ caused by immigration. In 2017, the same group of companies and EOS spent up to €2.65 million on lobbying.

    A similar close relationship can be seen on virtual walls, with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission arguing openly for public policy to foster the ‘emergence of a vibrant European biometrics industry’.
    A deadly trade and a choice

    The conclusion of this survey of the business of building walls is clear. A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU’s planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

    This is also a deadly business. The heavy militarisation of Europe’s borders on land and at sea has led refugees and migrants to follow far more hazardous routes and has trapped others in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries like Libya. Many deaths are not recorded, but those that are tracked in the Mediterranean show that the proportion of those who drown trying to reach Europe continues to increase each year.

    This is not an inevitable state of affairs. It is both the result of policy decisions made by the EU and its member states, and corporate decisions to profit from these policies. In a rare principled stand, German razor wire manufacturer Mutanox in 2015 stated it would not sell its product to the Hungarian government arguing: ‘Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals’. It is time for other European politicians and business leaders to recognise the same truth: that building walls against the world’s most vulnerable people violates human rights and is an immoral act that history will judge harshly. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time for Europe to bring down its new walls.

    https://www.tni.org/en/businessbuildingwalls

    #business #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières #visualisation #Europe #UE #EU #complexe_militaro-industriel #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #Indra #Israel_Aerospace_Industries #Elbit #European_Security_Fencing #DAT-CON #Geo_Alpinbau #Dragados #Ferrovial, #Proyectos_Y_Tecnología_Sallén #Eulen #Patstroy_Bourgas #Infra_Expert #Patengineeringstroy #Geostroy_Engineering #Metallic-Ivan_Mihaylov #Nordecon #Defendec #DAK_Acélszerkezeti_Kft #SIA_Ceļu_būvniecības_sabiedrība_IGATE #Gintrėja #Minis #Legi-SGS #Groupe_CW #Jackson’s_Fencing #Sorhea #Vinci #Eurovia #Zaun_Ltd #Damen #Fincantieri #Frontex #Damen #Turquie #Instrument_contributing_to_Stability_and_Peace (#IcSP) #Libye #exernalisation #Operation_Sophia #Navantia #Naval_Group #Flensburger_Schiffbau-Gesellschaft #HDW #Lürssen_Gruppe #Motomarine_Shipyards #Panther_57 #Hellenic_Shipyards #Israel_Shipyards #Schiebel #Dornier #Operation_Hermes #CAE_Aviation #DEA_Aviation #EASP_Air #French_Dassault_Aviation #US_Lockheed_Martin #murs_virtuels #Sopra_Steria #Visa_Information_System (#VIS) #données #Schengen_Information_System (#SIS_II) #European_Dactyloscopy (#Eurodac) #GMV #Eurosur #HP_Belgium #Bull #3M_Belgium #Trusted_Borders_consortium #économie #biométrie #Integrated_System_of_External_Vigilance (#SIVE) #eu-LISA #Accenture #Atos_Belgium #Morpho #Idema #lobby #European_Organisation_for_Security (#EOS) #European_Biometrics_Association (#EAB) #Integrated_Border_Security_Working_Group #Giorgio_Gulienetti #Isto_Mattila #Peter_Smallridge #Gemalto #murs_terrestres #murs_maritimes #coût #chiffres #statistiques #Joint_Research_Centre_of_the_European_Commission #Mutanox

    Pour télécharger le #rapport :


    https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/business_of_building_walls_-_full_report.pdf

    déjà signalé par @odilon ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/809783
    Je le remets ici avec des mots clé de plus

    ping @daphne @marty @isskein @karine4

    • La costruzione di muri: un business

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del Muro di Berlino, l’Europa fa parlare di sé ancora una volta per i suoi muri di frontiera. Questa volta non è tanto l’ideologia che la divide, quanto la paura di rifugiati e migranti, alcune tra le persone più vulnerabili al mondo.

      Riassunto del rapporto «The Business of Building Walls» [1]:

      Chi ha ucciso il sogno di un’Europa più aperta? Cosa ha dato inizio a questa nuova era dei muri?
      Ci sono evidentemente molte ragioni: il crescente spostamento di persone a causa di conflitti, repressione e impoverimento, l’ascesa di politiche securitarie sulla scia dell’11 settembre, l’insicurezza economica e sociale percepita in Europa dopo la crisi finanziaria del 2008, solo per nominarne alcune. Tuttavia, c’è un gruppo che ha di gran lunga da guadagnare da questo innalzamento di nuovi muri: le imprese che li costruiscono. La loro influenza nel dare forma ad un mondo di muri necessita di un esame più profondo.

      Questo rapporto esplora il business della costruzione di muri, che è stato alimentato e ha beneficiato di un aumento considerevole della spesa pubblica dedicata alla sicurezza delle frontiere dall’Unione Europea (EU) e dai suoi Stati membri. Alcune imprese beneficiarie sono delle multinazionali che approfittano di un mercato globale per la sicurezza delle frontiere che si stima valere approssimativamente 17,5 miliardi di euro nel 2018, con una crescita annuale prevista almeno dell’8% nei prossimi anni.

      È importante guardare sia oltre che dietro i muri e le barriere d’Europa, perché i reali ostacoli alla migrazione contemporanea non sono tanto le recinzioni, quanto la vasta gamma di tecnologie che vi è alla base, dai sistemi radar ai droni, dalle telecamere di sorveglianza ai sistemi biometrici di rilevamento delle impronte digitali. Allo stesso modo, alcuni tra i più pericolosi muri d’Europa non sono nemmeno fisici o sulla terraferma. Le navi, gli aerei e i droni usati per pattugliare il Mediterraneo hanno creato un muro marittimo e un cimitero per i migliaia di migranti e di rifugiati che non hanno un passaggio legale verso la salvezza o per esercitare il loro diritto di asilo.

      Tutto ciò rende insignificanti le dichiarazioni della Commissione Europea secondo le quali essa non finanzierebbe i muri e le recinzioni. Il portavoce della Commissione, Alexander Winterstein, per esempio, nel rifiutare la richiesta dell’Ungheria di rimborsare la metà dei costi delle recinzioni costruite sul suo confine con la Croazia e la Serbia, ha affermato: “Noi sosteniamo le misure di gestione delle frontiere presso i confini esterni. Queste possono consistere in misure di sorveglianza o in equipaggiamento di controllo delle frontiere... . Ma le recinzioni, quelle non le finanziamo”. In altre parole, la Commissione è disposta a pagare per qualunque cosa che fortifichi un confine fintanto che ciò non sia visto come propriamente costruire dei muri.

      Questo rapporto è il seguito di “Building Walls - Fear and securitizazion in the Euopean Union”, co-pubblicato nel 2018 con Centre Delàs e Stop Wapenhandel, che per primi hanno misurato e identificato i muri che attraversano l’Europa.

      Questo nuovo rapporto si focalizza sulle imprese che hanno tratto profitto dai tre differenti tipi di muro in Europa:
      – Le imprese di costruzione ingaggiate per costruire i muri fisici costruiti dagli Stati membri UE e dall’Area Schengen in collaborazione con le imprese esperte in sicurezza e tecnologia che provvedono le tecnologie, l’equipaggiamento e i servizi associati;
      – le imprese di trasporto marittimo e di armamenti che forniscono le navi, gli aerei, gli elicotteri e i droni che costituiscono i muri marittimi dell’Europa per tentare di controllare i flussi migratori nel Mediterraneo, in particolare le operazioni di Frontex, l’operazione Sophia e l’operazione italiana Mare Nostrum;
      – e le imprese specializzate in informatica e in sicurezza incaricate di sviluppare, eseguire, estendere e mantenere i sistemi dell’UE che controllano i movimento delle persone, quali SIS II (Schengen Information System) e EES (Entry/Exii Scheme), che costituiscono i muri virtuali dell’Europa.
      Dei budget fiorenti

      Il flusso di denaro dai contribuenti ai costruttori di muri è stato estremamente lucrativo e non cessa di aumentare. Il report rivela che dalla fine della guerra fredda, le imprese hanno raccolto i profitti di almeno 900 milioni di euro di spese dei paesi dell’UE per i muri fisici e per le recinzioni. Con i dati parziali (sia nella portata e che negli anni), i costi reali raggiungerebbero almeno 1 miliardo di euro. Inoltre, le imprese che forniscono la tecnologia e i servizi che accompagnano i muri hanno ugualmente beneficiato di un flusso costante di finanziamenti da parte dell’UE, in particolare i Fondi per le frontiere esterne (1,7 miliardi di euro, 2007-2013) e i Fondi per la sicurezza interna - Fondi per le Frontiere (2,76 miliardi di euro, 2014-2020).

      Le spese dell’UE per i muri marittimi hanno raggiunto almeno 676,4 milioni di euro tra il 2006 e il 2017 (di cui 534 milioni sono stati spesi da Frontex, 28 milioni dall’UE nell’operazione Sophia e 114 milioni dall’Italia nell’operazione Mare Nostrum) e sarebbero molto superiori se si includessero tutte le operazioni delle guardie costiera nazionali nel Mediterraneo.

      Questa esplosione dei budget per le frontiere ha le condizioni per proseguire. Nel quadro del suo budget per il prossimo ciclo di bilancio dell’Unione Europea (2021-2027), la Commissione europea ha attribuito 8,02 miliardi di euro al suo fondo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (2021-2027), 11,27 miliardi a Frontex (dei quali 2,2 miliardi saranno utilizzati per l’acquisizione, il mantenimento e l’utilizzo di mezzi aerei, marittimi e terrestri) e almeno 1,9 miliardi di euro di spese totali (2000-2027) alle sue banche dati di identificazione e a Eurosur (il sistemo europeo di sorveglianza delle frontiere).
      I principali attori del settore degli armamenti

      Tre giganti europei del settore della difesa e della sicurezza giocano un ruolo cruciale nei differenti tipi di frontiere d’Europa: Thales, Leonardo e Airbus.

      – Thales è un’impresa francese specializzata negli armamenti e nella sicurezza, con una presenza significativa nei Paesi Bassi, che produce sistemi radar e sensori utilizzati da numerose navi della sicurezza frontaliera. I sistemi Thales, per esempio, sono stati utilizzati dalle navi olandesi e portoghesi impiegate nelle operazioni di Frontex.
      Thales produce ugualmente sistemi di sorveglianza marittima per droni e lavora attualmente per sviluppare una infrastruttura di sorveglianza delle frontiere per Eurosus, che permetta di seguire e controllare i rifugiati prima che raggiungano l’Europa con l’aiuto di applicazioni per Smartphone, e studia ugualmente l’utilizzo di “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites - HAPS” per la sicurezza delle frontiere, per l’Agenzia spaziale europea e Frontex. Thales fornisce attualmente il sistema di sicurezza del porto altamente militarizzato di Calais.
      Con l’acquisto nel 2019 di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza e identità (biometrica), Thales diventa un attore importante nello sviluppo e nel mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE. L’impresa ha partecipato a 27 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      – La società di armamenti italiana Leonardo (originariamente Finmeccanica o Leonardo-Finmeccanica) è uno dei principali fornitori di elicotteri per la sicurezza delle frontiere, utilizzati dalle operazioni Mare Nostrum, Hera e Sophia in Italia. Ha ugualmente fatto parte dei principali fornitori di UAV (o droni), ottenendo un contratto di 67,1 milioni di euro nel 2017 con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima) per fornire le agenzie di guardia costiera dell’UE.
      Leonardo faceva ugualmente parte di un consorzio che si è visto attribuire un contratto di 142,1 milioni di euro nel 2019 per attuare e assicurare il mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE, ossia il Sistema di entrata/uscita (EES). La società detiene, con Thales, Telespazio, che partecipa ai progetti di osservazione dai satelliti dell’UE (React e Copernicus) utilizzati per controllare le frontiere. Leonardo ha partecipato a 24 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere, tra cui lo sviluppo di Eurosur.

      – Il gigante degli armamenti pan-europei Airbus è un importante fornitore di elicotteri utilizzati nella sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime e di alcune frontiere terrestri, impiegati da Belgio, Francia, Germania, Grecia, Italia, Lituania e Spagna, in particolare nelle operazioni marittime Sophia, Poseidon e Triton. Airbus e le sue filiali hanno partecipato almeno a 13 progetti di ricerca sulla sicurezza delle frontiere finanziati dall’UE, tra cui OCEAN2020, PERSEUS e LOBOS.

      Il ruolo chiave di queste società di armamenti in realtà non è sorprendente. Come è stato dimostrato da “Border Wars” (2016), queste imprese, in quanto appartenenti a lobby come EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza) e ASD (Associazione delle industrie aerospaziali e della difesa in Europa), hanno ampiamente contribuito a influenzare l’orientamento della politica delle frontiere dell’UE. Paradossalmente, questi stessi marchi fanno ugualmente parte dei quattro più grandi venditori europei di armi al Medio Oriente e all’Africa del Nord, contribuendo così ad alimentare i conflitti all’origine di queste migrazioni forzate.

      Allo stesso modo Indra gioca un ruolo non indifferente nel controllo delle frontiere in Spagna e nel Mediterraneo. L’impresa ha ottenuto una serie di contratti per fortificare Ceuta e Melilla (enclavi spagnole nel Nord del Marocco). Indra ha ugualmente sviluppato il sistema di controllo delle frontiere SIVE (con sistemi radar, di sensori e visivi) che è installato nella maggior parte delle frontiere della Spagna, così come in Portogallo e in Romania. Nel luglio 2018, Indra ha ottenuto un contratto di 10 milioni di euro per assicurare la gestione di SIVE su più siti per due anni. L’impresa è molto attiva nel fare lobby presso l’UE. È ugualmente una dei grandi beneficiari dei finanziamenti per la ricerca dell’UE, che assicurano il coordinamento del progetto PERSEUS per lo sviluppo di Eurosur e il Seahorse Network, la rete di scambio di informazioni tra le forze di polizia dei paesi mediterranei (in Europa e in Africa) per fermare le migrazioni.

      Le società di armamenti israeliane hanno anch’esse ottenuto numerosi contratti nel quadro della sicurezza delle frontiere in UE. Nel 2018, Frontex ha selezionato il drone Heron delle Israel Aerospace Industries per i voli di sorveglianza degli esperimenti pilota nel Mediterraneo. Nel 2015, la società israeliana Elbit Systems ha venduto sei dei suoi droni Hermes al Corpo di guardie di frontiera svizzero, nel quadro di un contratto controverso di 230 milioni di euro. Ha anche firmato in seguito un contratto per droni con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima), in quanto subappaltatore della società portoghese CEIIA (2018), così come dei contratti per equipaggiare tre navi di pattugliamento per la Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
      Gli appaltatori dei muri fisici

      La maggioranza di muri e recinzioni che sono stati rapidamente eretti attraverso l’Europa, sono stati costruiti da società di BTP nazionali/società nazionali di costruzioni, ma un’impresa europea ha dominato nel mercato: la European Security Fencing, un produttore spagnolo di filo spinato, in particolare di un filo a spirale chiamato “concertina”. È famosa per aver fornito i fili spinati delle recinzioni che circondano Ceuta e Melilla. L’impresa ha ugualmente dotato di fili spinati le frontiere tra l’Ungheria e la Serbia, e i suoi fili spinati “concertina” sono stati installati alle frontiere tra Bulgaria e Turchia e tra l’Austria e la Slovenia, così come a Calais e, per qualche giorno, alla frontiera tra Ungheria e Slovenia, prima di essere ritirati. Dato che essi detengono il monopolio sul mercato da un po’ di tempo a questa parte, è probabile che i fili spinati “concertina” siano stati utilizzati presso altre frontiere in Europa.

      Tra le altre imprese che hanno fornito i muri e le tecnologie ad essi associate, si trova DAT-CON (Croazia, Cipro, Macedonia, Moldavia, Slovenia e Ucraina), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén e Eulen (Spagna/Marocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov et Indra (Bulgaria/Turchia), Nordecon e Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft e SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Lettonia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lituania/Russi), Minis e Legi-SGS (Slovenia/Croazia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia e Zaun Ltd (Francia/Regno Unito).

      I costi reali dei muri e delle tecnologie associate superano spesso le stime originali. Numerose accuse e denunce per corruzione sono state allo stesso modo formulate, in certi casi perché i progetti erano stati attribuiti a delle imprese che appartenevano ad amici di alti funzionari. In Slovenia, per esempio, accuse di corruzione riguardanti un contratto per la costruzione di muri alle frontiere hanno portato a tre anni di battaglie legali per avere accesso ai documenti; la questione è passata poi alla Corte suprema.

      Malgrado tutto ciò, il Fondo europeo per le frontiere esterne ha sostenuto finanziariamente le infrastrutture e i servizi tecnologici di numerose operazioni alle frontiere degli Stati membri. In Macedonia, per esempio, l’UE ha versato 9 milioni di euro per finanziare dei veicoli di pattugliamento, delle telecamere a visione notturna, dei rivelatori di battito cardiaco e sostegno tecnico alle guardie di frontiera nell’aiuto della gestione della sua frontiera meridionale.
      Gli speculatori dei muri marittimi

      I dati che permettono di determinare quali imbarcazioni, elicotteri e aerei sono utilizzati nelle operazioni marittime in Europa mancano di trasparenza. È dunque difficile recuperare tutte le informazioni. Le nostre ricerche mostrano comunque che tra le principali società implicate figurano i giganti europei degli armamenti Airbus e Leonardo, così come grandi imprese di costruzione navale come l’olandese Damen e l’italiana Fincantieri.

      Le imbarcazioni di pattugliamento di Damen sono servite per delle operazioni frontaliere portate avanti da Albania, Belgio, Bulgaria, Portogallo, Paesi Bassi, Romania, Svezia e Regno Unito, così come per le vaste operazioni di Frontex (Poseidon, Triton e Themis), per l’operazione Sophia e hanno ugualmente sostento la NATO nell’operazione Poseidon.

      Al di fuori dell’Europa, la Libia, il Marocco, la Tunisia e la Turchia utilizzano delle imbarcazioni Damen per la sicurezza delle frontiere, spesso in collaborazione con l’UE o i suoi Stati membri. Per esempio, le sei navi Damen che la Turchia ha comprato per la sua guardia costiera nel 2006, per un totale di 20 milioni di euro, sono state finanziate attraverso lo strumento europeo che contribuirebbe alla stabilità e alla pace (IcSP), destinato a mantenere la pace e a prevenire i conflitti.

      La vendita di imbarcazioni Damen alla Libia mette in evidenza l’inquietante costo umano di questo commercio. Nel 2012, Damen ha fornito quattro imbarcazioni di pattugliamento alla guardia costiera libica, che sono state vendute come equipaggiamento civile col fine di evitare la licenza di esportazione di armi nei Paesi Bassi. I ricercatori hanno poi scoperto che non solo le imbarcazioni erano state vendute con dei punti di fissaggio per le armi, ma che erano state in seguito armate ed utilizzate per fermare le imbarcazioni di rifugiati. Numerosi incidenti che hanno implicato queste imbarcazioni sono stati segnalati, tra i quali l’annegamento di 20 o 30 rifugiati. Damen si è rifiutata di commentare, dichiarando di aver convenuto col governo libico di non divulgare alcuna informazione riguardante le imbarcazioni.

      Numerosi costruttori navali nazionali, oltre a Damen, giocano un ruolo determinante nelle operizioni marittime poiché sono sistematicamente scelti con priorità dai paesi partecipanti a ogni operazione di Frontex o ad altre operazioni nel Mediterraneo. Tutte le imbarcazioni fornite dall’Italia all’operazione Sophia sono state costruite da Fincantieri e tutte quelle spagnole sono fornite da Navantia e dai suoi predecessori. Allo stesso modo, la Francia si rifornisce da DCN/DCNS, ormai Naval Group, e tutte le imbarcazioni tedesche sono state costruite da diversi cantieri navali tedeschi (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Altre imprese hanno partecipato alle operazioni di Frontex, tra cui la società greca Motomarine Shipyards, che ha prodotto i pattugliatori rapidi Panther 57 utilizzati dalla guardia costiera greca, così come la Hellenic Shipyards e la Israel Shipyards.

      La società austriaca Schiebel, che fornisce i droni S-100, gioca un ruolo importante nella sorveglianza aerea delle attività marittime. Nel novembre 2018, è stata selezionata dall’EMSA per un contratto di sorveglianza marittima di 24 milioni di euro riguardante differenti operazioni che includevano la sicurezza delle frontiere. Dal 2017, Schiebel ha ugualmente ottenuto dei contratti con la Croazia, la Danimarca, l’Islanda, l’Italia, il Portogallo e la Spagna. L’impresa ha un passato controverso: ha venduto dei droni a numerosi paesi in conflitto armato o governati da regimi repressivi come la Libia, il Myanmar, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e lo Yemen.

      La Finlandia e i Paesi Bassi hanno impiegato degli aerei Dornier rispettivamente nel quadro delle operazioni Hermès, Poseidon e Triton. Dornier appartiene ormai alla filiale americana della società di armamenti israeliana Elbit Systems.
      CAE Aviation (Lussemburgo), DEA Aviation (Regno Unito) e EASP Air (Paesi Bassi) hanno tutte ottenuto dei contratti di sorveglianza aerea per Frontex.
      Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Leonardo e l’americana Lockheed Martin hanno fornito il più grande numero di aerei utilizzati per l’operazione Sophia.

      L’UE e i suoi Stati membri difendono le loro operazioni marittime pubblicizzando il loro ruolo nel salvataggio dei rifugiati in mare. Ma non è questo il loro obiettivo principale, come sottolinea il direttore di Frontex Fabrice Leggeri nell’aprile 2015, dichiarando che “le azioni volontarie di ricerca e salvataggio” non fanno parte del mandato affidato a Frontex, e che salvare delle vite non dovrebbe essere una priorità. La criminalizzazione delle operazioni di salvataggio da parte delle ONG, gli ostacoli che esse incontrano, così come la violenza e i respingimenti illegali dei rifugiati, spesso denunciati, illustrano bene il fatto che queste operazioni marittime sono volte soprattutto a costituire muri piuttosto che missioni umanitarie.
      I muri virtuali

      I principali contratti dell’UE legati ai muri virtuali sono stati affidati a due imprese, a volte in quanto leader di un consorzio.
      Sopra Steria è il partner principale per lo sviluppo e il mantenimento del Sistema d’informazione dei visti (SIV), del Sistema di informazione Schengen (SIS II) e di Eurodac (European Dactyloscopy) e GMV ha firmato una serie di contratti per Eurosur. I sistemi che essi concepiscono permettono di controllare e di sorvegliare i movimenti delle persone attraverso l’Europa e, sempre più spesso, al di là delle sue frontiere.

      Sopra Steria è un’impresa francese di servizi per consultazioni in tecnologia che ha, ad oggi, ottenuto dei contratti con l’UE per un valore totale di più di 150 milioni di euro. Nel quadro di alcuni di questi grossi contratti, Sopra Steria ha formato dei consorzi con HP Belgio, Bull e 3M Belgio.

      Malgrado l’ampiezza di questi mercati, Sopra Steria ha ricevuto importanti critiche per la sua mancanza di rigore nel rispetto delle tempistiche e dei budget. Il lancio di SIS II è stato costantemente ritardato, costringendo la Commissione a prolungare i contratti e ad aumentare i budget. Sopra Steria aveva ugualmente fatto parte di un altro consorzio, Trusted Borders, impegnato nello sviluppo del programma e-Borders nel Regno Unito. Quest’ultimo è terminato nel 2010 dopo un accumulo di ritardi e di mancate consegne. Tuttavia, la società ha continuato a ottenere contratti, a causa del suo quasi monopolio di conoscenze e di relazioni con i rappresentanti dell’UE. Il ruolo centrale di Sopra Steria nello sviluppo dei sistemi biometrici dell’UE ha ugualmente portato alla firma di altri contratti nazionali con, tra gli altri, il Belgio, la Bulgaria, la Repubblica ceca, la Finlandia, la Francia, la Germania, la Romania e la Slovenia.

      GMV, un’impresa tecnologica spagnola, ha concluso una serie di grossi contratti per Eurosur, dopo la sua fase sperimentale nel 2010, per almeno 25 milioni di euro. Essa rifornisce ugualmente di tecnologie la Guardia Civil spagnola, tecnologie quali, ad esempio, i centri di controllo del suo Sistema integrato di sorveglianza esterna (SIVE), sistema di sicurezza delle frontiere, così come rifornisce di servizi di sviluppo logistico Frontex. L’impresa ha partecipato ad almeno dieci progetti di ricerca finanziati dall’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      La maggior parte dei grossi contratti riguardanti i muri virtuali che non sono stati conclusi con consorzi di cui facesse parte Sopra Steria, sono stati attribuiti da eu-LISA (l’Agenzia europea per la gestione operazionale dei sistemi di informazione su vasta scale in seno allo spazio di libertà, di sicurezza e di giustizia) a dei consorzi di imprese specializzate nell’informazione e nelle nuove tecnologie, tra questi: Accenture, Atos Belgium e Morpho (rinominato Idemia).
      Lobby

      Come testimonia il nostro report “Border Wars”, il settore della difesa e della sicurezza, grazie ad una lobbying efficace, ha un’influenza considerabile nell’elaborazione delle politiche di difesa e di sicurezza dell’UE. Le imprese di questo settore industriale sono riuscite a posizionarsi come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, portando avanti il loro discorso secondo il quale la migrazione è prima di tutto una minaccia per la sicurezza che deve essere combattuta tramite mezzi militari e securitari. Questo crea così una domanda continua del catalogo sempre più fornito di equipaggiamenti e servizi che esse forniscono per la sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere.

      Un numero alto di imprese che abbiamo nominato, in particolare le grandi società di armamenti, fanno parte dell’EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza), il più importante gruppo di pressione sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      Molte imprese informatiche che hanno concepito i muri virtuali dell’UE sono membri dell’EAB (Associazione Europea per la Biometria). L’EOS ha un “Gruppo di lavoro sulla sicurezza integrata delle frontiere” per “permettere lo sviluppo e l’adozione delle migliori soluzioni tecnologiche per la sicurezza delle frontiere sia ai checkpoint che lungo le frontiere marittime e terrestri”.
      Il gruppo di lavoro è presieduto da Giorgio Gulienetti, della società di armi italiana Leonardo, Isto Mattila (diplomato all’università di scienze applicate) e Peter Smallridge di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza numerica, recentemente acquisita da Thales.

      I lobbisti di imprese e i rappresentanti di questi gruppi di pressione incontrano regolarmente le istituzioni dell’UE, tra cui la Commissione europea, nel quadro di comitati di consiglio ufficiali, pubblicano proposte influenti, organizzano incontri tra il settore industriale, i policy-makers e i dirigenti e si ritrovano allo stesso modo in tutti i saloni, le conferenze e i seminari sulla difesa e la sicurezza.

      Airbus, Leonardo e Thales e l’EOS hanno anche assistito a 226 riunioni ufficiali di lobby con la Commissione europea tra il 2014 e il 2019. In queste riunioni, i rappresentanti del settore si presentano come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, e propongono i loro prodotti e servizi come soluzione alle “minacce alla sicurezza” costituite dall’immigrazione. Nel 2017, queste stesse imprese e l’EOS hanno speso fino a 2,56 milioni di euro in lobbying.

      Si constata una relazione simile per quanto riguarda i muri virtuali: il Centro comune della ricerca della Commissione europea domanda apertamente che le politiche pubbliche favoriscano “l’emergenza di una industria biometrica europea dinamica”.
      Un business mortale, una scelta

      La conclusione di questa inchiesta sul business dell’innalzamento di muri è chiara: la presenza di un’Europa piena di muri si rivela molto fruttuosa per una larga fetta di imprese del settore degli armamenti, della difesa, dell’informatica, del trasporto marittimo e delle imprese di costruzioni. I budget che l’UE ha pianificato per la sicurezza delle frontiere nei prossimi dieci anni mostrano che si tratta di un commercio che continua a prosperare.

      Si tratta altresì di un commercio mortale. A causa della vasta militarizzazione delle frontiere dell’Europa sulla terraferma e in mare, i rifugiati e i migranti intraprendono dei percorsi molto più pericolosi e alcuni si trovano anche intrappolati in terribili condizioni in paesi limitrofi come la Libia. Non vengono registrate tutte le morti, ma quelle che sono registrate nel Mediterraneo mostrano che il numero di migranti che annegano provando a raggiungere l’Europa continua ad aumentare ogni anno.

      Questo stato di cose non è inevitabile. È il risultato sia di decisioni politiche prese dall’UE e dai suoi Stati membri, sia dalle decisioni delle imprese di trarre profitto da queste politiche. Sono rare le imprese che prendono posizione, come il produttore tedesco di filo spinato Mutinox che ha dichiarato nel 2015 che non avrebbe venduto i suoi prodotti al governo ungherese per il seguente motivo: “I fili spinati sono concepiti per impedire atti criminali, come il furto. Dei rifugiati, bambini e adulti, non sono dei criminali”.

      È tempo che altri politici e capi d’impresa riconoscano questa stessa verità: erigere muri contro le popolazioni più vulnerabili viola i diritti umani e costituisce un atto immorale che sarà evidentemente condannato dalla storia.

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, è tempo che l’Europa abbatta i suoi nuovi muri.

      https://www.meltingpot.org/La-costruzione-di-muri-un-business.html

    • How the arms industry drives Fortress Europe’s expansion

      In recent years, rising calls for deterrence have intensified the physical violence migrants face at the EU border. The externalization of the border through deals with sending and transit countries signals the expansion of this securitization process. Financial gains by international arms firms in this militarization trend form an obstacle for policy change.

      In March, April, and May of this year, multiple European countries deployed military forces to their national borders. This was done to assist with controls and patrols in the wake of border closures and other movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 crisis. Poland deployed 1,460 soldiers to the border to support the Border Guard and police as part of a larger military operation in reaction to Covid-19. And the Portuguese police used military drones as a complement to their land border checks. According to overviews from NATO, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands (military police), Slovakia, and Slovenia all stationed armed forces at their national borders.

      While some of these deployments have been or will be rolled back as the Corona crisis dies down, they are not exceptional developments. Rather, using armed forces for border security and control has been a common occurrence at EU external borders since the so-called refugee crisis of 2015. They are part of the continuing militarisation of European border and migration policies, which is known to put refugees at risk but is increasingly being expanded to third party countries. Successful lobbying from the military and security industry has been an important driver for these policies, from which large European arms companies have benefited.

      The militarization of borders happens when EU member states send armies to border regions, as they did in Operation Sophia off the Libyan coast. This was the first outright EU military mission to stop migration. But border militarization also includes the use of military equipment for migration control, such as helicopters and patrol vessels, as well as the the EU-wide surveillance system Eurosur, which connects surveillance data from all individual member states. Furthermore, EU countries now have over 1,000 kilometers of walls and fences on their borders. These are rigged with surveillance, monitoring, and detection technologies, and accompanied by an increasing use of drones and other autonomous systems. The EU also funds a constant stream of Research & Technology (R&T) projects to develop new technologies and services to monitor and manage migration.

      This process has been going on for decades. The Schengen Agreement of 1985, and the subsequent creation of the Schengen Area, which coupled the opening of the internal EU borders with robust control at the external borders, can be seen as a starting point for these developments. After 2011, when the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ led to fears of mass migration to Europe, and especially since the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the EU accelerated the boosting and militarising of border security, enormously. Since then, stopping migration has been at the top of the EU agenda.

      An increasingly important part of the process of border militarization isn’t happening at the European borders, but far beyond them. The EU and its member states are incentivizing third party countries to help stop migrants long before they reach Europe. This externalising of borders has taken many forms, from expanding the goals of EUCAP missions in Mali and Niger to include the prevention of irregular migration, to funding and training the Libyan Coast Guard to return refugees back to torture and starvation in the infamous detention centers in Libya. It also includes the donation of border security equipment, for example from Germany to Tunisia, and funding for purchases, such as Turkey’s acquisition of coast guard vessels to strengthen its operational capacities.

      Next to the direct consequences of European border externalisation efforts, these policies cause and worsen problems in the third party countries concerned: diverting development funds and priorities, ruining migration-based economies, and strengthening authoritarian regimes such as those in Chad, Belarus, Eritrea, and Sudan by providing funding, training and equipment to their military and security forces. Precisely these state organs are most responsible for repression and abuses of human rights. All this feeds drivers of migration, including violence, repression, and unemployment. As such, it is almost a guarantee for more refugees in the future.

      EU border security agency Frontex has also extended its operations into non-EU-countries. Ongoing negotiations and conclusions of agreements with Balkan countries resulted in the first operation in Albania having started in May 2019. And this is only a small part of Frontex’ expanding role in recent years. In response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the European Commission launched a series of proposals that saw large increases in the powers of the agency, including giving member states binding advice to boost their border security, and giving Frontex the right to intervene in member states’ affairs (even without their consent) by decision of the Commission or Council.

      These proposals also included the creation of a 10,000 person strong standing corps of border guards and a budget to buy or lease its own equipment. Concretely, Frontex started with a budget of €6 million in 2005, which grew to €143 million in 2015. This was then quickly increased again from €239 million in 2016 to €460 million in 2020. The enormous expansion of EU border security and control has been accompanied by rapidly increasing budgets in general. In recent years, billions of euros have been spent on fortifying borders, setting up biometric databases, increasing surveillance capacities, and paying non-EU-countries to play their parts in this expansion process.

      Negotiations about the next seven-year-budget for the EU, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, are still ongoing. In the European Commission’s latest proposal, which is clearly positioned as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund for strengthening member states’ border security, the Integrated Border Management Fund, has been allotted €12.5 billion. Its predecessors, the External Borders Fund (2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders (2014-2020), had much smaller budgets: €1.76 billion and €2.70 billion, respectively. For Frontex, €7.5 billion is reserved, with €2.2 billion earmarked for purchasing or leasing equipment such as helicopters, drones, and patrol vessels. These huge budget increases are exemplary of the priority the EU attaches to stopping migration.

      The narrative underlying these policies and budget growths is the perception of migration as a threat; a security problem. As researcher, Ainhoa Ruiz (Centre Delàs) writes, “the securitisation process also includes militarisation,” because “the prevailing paradigm for providing security is based on military principles: the use of force and coercion, more weapons equating to more security, and the achievement of security by eliminating threats.”

      This narrative hasn’t come out of the blue. It is pushed by right wing politicians and often followed by centrist and leftist parties afraid of losing voters. Importantly, it is also promoted by an extensive and successful industrial lobby. According to Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Assistant Professor in Global Refugee Studies, Aalborg University), arms companies “establish themselves as experts on border security, and use this position to frame immigration to Europe as leading to evermore security threats in need of evermore advanced [security] products.” The narrative of migration as a security problem thus sets the stage for militaries, and the security companies behind the commercial arms lobby, to offer their goods and services as the solution. The range of militarization policies mentioned so far reflects the broad adoption of this narrative.

      The lobby organizations of large European military and security companies regularly interact with the European Commission and EU border agencies. They have meetings, organise roundtables, and see each other at military and security fairs and conferences. Industry representatives also take part in official advisory groups, are invited to present new arms and technologies, and write policy proposals. These proposals can sometimes be so influential that they are adopted as policy, almost unamended.

      This happened, for instance, when the the Commission decided to open up the Instrument contributing to Security and Peace, a fund meant for peace-building and conflict prevention. The fund’s terms were expanded to cover provision of third party countries with non-lethal security equipment, for example, for border security purposes. The new policy document for this turned out to be a step-by-step reproduction of an earlier proposal from lobby organisation, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Yet, perhaps the most far-reaching success of this kind is the expansion of Frontex, itself, into a European Border Guard. Years before it actually happened, the industry had already been pushing for this outcome.

      The same companies that are at the forefront of the border security and control lobby are, not surprisingly, also the big winners of EU and member states’ contracts in these areas. These include three of the largest European (and global) arms companies, namely, Airbus (Paneuropean), Leonardo (Italy) and Thales (France). These companies are active in many aspects of the border security and control market. Airbus’ and Leonardo’s main product in this field are helicopters, with EU funds paying for many purchases by EU and third countries. Thales provides radar, for example, for border patrol vessels, and is heavily involved in biometric and digital identification, especially after having acquired market leader, Gemalto, last year.

      These three companies are the main beneficiaries of the European anti-migration obsession. At the same time, these very three companies also contribute to new migration streams to Europe’s shores through their trade in arms. They are responsible for significant parts of Europe’s arms exports to countries at war, and they provide the arms used by parties in internal armed conflicts, by human rights violators, and by repressive regimes. These are the forces fueling the reasons for which people are forced to flee in the first place.

      Many other military and security companies also earn up to hundreds of millions of euros from large border security and control projects oriented around logistics and transport. Dutch shipbuilder Damen provided not only many southern European countries with border patrol vessels, but also controversially sold those to Libya and Turkey, among others. Its ships have also been used in Frontex operations, in Operation Sophia, and on the Channel between Calais and Dover.

      The Spanish company, European Security Fencing, provided razor wire for the fences around the Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in Morocco, as well as the fence at Calais and the fences on the borders of Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and Greece leased border surveillance drones from Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). These are Israeli military companies that routinely promote their products as ‘combat-proven’ or ‘battlefield tested’ against Palestinians.

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe. These are just a few examples of the companies that benefit from the billions of euros that the EU and its member states spend on a broad range of purchases and projects in their bid to stop migration.

      The numbers of forcibly displaced people in the world grew to a staggering 79.5 million by the end of last year. Instead of helping to eliminate the root causes of migration, EU border and migration policies, as well as its arms exports to the rest of the world, are bound to lead to more refugees in the future. The consequences of these policies have already been devastating. As experts in the field of migration have repeatedly warned, the militarisation of borders primarily pushes migrants to take alternative migration routes that are often more dangerous and involve the risks of relying on criminal smuggling networks. The Mediterranean Sea has become a sad witness of this, turning into a graveyard for a growing percentage of refugees trying to cross it.

      The EU approach to border security doesn’t stand on its own. Many other countries, in particular Western ones and those with authoritarian leaders, follow the same narrative and policies. Governments all over the world, but particularly those in the US, Australia, and Europe, continue to spend billions of euros on border security and control equipment and services. And they plan to increase budgets even more in the coming years. For military and security companies, this is good news; the global border security market is expected to grow by over 7% annually for the next five years to a total of $65 billion in 2025. It looks like they will belong to the very few winners of increasingly restrictive policies targeting vulnerable people on the run.

      https://crisismag.net/2020/06/27/how-the-arms-industry-drives-fortress-europes-expansion
      #industrie_militaire #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières_extérieures #Operation_Sophia #Eurosur #surveillance #drones #technologie #EUCAP #externalisation #Albanie #budget #Integrated_Border_Management_Fund #menace #lobby_industriel #Instrument_contributing_to_Security_and_Peace #conflits #paix #prévention_de_conflits #Aerospace_and_Defence_Industries_Association_of_Europe (#ASD) #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #hélicoptères #radar #biométrie #identification_digitale #Gemalto #commerce_d'armes #armement #Damen #European_Security_Fencing #barbelé #European_Maritime_Safety_Agency (#EMSA) #Elbit #Israel_Aerospace_Industries (#IAI) #Civipol #Safran #base_de_données

      –—

      Pour @etraces :

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe

    • GUARDING THE FORTRESS. The role of Frontex in the militarisation and securitisation of migration flows in the European Union

      The report focuses on 19 Frontex operations run by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex) to explore how the agency is militarising borders and criminalising migrants, undermining fundamental rights to freedom of movement and the right to asylum.

      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.

      The report focuses on analysing the tools deployed by Fortress Europe, in this case through Frontex, to prevent the freedom of movement and the right to asylum, from its creation in 2004 to the present day.

      The sources used to write this report were from the EU and Frontex, based on its budgets and annual reports. The analysis focused on the Frontex regulations, the language used and its meaning, as well as the budgetary trends, identifying the most significant items – namely, the joint operations and migrant-return operations.

      A table was compiled of all the joint operations mentioned in the annual reports since the Agency was established in 2005 up to 2018 (see annexes). The joint operations were found on government websites but were not mentioned in the Frontex annual reports. Of these operations, we analysed those of the longest duration, or that have showed recent signs of becoming long-term operations. The joint operations are analysed in terms of their objectives, area of action, the mandates of the personnel deployed, and their most noteworthy characteristics.

      Basically, the research sought to answer the following questions: What policies are being implemented in border areas and in what context? How does Frontex act in response to migration movements? A second objective was to analyse how Frontex securitises the movement of refugees and other migrants, with the aim of contributing to the analysis of the process of border militarisation and the security policies applied to non-EU migrants by the EU and its Member States.

      https://www.tni.org/en/guarding-the-fortress

      Pour télécharger le rapport_
      https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/informe40_eng_ok.pdf

      #rapport #TNI #Transnational_institute

    • #Frontex aircraft : Below the radar against international law

      For three years, Frontex has been chartering small aircraft for the surveillance of the EU’s external borders. First Italy was thus supported, then Croatia followed. Frontex keeps the planes details secret, and the companies also switch off the transponders for position display during operations.

      The European Commission does not want to make public which private surveillance planes Frontex uses in the Mediterranean. In the non-public answer to a parliamentary question, the EU border agency writes that the information on the aircraft is „commercially confidential“ as it contains „personal data and sensitive operational information“.

      Frontex offers EU member states the option of monitoring their external borders using aircraft. For this „Frontex Aerial Surveillance Service“ (FASS), Frontex charters twin-engined airplanes from European companies. Italy first made use of the service in 2017, followed a year later by Croatia. In 2018, Frontex carried out at least 1,800 flight hours under the FASS, no figures are yet available for 2019.

      Air service to be supplemented with #drones

      The FASS flights are carried out under the umbrella of „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, which includes satellite surveillance as well as drones. Before the end of this year, the border agency plans to station large drones in the Mediterranean for up to four years. The situation pictures of the European Union’s „pre-frontier area“ are fed into the surveillance system EUROSUR, whose headquarter is located at Frontex in Warsaw. The national EUROSUR contact points, for example in Spain, Portugal and Italy, also receive this information.

      In addition to private charter planes, Frontex also uses aircraft and helicopters provided by EU Member States, in the central Mediterranean via the „Themis“ mission. The EU Commission also keeps the call signs of the state aircraft operating there secret. They would be considered „sensitive operational information“ and could not be disclosed to MEPs.

      Previously, the FOIA platform „Frag den Staat“ („Ask the State“) had also tried to find out details about the sea and air capacities of the member states in „Themis“. Frontex refused to provide any information on this matter. „Frag den Staat“ lost a case against Frontex before the European Court of Justice and is now to pay 23,700 Euros to the agency for legal fees.

      Real-time tracking with FlightAware

      The confidentiality of Frontex comes as a surprise, because companies that monitor the Mediterranean for the agency are known through a tender. Frontex has signed framework contracts with the Spanish arms group Indra as well as the charter companies CAE Aviation (Canada), Diamond-Executive Aviation (Great Britain) and EASP Air (Netherlands). Frontex is spending up to 14.5 million euros each on the contracts.

      Finally, online service providers such as FlightAware can also be used to draw conclusions about which private and state airplanes are flying for Frontex in the Mediterranean. For real-time positioning, the providers use data from ADS-B transponders, which all larger aircraft must have installed. A worldwide community of non-commercial trackers receives this geodata and feeds it into the Internet. In this way, for example, Italian journalist Sergio Scandura documents practically all movements of Frontex aerial assets in the central Mediterranean.

      Among the aircraft tracked this way are the twin-engined „DA-42“, „DA-62“ and „Beech 350“ of Diamond-Executive Aviation, which patrol the Mediterranean Sea on behalf of Frontex as „Osprey1“, „Osprey3“ and „Tasty“, in former times also „Osprey2“ and „Eagle1“. They are all operated by Diamond-Executive Aviation and take off and land at airports in Malta and Sicily.

      „Push-backs“ become „pull-backs“

      In accordance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees, the EU Border Agency may not return people to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Libya is not a safe haven; this assessment has been reiterated on several occasions by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, among others.

      Because these „push-backs“ are prohibited, Frontex has since 2017 been helping with so-called „pull-backs“ by bringing refugees back to Libya by the Libyan coast guard rather than by EU units. With the „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, Frontex is de facto conducting air reconnaissance for Libya. By November 2019, the EU border agency had notified Libyan authorities about refugee boats on the high seas in at least 42 cases.

      Many international law experts consider this practice illegal. Since Libya would not be able to track down the refugees without the help of Frontex, the agency must take responsibility for the refoulements. The lawyers Omer Shatz and Juan Branco therefore want to sue responsibles of the European Union before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Frontex watches refugees drown

      This is probably the reason why Frontex disguises the exact location of its air surveillance. Private maritime rescue organisations have repeatedly pointed out that Frontex aircrafts occasionally switch off their transponders so that they cannot be tracked via ADS-B. In the answer now available, this is confirmed by the EU Commission. According to this, the visibility of the aircraft would disclose „sensitive operational information“ and, in combination with other kinds of information, „undermine“ the operational objectives.

      The German Ministry of the Interior had already made similar comments on the Federal Police’s assets in Frontex missions, according to which „general tracking“ of their routes in real time would „endanger the success of the mission“.

      However, Frontex claims it did not issue instructions to online service providers to block the real-time position display of its planes, as journalist Scandura described. Nonetheless, the existing concealment of the operations only allows the conclusion that Frontex does not want to be controlled when the deployed aircraft watch refugees drown and Italy and Malta, as neighbouring EU member states, do not provide any assistance.

      https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/11/frontex-aircraft-blind-flight-against-international-law
      #avions #Italie #Croatie #confidentialité #transparence #Frontex_Aerial_Surveillance_Service (#FASS) #Multipurpose_Aerial_Surveillance #satellites #Méditerranée #Thermis #information_sensible #Indra #CAE_Aviation #Diamond-Executive_Aviation #EASP_Air #FlightAware #ADS-B #DA-42 #DA-62 #Beech_350 #Osprey1 #Osprey3 #Tasty #Osprey2 #Eagle1 #Malte #Sicile #pull-back #push-back #refoulement #Sergio_Scandura

    • Walls Must Fall: Ending the deadly politics of border militarisation - webinar recording
      This webinar explored the trajectory and globalization of border militarization and anti-migrant racism across the world, the history, ideologies and actors that have shaped it, the pillars and policies that underpin the border industrial complex, the resistance of migrants, refugees and activists, and the shifting dynamics within this pandemic.

      - #Harsha_Walia, author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013)
      - #Jille_Belisario, Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe (TMP-E)
      - #Todd_Miller, author of Empire of Borders (2020), Storming the Wall (2019) and TNI’s report More than A Wall (2019)
      - #Kavita_Krishnan, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA).
      https://www.tni.org/en/article/walls-must-fall
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8B-cJ2bTi8&feature=emb_logo

      #conférence #webinar

    • Le business meurtrier des frontières

      Le 21ème siècle sera-t-il celui des barrières ? Probable, au rythme où les frontières nationales se renforcent. Dans un livre riche et documenté, publié aux éditions Syllepse, le géographe Stéphane Rosière dresse un indispensable état des lieux.

      Une nuit du mois de juin, dans un centre de rétention de l’île de Rhodes, la police grecque vient chercher une vingtaine de migrant·e·s, dont deux bébés. Après un trajet en bus, elle abandonne le groupe dans un canot de sauvetage sans moteur, au milieu des eaux territoriales turques. En août, le New York Times publie une enquête révélant que cette pratique, avec la combinaison de l’arrivée aux affaires du premier ministre conservateur Kyriakos Mitsotakis et de la diffusion de la pandémie de Covid-19, est devenue courante depuis mars.

      Illégales au regard du droit international, ces expulsions illustrent surtout le durcissement constant de la politique migratoire de l’Europe depuis 20 ans. Elles témoignent aussi d’un processus mondial de « pixellisation » des frontières : celles-ci ne se réduisent pas à des lignes mais à un ensemble de points plus ou moins en amont ou en aval (ports, aéroports, eaux territoriales…), où opèrent les polices frontalières.
      La fin de la fin des frontières

      Plus largement, le récent ouvrage de Stéphane Rosière, Frontières de fer, le cloisonnement du monde, permet de prendre la mesure d’un processus en cours de « rebordering » à travers le monde. À la fois synthèse des recherches récentes sur les frontières et résultats des travaux de l’auteur sur la résurgence de barrières frontalières, le livre est une lecture incontournable sur l’évolution contemporaine des frontières nationales.

      D’autant qu’il n’y a pas si longtemps, la mondialisation semblait promettre l’affaissement des frontières, dans la foulée de la disparition de l’Union soviétique et, corollairement, de la généralisation de l’économie de marché. La Guerre froide terminée annonçait la « fin de l’histoire » et, avec elle, la disparition des limites territoriales héritées de l’époque moderne. Au point de ringardiser, rappelle Stéphane Rosière, les études sur les frontières au sein de la géographie des années 1990, parallèlement au succès d’une valorisation tous azimuts de la mobilité dans le discours politique dominant comme dans les sciences sociales.

      Trente ans après, le monde se réveille avec 25 000 kilomètres de barrières frontalières – record pour l’Inde, avec plus de 3 000 kilomètres de clôtures pour prévenir l’immigration depuis le Bangladesh. Barbelés, murs de briques, caméras, détecteurs de mouvements, grilles électrifiées, les dispositifs de contrôle frontalier fleurissent en continu sur les cinq continents.
      L’âge des « murs anti-pauvres »

      La contradiction n’est qu’apparente. Les barrières du 21e siècle ne ferment pas les frontières mais les cloisonnent – d’où le titre du livre. C’est-à-dire que l’objectif n’est pas de supprimer les flux mondialisés – de personnes et encore moins de marchandises ni de capitaux – mais de les contrôler. Les « teichopolitiques », terme qui recouvre, pour Stéphane Rosière, les politiques de cloisonnement de l’espace, matérialisent un « ordre mondial asymétrique et coercitif », dans lequel on valorise la mobilité des plus riches tout en assignant les populations pauvres à résidence.

      De fait, on observe que les barrières frontalières redoublent des discontinuités économiques majeures. Derrière l’argument de la sécurité, elles visent à contenir les mouvements migratoires des régions les plus pauvres vers des pays mieux lotis économiquement : du Mexique vers les États-Unis, bien sûr, ou de l’Afrique vers l’Europe, mais aussi de l’Irak vers l’Arabie Saoudite ou du Pakistan vers l’Iran.

      Les dispositifs de contrôle frontalier sont des outils parmi d’autres d’une « implacable hiérarchisation » des individus en fonction de leur nationalité. Comme l’a montré le géographe Matthew Sparke à propos de la politique migratoire nord-américaine, la population mondiale se trouve divisée entre une classe hypermobile de citoyen·ne·s « business-class » et une masse entravée de citoyen·ne·s « low-cost ». C’est le sens du « passport index » publié chaque année par le cabinet Henley : alors qu’un passeport japonais ou allemand donne accès à plus de 150 pays, ce chiffre descend en-dessous de 30 avec un passeport afghan ou syrien.
      Le business des barrières

      Si les frontières revêtent une dimension économique, c’est aussi parce qu’elles sont un marché juteux. À l’heure où les pays européens ferment des lits d’hôpital faute de moyens, on retiendra ce chiffre ahurissant : entre 2005 et 2016, le budget de Frontex, l’agence en charge du contrôle des frontières de l’Union européenne, est passé de 6,3 à 238,7 millions d’euros. À quoi s’ajoutent les budgets colossaux débloqués pour construire et entretenir les barrières – budgets entourés d’opacité et sur lesquels, témoigne l’auteur, il est particulièrement difficile d’enquêter, faute d’obtenir… des fonds publics.

      L’argent public alimente ainsi une « teichoéconomie » dont les principaux bénéficiaires sont des entreprises du BTP et de la sécurité européennes, nord-américaines, israéliennes et, de plus en plus, indiennes ou saoudiennes. Ce complexe sécuritaro-industriel, identifié par Julien Saada, commercialise des dispositifs de surveillance toujours plus sophistiqués et prospère au rythme de l’inflation de barrières entre pays, mais aussi entre quartiers urbains.

      Un business d’autant plus florissant qu’il s’auto-entretient, dès lors que les mêmes entreprises vendent des armes. On sait que les ventes d’armes, alimentant les guerres, stimulent les migrations : un « cercle vertueux » s’enclenche pour les entreprises du secteur, appelées à la rescousse pour contenir des mouvements de population qu’elles participent à encourager.
      « Mourir aux frontières »

      Bénéfices juteux, profits politiques, les barrières font des heureux. Elles tuent aussi et l’ouvrage de Stéphane Rosière se termine sur un décompte macabre. C’est, dit-il, une « guerre migratoire » qui est en cours. Guerre asymétrique, elle oppose la police armée des puissances économiques à des groupes le plus souvent désarmés, venant de périphéries dominées économiquement et dont on entend contrôler la mobilité. Au nom de la souveraineté des États, cette guerre fait plusieurs milliers de victimes par an et la moindre des choses est de « prendre la pleine mesure de la létalité contemporaine aux frontières ».

      Sur le blog :

      – Une synthèse sur les murs frontaliers : http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2019/01/28/lamour-des-murs

      – Le compte rendu d’un autre livre incontournable sur les frontières : http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2019/08/03/frontieres-en-mouvement

      – Une synthèse sur les barricades à l’échelle intraurbaine : http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2020/10/21/gated-communities-le-paradis-entre-quatre-murs

      http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2020/11/05/le-business-meurtrier-des-frontieres

    • How Private Security Firms Profit Off the Refugee Crisis

      The UK has pumped money to corporations turning #Calais into a bleak fortress.

      Tall white fences lined with barbed wire – welcome to Calais. The city in northern France is an obligatory stop for anyone trying to reach the UK across the channel. But some travellers are more welcome than others, and in recent decades, a slew of private security companies have profited millions of pounds off a very expensive – an unattractive – operation to keep migrants from crossing.

      Every year, thousands of passengers and lorries take the ferry at the Port of Calais-Fréthun, a trading route heavily relied upon by the UK for imports. But the entrance to the port looks more like a maximum-security prison than your typical EU border. Even before Brexit, the UK was never part of the Schengen area, which allows EU residents to move freely across 26 countries. For decades, Britain has strictly controlled its southern border in an attempt to stop migrants and asylum seekers from entering.

      As early as 2000, the Port of Calais was surrounded by a 2.8 metre-high fence to prevent people from jumping into lorries waiting at the ferry departure point. In 1999, the Red Cross set up a refugee camp in the nearby town of Sangatte which quickly became overcrowded. The UK pushed for it to be closed in 2002 and then negotiated a treaty with France to regulate migration between the two countries.

      The 2003 Le Toquet Treaty allowed the UK to check travellers on French soil before their arrival, and France to do the same on UK soil. Although the deal looks fair on paper, in practice it unduly burdens French authorities, as there are more unauthorised migrants trying to reach the UK from France than vice versa.

      The treaty effectively moved the UK border onto French territory, but people still need to cross the channel to request asylum. That’s why thousands of refugees from conflict zones like Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia have found themselves stranded in Calais, waiting for a chance to cross illegally – often in search of family members who’ve already made it to the UK. Many end up paying people smugglers to hide them in lorries or help them cross by boat.

      These underlying issues came to a head during the Syrian crisis, when refugees began camping out near Calais in 2014. The so-called Calais Jungle became infamous for its squalid conditions, and at its peak, hosted more than 7,000 people. They were all relocated to other centres in France before the camp was bulldozed in 2016. That same year, the UK also decided to build a €2.7 million border wall in Calais to block access to the port from the camp, but the project wasn’t completed until after the camp was cleared, attracting a fair deal of criticism. Between 2015 and 2018, the UK spent over €110 million on border security in France, only to top it up with over €56 million more in 2018.

      But much of this public money actually flows into the accounts of private corporations, hired to build and maintain the high-tech fences and conduct security checks. According to a 2020 report by the NGO Care4Calais, there are more than 40 private security companies working in the city. One of the biggest, Eamus Cork Solutions (ECS), was founded by a former Calais police officer in 2004 and is reported to have benefited at least €30 million from various contracts as of 2016.

      Stéphane Rosière, a geography professor at the University of Reims, wrote his book Iron Borders (only available in French) about the many border walls erected around the world. Rosière calls this the “security-industrial” complex – private firms that have largely replaced the traditional military-industrial sector in Europe since WW2.

      “These companies are getting rich by making security systems adaptable to all types of customers – individuals, companies or states,” he said. According to Rosière, three-quarters of the world’s border security barriers were built in the 21st century.

      Brigitte, a pensioner living close to the former site of the Calais Jungle, has seen her town change drastically over the past two decades. “Everything is cordoned off with wire mesh," she said. "I have the before and after photos, and it’s not a pretty sight. It’s just wire, wire, wire.” For the past 15 years, Brigitte has been opening her garage door for asylum seekers to stop by for a cup of tea and charge their phones and laptops, earning her the nickname "Mama Charge”.

      “For a while, the purpose of these fences and barriers was to stop people from crossing,” said François Guennoc, president of L’Auberge des Migrants, an NGO helping displaced migrants in Calais.

      Migrants have still been desperate enough to try their luck. “They risked a lot to get into the port area, and many of them came back bruised and battered,” Guennoc said. Today, walls and fences are mainly being built to deter people from settling in new camps near Calais after being evicted.

      In the city centre, all public squares have been fenced off. The city’s bridges have been fitted with blue lights and even with randomly-placed bike racks, so people won’t sleep under them.

      “They’ve also been cutting down trees for some time now,” said Brigitte, pointing to a patch near her home that was once woods. Guennoc said the authorities are now placing large rocks in areas where NGOs distribute meals and warm clothes, to prevent displaced people from receiving the donations. “The objective of the measures now is also to make the NGOs’ work more difficult,” he said.

      According to the NGO Refugee Rights Europe, about 1,500 men, women and minors were living in makeshift camps in and around Calais as of April 2020. In July 2020, French police raided a camp of over 500 people, destroying residents’ tents and belongings, in the largest operation since the Calais Jungle was cleared. An investigation by Slate found that smaller camps are cleared almost every day by the French police, even in the middle of winter. NGOs keep providing new tents and basic necessities to displaced residents, but they are frustrated by the waste of resources. The organisations are also concerned about COVID-19 outbreaks in the camps.

      As VICE World News has previously reported, the crackdown is only pushing people to take more desperate measures to get into the UK. Boat crossings reached record-highs in 2020, and four people have died since August 2020 while trying to cross, by land and sea. “When you create an obstacle, people find a way to get around it,” Guennoc said. “If they build a wall all the way along the coast to prevent boat departures, people will go to Normandy – and that has already started.” Crossing the open sea puts migrants at even greater risk.

      Rosière agrees security measures are only further endangering migrants.“All locks eventually open, no matter how complex they may be. It’s just a matter of time.”

      He believes the only parties who stand to profit from the status quo are criminal organisations and private security firms: “At the end of the day, this a messed-up use of public money.”

      https://www.vice.com/en/article/wx8yax/how-private-security-firms-profit-off-the-refugee-crisis

      En français:
      À Calais, la ville s’emmure
      https://www.vice.com/fr/article/wx8yax/a-calais-la-ville-semmure

    • Financing Border Wars. The border industry, its financiers and human rights

      This report seeks to explore and highlight the extent of today’s global border security industry, by focusing on the most important geographical markets—Australia, Europe, USA—listing the human rights violations and risks involved in each sector of the industry, profiling important corporate players and putting a spotlight on the key investors in each company.

      Executive summary

      Migration will be one of the defining human rights issues of the 21st century. The growing pressures to migrate combined with the increasingly militarised state security response will only exacerbate an already desperate situation for refugees and migrants. Refugees already live in a world where human rights are systematically denied. So as the climate crisis deepens and intersects with other economic and political crises, forcing more people from their homes, and as states retreat to ever more authoritarian security-based responses, the situation for upholding and supporting migrants’ rights looks ever bleaker.

      States, most of all those in the richest countries, bear the ultimate responsibility to uphold the human rights of refugees and migrants recognised under International Human Rights Law. Yet corporations are also deeply implicated. It is their finance, their products, their services, their infrastructure that underpins the structures of state migration and border control. In some cases, they are directly involved in human rights violations themselves; in other cases they are indirectly involved as they facilitate the system that systematically denies refugees and migrants their rights. Most of all, through their lobbying, involvement in government ‘expert’ groups, revolving doors with state agencies, it becomes clear that corporations are not just accidental beneficiaries of the militarisation of borders. Rather they actively shape the policies from which they profit and therefore share responsibility for the human rights violations that result.

      This state-corporate fusion is best described as a Border Industrial Complex, drawing on former US President Eisenhower’s warning of the dangers of a Military-Industrial Complex. Indeed it is noticeable that many of the leading border industries today are also military companies, seeking to diversify their security products to a rapidly expanding new market.

      This report seeks to explore and highlight the extent of today’s global border security industry, by focusing on the most important geographical markets—Australia, Europe, USA—listing the human rights violations and risks involved in each sector of the industry, profiling important corporate players and putting a spotlight on the key investors in each company.
      A booming industry

      The border industry is experiencing spectacular growth, seemingly immune to austerity or economic downturns. Market research agencies predict annual growth of the border security market of between 7.2% and 8.6%, reaching a total of $65–68 billion by 2025. The largest expansion is in the global Biometrics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) markets. Markets and Markets forecasts the biometric systems market to double from $33 billion in 2019 to $65.3 billion by 2024—of which biometrics for migration purposes will be a significant sector. It says that the AI market will equal US$190.61 billion by 2025.

      The report investigates five key sectors of the expanding industry: border security (including monitoring, surveillance, walls and fences), biometrics and smart borders, migrant detention, deportation, and audit and consultancy services. From these sectors, it profiles 23 corporations as significant actors: Accenture, Airbus, Booz Allen Hamilton, Classic Air Charter, Cobham, CoreCivic, Deloitte, Elbit, Eurasylum, G4S, GEO Group, IBM, IDEMIA, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Mitie, Palantir, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Serco, Sopra Steria, Thales, Thomson Reuters, Unisys.

      – The border security and control field, the technological infrastructure of security and surveillance at the border, is led by US, Australian, European and Israeli firms including Airbus, Elbit, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Leonardo and Thales— all of which are among the world’s major arms sellers. They benefit not only from border contracts within the EU, US, and Australia but also increasingly from border externalisation programmes funded by these same countries. Jean Pierre Talamoni, head of sales and marketing at Airbus Defence and Space (ADS), said in 2016 that he estimates that two thirds of new military market opportunities over the next 10 years will be in Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Companies are also trying to muscle in on providing the personnel to staff these walls, including border guards.

      - The Smart Borders sector encompasses the use of a broad range of (newer) technologies, including biometrics (such as fingerprints and iris-scans), AI and phone and social media tracking. The goal is to speed up processes for national citizens and other acceptable travellers and stop or deport unwanted migrants through the use of more sophisticated IT and biometric systems. Key corporations include large IT companies, such as IBM and Unisys, and multinational services company Accenture for whom migration is part of their extensive portfolio, as well as small firms, such as IDEMIA and Palantir Technologies, for whom migration-related work is central. The French public–private company Civipol, co-owned by the state and several large French arms companies, is another key player, selected to set up fingerprint databases of the whole population of Mali and Senegal.

      – Deportation. With the exception of the UK and the US, it is uncommon to privatise deportation. The UK has hired British company Mitie for its whole deportation process, while Classic Air Charter dominates in the US. Almost all major commercial airlines, however, are also involved in deportations. Newsweek reported, for example, that in the US, 93% of the 1,386 ICE deportation flights to Latin American countries on commercial airlines in 2019 were facilitated by United Airlines (677), American Airlines (345) and Delta Airlines (266).

      - Detention. The Global Detention Project lists over 1,350 migrant detention centres worldwide, of which over 400 are located in Europe, almost 200 in the US and nine in Australia. In many EU countries, the state manages detention centres, while in other countries (e.g. Australia, UK, USA) there are completely privatised prisons. Many other countries have a mix of public and private involvement, such as state facilities with private guards. Australia outsourced refugee detention to camps outside its territories. Australian service companies Broadspectrum and Canstruct International managed the detention centres, while the private security companies G4S, Paladin Solutions and Wilson Security were contracted for security services, including providing guards. Migrant detention in third countries is also an increasingly important part of EU migration policy, with the EU funding construction of migrant detention centres in ten non-EU countries.

      - Advisory and audit services are a more hidden part of public policies and practices, but can be influential in shaping new policies. A striking example is Civipol, which in 2003 wrote a study on maritime borders for the European Commission, which adopted its key policy recommendations in October 2003 and in later policy documents despite its derogatory language against refugees. Civipol’s study also laid foundations for later measures on border externalisation, including elements of the migration deal with Turkey and the EU’s Operation Sophia. Since 2003 Civipol has received funding for a large number of migration-related projects, especially in African countries. Between 2015 and 2017, it was the fourth most-funded organisation under the EU Trust Fund. Other prominent corporations in this sector include Eurasylum, as well as major international consultancy firms, particularly Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, for which migration-related work is part of their expansive portfolio.

      Financing the industry

      The markets for military and border control procurement are characterized by massively capital intensive investments and contracts, which would not be possible without the involvement of financial actors. Using data from marketscreener.com, the report shows that the world’s largest investment companies are also among the major shareholders in the border industry.

      – The Vanguard Group owns shares in 15 of the 17 companies, including over 15% of the shares of CoreCivic and GEO Group that manage private prisons and detention facilities.

      - Other important investors are Blackrock, which is a major shareholder in 11 companies, Capital Research and Management (part of the Capital Group), with shares in arms giants Airbus and Lockheed Martin, and State Street Global Advisors (SsgA), which owns over 15% of Lockheed Martin shares and is also a major shareholder in six other companies.

      - Although these giant asset management firms dominate, two of the profiled companies, Cobham and IDEMIA, are currently owned by the private equity firm Advent International. Advent specialises in buyouts and restructuring, and it seems likely that it will attempt to split up Cobham in the hope of making a profit by selling on the component companies to other owners.

      - In addition, three large European arms companies, Airbus, Thales and Leonardo, active in the border security market, are partly owned by the governments of the countries where they are headquartered.

      In all cases, therefore, the financing depends on our money. In the case of state ownership, through our taxes, and in terms of asset management funds, through the way individual savings, pension funds, insurance companies and university endowments are directly invested in these companies via the giant Asset Management Funds. This financing means that the border industry survives on at least the tacit approved use of the public’s funds which makes it vulnerable to social pressure as the human rights costs of the industry become ever more clear.
      Human rights and the border industry

      Universal human rights apply to every single human being, including refugees and migrants. While the International Bill of Human Rights provides the foundation, including defining universal rights that are important in the context of migration, such as the right to life, liberty and security of person, the right to freedom from torture or cruel or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, and freedom from discrimination, there are other instruments such as the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention or Geneva Convention) of 1951 that are also relevant. There are also regional agreements, including the Organisation of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) that play a role relevant to the countries that have ratified them.

      Yet despite these important and legally binding human rights agreements, the human rights situation for refugees and migrants has become ever more desperate. States frequently deny their rights under international law, such as the right to seek asylum or non-refoulement principles, or more general rights such as the freedom from torture, cruel or inhumane treatment. There is a gap with regard to effective legal means or grievance mechanisms to counter this or to legally enforce or hold to account states that fail to implement instruments such as the UDHR and the Refugee Convention of 1951. A Permanent Peoples Tribunal in 2019 even concluded that ‘taken together, the immigration and asylum policies and practices of the EU and its Member States constitute a total denial of the fundamental rights of people and migrants, and are veritable crimes against humanity’. A similar conclusion can be made of the US and Australian border and immigration regime.

      The increased militarisation of border security worldwide and state-sanctioned hostility toward migrants has had a deeply detrimental impact on the human rights of refugees and migrants.

      – Increased border security has led to direct violence against refugees, pushbacks with the risk of returning people to unsafe countries and inhumane circumstances (contravening the principle of non-refoulement), and a disturbing rise in avoidable deaths, as countries close off certain migration routes, forcing migrants to look for other, often more dangerous, alternatives and pushing them into the arms of criminal smuggling networks.

      – The increased use of autonomous systems of border security such as drones threaten new dangers related to human rights. There is already evidence that they push migrants to take more dangerous routes, but there is also concern that there is a gradual trend towards weaponized systems that will further threaten migrants’ lives.

      – The rise in deportations has threatened fundamental human rights including the right to family unity, the right to seek asylum, the right to humane treatment in detention, the right to due process, and the rights of children’. There have been many instances of violence in the course of deportations, sometimes resulting in death or permanent harm, against desperate people who try to do everything to prevent being deported. Moreover, deportations often return refugees to unsafe countries, where they face violence, persecution, discrimination and poverty.

      - The widespread detention of migrants also fundamentally undermines their human rights . There have been many reports of violence and neglect by guards and prison authorities, limited access to adequate legal and medical support, a lack of decent food, overcrowding and poor and unhealthy conditions. Privatisation of detention exacerbates these problems, because companies benefit from locking up a growing number of migrants and minimising costs.

      – The building of major migration databases such as EU’s Eurodac and SIS II, VIS gives rise to a range of human rights concerns, including issues of privacy, civil liberties, bias leading to discrimination—worsened by AI processes -, and misuse of collected information. Migrants are already subject to unprecedented levels of surveillance, and are often now treated as guinea pigs where even more intrusive technologies such as facial recognition and social media tracking are tried out without migrants consent.

      The trend towards externalisation of migration policies raises new concerns as it seeks to put the human costs of border militarisation beyond the border and out of public sight. This has led to the EU, US and Australia all cooperating with authoritarian regimes to try and prevent migrants from even getting close to their borders. Moreover as countries donate money, equipment or training to security forces in authoritarian regimes, they end up expanding and strengthening their capacities which leads to a rise in human rights violations more broadly. Nowhere are the human rights consequences of border externalisation policies clearer than in the case of Libya, where the EU and individual member states (in particular Italy and Malta) funding, training and cooperation with security forces and militias have led to violence at the borders, murder, disappearances, rape, enslavement and abuse of migrants in the country and torture in detention centres.

      The 23 corporations profiled in this report have all been involved in or connected to policies and practices that have come under fire because of violations of the human rights of refugees and migrants. As mentioned earlier, sometimes the companies are directly responsible for human rights violations or concerns. In other cases, they are indirectly responsible through their contribution to a border infrastructure that denies human rights and through lobbying to influence policy-making to prioritize militarized responses to migration. 11 of the companies profiled publicly proclaim their commitment to human rights as signatories to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), but as these are weak voluntary codes this has not led to noticeable changes in their business operations related to migration.

      The most prominent examples of direct human rights abuses come from the corporations involved in detention and deportation. Classic Air Charter, Cobham, CoreCivic, Eurasylum, G4S, GEO Group, Mitie and Serco all have faced allegations of violence and abuse by their staff towards migrants. G4S has been one of the companies most often in the spotlight. In 2017, not only were assaults by its staff on migrants at the Brook House immigration removal centre in the UK broadcast by the BBC, but it was also hit with a class suit in Australia by almost 2,000 people who are or were detained at the externalised detention centre on Manus Island, because of physical and psychological injuries as a result of harsh treatment and dangerous conditions. The company eventually settled the case for A$70 million (about $53 million) in the largest-ever human rights class-action settlement. G4S has also faced allegations related to its involvement in deportations.

      The other companies listed all play a pivotal role in the border infrastructure that denies refugees’ human rights. Airbus P-3 Orion surveillance planes of the Australian Air Force, for example, play a part in the highly controversial maritime wall that prevents migrants arriving by boat and leads to their detention in terrible conditions offshore. Lockheed Martin is a leading supplier of border security on the US-Mexico border. Leonardo is one of the main suppliers of drones for Europe’s borders. Thales produces the radar and sensor systems, critical to patrolling the Mediterrean. Elbit Systems provides surveillance technologies to both the EU and US, marketed on their success as technologies used in the separation wall in the Palestinian occupied territories. Accenture, IDEMIA and Sopra Steria manage many border biometric projects. Deloitte has been one of the key consulting companies to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency since 2003, while PriceWaterhouseCoopers provides similar consultancy services to Frontex and the Australian border forces. IBM, Palantir and UNISYS provide the IT infrastructure that underpins the border and immigration apparatus.
      Time to divest

      The report concludes by calling for campaigns to divest from the border industry. There is a long history of campaigns and movements that call for divestment from industries that support human rights violations—from the campaigns to divest from Apartheid South Africa to more recent campaigns to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The border industry has become an equally morally toxic asset for any financial institution, given the litany of human rights abuses tied to it and the likelihood they will intensify in years to come.

      There are already examples of existing campaigns targeting particular border industries that have borne fruit. A spotlight on US migrant detention, as part of former President Trump’s anti- immigration policies, contributed to six large US banks (Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo) publicly announcing that they would not provide new financing to the private prison industry. The two largest public US pension funds, CalSTRS and CalPERS, also decided to divest from the same two companies. Geo Group acknowledged that these acts of ‘public resistance’ hit the company financially, criticising the banks as ‘clearly bow[ing] down to a small group of activists protesting and conducting targeted social media campaigns’.

      Every company involved or accused of human rights violations either denies them or says that they are atypical exceptions to corporate behavior. This report shows however that a militarised border regime built on exclusion will always be a violent apparatus that perpetuates human rights violations. It is a regime that every day locks up refugees in intolerable conditions, separates families causing untold trauma and heartbreak, and causes a devastating death toll as refugees are forced to take unimaginable dangerous journeys because the alternatives are worse. However well-intentioned, any industry that provides services and products for this border regime will bear responsibility for its human consequences and its human rights violations, and over time will suffer their own serious reputational costs for their involvement in this immoral industry. On the other hand, a widespread exodus of the leading corporations on which the border regime depends could force states to change course, and to embrace a politics that protects and upholds the rights of refugees and migrants. Worldwide, social movements and the public are starting to wake up to the human costs of border militarisation and demanding a fundamental change. It is time now for the border industry and their financiers to make a choice.

      https://www.tni.org/en/financingborderwars

      #TNI #rapport
      #industrie_frontalière #militarisation_des_frontières #biométrie #Intelligence_artificielle #AI #IA

      #Accenture #Airbus #Booz_Allen_Hamilton #Classic_Air_Charter #Cobham #CoreCivic #Deloitte #Elbit #Eurasylum #G4S #GEO_Group #IBM #IDEMIA #Leonardo #Lockheed_Martin #Mitie #Palantir #PricewaterhouseCoopers #Serco #Sopra_Steria #Thales #Thomson_Reuters #Unisys
      #contrôles_frontaliers #surveillance #technologie #Jean-Pierre_Talamoni #Airbus_Defence_and_Space (#ADS) #smart_borders #frontières_intelligentes #iris #empreintes_digitales #réseaux_sociaux #IT #Civipol #Mali #Sénégal #renvois #expulsions #déportations #Mitie #Classic_Air_Charter #compagnies_aériennes #United_Airlines #ICE #American_Airlines #Delta_Airlines #rétention #détention_administrative #privatisation #Broadspectrum #Canstruct_International #Paladin_Solutions #Wilson_Security #Operation_Sophia #EU_Trust_Fund #Trust_Fund #externalisation #Eurasylum #Deloitte #PricewaterhouseCoopers #Vanguard_Group #CoreCivic #Blackrock #investisseurs #investissement #Capital_Research_and_Management #Capital_Group #Lockheed_Martin #State_Street_Global_Advisors (#SsgA) #Cobham #IDEMIA #Advent_International #droits_humains #VIS #SIS_II #P-3_Orion #Accenture #Sopra_Steria #Frontex #Australie

    • Outsourcing oppression. How Europe externalises migrant detention beyond its shores

      This report seeks to address the gap and join the dots between Europe’s outsourcing of migrant detention to third countries and the notorious conditions within the migrant detention centres. In a nutshell, Europe calls the shots on migrant detention beyond its shores but is rarely held to account for the deeply oppressive consequences, including arbitrary detention, torture, forced disappearance, violence, sexual violence, and death.

      Key findings

      – The European Union (EU), and its member states, externalise detention to third countries as part of a strategy to keep migrants out at all costs. This leads to migrants being detained and subjected to gross human rights violations in transit countries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, West Asia and Africa.

      – Candidate countries wishing to join the EU are obligated to detain migrants and stop them from crossing into the EU as a prerequisite for accession to the Union. Funding is made available through pre-accession agreements specifically for the purpose of detaining migrants.

      – Beyond EU candidate countries, this report identifies 22 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and West Asia where the EU and its member states fund the construction of detention centres, detention related activities such as trainings, or advocate for detention in other ways such as through aggressively pushing for detention legislation or agreeing to relax visa requirements for nationals of these countries in exchange for increased migrant detention.

      - The main goal of detention externalisation is to pre-empt migrants from reaching the external borders of the EU by turning third countries into border outposts. In many cases this involves the EU and its member states propping up and maintaining authoritarian regimes.

      – Europe is in effect following the ‘Australian model’ that has been highly criticised by UN experts and human rights organisations for the torturous conditions inside detention centres. Nevertheless, Europe continues to advance a system that mirrors Australia’s outsourced model, focusing not on guaranteeing the rights of migrants, but instead on deterring and pushing back would-be asylum seekers at all costs.

      - Human rights are systematically violated in detention centres directly and indirectly funded by the EU and its member states, including cases of torture, arbitrary and prolonged detention, sexual violence, no access to legal recourse, humanitarian assistance, or asylum procedures, the detention of victims of trafficking, and many other serious violations in which Europe is implicated.

      - Particularly horrendous is the case of Libya, which continues to receive financial and political support from Europe despite mounting evidence of brutality, enslavement, torture, forced disappearance and death. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), implement EU policies in Libya and, according to aid officials, actively whitewash the consequences of European policies to safeguard substantial EU funding.

      - Not only does the EU deport and push back migrants to unsafe third countries, it actively finances and coercively pushes for their detention in these countries. Often they have no choice but to sign ‘voluntary’ agreements to be returned to their countries of origin as the only means of getting out of torturous detention facilities.

      - The EU implements a carrot and stick approach, in particular in its dealings with Africa, prolonging colonialist dynamics and uneven power structures – in Niger, for example, the EU pushed for legislation on detention, in exchange for development aid funding.

      – The EU envisages a greater role for migrant detention in third countries going forward, as was evidenced in the European Commission’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

      - The EU acts on the premise of containment and deterrence, namely, that if migrants seeking to reach Europe are intercepted and detained along that journey, they will be deterred from making the journey in the first place. This approach completely misses the point that people migrate to survive, often fleeing war and other forms of violence. The EU continues to overlook the structural reasons behind why people flee and the EU’s own role in provoking such migration.

      – The border industrial complex profits from the increased securitisation of borders. Far from being passive spectators, the military and security industry is actively involved in shaping EU border policies by positioning themselves as experts on the issue. We can already see a trend of privatising migrant detention, paralleling what is happening in prison systems worldwide.

      https://www.tni.org/en/outsourcingoppression

      pour télécharger le rapport :
      https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/outsourcingoppression-report-tni.pdf

      #externalisation #rétention #détention #détention_arbitraire #violence #disparitions #disparitions_forcées #violence #violence_sexuelle #morts #mort #décès #Afrique #Europe_de_l'Est #Balkans #Asie #modèle_australien #EU #UE #Union_européenne #torture #Libye #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #HCR #UNHCR #OIM #IOM #dissuasion #privatisation

  • Suite mexicaine (V)

    Georges Lapierre

    https://lavoiedujaguar.net/Suite-mexicaine-V

    La guerre sociale au Mexique
    Deuxième partie : les résistances
    À la recherche des personnes disparues

    Cette résistance à la toute-puissance de l’argent peut prendre une forme organisée et, dans le domaine de l’organisation, celle des zapatistes est exemplaire à la fois par sa cohésion, sa souplesse et son étendue. À l’extrême Sud-Est du pays, les zapatistes protègent, entretiennent et nourrissent un feu, celui d’une résistance obstinée face aux malheurs des temps. Ils témoignent. Ils sont les derniers Mohicans qui, à la nuit tombée, allument un feu de camp, un bivouac, et ce bivouac se voit au loin. C’est un bivouac dans les hurlements de la guerre à outrance. Les zapatistes sont nos sentinelles dans la nuit. Des sentinelles dans notre nuit.

    J’ai apprécié à sa juste valeur la réponse zapatiste à la menace représentée par les ambitions des entreprises capitalistes et leurs visées expansionnistes. La réponse des zapatistes est stratégique, ils ne se sont pas laissé prendre au dépourvu, ils se sont renforcés. Leur lucidité, au sein d’une société civile molle, ballottée entre promesses et mensonges, force l’admiration. Une nouvelle fois, les zapatistes ont su contourner l’obstacle et l’état de siège dans lequel le gouvernement pensait les contenir. (...)

    #Mexique #guerre #cartels #López_Obrador #armée #zapatistes #résistance #assassinats #disparitions #silence #complicité #État #féminicide #femmes

  • Mexico, country of 2,000 clandestine graves
    https://visionscarto.net/2000-clandestine-graves

    From 2006 to 2016 almost 2,000 illegal burials were discovered where criminals disappeared persons. The barbarity encompasses 24 states in the country, and one out of every 7 municipalities. In this investigation we document more clandestine graves than the government recognizes: one grave every two days. by Alejandra Guillén, Mago Torres y Marcela Turati On February 20, 1943, the Purépecha community in Angahuan, Mexico, watched with great astonishment as the earth opened up, expelled black (...)

    #Articles

  • El país de las dos mil fosas
    https://visionscarto.net/el-pais-de-las-2000-fosas

    Desde 2006 a 2016 fueron descubiertos casi 2000 entierros ilegales donde criminales desaparecieron personas. La barbarie abarca 24 estados del país, y uno de cada 7 municipios. En esta investigación documentamos más fosas clandestinas que las que el gobierno reconoce: una fosa cada dos días. por Alejandra Guillén, Mago Torres y Marcela Turati El 20 de febrero de 1943 la comunidad purépecha de Angahuan observó atónita cómo se abrió la tierra, expulsó humo negro de su interior y comenzó a parir al (...)

    #Artículos

  • Attention, erreur : 1600 et non 16’000 (v. plus bas !)

    16,000 children missing from Dutch asylum shelters : report

    Over 16 thousand children disappeared from asylum centers in the Netherlands over the past 4.5 years, NRC reports based on figures from the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers #COA and #Nidos, the organization that has custody of all unaccompanied foreign minors in the Netherlands. These kids left the asylum centers and their current whereabouts are unknown, the newspaper writes.

    According to the two organizations, some of the missing children left to join family or friends in Germany, Belgium or France. But there are also signals that missing child asylum seekers end up in situations where they are exploited. Nidos and the COA told NRC that it is “always worrying” when a child disappears from a shelter. “Every child is one too many”, Nidos director Tim Verstegen said to the newspaper.

    The largest group of missing child asylum seekers come from Morocco, 325, followed by 190 children from Algeria, 167 from Afghanistan, and 114 each from Syria and Eritrea. The first three countries are considered “safe”, which means that asylum seekers from there stand little chance of getting refugee status in the Netherlands. But asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea are almost always given a residency permit.

    The group of children who disappear from the asylum process is likely even larger, according to NRC. The foreigners police in Rotterdam regularly find foreign minors, who are put on a taxi and sent to the reception center in Ter Apel to start their asylum procedure. But not all children actually report to the reception center, a police officer said to the newspaper. They are dropped off at the center’s door, but don’t go inside or leave again a few hours later, before being assigned a guardian.

    Earlier this year the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking Herman Bolhaar called on the government to do more to find and protect children who disappear from asylum centers: https://nltimes.nl/2019/04/01/dutch-govt-must-protect-disappearing-child-asylum-seekers-national-rapporteu.


    https://nltimes.nl/2019/06/03/16000-children-missing-dutch-asylum-shelters-report
    #disparitions #mineurs #MNA #asile #migrations #réfugiés #mineurs_non_accompagnés #Pays-Bas #statistiques #chiffres #mineurs #enfants #enfance

    • 1.600 asielkinderen verdwenen uit de opvang

      Cijfers van COA en voogdij-organisatie Onduidelijk is waar de weggelopen asielkinderen zijn. Vooral Marokkaanse en Eritrese kinderen blijken kwetsbaar.

      Er zijn de afgelopen 4,5 jaar ruim 1.600 asielkinderen weggelopen uit opvanglocaties. De kinderen zijn „met onbekende bestemming” vertrokken en het is niet duidelijk waar ze nu verblijven. Dit blijkt uit cijfers die NRC opvroeg bij Centraal Orgaan opvang Asielzoekers (COA) en Nidos, die de voogdij heeft over alle alleenstaande minderjarige vreemdelingen in Nederland. De aantallen zijn hoger dan tot nu toe bekend, doordat de cijfers van Nidos eerder niet zijn meegerekend.

      NRC is onderdeel van het internationale journalistencollectief ‘Lost in Europe’ dat onderzoek doet naar weggelopen asielkinderen.
      Lees ook: Zorgen om verdwijnen van minderjarige asielzoekers

      Minderjarige asielzoekers die zonder ouders of volwassene naar Nederland komen krijgen een voogd toegewezen. Afhankelijk van de kans op een verblijfsvergunning worden ze ondergebracht bij COA (weinig uitzicht op een asielvergunning) en Nidos (kinderen die hier mogen blijven of in kleinschaligere woonvormen terechtkomen). Een fractie van de jonge asielzoekers komt in de beschermde opvang terecht, een plek voor (mogelijke) slachtoffers van uitbuiting, waar de kinderen extra intensieve begeleiding krijgen. Een deel van de kinderen vertrekt, volgens de organisaties, naar familie en vrienden in Duitsland, België of Frankrijk. Maar er zijn ook signalen dat ze in een uitbuitingssituatie belanden.

      Een substantieel deel van de weggelopen kinderen komt uit Marokko (325), Algerije (190), Afghanistan (167), Syrië (114) en Eritrea (114). Kinderen uit de eerste drie landen maken amper kans op een verblijfsvergunning, Eritrese en Syrische jongeren juist wel. Volgens Nidos en COA is het „altijd zorgelijk” als minderjarige kinderen uit de opvang weglopen. Tin Verstegen, directeur Nidos: „Ieder kind is er één te veel”.

      De groep kinderen die verdwijnt is vermoedelijk nog groter. De vreemdelingenpolitie Rotterdam treft regelmatig minderjarige vreemdelingen aan. De kinderen worden op de taxi naar het opvangcentrum in Ter Apel gezet, waar ze de asielprocedure starten. Maar niet alle kinderen melden zich bij de opvanglocatie in het noorden. Ze worden netjes afgeleverd voor de poort, zegt een agent, maar gaan niet naar binnen of verdwijnen na een half nachtje in de opvang, voor er contact is geweest met de voogd.
      Hoppen van opvang naar opvang

      In 2013 wezen politie, Immigratie en Naturalisatie Dienst, Nidos en COA al op problemen met Marokkaanse kinderen die van opvang naar opvang hoppen kriskras door Europa, zo blijkt uit interne mailwisselingen ingezien door NRC.
      Ook Vietnamese kinderen zijn kwetsbaar en verdwijnen uit de beschermde opvang

      In de opvang zijn ze moeilijk te handhaven en brutaal, maar soms ook verslaafd aan kalmeringsmiddel Clonazepam.

      Volgens hulpverleners van Nidos worden sommige Marokkaanse jongeren door criminelen opgehaald uit het asielzoekerscentrum om te stelen in opdracht. Zo zijn bij verschillende jongeren boodschappenlijstjes aangetroffen met daarop kleding en parfum die ze moesten stelen.

      Bij Nidos loopt momenteel een pilot dat moet voorkomen dat de Marokkaanse kinderen weglopen door te werken aan toekomstperspectief.

      61 minderjarige Eritreeërs zijn tussen 2013 en 2017 slachtoffer geworden van mensenhandel, blijkt uit de Slachtoffermonitor van eind 2018. En onderzoek van Conny Rijken , hoogleraar mensenhandel en globalisering aan de universiteit van Tilburg, wees uit dat hulpverleners schaars geklede meisjes het azc zien verlaten en moe en teruggetrokken terugkomen. De meiden bleken bovendien ineens in het bezit van een nieuwe Iphone, die ze van hun toelage niet konden betalen, en wilden altijd bereikbaar zijn. Het vermoeden: gedwongen seks.

      Hester van Bruggen, namens het Openbaar Ministerie gestationeerd in Rome om beter zicht te krijgen op internationale mensenhandel en -smokkel, zei begin mei over de Eritrese slachtoffertjes: „We missen hier echt iets verschrikkelijks.”

      https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/06/02/1600-asielkinderen-verdwenen-uit-de-opvang-a3962369

    • NRC : 1600 asielkinderen verdwenen uit opvang

      Uit opvanglocaties zijn de afgelopen 4,5 jaar ruim 1600 asielkinderen weggelopen. Van die kinderen is niet duidelijk waar ze nu verblijven. Dat blijkt uit cijfers die NRC heeft opgevraagd bij het Centraal Orgaan opvang Asielzoekers (COA) en Nidos, de organisatie die de voogdij heeft over alle alleenstaande minderjarige vreemdelingen in Nederland.

      Een deel van de kinderen vertrekt, volgens de organisaties, naar familie en vrienden in Duitsland, België of Frankrijk. Maar er zijn ook signalen dat ze in een uitbuitingssituatie belanden. Veel van de weggelopen kinderen komen uit Marokko, Algerije en Afghanistan.
      Aantallen hoger

      Kinderen uit die landen maken weinig kans op een verblijfsvergunning. Maar er verdwijnen ook veel Syrische en Eritrese kinderen die juist wel kans op een vergunning maken. Nidos-directeur Verstegen noemt in NRC ieder weggelopen kind er één te veel.

      Volgens de krant zijn de aantallen hoger dan tot nu toe bekend was, doordat de cijfers van Nidos eerder niet zijn meegerekend. Alleenstaande minderjarige asielzoekers die weinig kans hebben om hier te blijven, gaan meestal naar een asielzoekerscentrum van het COA. Kinderen die hier mogen blijven worden via Nidos geplaatst bij kleinschalige woonvormen.
      Geen idee waar ze terechtkomen

      Het is niet altijd duidelijk waarom kinderen weglopen. Jongeren van 18 lopen het risico dat ze worden vastgezet om te worden uitgezet naar hun land van herkomst, zegt jurist Martine Goeman van Defence for Children in het NOS Radio 1 Journaal. „We hebben geen idee waar ze dan terechtkomen.” Het gaat ook om landen als Afghanistan waar oorlog is.

      Tot ze 18 worden hebben jongeren recht op opvang, ongeacht de uitkomst van hun asielprocedure. Daarna geldt voor hen dezelfde procedure als voor volwassen asielzoekers.

      „Dat ze ’wel bij familie zullen zijn’ wordt ook al jaren tegen Unicef en Defence for Children gezegd, maar dat weten we gewoonweg niet. Helaas horen we vaak, bijvoorbeeld via de media, dat het niet goed gaat met deze kinderen en dat ze in uitbuitingssituaties terechtkomen.” Ook deze kinderen hebben volgens Goeman het recht om beschermd te worden.
      Europees probleem

      „Ons huidige systeem is daar ook debet aan, omdat we hen niet in goede opvang plaatsen, vaak liefdeloze opvang waar deze kinderen verblijven tot hun achttiende en dan verdwijnen ze uit angst of omdat ze geen toekomstperspectief zien in Nederland.”

      Het is niet alleen een Nederlands probleem. Europol schatte eerder al dat het om zo’n 10.000 kinderen gaat in Europa. Veel kinderen zijn niet geregistreerd. „In sommige landen, zoals Griekenland, krijgen de kinderen helemaal geen opvang. We moeten echt over de grenzen gaan kijken en niet denken dat ze wel in Zweden of Duitsland zullen zitten en dat het dan ons probleem niet meer is. We moeten hen niet alleen proberen te vinden, maar ook de opvang en bescherming geven die ze verdienen. Anders lopen ze weer weg, omdat ze geen andere mogelijkheid zien,” waarschuwt Goeman.

      https://nos.nl/artikel/2287380-nrc-1600-asielkinderen-verdwenen-uit-opvang.html

  • A Chypre, Monsieur Tout-le-Monde tuait des femmes étrangères, travailleuses invisibles
    http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/a-chypre-monsieur-tout-le-monde-tuait-des-femmes-etrangeres-travailleuses

    La mort leur a donné un nom. Arian Palanas Lozano, Maricar Valdez, Asmita Khadka Bista, Livia-Florentina Bunea et Mary Rose Tiburcio… Les deux dernières étaient les mamans d’Elena et Sierra, 8 et 6 ans. Cinq femmes et deux fillettes, des étrangères victimes de Nikos Metaxas, suspecté d’être le premier tueur en série de l’histoire de l’île de Chypre. Ces travailleuses invisibles sont devenues les symboles de milliers de migrantes que la société chypriote a longtemps ignorées.

    Au cœur de l’Union européenne, à quelques semaines d’élections continentales, des milliers de femmes sont ainsi « réduites à l’état de choses par des employeurs qui abusent de leur pauvreté », dénonce Ester Beatty. « Certaines bossent jusqu’à quinze heures par jour ! »

    #féminicide #exploitation #migrations

  • L’Argentine retrouve “la petite-fille nº 129”, enlevée à sa famille pendant la dictature | Romina Navarro
    https://fr.globalvoices.org/2019/04/13/235350

    Le 9 avril en fin d’après-midi, les Grands-mères de la place de Mai [fr] (une ONG argentine de défense des droits humains) ont annoncé lors d’une conférence de presse avoir retrouvé la petite-fille nº 129, disparue en Argentine pendant la dernière dictature [fr]. La petite-fille en question est une femme de 42 ans qui vit en Espagne et son identification marque une nouvelle victoire pour l’organisation qui se bat depuis plus de 40 ans pour localiser ces enfants [disparus] et les rendre à leurs familles légitimes. Source : Global Voices

  • Al menos 60 niños vietnamitas no acompañados han desaparecido en Holanda | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS
    https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/04/02/planeta_futuro/1554211145_407046.html

    Entre 2013 y 2017, unos 1.080 menores no acompañados desaparecieron en Holanda de diversos centros para solicitantes de asilo. De estos, al menos 60 eran adolescentes vietnamitas acogidos en refugios especiales para evitar que fueran víctimas del tráfico de personas. Entraron en el país de forma ilegal y contaban con la protección de las autoridades. Los procedentes de Vietnam se consideran muy vulnerables por ser los preferidos de los traficantes, que supuestamente los llevan luego a Francia, el Reino Unido o Alemania. Allí pueden acabar en la prostitución o explotados en salones de manicura. La situación evidencia la falta de coordinación de la Unión Europea en el caso de los niños extranjeros solos.

    “Los vietnamitas desaparecen siempre, a pesar de nuestros esfuerzos”, asegura Johan van der Have, encargado de los refugios —situados al norte y al sur del país— en el programa Argos, de la emisora holandesa de radio VPRO, recién emitido. Ha sido elaborado junto con el colectivo internacional de periodistas Lost in Europe, del que participan, entre otros, la BBC y el rotativo británico The Guardian. Los reporteros de Argos viajaron a Alemania, el Reino Unido y Francia, y revisaron cientos de mensajes internos de la Agencia Central para la Recepción de Solicitantes de Asilo (COA, en sus siglas neerlandesas). De este modo, pudieron presentar la cifra general de 1.080 desaparecidos. Sobre la más concreta, los 60 vietnamitas, recabaron además un testimonio inquietante. Los trabajadores sociales holandeses dijeron tener “la sensación de que los locales protegidos son vistos por los que trafican como estaciones de paso: el mismo día podemos perder de vista a varios de estos menores”, señalan. No pueden salir sin permiso, aunque a medida que se hacen mayores las reglas se adaptan a su situación y grado de madurez.

    En diciembre de 2018, el ministerio holandés de Justicia aseguró que no tenían en esos momentos datos sobre una posible red involucrada en la desaparición de los niños procedentes de Vietnam. Sin embargo, en 2012, Bureau Beke, un organismo especializado en estudios de seguridad y delincuencia, señaló que la policía había encontrado un número creciente de vietnamitas sin documentos trabajando en los cultivos ilegales de cannabis. Y en 2017, la policía militar indicó en un comunicado que había vietnamitas [sin documentación en regla] que dicen ser víctimas de traficantes. “Sospechamos que hay una organización detrás”, aseguraba. Tras las revelaciones del programa, el Gobierno ha anunciado una nueva investigación independiente a cargo del centro especializado en analizar el tráfico de personas. Sus conclusiones serán luego remitidas a la Fiscalía. El Parlamento había pedido una reacción oficial sin más demoras.

    D’autres infos encore dans l’article, je n’ai rien vu en français...

    #migrants #trafic #disparitions

  • (Dé)passer la frontière

    En ce début de 21e siècle, l’heure est à la #fermeture_des_frontières. Si ce durcissement des #politiques_migratoires peine à produire les résultats escomptés, il participe à la multiplication de situations de violations des #droits_humains, partout dans le monde.

    Les frontières, leur gestion et leur actualité traversent les débats publics et médiatiques sur les #migrations, attisant les controverses et les fantasmes, en particulier en Europe et en Amérique du Nord. Les frontières cristallisent un grand nombre d’enjeux – sociaux, (géo)politiques, économiques, historiques – et mobilisent une grande diversité d’idées, de projets de société et d’acteur·rices. Étudier, questionner la frontière et tout ce qu’elle véhicule comme #symboles est donc indispensable pour penser l’avenir des territoires et de leurs populations dans une perspective de respect de la #dignité_humaine, autrement que sous le seul angle d’analyse de « la crise migratoire ».

    L’objectif principal de ce nouveau numéro de la collection Passerelle est donc de proposer des pistes d’analyse et de réflexion sur les enjeux autour des frontières : dans un monde globalisé, entre territorialisation et dématérialisation, qu’est-ce qu’une frontière aujourd’hui ? Quels sont les intérêts politiques et économiques qui régissent les mouvements d’ouverture pour certain·es, et de fermeture pour d’autres ? Cette publication invite également à explorer les multiples formes de #résistance à travers la voix de celles et ceux qui défient les politiques de fermeture, mais aussi les idées et propositions qui remettent en cause le régime des frontières actuel.

    Il s’agit donc bien d’établir des liens entre ce sujet d’une actualité brûlante et des dynamiques de long terme dans les différentes parties du monde, d’en éclairer les différents enjeux et de donner de la visibilité aux luttes actives d’hier et d’aujourd’hui. C’est cette perspective qui est au cœur du débat à travers les articles compilés ici : des réflexions, des témoignages et des pistes d’horizons politiques qui nous permettront de mieux saisir les enjeux des frontières, afin de nous armer de meilleurs outils de solidarité internationale pour la #justice_sociale et la garantie des droits fondamentaux de toutes et tous.


    https://www.coredem.info/IMG/pdf/_de_passer_la_frontiere-2.pdf

    Sommaire :


    #souveraineté_nationale #symbole #murs #Israël #barrières_frontalières #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières #spectacle #victimisation #business #tunnel #Roya_Citoyenne #frontière_sud-alpine #La_Roya #caravane #Amérique_centrale #disparitions #mères #justice #passeport_aborigène #internationalisme #liberté_de_circulation #Touaregs #nomadisme #nomades #confédéralisme_démocratique #membrane

    ping @isskein @reka

    #frontières

  • Antigone au pays du Cèdre

    #Wadad_Halwani

    Présidente du Comité des familles de personnes disparues ou kidnappées

    Porte-parole des familles des disparus de la #guerre_civile, cette femme libanaise est parvenue au vote d’une loi décisive grâce à son acharnement, trente six ans après le début de son combat. Aujourd’hui, son fils Ghassan numérise les #archives de cet engagement.

    Autour d’une table d’un blanc immaculé, des mères, des épouses et des sœurs de disparus de la guerre civile libanaise brandissent le portrait jauni de leur bien-aimé, des dizaines de journalistes ajustent leur caméra et jouent des coudes, des députés et des dirigeants d’ONG s’installent sur les rares chaises encore inoccupées, leurs discussions recouvertes par un chant sur les 17 000 disparus estimés du conflit ayant duré de 1975 à 1990, émis par une enceinte crachotante. Soudain, le silence tombe sous les cerisiers du jardin Khalil Gibran, au cœur de Beyrouth : une femme menue aux yeux pétillants, coiffée d’un foulard jaune marqué du slogan « Notre #droit_de_savoir », pose la feuille de son discours devant les micros placés sur la table.

    En cette journée d’automne, pour la première fois en trente-six ans d’une lutte acharnée pour obtenir la vérité sur le sort des disparus, la voix de Wadad Halwani n’est pas rendue inaudible par le tumulte de l’impunité : elle fait écho à l’adoption, le 13 novembre 2018, de la #loi sur les #victimes de #disparition_forcée. Le texte prévoit la mise en place d’une commission indépendante chargée d’enquêter sur le sort des disparus, d’exhumer les corps des fosses communes et d’identifier les dépouilles grâce à une banque de données #ADN.

    Son timbre n’a pas la couleur du triomphalisme mais la mesure sobre des efforts réalisés pour parvenir à ce moment historique. « Aujourd’hui, je suis parmi vous, et cela me ramène à notre première rencontre le 17 novembre 1982 sur la corniche Mazraa. Vous aviez répondu à mon appel lancé à la radio après l’enlèvement de mon mari. Nous étions des centaines de femmes. Nous ne nous connaissions pas : c’est notre tragédie commune qui nous réunissait », dit-elle à l’adresse des membres du comité des familles de disparus et de kidnappés qu’elle a fondé en 1982.

    Le 24 septembre 1982, son mari Adnan était enlevé devant ses yeux et ceux de leurs fils Ziad et Ghassan, âgés de 6 et 3 ans. Deux hommes l’avaient emmené, soi-disant pour l’interroger sur un accident de la route : « Il y en a pour cinq minutes », assurèrent-ils. Adnan n’est jamais revenu. « Tu n’es ni resté ni parti », scande le chant en l’honneur des disparus qui s’élève du jardin Khalil Gibran, lieu symbolique où ces familles au deuil gelé protestent depuis le 11 avril 2005.

    À l’écart de la foule rassemblée, #Ghassan_Halwani, aujourd’hui âgé de 39 ans et père d’une fillette, tend l’oreille. Personne ne sait mieux que lui déceler les émotions voilées derrière le discours solennel de sa mère. « Nous n’avons pas laissé la porte d’un responsable entraver notre route, nous nous sommes confrontés aux dirigeants de la guerre qui misaient sur le renouveau par leurs destructions », clame-t-elle.

    Et son fils de se remémorer : « Un soir, j’étais dans la cuisine et j’ai entendu ma mère partir d’un grand rire. Je l’ai vue plongée dans la lecture d’un vieil article évoquant l’une de leurs manifestations. Ce jour-là, elles s’étaient rendues devant la demeure du premier ministre de l’époque, mais il s’était éclipsé par la porte de derrière ! »

    Coupures de journaux, communiqués de presse, reportages vidéo et photographies, Wadad archive depuis 1982 tous les documents liés au combat qui l’anime. « Des visages de disparus habitaient notre maison. Cela suscitait ma curiosité d’enfant, les âges, les coupes de cheveux ; je savais que c’était mêlé à un drame, sans en connaître toutes les dimensions », poursuit le fils cadet. Pendant les bombardements israéliens de juillet 2006, ils doivent déménager en urgence, sans pouvoir tout emporter. Pour Ghassan, c’est la prise de conscience : « Impossible de jeter ces visages ! Je comprends soudain qu’un canapé peut brûler, mais que perdre les archives de Wadad, c’est une perte absolue. »

    En 2015, il commence un travail minutieux de restauration et de numérisation des milliers de documents conservés par sa mère afin de les publier sur un site Internet en juin 2019, avec l’aide de bénévoles. Rania, la plus assidue, souligne : « Nous n’avons pas d’histoire officielle sur la guerre au Liban. Dans notre pays, les manuels d’histoire cessent en 1943. Wadad et Ghassan ont décidé de transformer ces archives familiales en trésor national », dit-elle. Plus de trois décennies après le début de sa quête de vérité et malgré les innombrables entraves rencontrées, Wadad Hal­wa­ni garde espoir : « Nous pardonnons le passé en échange d’un sursaut moral que nous devons réaliser ensemble », dit-elle, appelant quiconque détient des informations sur les disparus à les divulguer à la future commission d’enquête.

    https://www.la-croix.com/JournalV2/Antigone-pays-Cedre-2019-01-21-1100996760
    #Liban #fosses_communes #disparus #disparitions #cadavres #identification

  • Desaparecidos: ecco “dove vanno le persone scomparse” in Messico

    «#A_dónde_van_los_desaparecidos» è uno dei progetti di ricerca giornalistica più coraggiosi del 2018 in America Latina. Che ha permesso di scoprire nuove fosse comuni e di rivelare la «logica» che sta dietro a tante sparizioni in Messico. Un lavoro fatto di verifica, studio e ricerca sul campo nei luoghi della morte


    https://www.osservatoriodiritti.it/2019/01/07/desaparecidos-messico-chi-sono-significato-sparizioni
    #disparitions #Mexique #corps #identification #fosses_communes #décès #journalisme #presse #médias #mort