• La nouvelle #définition du « #terrorisme » de la #Suisse crée un dangereux précédent dans le monde, ont prévenu des experts de l’ONU en matière de droits de l’homme

    Le projet de #loi_antiterroriste de la Suisse contrevient aux #normes_internationales en matière de droits de l’homme en élargissant la définition du terrorisme et pourrait créer un dangereux précédent pour la #répression de la #dissidence_politique dans le monde, ont averti aujourd’hui les experts* de l’ONU en matière de droits de l’homme.

    Ils ont exprimé leur regret quant au refus des autorités suisses de modifier les sections controversées du projet de loi, actuellement devant le Parlement, mais ont plaidé pour un changement de dernière minute.

    « Aucune de nos recommandations n’a été mise en œuvre », ont-ils dit, faisant référence à une lettre officielle de 16 pages adressée au gouvernement, envoyée à la fin du mois de mai. « Aucune réponse satisfaisante n’a été donnée à nos principales préoccupations concernant l’incompatibilité du projet de loi avec les droits de l’homme et les meilleures pratiques internationales en matière de lutte contre le terrorisme. »

    Les experts ont été particulièrement préoccupés par le fait que, selon le projet de loi, la nouvelle définition de l’« #activité_terroriste » n’exige plus du tout la perspective d’un #crime. Au contraire, la définition pourrait même inclure des actes licites visant à influencer ou à modifier l’ordre étatique, tels que les activités légitimes des #journalistes, de la société civile et des #militants politiques.

    Selon les normes internationales, y compris le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies, le terrorisme comprend toujours l’intimidation ou la coercition d’une population ou d’un gouvernement par la menace ou la perpétration d’actes de violences causant la mort, des blessures graves ou la prise d’otages.

    « L’élargissement de la définition du terrorisme à toute campagne non violente impliquant la propagation de la peur va bien au-delà de l’actuel droit national suisse et contrevient aux normes internationales », ont-ils déclaré. « Cette définition excessivement large crée un dangereux précédent et risque de servir de modèle aux gouvernements autoritaires qui cherchent à réprimer la dissidence politique, notamment par la torture et d’autres peines ou traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants. »

    Les experts ont également mis en garde contre certains articles du projet de loi qui donneraient à la #police_fédérale un pouvoir étendu pour désigner des « #terroristes_potentiels » et décider de #mesures_préventives à leur encontre sans #contrôle_judiciaire significatif.

    « Tout en reconnaissant les graves risques sécuritaires posés par le terrorisme, nous regrettons vivement que les autorités suisses aient décliné l’opportunité de bénéficier de notre assistance technique et de notre expertise sur la manière de combiner des mesures préventives efficaces et le respect des droits de l’homme », ont dit les experts.

    Les experts ont appelé les parlementaires à garder à l’esprit l’engagement traditionnellement fort de la Suisse en faveur des droits humains et à rejeter une loi qui « est appelée à devenir une tache sérieuse dans l’héritage par ailleurs fort de la Suisse en matière de droits de l’homme ».

    Les experts se sont en outre déclarés préoccupés par les modifications complémentaires proposées du #code_pénal envisageant l’incrimination du soutien aux organisations terroristes, qui, selon eux, risquait de mettre en danger la longue et remarquable tradition humanitaire de la Suisse. Ils ont donc exhorté le Conseil national à valider une récente proposition du Conseil des Etats d’exempter expressément l’action humanitaire impartiale de la criminalisation.

    « La protection des droits humains et les mesures efficaces de lutte contre le terrorisme ne sont pas des objectifs antagoniques, mais devraient être considérés comme des intérêts complémentaires et se renforçant mutuellement dans toute société démocratique », ont-ils conclu.

    https://www.ohchr.org/FR/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=26224&LangID=F
    #droits_humains

    ping @cede

  • Peine de mort : une majorité de Français favorable à son rétablissement - Le Parisien
    https://www.leparisien.fr/societe/peine-de-mort-une-majorite-de-francais-favorable-a-son-retablissement-14-

    Mais le sujet reste « très clivant politiquement », selon l’étude, puisque seuls les sympathisants RN (85 %) et LR (71 %, + 23 points) adhèrent majoritairement à cette affirmation, approuvée par une minorité (39 %) dans les autres partis. Le sondage note également une très forte progression (+ 31 points sur un an) des partisans de la peine de mort chez LFI et le PCF.

    Après le séparatisme et l’ensauvagement, la peine de mort.

  • Refugee protection at risk

    Two of the words that we should try to avoid when writing about refugees are “unprecedented” and “crisis.” They are used far too often and with far too little thought by many people working in the humanitarian sector. Even so, and without using those words, there is evidence to suggest that the risks confronting refugees are perhaps greater today than at any other time in the past three decades.

    First, as the UN Secretary-General has pointed out on many occasions, we are currently witnessing a failure of global governance. When Antonio Guterres took office in 2017, he promised to launch what he called “a surge in diplomacy for peace.” But over the past three years, the UN Security Council has become increasingly dysfunctional and deadlocked, and as a result is unable to play its intended role of preventing the armed conflicts that force people to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Nor can the Security Council bring such conflicts to an end, thereby allowing refugees to return to their country of origin.

    It is alarming to note, for example, that four of the five Permanent Members of that body, which has a mandate to uphold international peace and security, have been militarily involved in the Syrian armed conflict, a war that has displaced more people than any other in recent years. Similarly, and largely as a result of the blocking tactics employed by Russia and the US, the Secretary-General struggled to get Security Council backing for a global ceasefire that would support the international community’s efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic

    Second, the humanitarian principles that are supposed to regulate the behavior of states and other parties to armed conflicts, thereby minimizing the harm done to civilian populations, are under attack from a variety of different actors. In countries such as Burkina Faso, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia, those principles have been flouted by extremist groups who make deliberate use of death and destruction to displace populations and extend the areas under their control.

    In states such as Myanmar and Syria, the armed forces have acted without any kind of constraint, persecuting and expelling anyone who is deemed to be insufficiently loyal to the regime or who come from an unwanted part of society. And in Central America, violent gangs and ruthless cartels are acting with growing impunity, making life so hazardous for other citizens that they feel obliged to move and look for safety elsewhere.

    Third, there is mounting evidence to suggest that governments are prepared to disregard international refugee law and have a respect a declining commitment to the principle of asylum. It is now common practice for states to refuse entry to refugees, whether by building new walls, deploying military and militia forces, or intercepting and returning asylum seekers who are travelling by sea.

    In the Global North, the refugee policies of the industrialized increasingly take the form of ‘externalization’, whereby the task of obstructing the movement of refugees is outsourced to transit states in the Global South. The EU has been especially active in the use of this strategy, forging dodgy deals with countries such as Libya, Niger, Sudan and Turkey. Similarly, the US has increasingly sought to contain northward-bound refugees in Mexico, and to return asylum seekers there should they succeed in reaching America’s southern border.

    In developing countries themselves, where some 85 per cent of the world’s refugees are to be found, governments are increasingly prepared to flout the principle that refugee repatriation should only take place in a voluntary manner. While they rarely use overt force to induce premature returns, they have many other tools at their disposal: confining refugees to inhospitable camps, limiting the food that they receive, denying them access to the internet, and placing restrictions on humanitarian organizations that are trying to meet their needs.

    Fourth, the COVID-19 pandemic of the past nine months constitutes a very direct threat to the lives of refugees, and at the same time seems certain to divert scarce resources from other humanitarian programmes, including those that support displaced people. The Coronavirus has also provided a very convenient alibi for governments that wish to close their borders to people who are seeking safety on their territory.

    Responding to this problem, UNHCR has provided governments with recommendations as to how they might uphold the principle of asylum while managing their borders effectively and minimizing any health risks associated with the cross-border movement of people. But it does not seem likely that states will be ready to adopt such an approach, and will prefer instead to introduce more restrictive refugee and migration policies.

    Even if the virus is brought under some kind of control, it may prove difficult to convince states to remove the restrictions that they have introduced during the COVD-19 emergency. And the likelihood of that outcome is reinforced by the fear that the climate crisis will in the years to come prompt very large numbers of people to look for a future beyond the borders of their own state.

    Fifth, the state-based international refugee regime does not appear well placed to resist these negative trends. At the broadest level, the very notions of multilateralism, international cooperation and the rule of law are being challenged by a variety of powerful states in different parts of the world: Brazil, China, Russia, Turkey and the USA, to name just five. Such countries also share a common disdain for human rights and the protection of minorities – indigenous people, Uyghur Muslims, members of the LGBT community, the Kurds and African-Americans respectively.

    The USA, which has traditionally acted as a mainstay of the international refugee regime, has in recent years set a particularly negative example to the rest of the world by slashing its refugee resettlement quota, by making it increasingly difficult for asylum seekers to claim refugee status on American territory, by entirely defunding the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency and by refusing to endorse the Global Compact on Refugees. Indeed, while many commentators predicted that the election of President Trump would not be good news for refugees, the speed at which he has dismantled America’s commitment to the refugee regime has taken many by surprise.

    In this toxic international environment, UNHCR appears to have become an increasingly self-protective organization, as indicated by the enormous amount of effort it devotes to marketing, branding and celebrity endorsement. For reasons that remain somewhat unclear, rather than stressing its internationally recognized mandate for refugee protection and solutions, UNHCR increasingly presents itself as an all-purpose humanitarian agency, delivering emergency assistance to many different groups of needy people, both outside and within their own country. Perhaps this relief-oriented approach is thought to win the favour of the organization’s key donors, an impression reinforced by the cautious tone of the advocacy that UNHCR undertakes in relation to the restrictive asylum policies of the EU and USA.

    UNHCR has, to its credit, made a concerted effort to revitalize the international refugee regime, most notably through the Global Compact on Refugees, the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and the Global Refugee Forum. But will these initiatives really have the ‘game-changing’ impact that UNHCR has prematurely attributed to them?

    The Global Compact on Refugees, for example, has a number of important limitations. It is non-binding and does not impose any specific obligations on the countries that have endorsed it, especially in the domain of responsibility-sharing. The Compact makes numerous references to the need for long-term and developmental approaches to the refugee problem that also bring benefits to host states and communities. But it is much more reticent on fundamental protection principles such as the right to seek asylum and the notion of non-refoulement. The Compact also makes hardly any reference to the issue of internal displacement, despite the fact that there are twice as many IDPs as there are refugees under UNHCR’s mandate.

    So far, the picture painted by this article has been unremittingly bleak. But just as one can identify five very negative trends in relation to refugee protection, a similar number of positive developments also warrant recognition.

    First, the refugee policies pursued by states are not uniformly bad. Countries such as Canada, Germany and Uganda, for example, have all contributed, in their own way, to the task of providing refugees with the security that they need and the rights to which they are entitled. In their initial stages at least, the countries of South America and the Middle East responded very generously to the massive movements of refugees out of Venezuela and Syria.

    And while some analysts, including the current author, have felt that there was a very real risk of large-scale refugee expulsions from countries such as Bangladesh, Kenya and Lebanon, those fears have so far proved to be unfounded. While there is certainly a need for abusive states to be named and shamed, recognition should also be given to those that seek to uphold the principles of refugee protection.

    Second, the humanitarian response to refugee situations has become steadily more effective and equitable. Twenty years ago, it was the norm for refugees to be confined to camps, dependent on the distribution of food and other emergency relief items and unable to establish their own livelihoods. Today, it is far more common for refugees to be found in cities, towns or informal settlements, earning their own living and/or receiving support in the more useful, dignified and efficient form of cash transfers. Much greater attention is now given to the issues of age, gender and diversity in refugee contexts, and there is a growing recognition of the role that locally-based and refugee-led organizations can play in humanitarian programmes.

    Third, after decades of discussion, recent years have witnessed a much greater engagement with refugee and displacement issues by development and financial actors, especially the World Bank. While there are certainly some risks associated with this engagement (namely a lack of attention to protection issues and an excessive focus on market-led solutions) a more developmental approach promises to allow better long-term planning for refugee populations, while also addressing more systematically the needs of host populations.

    Fourth, there has been a surge of civil society interest in the refugee issue, compensating to some extent for the failings of states and the large international humanitarian agencies. Volunteer groups, for example, have played a critical role in responding to the refugee situation in the Mediterranean. The Refugees Welcome movement, a largely spontaneous and unstructured phenomenon, has captured the attention and allegiance of many people, especially but not exclusively the younger generation.

    And as has been seen in the UK this year, when governments attempt to demonize refugees, question their need for protection and violate their rights, there are many concerned citizens, community associations, solidarity groups and faith-based organizations that are ready to make their voice heard. Indeed, while the national asylum policies pursued by the UK and other countries have been deeply disappointing, local activism on behalf of refugees has never been stronger.

    Finally, recent events in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe have raised the question as to whether refugees could be spared the trauma and hardship of making dangerous journeys from one country and continent to another by providing them with safe and legal routes. These might include initiatives such as Canada’s community-sponsored refugee resettlement programme, the ‘humanitarian corridors’ programme established by the Italian churches, family reunion projects of the type championed in the UK and France by Lord Alf Dubs, and the notion of labour mobility programmes for skilled refugee such as that promoted by the NGO Talent Beyond Boundaries.

    Such initiatives do not provide a panacea to the refugee issue, and in their early stages at least, might not provide a solution for large numbers of displaced people. But in a world where refugee protection is at such serious risk, they deserve our full support.

    http://www.against-inhumanity.org/2020/09/08/refugee-protection-at-risk

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #protection #Jeff_Crisp #crise #crise_migratoire #crise_des_réfugiés #gouvernance #gouvernance_globale #paix #Nations_unies #ONU #conflits #guerres #conseil_de_sécurité #principes_humanitaires #géopolitique #externalisation #sanctuarisation #rapatriement #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #liberté_de_mouvement #liberté_de_circulation #droits_humains #Global_Compact_on_Refugees #Comprehensive_Refugee_Response_Framework #Global_Refugee_Forum #camps_de_réfugiés #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #banque_mondiale #société_civile #refugees_welcome #solidarité #voies_légales #corridors_humanitaires #Talent_Beyond_Boundaries #Alf_Dubs

    via @isskein
    ping @karine4 @thomas_lacroix @_kg_ @rhoumour

    –—
    Ajouté à la métaliste sur le global compact :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/739556

  • Réfugiés : #violences et #chaos dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine
    Traduit et adapté par Manon Rumiz (Article original : https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Bosnia-Erzegovina/Migranti-caos-Bosnia-204594)

    Squats démantelés, familles déportées et laissées sans aide au bord de la route, violentes manifestations anti-migrants.... Dans le canton d’Una-Sana (nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine), la situation des réfugiés devient toujours plus dramatique.

    « C’est le chaos. » Voilà comment Silvia Maraone, qui coordonne les activités de l’ONG italienne Ipsia (https://www.facebook.com/IPSIA.BIH) à #Bihać, résume la situation actuelle dans le canton d’#Una_Sana, explosive depuis le milieu de l’été. « Les conditions imposées par le gouvernement local n’offrent plus de répit à personne. Même les familles, les femmes et les enfants n’ont plus accès aux #camps officiels. Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives. »

    Dans le même temps, la police expulse les #squats et tous les #camps_informels, renvoyant les réfugiés hors des frontières du canton. La population locale, de son côté, manifeste ouvertement son hostilité face à la présence massive de candidats à l’exil. Les agressions verbales et physiques se multiplient, ainsi que les attaques contre les volontaires.

    “Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le #cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans.”

    Du fait de la #pandémie et de la proclamation de l’#état_d’urgence, la situation s’est encore détériorée depuis le printemps. Les camps officiels, déjà pleins, n’accueillent plus de nouveaux entrants alors mêmes que les arrivées ont repris depuis la réouverture des frontières au mois de juin. Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans, d’autant qu’à l’ouest, le jeu de domino entre les polices italienne, slovène et croate se poursuit, aboutissant au #refoulement des migrants interceptés dans cette zone frontalière de l’Union européenne.

    La seule réponse apportée par les autorités locales a été l’ouverture, en avril, d’un « #camp_d’urgence » à Lipa, entre Bihać et #Bosanski_Petrovac, dont le millier places a vite été rempli. Les squats se sont donc multipliés dans les #friches_industrielles et dans les bois. De toute façon, les migrants ne souhaitent pas rester ici et le « #game » continue : chaque jour, ils sont des centaines à tenter de déjouer la surveillance de la frontière croate avec l’espoir de ne pas être arrêté avant d’avoir atteint l’Italie.

    Le début du « chaos » qu’évoque Silvia Maraone remonte à la mi-juillet, avec l’expulsion du camp de fortune qui s’était créé à l’entrée de #Velika_Kladuša, près du camp officiel de #Miral, le long de la rivière #Kladušnica. Officiellement, l’opération a été déclenchée à cause des plaintes répétées des riverains. Début août, la police est revenue pour chasser les migrants qui avaient reconstitué un nouveau camp.

    « #Milices_citoyennes »

    Quelques jours plus tard, le maire de Bihać, #Šuhret_Fazlić, déclarait que la situation était aussi devenue insoutenable dans sa commune. « Cela n’a jamais été pire qu’aujourd’hui. Chaque jour, nous assistons à l’arrivée d’un flux incontrôlé de migrants. Il y en a déjà des milliers qui campent un peu partout. Une fois de plus, on nous laisse seuls », avant de conclure, menaçant : « Nous sommes prêts à prendre des mesures radicales ». Ce n’est pas la première fois que le maire de Bihać tire la sonnette d’alarme. Début 2018, au tout début de la crise, l’édile déplorait déjà le manque de soutien des autorités de la Fédération, l’entité croato-bosniaque dont dépend le canton, et nationales. À l’automne 2019, Silvia Maraone s’inquiétait aussi : « La situation ne fera qu’empirer dans les mois qui viennent si de nouveaux camps officiels ne sont pas ouverts d’urgence ».

    Selon les chiffres officiels, plus de 80% des réfugiés présents sur le sol bosnien se concentreraient dans le seul canton d’Una Sana. « Il sont plus de 5000, dont à peine la moitié hébergés dans des centres d’accueil officiels. Les autres dorment dans des bâtiments détruits ou dans les bois en attendant de tenter le game », poursuit Silvia Maraone. Ces dernières semaines, la population de Velika Kladuša a organisé des manifestations hebdomadaires contre la présence de migrants. Organisées sur les réseaux sociaux, ces rassemblements réunissent des habitants venus de tout le canton.

    Pire, des #milices citoyennes ont commencé à se mettre en place pour refouler les migrants. « Dans certains groupes Facebook, des membres signalent les plaques des véhicules qui transportent des migrants », observe Silvia Maraone. « Des routes ont même été bloquées, des pierres et des bâtons jetés sur les véhicules. » Ce n’est pas tout. « Des citoyens ont attaqué des migrants en pleine rue, tandis que les volontaires leur venant en aide se sont faits dénoncer à la police. » Le 17 août, les forces de l’ordre ont dû intervenir à Velika Kladuša où des dizaines de riverains s’étaient massés et avaient attaqué un bus où se trouvaient des migrants.

    Pour justifier de telles actions coup de poing, on trouve la rhétorique habituelle de l’extrême-droite complotiste : la prétendue violence de ces migrants et la menace qu’ils feraient peser pour la sécurité de la population locale. Des arguments balayés par les statistiques officielles, mais qui font mouche auprès de Bosniens fatigués par des décennies de divisions, de corruption et de misère.

    Deux jours après la violente manifestation du 17 août à Velika Kladuša, la cellule de crise du canton d’Una-Sana a décrété des mesures très dures : l’évacuation de tous les migrants vivant hors des structures d’accueil officielles, perquisition dans tous les lieux privés offrants des services aux migrants, interdiction de quitter les camps officiels, d’utiliser les transports en commun et d’entrer dans le canton pour tous les migrants. Des postes de contrôle ont aussi été mis en place sur les routes d’accès au canton.

    “Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques.”

    « Les personnes expulsées des squats n’ont pas toutes pu être accueillies au camp de #Lipa et ont été refoulées en #Republika_Srpska (l’autre entité de Bosnie-Herzégovine) », dénonce Silvia Maraone. « Même les familles avec enfants sont abandonnées sans aucune aide. » Ces restrictions à la #liberté_de_mouvement violent les #droits_humains fondamentaux, comme l’a dénoncé Amnesty International dans un communiqué, le 25 août. Le réseau Transbalkanska Solidarnost (https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog) demande aux autorités locales et aux organisations internationales de « mettre fin à la politique du silence », de condamner publiquement ces pratiques illégales, de poursuivre les responsables et d’assurer un accueil digne et sûr aux migrants.

    Transbalkanska Solidarnost a recueilli plusieurs #témoignages sur ces expulsions, dont celles de l’ONG No Name Kitchen à Bosanska Otoka. « Nous dormions dans une ancienne usine abandonnée près de Bihać quand la police est arrivée. Il devait y avoir 20 ou 25 policiers. Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques, puis nous ont expulsés ici où nous sommes sans nourriture, sans rien. Je me suis échappé d’Afghanistan pour me sauver et là je retrouve cette violence... Pourquoi ?! », se désole A., 16 ans. Selon les chiffres des associations, plus de 500 réfugiés se sont retrouvés bloqués sur la ligne de démarcation entre les deux entités bosniennes, personne ne voulant les prendre en charge.

    Malgré les menaces qui se font toujours plus fortes, les réseaux de #volontaires continuent de venir en aide aux migrants : distribution de produits de première nécessité, de vêtements et signalement des violences et des violations des droits. « Ce n’est pas facile », reconnaît Silvia Maraone. « Tout le monde vous regarde mal et ceux que vous aidez sont détestés… Nous restons prudents. » Son ONG, Ipsia ; intervient toujours dans le camp de Bira, géré par l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) où elle gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. « Jamais le bras-de-fer avec le reste de la Bosnie n’a été aussi tendu. »

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-chaos-dans-le-nord-ouest-de-la-bosnie-herzegovine

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #camps_de_réfugiés #campements #IOM #extrême_droite #solidarité

    –-> « Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives »
    #ségrégation #transports_publics #transports_en_commun #apartheid

    –-> « l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. »
    En fait, ce qu’il faudrait faire c’est ouvrir les frontières et laisser ces personnes bloquées en Bosnie, où elles n’ont aucune intention de rester, de partir...

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Impact of the use of private military and security services in immigration and border management on the protection of the rights of all migrants

    The present report covers the activities of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination since its previous report to the Council (A/HRC/42/42). It also highlights the impact on the protection of the human rights of all migrants of the increased use of private military and security services in immigration and border management.

    In the report, the Working Group outlines the overall context in which these services are provided and the relevant normative framework. It examines four main categories of services: provision of research and technical expertise; border security technologies and monitoring services; immigration detention, returns and removals; and the implementation of “externalization” policies. It shines a light on the impact of these services on the human rights of all migrants. It then looks at the lack of transparency, oversight and accountability of companies operating in this sector, and the impact on effective remedies for victims of violations and abuses by these companies.

    It concludes that, at times, companies are directly responsible for human rights abuses of migrants, notably in situations of deprivation of liberty; while in other instances, they are complicit in widespread human rights violations and abuse caused by other actors, such as immigration and border authorities.

    The Working Group ends its report with recommendations addressed primarily to States and private military and security companies, aimed at triggering a fundamental evaluation of the role that companies play in reinforcing security over humanitarian approaches to immigration and border management, as well as the specific security services they provide in this sector.

    https://undocs.org/A/HRC/45/9
    #rapport #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #contrôles_frontaliers #mercenaires #militarisation_des_frontières #droits_humains #armée #armée_privée #privatisation #technologie #rétention #détention #renvois #expulsions

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Deportation Union: Rights, accountability and the EU’s push to increase forced removals

    Deportation Union provides a critical examination of recently-introduced and forthcoming EU measures designed to increase the number of deportations carried out by national authorities and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. It focuses on three key areas: attempts to reduce or eliminate rights and protections in the law governing deportations; the expansion and interconnection of EU databases and information systems; and the increased budget, powers and personnel awarded to Frontex.

    There has long-been coordinated policy, legal and operational action on migration at EU level, and efforts to increase deportations have always been a part of this. However, since the ‘migration crisis’ of 2015 there has been a rapid increase in new initiatives, the overall aim of which is to limit legal protections afforded to ‘deportable’ individuals at the same time as expanding the ability of national and EU authorities to track, detain and remove people with increasing efficiency.

    The measures and initiatives being introduced by the EU to scale up deportations will require massive public expenditure on technology, infrastructure and personnel; the strengthening and expansion of state and supranational agencies already-lacking in transparency and democratic accountability; and are likely to further undermine claims that the EU occupies the moral high ground in its treatment of migrants. Anyone wishing to question and challenge these developments will first need to understand them. This report attempts to go some way towards assisting with that task.


    https://www.statewatch.org/deportation-union-rights-accountability-and-the-eu-s-push-to-increase-fo
    #machine_à_expulser #expulsions #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #UE #EU #rapport #union_européenne #renvois_forcés #rapport #Statewatch #Frontex #database #base_de_données #données_biométriques #Directive_Retour #return-opticon #Joint_return_operations (#JROs) #Collecting_return_operations #National_return_operations #Afghanistan #réfugiés_afghans #European_Centre_for_Returns #statistiques #chiffres #droits_fondamentaux #droits_humains

    ping @isskein @karine4 @rhoumour @_kg_ @etraces

    • EU: Frontex splashes out: millions of euros for new technology and equipment (19.06.2020)

      The approval of the new #Frontex_Regulation in November 2019 implied an increase of competences, budget and capabilities for the EU’s border agency, which is now equipping itself with increased means to monitor events and developments at the borders and beyond, as well as renewing its IT systems to improve the management of the reams of data to which it will have access.

      In 2020 Frontex’s #budget grew to €420.6 million, an increase of over 34% compared to 2019. The European Commission has proposed that in the next EU budget (formally known as the Multiannual Financial Framework or MFF, covering 2021-27) €11 billion will be made available to the agency, although legal negotiations are ongoing and have hit significant stumbling blocks due to Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and political disagreements.

      Nevertheless, the increase for this year has clearly provided a number of opportunities for Frontex. For instance, it has already agreed contracts worth €28 million for the acquisition of dozens of vehicles equipped with thermal and day cameras, surveillance radar and sensors.

      According to the contract for the provision of Mobile Surveillance Systems, these new tools will be used “for detection, identification and recognising of objects of interest e.g. human beings and/or groups of people, vehicles moving across the border (land and sea), as well as vessels sailing within the coastal areas, and other objects identified as objects of interest”. [1]

      Frontex has also published a call for tenders for Maritime Analysis Tools, worth a total of up to €2.6 million. With this, Frontex seeks to improve access to “big data” for maritime analysis. [2] The objective of deploying these tools is to enhance Frontex’s operational support to EU border, coast guard and law enforcement authorities in “suppressing and preventing, among others, illegal migration and cross-border crime in the maritime domain”.

      Moreover, the system should be capable of delivering analysis and identification of high-risk threats following the collection and storage of “big data”. It is not clear how much human input and monitoring there will be of the identification of risks. The call for tenders says the winning bidder should have been announced in May, but there is no public information on the chosen company so far.

      As part of a 12-month pilot project to examine how maritime analysis tools could “support multipurpose operational response,” Frontex previously engaged the services of the Tel Aviv-based company Windward Ltd, which claims to fuse “maritime data and artificial intelligence… to provide the right insights, with the right context, at the right time.” [3] Windward, whose current chairman is John Browne, the former CEO of the multinational oil company BP, received €783,000 for its work. [4]

      As the agency’s gathering and processing of data increases, it also aims to improve and develop its own internal IT systems, through a two-year project worth €34 million. This will establish a set of “framework contracts”. Through these, each time the agency seeks a new IT service or system, companies selected to participate in the framework contracts will submit bids for the work. [5]

      The agency is also seeking a ’Software Solution for EBCG [European Border and Coast Guard] Team Members to Access to Schengen Information System’, through a contract worth up to €5 million. [6] The Schengen Information System (SIS) is the EU’s largest database, enabling cooperation between authorities working in the fields of police, border control and customs of all the Schengen states (26 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and its legal bases were recently reformed to include new types of alert and categories of data. [7]

      This software will give Frontex officials direct access to certain data within the SIS. Currently, they have to request access via national border guards in the country in which they are operating. This would give complete autonomy to Frontex officials to consult the SIS whilst undertaking operations, shortening the length of the procedure. [8]

      With the legal basis for increasing Frontex’s powers in place, the process to build up its personnel, material and surveillance capacities continues, with significant financial implications.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/june/eu-frontex-splashes-out-millions-of-euros-for-new-technology-and-equipme

      #technologie #équipement #Multiannual_Financial_Framework #MFF #surveillance #Mobile_Surveillance_Systems #Maritime_Analysis_Tools #données #big_data #mer #Windward_Ltd #Israël #John_Browne #BP #complexe_militaro-industriel #Software_Solution_for_EBCG_Team_Members_to_Access_to_Schengen_Information_System #SIS #Schengen_Information_System

    • EU : Guns, guards and guidelines : reinforcement of Frontex runs into problems (26.05.2020)

      An internal report circulated by Frontex to EU government delegations highlights a series of issues in implementing the agency’s new legislation. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency is urging swift action to implement the mandate and is pressing ahead with the recruitment of its new ‘standing corps’. However, there are legal problems with the acquisition, registration, storage and transport of weapons. The agency is also calling for derogations from EU rules on staff disciplinary measures in relation to the use of force; and wants an extended set of privileges and immunities. Furthermore, it is assisting with “voluntary return” despite this activity appearing to fall outside of its legal mandate.

      State-of-play report

      At the end of April 2020, Frontex circulated a report to EU government delegations in the Council outlining the state of play of the implementation of its new Regulation (“EBCG 2.0 Regulation”, in the agency and Commission’s words), especially relating to “current challenges”.[1] Presumably, this refers to the outbreak of a pandemic, though the report also acknowledges challenges created by the legal ambiguities contained in the Regulation itself, in particular with regard to the acquisition of weapons, supervisory and disciplinary mechanisms, legal privileges and immunities and involvement in “voluntary return” operations.

      The path set out in the report is that the “operational autonomy of the agency will gradually increase towards 2027” until it is a “fully-fledged and reliable partner” to EU and Schengen states. It acknowledges the impacts of unforeseen world events on the EU’s forthcoming budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework, MFF) for 2021-27, and hints at the impact this will have on Frontex’s own budget and objectives. Nevertheless, the agency is still determined to “continue increasing the capabilities” of the agency, including its acquisition of new equipment and employment of new staff for its standing corps.

      The main issues covered by the report are: Frontex’s new standing corps of staff, executive powers and the use of force, fundamental rights and data protection, and the integration into Frontex of EUROSUR, the European Border Surveillance System.

      The new standing corps

      Recruitment

      A new standing corps of 10,000 Frontex staff by 2024 is to be, in the words of the agency, its “biggest game changer”.[2] The report notes that the establishment of the standing corps has been heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. According to the report, 7,238 individuals had applied to join the standing corps before the outbreak of the pandemic. 5,482 of these – over 75% – were assessed by the agency as eligible, with a final 304 passing the entire selection process to be on the “reserve lists”.[3]

      Despite interruptions to the recruitment procedure following worldwide lockdown measures, interviews for Category 1 staff – permanent Frontex staff members to be deployed on operations – were resumed via video by the end of April. 80 candidates were shortlisted for the first week, and Frontex aims to interview 1,000 people in total. Despite this adaptation, successful candidates will have to wait for Frontex’s contractor to re-open in order to carry out medical tests, an obligatory requirement for the standing corps.[4]

      In 2020, Frontex joined the European Defence Agency’s Satellite Communications (SatCom) and Communications and Information System (CIS) services in order to ensure ICT support for the standing corps in operation as of 2021.[5] The EDA describes SatCom and CIS as “fundamental for Communication, Command and Control in military operations… [enabling] EU Commanders to connect forces in remote areas with HQs and capitals and to manage the forces missions and tasks”.[6]

      Training

      The basic training programme, endorsed by the management board in October 2019, is designed for Category 1 staff. It includes specific training in interoperability and “harmonisation with member states”. The actual syllabus, content and materials for this basic training were developed by March 2020; Statewatch has made a request for access to these documents, which is currently pending with the Frontex Transparency Office. This process has also been affected by the novel coronavirus, though the report insists that “no delay is foreseen in the availability of the specialised profile related training of the standing corps”.

      Use of force

      The state-of-play-report acknowledges a number of legal ambiguities surrounding some of the more controversial powers outlined in Frontex’s 2019 Regulation, highlighting perhaps that political ambition, rather than serious consideration and assessment, propelled the legislation, overtaking adequate procedure and oversight. The incentive to enact the legislation within a short timeframe is cited as a reason that no impact assessment was carried out on the proposed recast to the agency’s mandate. This draft was rushed through negotiations and approved in an unprecedented six-month period, and the details lost in its wake are now coming to light.

      Article 82 of the 2019 Regulation refers to the use of force and carriage of weapons by Frontex staff, while a supervisory mechanism for the use of force by statutory staff is established by Article 55. This says:

      “On the basis of a proposal from the executive director, the management board shall: (a) establish an appropriate supervisory mechanism to monitor the application of the provisions on use of force by statutory staff, including rules on reporting and specific measures, such as those of a disciplinary nature, with regard to the use of force during deployments”[7]

      The agency’s management board is expected to make a decision about this supervisory mechanism, including specific measures and reporting, by the end of June 2020.

      The state-of-play report posits that the legal terms of Article 55 are inconsistent with the standard rules on administrative enquiries and disciplinary measures concerning EU staff.[8] These outline, inter alia, that a dedicated disciplinary board will be established in each institution including at least one member from outside the institution, that this board must be independent and its proceedings secret. Frontex insists that its staff will be a special case as the “first uniformed service of the EU”, and will therefore require “special arrangements or derogations to the Staff Regulations” to comply with the “totally different nature of tasks and risks associated with their deployments”.[9]

      What is particularly astounding about Frontex demanding special treatment for oversight, particularly on use of force and weapons is that, as the report acknowledges, the agency cannot yet legally store or transport any weapons it acquires.

      Regarding service weapons and “non-lethal equipment”,[10] legal analysis by “external experts and a regulatory law firm” concluded that the 2019 Regulation does not provide a legal basis for acquiring, registering, storing or transporting weapons in Poland, where the agency’s headquarters is located. Frontex has applied to the Commission for clarity on how to proceed, says the report. Frontex declined to comment on the status of this consultation and any indications of the next steps the agency will take. A Commission spokesperson stated only that it had recently received the agency’s enquiry and “is analysing the request and the applicable legal framework in the view of replying to the EBCGA”, without expanding further.

      Until Frontex has the legal basis to do so, it cannot launch a tender for firearms and “non-lethal equipment” (which includes batons, pepper spray and handcuffs). However, the report implies the agency is ready to do so as soon as it receives the green light. Technical specifications are currently being finalised for “non-lethal equipment” and Frontex still plans to complete acquisition by the end of the year.

      Privileges and immunities

      The agency is also seeking special treatment with regard to the legal privileges and immunities it and its officials enjoy. Article 96 of the 2019 Regulation outlines the privileges and immunities of Frontex officers, stating:

      “Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union annexed to the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to the TFEU shall apply to the Agency and its statutory staff.” [11]

      However, Frontex notes that the Protocol does not apply to non-EU states, nor does it “offer a full protection, or take into account a need for the inviolability of assets owned by Frontex (service vehicles, vessels, aircraft)”.[12] Frontex is increasingly involved in operations taking place on non-EU territory. For instance, the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states, primarily in the Western Balkans, concerning Frontex activities in those countries. To launch operations under these agreements, Frontex will (or, in the case of Albania, already has) agree on operational plans with each state, under which Frontex staff can use executive powers.[13] The agency therefore seeks an “EU-level status of forces agreement… to account for the partial absence of rules”.

      Law enforcement

      To implement its enhanced functions regarding cross-border crime, Frontex will continue to participate in Europol’s four-year policy cycle addressing “serious international and organised crime”.[14] The agency is also developing a pilot project, “Investigation Support Activities- Cross Border Crime” (ISA-CBC), addressing drug trafficking and terrorism.

      Fundamental rights and data protection

      The ‘EBCG 2.0 Regulation’ requires several changes to fundamental rights measures by the agency, which, aside from some vague “legal analyses” seem to be undergoing development with only internal oversight.

      Firstly, to facilitate adequate independence of the Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), special rules have to be established. The FRO was introduced under Frontex’s 2016 Regulation, but has since then been understaffed and underfunded by the agency.[15] The 2019 Regulation obliges the agency to ensure “sufficient and adequate human and financial resources” for the office, as well as 40 fundamental rights monitors.[16] These standing corps staff members will be responsible for monitoring compliance with fundamental rights standards, providing advice and assistance on the agency’s plans and activities, and will visit and evaluate operations, including acting as forced return monitors.[17]

      During negotiations over the proposed Regulation 2.0, MEPs introduced extended powers for the Fundamental Rights Officer themselves. The FRO was previously responsible for contributing to Frontex’s fundamental rights strategy and monitoring its compliance with and promotion of fundamental rights. Now, they will be able to monitor compliance by conducting investigations; offering advice where deemed necessary or upon request of the agency; providing opinions on operational plans, pilot projects and technical assistance; and carrying out on-the-spot visits. The executive director is now obliged to respond “as to how concerns regarding possible violations of fundamental rights… have been addressed,” and the management board “shall ensure that action is taken with regard to recommendations of the fundamental rights officer.” [18] The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation.

      The state-of-play report says that “legal analyses and exchanges” are ongoing, and will inform an eventual management board decision, but no timeline for this is offered. [19] The agency will also need to adapt its much criticised individual complaints mechanism to fit the requirements of the 2019 Regulation; executive director Fabrice Leggeri’s first-draft decision on this process is currently undergoing internal consultations. Even the explicit requirement set out in the 2019 Regulation for an “independent and effective” complaints mechanism,[20] does not meet minimum standards to qualify as an effective remedy, which include institutional independence, accessibility in practice, and capacity to carry out thorough and prompt investigations.[21]

      Frontex has entered into a service level agreement (SLA) with the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) for support in establishing and training the team of fundamental rights monitors introduced by the 2019 Regulation. These monitors are to be statutory staff of the agency and will assess fundamental rights compliance of operational activities, advising, assisting and contributing to “the promotion of fundamental rights”.[22] The scope and objectives for this team were finalised at the end of March this year, and the agency will establish the team by the end of the year. Statewatch has requested clarification as to what is to be included in the team’s scope and objectives, pending with the Frontex Transparency Office.

      Regarding data protection, the agency plans a package of implementing rules (covering issues ranging from the position of data protection officer to the restriction of rights for returnees and restrictions under administrative data processing) to be implemented throughout 2020.[23] The management board will review a first draft of the implementing rules on the data protection officer in the second quarter of 2020.

      Returns

      The European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN) – a network of 15 European states and the Commission facilitating cooperation over return operations “as part of the EU efforts to manage migration” – is to be handed over to Frontex. [24] A handover plan is currently under the final stage of review; it reportedly outlines the scoping of activities and details of “which groups of returnees will be eligible for Frontex assistance in the future”.[25] A request from Statewatch to Frontex for comment on what assistance will be provided by the agency to such returnees was unanswered at the time of publication.

      Since the entry into force of its new mandate, Frontex has also been providing technical assistance for so-called voluntary returns, with the first two such operations carried out on scheduled flights (as opposed to charter flights) in February 2020. A total of 28 people were returned by mid-April, despite the fact that there is no legal clarity over what the definition “voluntary return” actually refers to, as the state-of-play report also explains:

      “The terminology of voluntary return was introduced in the Regulation without providing any definition thereof. This terminology (voluntary departure vs voluntary return) is moreover not in line with the terminology used in the Return Directive (EBCG 2.0 refers to the definition of returns provided for in the Return Directive. The Return Directive, however, does not cover voluntary returns; a voluntary return is not a return within the meaning of the Return Directive). Further elaboration is needed.”[26]

      On top of requiring “further clarification”, if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate. Statewatch has launched an investigation into the agency’s activities relating to voluntary returns, to outline the number of such operations to date, their country of return and country of destination.

      Frontex is currently developing a module dedicated to voluntary returns by charter flight for its FAR (Frontex Application for Returns) platform (part of its return case management system). On top of the technical support delivered by the agency, Frontex also foresees the provision of on-the-ground support from Frontex representatives or a “return counsellor”, who will form part of the dedicated return teams planned for the standing corps from 2021.[27]

      Frontex has updated its return case management system (RECAMAS), an online platform for member state authorities and Frontex to communicate and plan return operations, to manage an increased scope. The state-of-play report implies that this includes detail on post-return activities in a new “post-return module”, indicating that Frontex is acting on commitments to expand its activity in this area. According to the agency’s roadmap on implementing the 2019 Regulation, an action plan on how the agency will provide post-return support to people (Article 48(1), 2019 Regulation) will be written by the third quarter of 2020.[28]

      In its closing paragraph, related to the budgetary impact of COVID-19 regarding return operations, the agency notes that although activities will resume once aerial transportation restrictions are eased, “the agency will not be able to provide what has been initially intended, undermining the concept of the EBCG as a whole”.[29]

      EUROSUR

      The Commission is leading progress on adopting the implementing act for the integration of EUROSUR into Frontex, which will define the implementation of new aerial surveillance,[30] expected by the end of the year.[31] Frontex is discussing new working arrangements with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). The development by Frontex of the surveillance project’s communications network will require significant budgetary investment, as the agency plans to maintain the current system ahead of its planned replacement in 2025.[32] This investment is projected despite the agency’s recognition of the economic impact of Covid-19 on member states, and the consequent adjustments to the MFF 2021-27.

      Summary

      Drafted and published as the world responds to an unprecedented pandemic, the “current challenges” referred to in the report appear, on first read, to refer to the budgetary and staffing implications of global shut down. However, the report maintains throughout that the agency’s determination to expand, in terms of powers as well as staffing, will not be stalled despite delays and budgeting adjustments. Indeed, it is implied more than once that the “current challenges” necessitate more than ever that these powers be assumed. The true challenges, from the agency’s point of view, stem from the fact that its current mandate was rushed through negotiations in six months, leading to legal ambiguities that leave it unable to acquire or transport weapons and in a tricky relationship with the EU protocol on privileges and immunities when operating in third countries. Given the violence that so frequently accompanies border control operations in the EU, it will come as a relief to many that Frontex is having difficulties acquiring its own weaponry. However, it is far from reassuring that the introduction of new measures on fundamental rights and accountability are being carried out internally and remain unavailable for public scrutiny.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Note: this article was updated on 26 May 2020 to include the European Commission’s response to Statewatch’s enquiries.

      It was updated on 1 July with some minor corrections:

      “the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states... under which” replaces “the agency has entered into working agreements with Balkan states, under which”
      “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in any detail in the Regulation beyond monitoring the agency’s ’compliance with fundamental rights, including by conducting investigations’” replaces “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation”
      “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it further exposes the haste with which legislation written to deny entry into the EU and facilitate expulsions was drafted” replaces “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate”

      Endnotes

      [1] Frontex, ‘State of play of the implementation of the EBCG 2.0 Regulation in view of current challenges’, 27 April 2020, contained in Council document 7607/20, LIMITE, 20 April 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/may/eu-council-frontex-ECBG-state-of-play-7607-20.pdf

      [2] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [3] Section 1.1, state of play report

      [4] Jane Kilpatrick, ‘Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards’, Statewatch Analysis, March 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-355-frontex-recruitment-standing-corps.pdf

      [5] Section 7.1, state of play report

      [6] EDA, ‘EU SatCom Market’, https://www.eda.europa.eu/what-we-do/activities/activities-search/eu-satcom-market

      [7] Article 55(5)(a), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex 2019 Regulation), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [8] Pursuant to Annex IX of the EU Staff Regulations, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:01962R0031-20140501

      [9] Chapter III, state of play report

      [10] Section 2.5, state of play report

      [11] Protocol (No 7), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2016.202.01.0001.01.ENG#d1e3363-201-1

      [12] Chapter III, state of play report

      [13] ‘Border externalisation: Agreements on Frontex operations in Serbia and Montenegro heading for parliamentary approval’, Statewatch News, 11 March 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/frontex-status-agreements.htm

      [14] Europol, ‘EU policy cycle – EMPACT’, https://www.europol.europa.eu/empact

      [15] ‘NGOs, EU and international agencies sound the alarm over Frontex’s respect for fundamental rights’, Statewatch News, 5 March 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/mar/fx-consultative-forum-rep.htm; ‘Frontex condemned by its own fundamental rights body for failing to live up to obligations’, Statewatch News, 21 May 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/may/eu-frontex-fr-rep.htm

      [16] Article 110(6), Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [17] Article 110, 2019 Regulation

      [18] Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [19] Section 8, state of play report

      [20] Article 111(1), 2019 Regulation

      [21] Sergio Carrera and Marco Stefan, ‘Complaint Mechanisms in Border Management and Expulsion Operations in Europe: Effective Remedies for Victims of Human Rights Violations?’, CEPS, 2018, https://www.ceps.eu/system/files/Complaint%20Mechanisms_A4.pdf

      [22] Article 110(1), 2019 Regulation

      [23] Section 9, state of play report

      [24] ERRIN, https://returnnetwork.eu

      [25] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [26] Chapter III, state of play report

      [27] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [28] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [29] State of play report, p. 19

      [30] Matthias Monroy, ‘Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders’, Statewatch Analysis, February 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-354-frontex-drones.pdf

      [31] Section 4, state of play report

      [32] Section 7.2, state of play report
      Next article >

      Mediterranean: As the fiction of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble, EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/eu-guns-guards-and-guidelines-reinforcement-of-frontex-runs-into-problem

      #EBCG_2.0_Regulation #European_Defence_Agency’s_Satellite_Communications (#SatCom) #Communications_and_Information_System (#CIS) #immunité #droits_fondamentaux #droits_humains #Fundamental_Rights_Officer (#FRO) #European_Return_and_Reintegration_Network (#ERRIN) #renvois #expulsions #réintégration #Directive_Retour #FAR (#Frontex_Application_for_Returns) #RECAMAS #EUROSUR #European_Aviation_Safety_Agency (#EASA) #European_Organisation_for_the_Safety_of_Air_Navigation (#EUROCONTROL)

    • Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards

      On 4 January 2020 the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) adopted a decision on the profiles of the staff required for the new “standing corps”, which is ultimately supposed to be staffed by 10,000 officials. [1] The decision ushers in a new wave of recruitment for the agency. Applicants will be put through six months of training before deployment, after rigorous medical testing.

      What is the standing corps?

      The European Border and Coast Guard standing corps is the new, and according to Frontex, first ever, EU uniformed service, available “at any time…to support Member States facing challenges at their external borders”.[2] Frontex’s Programming Document for the 2018-2020 period describes the standing corps as the agency’s “biggest game changer”, requiring “an unprecedented scale of staff recruitment”.[3]

      The standing corps will be made up of four categories of Frontex operational staff:

      Frontex statutory staff deployed in operational areas and staff responsible for the functioning of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) Central Unit[4];
      Long-term staff seconded from member states;
      Staff from member states who can be immediately deployed on short-term secondment to Frontex; and

      A reserve of staff from member states for rapid border interventions.

      These border guards will be “trained by the best and equipped with the latest technology has to offer”.[5] As well as wearing EU uniforms, they will be authorised to carry weapons and will have executive powers: they will be able to verify individuals’ identity and nationality and permit or refuse entry into the EU.

      The decision made this January is limited to the definition of profiles and requirements for the operational staff that are to be recruited. The Management Board (MB) will have to adopt a new decision by March this year to set out the numbers of staff needed per profile, the requirements for individuals holding those positions, and the number of staff needed for the following year based on expected operational needs. This process will be repeated annually.[6] The MB can then further specify how many staff each member state should contribute to these profiles, and establish multi-annual plans for member state contributions and recruitment for Frontex statutory staff. Projections for these contributions are made in Annexes II – IV of the 2019 Regulation, though a September Mission Statement by new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urges the recruitment of 10,000 border guards by 2024, indicating that member states might be meeting their contribution commitments much sooner than 2027.[7]

      The standing corps of Frontex staff will have an array of executive powers and responsibilities. As well as being able to verify identity and nationality and refuse or permit entry into the EU, they will be able to consult various EU databases to fulfil operational aims, and may also be authorised by host states to consult national databases. According to the MB Decision, “all members of the Standing Corps are to be able to identify persons in need of international protection and persons in a vulnerable situation, including unaccompanied minors, and refer them to the competent authorities”. Training on international and EU law on fundamental rights and international protection, as well as guidelines on the identification and referral of persons in need of international protection, will be mandatory for all standing corps staff members.

      The size of the standing corps

      The following table, taken from the 2019 Regulation, outlines the ambitions for growth of Frontex’s standing corps. However, as noted, the political ambition is to reach the 10,000 total by 2024.

      –-> voir le tableau sur le site de statewatch!

      Category 2 staff – those on long term secondment from member states – will join Frontex from 2021, according to the 2019 Regulation.[8] It is foreseen that Germany will contribute the most staff, with 61 expected in 2021, increasing year-by-year to 225 by 2027. Other high contributors are France and Italy (170 and 125 by 2027, respectively).

      The lowest contributors will be Iceland (expected to contribute between one and two people a year from 2021 to 2027), Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg. Liechtenstein is not contributing personnel but will contribute “through proportional financial support”.

      For short-term secondments from member states, projections follow a very similar pattern. Germany will contribute 540 staff in 2021, increasing to 827 in 2027; Italy’s contribution will increase from 300 in 2021 to 458 in 2027; and France’s from 408 in 2021 to 624 in 2027. Most states will be making less than 100 staff available for short-term secondment in 2021.

      What are the profiles?

      The MB Decision outlines 12 profiles to be made available to Frontex, ranging from Border Guard Officer and Crew Member, to Cross Border Crime Detection Officer and Return Specialist. A full list is contained in the Decision.[9] All profiles will be fulfilled by an official of the competent authority of a member state (MS) or Schengen Associated Country (SAC), or by a member of Frontex’s own statutory staff.

      Tasks to be carried out by these officials include:

      border checks and surveillance;
      interviewing, debriefing* and screening arrivals and registering fingerprints;
      supporting the collection, assessment, analysis and distribution of information with EU member and non-member states;
      verifying travel documents;
      escorting individuals being deported on Frontex return operations;
      operating data systems and platforms; and
      offering cultural mediation

      *Debriefing consists of informal interviews with migrants to collect information for risk analyses on irregular migration and other cross-border crime and the profiling of irregular migrants to identify “modus operandi and migration trends used by irregular migrants and facilitators/criminal networks”. Guidelines written by Frontex in 2012 instructed border guards to target vulnerable individuals for “debriefing”, not in order to streamline safeguarding or protection measures, but for intelligence-gathering - “such people are often more willing to talk about their experiences,” said an internal document.[10] It is unknown whether those instructions are still in place.

      Recruitment for the profiles

      Certain profiles are expected to “apply self-safety and security practice”, and to have “the capacity to work under pressure and face emotional events with composure”. Relevant profiles (e.g. crew member) are required to be able to perform search and rescue activities in distress situations at sea borders.

      Frontex published a call for tender on 27 December for the provision of medical services for pre-recruitment examinations, in line with the plan to start recruiting operational staff in early 2020. The documents accompanying the tender reveal additional criteria for officials that will be granted executive powers (Frontex category “A2”) compared to those staff stationed primarily at the agency’s Warsaw headquarters (“A1”). Those criteria come in the form of more stringent medical testing.

      The differences in medical screening for category A1 and A2 staff lie primarily in additional toxicology screening and psychiatric and psychological consultations. [11] The additional psychiatric attention allotted for operational staff “is performed to check the predisposition for people to work in arduous, hazardous conditions, exposed to stress, conflict situations, changing rapidly environment, coping with people being in dramatic, injure or death exposed situations”.[12]

      Both A1 and A2 category provisional recruits will be asked to disclose if they have ever suffered from a sexually transmitted disease or “genital organ disease”, as well as depression, nervous or mental disorders, among a long list of other ailments. As well as disclosing any medication they take, recruits must also state if they are taking oral contraceptives (though there is no question about hormonal contraceptives that are not taken orally). Women are also asked to give the date of their last period on the pre-appointment questionnaire.

      “Never touch yourself with gloves”

      Frontex training materials on forced return operations obtained by Statewatch in 2019 acknowledge the likelihood of psychological stress among staff, among other health risks. (One recommendation contained in the documents is to “never touch yourself with gloves”). Citing “dissonance within the team, long hours with no rest, group dynamic, improvisation and different languages” among factors behind psychological stress, the training materials on medical precautionary measures for deportation escort officers also refer to post-traumatic stress disorder, the lack of an area to retreat to and body clock disruption as exacerbating risks. The document suggests a high likelihood that Frontex return escorts will witness poverty, “agony”, “chaos”, violence, boredom, and will have to deal with vulnerable persons.[13]

      For fundamental rights monitors (officials deployed to monitor fundamental rights compliance during deportations, who can be either Frontex staff or national officials), the training materials obtained by Statewatch focus on the self-control of emotions, rather than emotional care. Strategies recommended include talking to somebody, seeking professional help, and “informing yourself of any other option offered”. The documents suggest that it is an individual’s responsibility to prevent emotional responses to stressful situations having an impact on operations, and to organise their own supervision and professional help. There is no obvious focus on how traumatic responses of Frontex staff could affect those coming into contact with them at an external border or during a deportation. [14]

      The materials obtained by Statewatch also give some indication of the fundamental rights training imparted to those acting as deportation ‘escorts’ and fundamental rights monitors. The intended outcomes for a training session in Athens that took place in March 2019 included “adapt FR [fundamental rights] in a readmission operation (explain it with examples)” and “should be able to describe Non Refoulement principle” (in the document, ‘Session Fundamental rights’ is followed by ‘Session Velcro handcuffs’).[15] The content of the fundamental rights training that will be offered to Frontex’s new recruits is currently unknown.

      Fit for service?

      The agency anticipates that most staff will be recruited from March to June 2020, involving the medical examination of up to 700 applicants in this period. According to Frontex’s website, the agency has already received over 7,000 applications for the 700 new European Border Guard Officer positions.[16] Successful candidates will undergo six months of training before deployment in 2021. Apparently then, the posts are a popular career option, despite the seemingly invasive medical tests (especially for sexually active women). Why, for instance, is it important to Frontex to know about oral hormonal contraception, or about sexually transmitted infections?

      When asked by Statewatch if Frontex provides in-house psychological and emotional support, an agency press officer stated: “When it comes to psychological and emotional support, Frontex is increasing awareness and personal resilience of the officers taking part in our operations through education and training activities.” A ‘Frontex Mental Health Strategy’ from 2018 proposed the establishment of “a network of experts-psychologists” to act as an advisory body, as well as creating “online self-care tools”, a “psychological hot-line”, and a space for peer support with participation of psychologists (according to risk assessment) during operations.[17]

      One year later, Frontex, EASO and Europol jointly produced a brochure for staff deployed on operations, entitled ‘Occupational Health and Safety – Deployment Information’, which offers a series of recommendations to staff, placing the responsibility to “come to the deployment in good mental shape” and “learn how to manage stress and how to deal with anger” more firmly on the individual than the agency.[18] According to this document, officers who need additional support must disclose this by requesting it from their supervisor, while “a helpline or psychologist on-site may be available, depending on location”.

      Frontex anticipates this recruitment drive to be “game changing”. Indeed, the Commission is relying upon it to reach its ambitions for the agency’s independence and efficiency. The inclusion of mandatory training in fundamental rights in the six-month introductory education is obviously a welcome step. Whether lessons learned in a classroom will be the first thing that comes to the minds of officials deployed on border control or deportation operations remains to be seen.

      Unmanaged responses to emotional stress can include burnout, compassion-fatigue and indirect trauma, which can in turn decrease a person’s ability to cope with adverse circumstance, and increase the risk of violence.[19] Therefore, aside from the agency’s responsibility as an employer to safeguard the health of its staff, its approach to internal psychological care will affect not only the border guards themselves, but the people that they routinely come into contact with at borders and during return operations, many of whom themselves will have experienced trauma.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Endnotes

      [1] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [2] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [3] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [4] The ETIAS Central Unit will be responsible for processing the majority of applications for ‘travel authorisations’ received when the European Travel Information and Authorisation System comes into use, in theory in late 2022. Citizens who do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for authorisation to travel to the Schengen area.

      [5] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [6] Article 54(4), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [7] ‘European Commission 2020 Work Programme: An ambitious roadmap for a Union that strives for more’, 29 January 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_124; “Mission letter” from Ursula von der Leyen to Ylva Johnsson, 10 September 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/mission-letter-ylva-johansson_en.pdf

      [8] Annex II, 2019 Regulation

      [9] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [10] ‘Press release: EU border agency targeted “isolated or mistreated” individuals for questioning’, Statewatch News, 16 February 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2017/feb/eu-frontex-op-hera-debriefing-pr.htm

      [11] ‘Provision of Medical Services – Pre-Recruitment Examination’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-documents.html?cftId=5841

      [12] ‘Provision of medical services – pre-recruitment examination, Terms of Reference - Annex II to invitation to tender no Frontex/OP/1491/2019/KM’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-document.html?docId=65398

      [13] Frontex training presentation, ‘Medical precautionary measures for escort officers’, undated, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-presentation-medical-precautionary-measures-deportation-escor

      [14] Ibid.

      [15] Frontex, document listing course learning outcomes from deportation escorts’ training, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-deportation-escorts-training-course-learning-outcomes.pdf

      [16] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [17] Frontex, ‘Frontex mental health strategy’, 20 February 2018, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/89c168fe-e14b-11e7-9749-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

      [18] EASO, Europol and Frontex, ‘Occupational health and safety’, 12 August 2019, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/17cc07e0-bd88-11e9-9d01-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-103142015

      [19] Trauma Treatment International, ‘A different approach for victims of trauma’, https://www.tt-intl.org/#our-work-section

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/frontex-launches-game-changing-recruitment-drive-for-standing-corps-of-b
      #gardes_frontières #staff #corps_des_gardes-frontières

    • Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders (27.02.2020)

      Instead of providing sea rescue capabilities in the Mediterranean, the EU is expanding air surveillance. Refugees are observed with drones developed for the military. In addition to numerous EU states, countries such as Libya could also use the information obtained.

      It is not easy to obtain majorities for legislation in the European Union in the area of migration - unless it is a matter of upgrading the EU’s external borders. While the reform of a common EU asylum system has been on hold for years, the European Commission, Parliament and Council agreed to reshape the border agency Frontex with unusual haste shortly before last year’s parliamentary elections. A new Regulation has been in force since December 2019,[1] under which Frontex intends to build up a “standing corps” of 10,000 uniformed officials by 2027. They can be deployed not just at the EU’s external borders, but in ‘third countries’ as well.

      In this way, Frontex will become a “European border police force” with powers that were previously reserved for the member states alone. The core of the new Regulation includes the procurement of the agency’s own equipment. The Multiannual Financial Framework, in which the EU determines the distribution of its financial resources from 2021 until 2027, has not yet been decided. According to current plans, however, at least €6 billion are reserved for Frontex in the seven-year budget. The intention is for Frontex to spend a large part of the money, over €2 billion, on aircraft, ships and vehicles.[2]

      Frontex seeks company for drone flights

      The upgrade plans include the stationing of large drones in the central and eastern Mediterranean. For this purpose, Frontex is looking for a private partner to operate flights off Malta, Italy or Greece. A corresponding tender ended in December[3] and the selection process is currently underway. The unmanned missions could then begin already in spring. Frontex estimates the total cost of these missions at €50 million. The contract has a term of two years and can be extended twice for one year at a time.

      Frontex wants drones of the so-called MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class. Their flight duration should be at least 20 hours. The requirements include the ability to fly in all weather conditions and at day and night. It is also planned to operate in airspace where civil aircraft are in service. For surveillance missions, the drones should carry electro-optical cameras, thermal imaging cameras and so-called “daylight spotter” systems that independently detect moving targets and keep them in focus. Other equipment includes systems for locating mobile and satellite telephones. The drones will also be able to receive signals from emergency call transmitters sewn into modern life jackets.

      However, the Frontex drones will not be used primarily for sea rescue operations, but to improve capacities against unwanted migration. This assumption is also confirmed by the German non-governmental organisation Sea-Watch, which has been providing assistance in the central Mediterranean with various ships since 2015. “Frontex is not concerned with saving lives,” says Ruben Neugebauer of Sea-Watch. “While air surveillance is being expanded with aircraft and drones, ships urgently needed for rescue operations have been withdrawn”. Sea-Watch demands that situation pictures of EU drones are also made available to private organisations for sea rescue.

      Aircraft from arms companies

      Frontex has very specific ideas for its own drones, which is why there are only a few suppliers worldwide that can be called into question. The Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1, which Frontex tested for several months on the Greek island of Crete[4] and which is also flown by the German Bundeswehr, is one of them. As set out by Frontex in its invitation to tender, the Heron 1, with a payload of around 250 kilograms, can carry all the surveillance equipment that the agency intends to deploy over the Mediterranean. Also amongst those likely to be interested in the Frontex contract is the US company General Atomics, which has been building drones of the Predator series for 20 years. Recently, it presented a new Predator model in Greece under the name SeaGuardian, for maritime observation.[5] It is equipped with a maritime surveillance radar and a system for receiving position data from larger ships, thus fulfilling one of Frontex’s essential requirements.

      General Atomics may have a competitive advantage, as its Predator drones have several years’ operational experience in the Mediterranean. In addition to Frontex, the European Union has been active in the central Mediterranean with EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia. In March 2019, Italy’s then-interior minister Matteo Salvini pushed through the decision to operate the EU mission from the air alone. Since then, two unarmed Predator drones operated by the Italian military have been flying for EUNAVFOR MED for 60 hours per month. Officially, the drones are to observe from the air whether the training of the Libyan coast guard has been successful and whether these navy personnel use their knowledge accordingly. Presumably, however, the Predators are primarily pursuing the mission’s goal to “combat human smuggling” by spying on the Libyan coast. It is likely that the new Operation EU Active Surveillance, which will use military assets from EU member states to try to enforce the UN arms embargo placed on Libya,[6] will continue to patrol with Italian drones off the coast in North Africa.

      Three EU maritime surveillance agencies

      In addition to Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) are also investing in maritime surveillance using drones. Together, the three agencies coordinate some 300 civil and military authorities in EU member states.[7] Their tasks include border, fisheries and customs control, law enforcement and environmental protection.

      In 2017, Frontex and EMSA signed an agreement to benefit from joint reconnaissance capabilities, with EFCA also involved.[8] At the time, EMSA conducted tests with drones of various sizes, but now the drones’ flights are part of its regular services. The offer is not only open to EU Member States, as Iceland was the first to take advantage of it. Since summer 2019, a long-range Hermes 900 drone built by the Israeli company Elbit Systems has been flying from Iceland’s Egilsstaðir airport. The flights are intended to cover more than half of the island state’s exclusive economic zone and to detect “suspicious activities and potential hazards”.[9]

      The Hermes 900 was also developed for the military; the Israeli army first deployed it in the Gaza Strip in 2014. The Times of Israel puts the cost of the operating contract with EMSA at €59 million,[10] with a term of two years, which can be extended for another two years. The agency did not conclude the contract directly with the Israeli arms company, but through the Portuguese firm CeiiA. The contract covers the stationing, control and mission control of the drones.

      New interested parties for drone flights

      At the request of the German MEP Özlem Demirel (from the party Die Linke), the European Commission has published a list of countries that also want to use EMSA drones.[11] According to this list, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal and also Greece have requested unmanned flights for pollution monitoring this year, while Bulgaria and Spain want to use them for general maritime surveillance. Until Frontex has its own drones, EMSA is flying its drones for the border agency on Crete. As in Iceland, this is the long-range drone Hermes 900, but according to Greek media reports it crashed on 8 January during take-off.[12] Possible causes are a malfunction of the propulsion system or human error. The aircraft is said to have been considerably damaged.

      Authorities from France and Great Britain have also ordered unmanned maritime surveillance from EMSA. Nothing is yet known about the exact intended location, but it is presumably the English Channel. There, the British coast guard is already observing border traffic with larger drones built by the Tekever arms company from Portugal.[13] The government in London wants to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel. The drones take off from the airport in the small town of Lydd and monitor the approximately 50-kilometre-long and 30-kilometre-wide Strait of Dover. Great Britain has also delivered several quadcopters to France to try to detect potential migrants in French territorial waters. According to the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais, eight gendarmes have been trained to control the small drones[14].

      Information to non-EU countries

      The images taken by EMSA drones are evaluated by the competent national coastguards. A livestream also sends them to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw.[15] There they are fed into the EUROSUR border surveillance system. This is operated by Frontex and networks the surveillance installations of all EU member states that have an external border. The data from EUROSUR and the national border control centres form the ‘Common Pre-frontier Intelligence Picture’,[16] referring to the area of interest of Frontex, which extends far into the African continent. Surveillance data is used to detect and prevent migration movements at an early stage.

      Once the providing company has been selected, the new Frontex drones are also to fly for EUROSUR. According to the invitation to tender, they are to operate in the eastern and central Mediterranean within a radius of up to 250 nautical miles (463 kilometres). This would enable them to carry out reconnaissance in the “pre-frontier” area off Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Within the framework of EUROSUR, Frontex shares the recorded data with other European users via a ‘Remote Information Portal’, as the call for tender explains. The border agency has long been able to cooperate with third countries and the information collected can therefore also be made available to authorities in North Africa. However, in order to share general information on surveillance of the Mediterranean Sea with a non-EU state, Frontex must first conclude a working agreement with the corresponding government.[17]

      It is already possible, however, to provide countries such as Libya with the coordinates of refugee boats. For example, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that the nearest Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) must be informed of actual or suspected emergencies. With EU funding, Italy has been building such a centre in Tripoli for the last two years.[18] It is operated by the military coast guard, but so far has no significant equipment of its own.

      The EU military mission “EUNAVFOR MED” was cooperating more extensively with the Libyan coast guard. For communication with European naval authorities, Libya is the first third country to be connected to European surveillance systems via the “Seahorse Mediterranean” network[19]. Information handed over to the Libyan authorities might also include information that was collected with the Italian military ‘Predator’ drones.

      Reconnaissance generated with unmanned aerial surveillance is also given to the MRCC in Turkey. This was seen in a pilot project last summer, when the border agency tested an unmanned aerostat with the Greek coast guard off the island of Samos.[20] Attached to a 1,000 metre-long cable, the airship was used in the Frontex operation ‘Poseidon’ in the eastern Mediterranean. The 35-meter-long zeppelin comes from the French manufacturer A-NSE.[21] The company specializes in civil and military aerial observation. According to the Greek Marine Ministry, the equipment included a radar, a thermal imaging camera and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for the tracking of larger ships. The recorded videos were received and evaluated by a situation centre supplied by the Portuguese National Guard. If a detected refugee boat was still in Turkish territorial waters, the Greek coast guard informed the Turkish authorities. This pilot project in the Aegean Sea was the first use of an airship by Frontex. The participants deployed comparatively large numbers of personnel for the short mission. Pictures taken by the Greek coastguard show more than 40 people.

      Drones enable ‘pull-backs’

      Human rights organisations accuse EUNAVFOR MED and Frontex of passing on information to neighbouring countries leading to rejections (so-called ‘push-backs’) in violation of international law. People must not be returned to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Frontex does not itself return refugees in distress who were discovered at sea via aerial surveillance, but leaves the task to the Libyan or Turkish authorities. Regarding Libya, the Agency since 2017 provided notice of at least 42 vessels in distress to Libyan authorities.[22]

      Private rescue organisations therefore speak of so-called ‘pull-backs’, but these are also prohibited, as the Israeli human rights lawyer Omer Shatz argues: “Communicating the location of civilians fleeing war to a consortium of militias and instructing them to intercept and forcibly transfer them back to the place they fled from, trigger both state responsibility of all EU members and individual criminal liability of hundreds involved.” Together with his colleague Juan Branco, Shatz is suing those responsible for the European Union and its agencies before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Soon they intend to publish individual cases and the names of the people accused.

      Matthias Monroy

      An earlier version of this article first appeared in the German edition of Le Monde Diplomatique: ‘Drohnen für Frontex Statt sich auf die Rettung von Bootsflüchtlingen im Mittelmeer zu konzentrieren, baut die EU die Luftüberwachung’.

      Note: this article was corrected on 6 March to clarify a point regarding cooperation between Frontex and non-EU states.

      Endnotes

      [1] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard, https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/PE-33-2019-INIT/en/pdf

      [2] European Commission, ‘A strengthened and fully equipped European Border and Coast Guard’, 12 September 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-factsheet-coast-guard_en.pdf

      [3] ‘Poland-Warsaw: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Medium Altitude Long Endurance Maritime Aerial Surveillance’, https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:490010-2019:TEXT:EN:HTML&tabId=1

      [4] IAI, ‘IAI AND AIRBUS MARITIME HERON UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM (UAS) SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED 200 FLIGHT HOURS IN CIVILIAN EUROPEAN AIRSPACE FOR FRONTEX’, 24 October 2018, https://www.iai.co.il/iai-and-airbus-maritime-heron-unmanned-aerial-system-uas-successfully-complet

      [5] ‘ European Maritime Flight Demonstrations’, General Atomics, http://www.ga-asi.com/european-maritime-demo

      [6] ‘EU agrees to deploy warships to enforce Libya arms embargo’, The Guardian, 17 February 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/17/eu-agrees-deploy-warships-enforce-libya-arms-embargo

      [7] EMSA, ‘Heads of EMSA and Frontex meet to discuss cooperation on European coast guard functions’, 3 April 2019, http://www.emsa.europa.eu/news-a-press-centre/external-news/item/3499-heads-of-emsa-and-frontex-meet-to-discuss-cooperation-on-european-c

      [8] Frontex, ‘Frontex, EMSA and EFCA strengthen cooperation on coast guard functions’, 23 March 2017, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-emsa-and-efca-strengthen-cooperation-on-coast-guard-functions

      [9] Elbit Systems, ‘Elbit Systems Commenced the Operation of the Maritime UAS Patrol Service to European Union Countries’, 18 June 2019, https://elbitsystems.com/pr-new/elbit-systems-commenced-the-operation-of-the-maritime-uas-patrol-servi

      [10] ‘Elbit wins drone contract for up to $68m to help monitor Europe coast’, The Times of Israel, 1 November 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/elbit-wins-drone-contract-for-up-to-68m-to-help-monitor-europe-coast

      [11] ‘Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission’, https://netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2019/12/E-2946_191_Finalised_reply_Annex1_EN_V1.pdf

      [12] ‘Το drone της FRONTEX έπεσε, οι μετανάστες έρχονται’, Proto Thema, 27 January 2020, https://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/968869/to-drone-tis-frontex-epese-oi-metanastes-erhodai

      [13] Morgan Meaker, ‘Here’s proof the UK is using drones to patrol the English Channel’, Wired, 10 January 2020, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/uk-drones-migrants-english-channel

      [14] ‘Littoral: Les drones pour lutter contre les traversées de migrants sont opérationnels’, La Voix du Nord, 26 March 2019, https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/557951/article/2019-03-26/les-drones-pour-lutter-contre-les-traversees-de-migrants-sont-operation

      [15] ‘Frontex report on the functioning of Eurosur – Part I’, Council document 6215/18, 15 February 2018, http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6215-2018-INIT/en/pdf

      [16] European Commission, ‘Eurosur’, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/eurosur_en

      [17] Legal reforms have also given Frontex the power to operate on the territory of non-EU states, subject to the conclusion of a status agreement between the EU and the country in question. The 2016 Frontex Regulation allowed such cooperation with states that share a border with the EU; the 2019 Frontex Regulation extends this to any non-EU state.

      [18] ‘Helping the Libyan Coast Guard to establish a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre’, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-000547_EN.html

      [19] Matthias Monroy, ‘EU funds the sacking of rescue ships in the Mediterranean’, 7 July 2018, https://digit.site36.net/2018/07/03/eu-funds-the-sacking-of-rescue-ships-in-the-mediterranean

      [20] Frontex, ‘Frontex begins testing use of aerostat for border surveillance’, 31 July 2019, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-begins-testing-use-of-aerostat-for-border-surveillance-ur33N8

      [21] ‘Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission’, 7 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002529-ASW_EN.html

      [22] ‘Answer given by Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission’, 8 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002654-ASW_EN.html

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/drones-for-frontex-unmanned-migration-control-at-europe-s-borders

      #drones

    • Monitoring “secondary movements” and “hotspots”: Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency (16.12.2019)

      The EU’s border agency, Frontex, now has powers to gather data on “secondary movements” and the “hotspots” within the EU. The intention is to ensure “situational awareness” and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens.

      The establishment of a new ’standing corps’ of 10,000 border guards to be commanded by EU border agency Frontex has generated significant public and press attention in recent months. However, the new rules governing Frontex[1] include a number of other significant developments - including a mandate for the surveillance of migratory movements and migration “hotspots” within the EU.

      Previously, the agency’s surveillance role has been restricted to the external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or “selected third-country ports.”[2] New legal provisions mean it will now be able to gather data on the movement of people within the EU. While this is only supposed to deal with “trends, volumes and routes,” rather than personal data, it is intended to inform operational activity within the EU.

      This may mean an increase in operations against ‘unauthorised’ migrants, bringing with it risks for fundamental rights such as the possibility of racial profiling, detention, violence and the denial of access to asylum procedures. At the same time, in a context where internal borders have been reintroduced by numerous Schengen states over the last five years due to increased migration, it may be that he agency’s new role contributes to a further prolongation of internal border controls.

      From external to internal surveillance

      Frontex was initially established with the primary goals of assisting in the surveillance and control of the external borders of the EU. Over the years it has obtained increasing powers to conduct surveillance of those borders in order to identify potential ’threats’.

      The European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) has a key role in this task, taking data from a variety of sources, including satellites, sensors, drones, ships, vehicles and other means operated both by national authorities and the agency itself. EUROSUR was formally established by legislation approved in 2013, although the system was developed and in use long before it was subject to a legal framework.[3]

      The new Frontex Regulation incorporates and updates the provisions of the 2013 EUROSUR Regulation. It maintains existing requirements for the agency to establish a “situational picture” of the EU’s external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or the ports of non-EU states – which is then distributed to the EU’s member states in order to inform operational activities.[4]

      The new rules also provide a mandate for reporting on “unauthorised secondary movements” and goings-on in the “hotspots”. The Commission’s proposal for the new Frontex Regulation was not accompanied by an impact assessment, which would have set out the reasoning and justifications for these new powers. The proposal merely pointed out that the new rules would “evolve” the scope of EUROSUR, to make it possible to “prevent secondary movements”.[5] As the European Data Protection Supervisor remarked, the lack of an impact assessment made it impossible: “to fully assess and verify its attended benefits and impact, notably on fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy and to the protection of personal data.”[6]

      The term “secondary movements” is not defined in the Regulation, but is generally used to refer to journeys between EU member states undertaken without permission, in particular by undocumented migrants and applicants for internal protection. Regarding the “hotspots” – established and operated by EU and national authorities in Italy and Greece – the Regulation provides a definition,[7] but little clarity on precisely what information will be gathered.

      Legal provisions

      A quick glance at Section 3 of the new Regulation, dealing with EUROSUR, gives little indication that the system will now be used for internal surveillance. The formal scope of EUROSUR is concerned with the external borders and border crossing points:

      “EUROSUR shall be used for border checks at authorised border crossing points and for external land, sea and air border surveillance, including the monitoring, detection, identification, tracking, prevention and interception of unauthorised border crossings for the purpose of detecting, preventing and combating illegal immigration and cross-border crime and contributing to ensuring the protection and saving the lives of migrants.”

      However, the subsequent section of the Regulation (on ‘situational awareness’) makes clear the agency’s new internal role. Article 24 sets out the components of the “situational pictures” that will be visible in EUROSUR. There are three types – national situational pictures, the European situational picture and specific situational pictures. All of these should consist of an events layer, an operational layer and an analysis layer. The first of these layers should contain (emphasis added in all quotes):

      “…events and incidents related to unauthorised border crossings and cross-border crime and, where available, information on unauthorised secondary movements, for the purpose of understanding migratory trends, volume and routes.”

      Article 26, dealing with the European situational picture, states:

      “The Agency shall establish and maintain a European situational picture in order to provide the national coordination centres and the Commission with effective, accurate and timely information and analysis, covering the external borders, the pre-frontier area and unauthorised secondary movements.”

      The events layer of that picture should include “information relating to… incidents in the operational area of a joint operation or rapid intervention coordinated by the Agency, or in a hotspot.”[8] In a similar vein:

      “The operational layer of the European situational picture shall contain information on the joint operations and rapid interventions coordinated by the Agency and on hotspots, and shall include the mission statements, locations, status, duration, information on the Member States and other actors involved, daily and weekly situational reports, statistical data and information packages for the media.”[9]

      Article 28, dealing with ‘EUROSUR Fusion Services’, says that Frontex will provide national authorities with information on the external borders and pre-frontier area that may be derived from, amongst other things, the monitoring of “migratory flows towards and within the Union in terms of trends, volume and routes.”

      Sources of data

      The “situational pictures” compiled by Frontex and distributed via EUROSUR are made up of data gathered from a host of different sources. For the national situational picture, these are:

      national border surveillance systems;
      stationary and mobile sensors operated by national border agencies;
      border surveillance patrols and “other monitoring missions”;
      local, regional and other coordination centres;
      other national authorities and systems, such as immigration liaison officers, operational centres and contact points;
      border checks;
      Frontex;
      other member states’ national coordination centres;
      third countries’ authorities;
      ship reporting systems;
      other relevant European and international organisations; and
      other sources.[10]

      For the European situational picture, the sources of data are:

      national coordination centres;
      national situational pictures;
      immigration liaison officers;
      Frontex, including reports form its liaison officers;
      Union delegations and EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions;
      other relevant Union bodies, offices and agencies and international organisations; and
      third countries’ authorities.[11]

      The EUROSUR handbook – which will presumably be redrafted to take into account the new legislation – provides more detail about what each of these categories may include.[12]

      Exactly how this melange of different data will be used to report on secondary movements is currently unknown. However, in accordance with Article 24 of the new Regulation:

      “The Commission shall adopt an implementing act laying down the details of the information layers of the situational pictures and the rules for the establishment of specific situational pictures. The implementing act shall specify the type of information to be provided, the entities responsible for collecting, processing, archiving and transmitting specific information, the maximum time limits for reporting, the data security and data protection rules and related quality control mechanisms.” [13]

      This implementing act will specify precisely how EUROSUR will report on “secondary movements”.[14] According to a ‘roadmap’ setting out plans for the implementation of the new Regulation, this implementing act should have been drawn up in the last quarter of 2020 by a newly-established European Border and Coast Guard Committee sitting within the Commission. However, that Committee does not yet appear to have held any meetings.[15]

      Operational activities at the internal borders

      Boosting Frontex’s operational role is one of the major purposes of the new Regulation, although it makes clear that the internal surveillance role “should not lead to operational activities of the Agency at the internal borders of the Member States.” Rather, internal surveillance should “contribute to the monitoring by the Agency of migratory flows towards and within the Union for the purpose of risk analysis and situational awareness.” The purpose is to inform operational activity by national authorities.

      In recent years Schengen member states have reintroduced border controls for significant periods in the name of ensuring internal security and combating irregular migration. An article in Deutsche Welle recently highlighted:

      “When increasing numbers of refugees started arriving in the European Union in 2015, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Hungary quickly reintroduced controls, citing a “continuous big influx of persons seeking international protection.” This was the first time that migration had been mentioned as a reason for reintroducing border controls.

      Soon after, six Schengen members reintroduced controls for extended periods. Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway cited migration as a reason. France, as the sixth country, first introduced border checks after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, citing terrorist threats. Now, four years later, all six countries still have controls in place. On November 12, they are scheduled to extend them for another six months.”[16]

      These long-term extensions of internal border controls are illegal (the upper limit is supposed to be two years; discussions on changes to the rules governing the reintroduction of internal border controls in the Schengen area are ongoing).[17] A European Parliament resolution from May 2018 stated that “many of the prolongations are not in line with the existing rules as to their extensions, necessity or proportionality and are therefore unlawful.”[18] Yves Pascou, a researcher for the European Policy Centre, told Deutsche Welle that: “"We are in an entirely political situation now, not a legal one, and not one grounded in facts.”

      A European Parliament study published in 2016 highlighted that:

      “there has been a noticeable lack of detail and evidence given by the concerned EU Member States [those which reintroduced internal border controls]. For example, there have been no statistics on the numbers of people crossing borders and seeking asylum, or assessment of the extent to which reintroducing border checks complies with the principles of proportionality and necessity.”[19]

      One purpose of Frontex’s new internal surveillance powers is to provide such evidence (albeit in the ideologically-skewed form of ‘risk analysis’) on the situation within the EU. Whether the information provided will be of interest to national authorities is another question. Nevertheless, it would be a significant irony if the provision of that information were to contribute to the further maintenance of internal borders in the Schengen area.

      At the same time, there is a more pressing concern related to these new powers. Many discussions on the reintroduction of internal borders revolve around the fact that it is contrary to the idea, spirit (and in these cases, the law) of the Schengen area. What appears to have been totally overlooked is the effect the reintroduction of internal borders may have on non-EU nationals or ethnic minority citizens of the EU. One does not have to cross an internal Schengen frontier too many times to notice patterns in the appearance of the people who are hauled off trains and buses by border guards, but personal anecdotes are not the same thing as empirical investigation. If Frontex’s new powers are intended to inform operational activity by the member states at the internal borders of the EU, then the potential effects on fundamental rights must be taken into consideration and should be the subject of investigation by journalists, officials, politicians and researchers.

      Chris Jones

      Endnotes

      [1] The new Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU in mid-November: Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [2] Article 12, ‘Common application of surveillance tools’, Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 establishing the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32013R1052

      [3] According to Frontex, the Eurosur Network first came into use in December 2011 and in March 2012 was first used to “exchange operational information”. The Regulation governing the system came into force in October 2013 (see footnote 2). See: Charles Heller and Chris Jones, ‘Eurosur: saving lives or reinforcing deadly borders?’, Statewatch Journal, vol. 23 no. 3/4, February 2014, http://database.statewatch.org/article.asp?aid=33156

      [4] Recital 34, 2019 Regulation: “EUROSUR should provide an exhaustive situational picture not only at the external borders but also within the Schengen area and in the pre-frontier area. It should cover land, sea and air border surveillance and border checks.”

      [5] European Commission, ‘Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Council Joint Action no 98/700/JHA, Regulation (EU) no 1052/2013 and Regulation (EU) no 2016/1624’, COM(2018) 631 final, 12 September 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/sep/eu-com-frontex-proposal-regulation-com-18-631.pdf

      [6] EDPS, ‘Formal comments on the Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard’, 30 November 2018, p. p.2, https://edps.europa.eu/sites/edp/files/publication/18-11-30_comments_proposal_regulation_european_border_coast_guard_en.pdf

      [7] Article 2(23): “‘hotspot area’ means an area created at the request of the host Member State in which the host Member State, the Commission, relevant Union agencies and participating Member States cooperate, with the aim of managing an existing or potential disproportionate migratory challenge characterised by a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving at the external borders”

      [8] Article 26(3)(c), 2019 Regulation

      [9] Article 26(4), 2019 Regulation

      [10] Article 25, 2019 Regulation

      [11] Article 26, 2019 Regulation

      [12] European Commission, ‘Commission Recommendation adopting the Practical Handbook for implementing and managing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR)’, C(2015) 9206 final, 15 December 2015, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/securing-eu-borders/legal-documents/docs/eurosur_handbook_annex_en.pdf

      [13] Article 24(3), 2019 Regulation

      [14] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [15] Documents related to meetings of committees operating under the auspices of the European Commission can be found in the Comitology Register: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regcomitology/index.cfm?do=Search.Search&NewSearch=1

      [16] Kira Schacht, ‘Border checks in EU countries challenge Schengen Agreement’, DW, 12 November 2019, https://www.dw.com/en/border-checks-in-eu-countries-challenge-schengen-agreement/a-51033603

      [17] European Parliament, ‘Temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders’, https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2017/0245(COD)&l=en

      [18] ‘Report on the annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area’, 3 May 2018, para.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-8-2018-0160_EN.html

      [19] Elpseth Guild et al, ‘Internal border controls in the Schengen area: is Schengen crisis-proof?’, European Parliament, June 2016, p.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/571356/IPOL_STU(2016)571356_EN.pdf

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2019/monitoring-secondary-movements-and-hotspots-frontex-is-now-an-internal-s

      #mouvements_secondaires #hotspot #hotspots

  • Comprendre la répression des Ouïghours par la Chine en quatre points clés
    https://www.franceculture.fr/geopolitique/comprendre-la-repression-des-ouighours-par-la-chine-en-quatre-points-c

    Les nouvelles du Xinjiang sont toujours plus inquiétantes à mesure que les rares informations de cette région parviennent à l’extérieur du pays : stérilisations forcées, viols, déportations, emprisonnements… Éclairage en 4 points majeurs de ce que l’on sait sur la répression des Ouïghours en Chine.

    #chine #ouïghours #géopolitique #droits_humains

  • Budget européen pour la migration : plus de contrôles aux frontières, moins de respect pour les droits humains

    Le 17 juillet 2020, le Conseil européen examinera le #cadre_financier_pluriannuel (#CFP) pour la période #2021-2027. À cette occasion, les dirigeants de l’UE discuteront des aspects tant internes qu’externes du budget alloué aux migrations et à l’#asile.

    En l’état actuel, la #Commission_européenne propose une #enveloppe_budgétaire totale de 40,62 milliards d’euros pour les programmes portant sur la migration et l’asile, répartis comme suit : 31,12 milliards d’euros pour la dimension interne et environ 10 milliards d’euros pour la dimension externe. Il s’agit d’une augmentation de 441% en valeur monétaire par rapport à la proposition faite en 2014 pour le budget 2014-2020 et d’une augmentation de 78% par rapport à la révision budgétaire de 2015 pour ce même budget.

    Une réalité déguisée

    Est-ce une bonne nouvelle qui permettra d’assurer dignement le bien-être de milliers de migrant.e.s et de réfugié.e.s actuellement abandonné.e.s à la rue ou bloqué.e.s dans des centres d’accueil surpeuplés de certains pays européens ? En réalité, cette augmentation est principalement destinée à renforcer l’#approche_sécuritaire : dans la proposition actuelle, environ 75% du budget de l’UE consacré à la migration et à l’asile serait alloué aux #retours, à la #gestion_des_frontières et à l’#externalisation des contrôles. Ceci s’effectue au détriment des programmes d’asile et d’#intégration dans les États membres ; programmes qui se voient attribuer 25% du budget global.

    Le budget 2014 ne comprenait pas de dimension extérieure. Cette variable n’a été introduite qu’en 2015 avec la création du #Fonds_fiduciaire_de_l’UE_pour_l’Afrique (4,7 milliards d’euros) et une enveloppe financière destinée à soutenir la mise en œuvre de la #déclaration_UE-Turquie de mars 2016 (6 milliards d’euros), qui a été tant décriée. Ces deux lignes budgétaires s’inscrivent dans la dangereuse logique de #conditionnalité entre migration et #développement : l’#aide_au_développement est liée à l’acceptation, par les pays tiers concernés, de #contrôles_migratoires ou d’autres tâches liées aux migrations. En outre, au moins 10% du budget prévu pour l’Instrument de voisinage, de développement et de coopération internationale (#NDICI) est réservé pour des projets de gestion des migrations dans les pays d’origine et de transit. Ces projets ont rarement un rapport avec les activités de développement.

    Au-delà des chiffres, des violations des #droits_humains

    L’augmentation inquiétante de la dimension sécuritaire du budget de l’UE correspond, sur le terrain, à une hausse des violations des #droits_fondamentaux. Par exemple, plus les fonds alloués aux « #gardes-côtes_libyens » sont importants, plus on observe de #refoulements sur la route de la Méditerranée centrale. Depuis 2014, le nombre de refoulements vers la #Libye s’élève à 62 474 personnes, soit plus de 60 000 personnes qui ont tenté d’échapper à des violences bien documentées en Libye et qui ont mis leur vie en danger mais ont été ramenées dans des centres de détention indignes, indirectement financés par l’UE.

    En #Turquie, autre partenaire à long terme de l’UE en matière d’externalisation des contrôles, les autorités n’hésitent pas à jouer avec la vie des migrant.e.s et des réfugié.e.s, en ouvrant et en fermant les frontières, pour négocier le versement de fonds, comme en témoigne l’exemple récent à la frontière gréco-turque.

    Un budget opaque

    « EuroMed Droits s’inquiète de l’#opacité des allocations de fonds dans le budget courant et demande à l’Union européenne de garantir des mécanismes de responsabilité et de transparence sur l’utilisation des fonds, en particulier lorsqu’il s’agit de pays où la corruption est endémique et qui violent régulièrement les droits des personnes migrantes et réfugiées, mais aussi les droits de leurs propres citoyen.ne.s », a déclaré Wadih Al-Asmar, président d’EuroMed Droits.

    « Alors que les dirigeants européens se réunissent à Bruxelles pour discuter du prochain cadre financier pluriannuel, EuroMed Droits demande qu’une approche plus humaine et basée sur les droits soit adoptée envers les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s, afin que les appels à l’empathie et à l’action résolue de la Présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen ne restent pas lettre morte ».

    https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/budget-europeen-pour-la-migration-plus-de-controles-aux-frontieres-mo


    https://twitter.com/EuroMedRights/status/1283759540740096001

    #budget #migrations #EU #UE #Union_européenne #frontières #Fonds_fiduciaire_pour_l’Afrique #Fonds_fiduciaire #sécurité #réfugiés #accord_UE-Turquie #chiffres #infographie #renvois #expulsions #Neighbourhood_Development_and_International_Cooperation_Instrument

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur la #conditionnalité_de_l'aide_au_développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

    Et à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765319

    ping @karine4 @rhoumour @reka @_kg_

  • Une décision sans précédent en #Tunisie : le #Tribunal_administratif suspend la détention de 22 migrants détenus arbitrairement au #centre_d’accueil_et_d’orientation #El_Ouardia

    Une décision sans précédent en Tunisie : le Tribunal administratif suspend la détention de 22 migrants détenus arbitrairement au centre d’accueil et d’orientation El Ouardia

    Tunis, le 16 juillet 2020 – Saisi le 5 juin dernier de 22 requêtes en référé et en annulation concernant des migrants détenus arbitrairement au centre d’accueil et d’orientation El Ouardia, le tribunal administratif vient de rendre des décisions sans précédent. Il a en effet ordonné la suspension de leur détention au motif que leur privation de liberté est contraire au droit tunisien, mais aussi aux engagements internationaux de la Tunisie, notamment le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques et la Convention contre la torture.

    Rappelant le principe fondamental de #légalité qui doit encadrer toute #restriction_de_liberté, le tribunal a notamment estimé que la #privation_de_liberté des 22 migrants ne respectait pas les conditions essentielles que sont l’existence d’une base légale et l’intervention d’une autorité juridictionnelle. Le tribunal a ainsi apporté une première réponse positive aux nombreux arguments soulevés par les avocats des détenus pour demander l’annulation immédiate du placement en détention de leurs clients. En vertu de ces décisions rendues en référé, les 22 migrants doivent être immédiatement libérés en attendant que le tribunal administratif statue sur les recours en annulation des mesures de détention.

    En vertu de ces décisions, le Ministère de l’Intérieur, responsable du centre de Ouardia, doit agir immédiatement afin de libérer les 22 migrants en attendant que le tribunal administratif statue sur les recours en annulation des mesures de détention. Une procédure qui pourrait durer des années et qui sera l’occasion pour le tribunal d’examiner en détails tous les arguments soulevés par les avocats des requérants.

    Dans leurs requêtes, les avocats avaient notamment dénoncé le fait que les migrants étaient détenus en dehors de toute procédure légale et de tout #contrôle_juridictionnel, sans accès à un avocat, sans notification écrite du fondement de leur placement en détention dans un centre qui n’est d’ailleurs même pas officiellement enregistré comme un lieu privatif de liberté. Autant de motifs qui concourent à qualifier ces détentions d’#arbitraires, en violation flagrante du droit international des droits de l’homme et de la Constitution tunisienne.

    Afin d’éviter que ces violations graves puissent encore être perpétrées, les autorités tunisiennes, et en particulier le Ministère de l’Intérieur, doivent clarifier le statut juridique du centre d’El Ouardia pour qu’il ne soit ne soit plus utilisé en tant que lieu de privation de liberté.

    https://ftdes.net/une-decision-sans-precedent-en-tunisie-le-tribunal-administratif-suspend-la-d

    #migrations #réfugiés #détention #rétention_administrative #justice #suspension #droits_humains

    ping @_kg_

  • Organizing amidst Covid-19


    Organizing amidst Covid-19: sharing stories of struggles
    Overviews of movement struggles in specific places

    Miguel Martinez
    Mutating mobilisations during the pandemic crisis in Spain (movement report, pp. 15 – 21)

    Laurence Cox
    Forms of social movement in the crisis: a view from Ireland (movement report, pp. 22 – 33)

    Lesley Wood
    We’re not all in this together (movement report, pp. 34 – 38)

    Angela Chukunzira
    Organising under curfew: perspectives from Kenya (movement report, pp. 39 – 42)

    Federico Venturini
    Social movements’ powerlessness at the time of covid-19: a personal account (movement report, pp. 43 – 46)

    Sobhi Mohanty
    From communal violence to lockdown hunger: emergency responses by civil society networks in Delhi, India (movement report, pp. 47 – 52)
    Feminist and LGBTQ+ activism

    Hongwei Bao
    “Anti-domestic violence little vaccine”: a Wuhan-based feminist activist campaign during COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 53 – 63)

    Ayaz Ahmed Siddiqui
    Aurat march, a threat to mainstream tribalism in Pakistan (movement report, pp. 64 – 71)

    Lynn Ng Yu Ling
    What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for PinkDot Singapore? (movement report, pp. 72 – 81)

    María José Ventura Alfaro
    Feminist solidarity networks have multiplied since the COVID-19 outbreak in Mexico (movement report, pp. 82 – 87)

    Ben Trott
    Queer Berlin and the Covid-19 crisis: a politics of contact and ethics of care (movement report, pp. 88 – 108)
    Reproductive struggles

    Non Una Di Meno Roma
    Life beyond the pandemic (movement report, pp. 109 – 114)
    Labour organising

    Ben Duke
    The effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the gig economy and zero hour contracts (movement report, pp. 115 – 120)

    Louisa Acciari
    Domestic workers’ struggles in times of pandemic crisis (movement report, pp. 121 – 127)

    Arianna Tassinari, Riccardo Emilia Chesta and Lorenzo Cini
    Labour conflicts over health and safety in the Italian Covid19 crisis (movement report, pp. 128 – 138)

    T Sharkawi and N Ali
    Acts of whistleblowing: the case of collective claim making by healthcare workers in Egypt (movement report, pp. 139 – 163)

    Mallige Sirimane and Nisha Thapliyal
    Migrant labourers, Covid19 and working-class struggle in the time of pandemic: a report from Karnataka, India (movement report, pp. 164 – 181)
    Migrant and refugee struggles

    Johanna May Black, Sutapa Chattopadhyay and Riley Chisholm
    Solidarity in times of social distancing: migrants, mutual aid, and COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 182 – 193)

    Anitta Kynsilehto
    Doing migrant solidarity at the time of Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 194 – 198)

    Susan Thieme and Eda Elif Tibet
    New political upheavals and women alliances in solidarity beyond “lock down” in Switzerland at times of a global pandemic (movement report, pp. 199 – 207)

    Chiara Milan
    Refugee solidarity along the Western Balkans route: new challenges and a change of strategy in times of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 208 – 212)

    Marco Perolini
    Abolish all camps in times of corona: the struggle against shared accommodation for refugees* in Berlin (movement report, pp. 213 – 224)
    Ecological activism

    Clara Thompson
    #FightEveryCrisis: Re-framing the climate movement in times of a pandemic (movement report, pp. 225 – 231)

    Susan Paulson
    Degrowth and feminisms ally to forge care-full paths beyond pandemic (movement report, pp. 232 – 246)

    Peterson Derolus [FR]
    Coronavirus, mouvements sociaux populaires anti-exploitation minier en Haïti (movement report, pp. 247 – 249)

    Silpa Satheesh
    The pandemic does not stop the pollution in River Periyar (movement report, pp. 250 – 257)

    Ashish Kothari
    Corona can’t save the planet, but we can, if we listen to ordinary people (movement report, pp. 258 – 265)
    Food sovereignty organising

    Dagmar Diesner
    Self-governance food system before and during the Covid-crisis on the example of CampiAperti, Bologna (movement report, pp. 266 – 273)

    URGENCI
    Community Supported Agriculture is a safe and resilient alternative to industrial agriculture in the time of Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 274 – 279)

    Jenny Gkougki
    Corona-crisis affects small Greek farmers who counterstrike with a nationwide social media campaign to unite producers and consumers on local level! (movement report, pp. 280 – 283)

    John Foran
    Eco Vista in the quintuple crisis (movement report, pp. 284 – 291)
    Solidarity and mutual aid

    Michael Zeller
    Karlsruhe’s “giving fences”: mobilisation for the needy in times of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 292 – 303)

    Sergio Ruiz Cayuela
    Organising a solidarity kitchen: reflections from Cooperation Birmingham (movement report, pp. 304 – 309)

    Clinton Nichols
    On lockdown and locked out of the prison classroom: the prospects of post-secondary education for incarcerated persons during pandemic (movement report, pp. 310 – 316)

    Micha Fiedlschuster and Leon Rosa Reichle
    Solidarity forever? Performing mutual aid in Leipzig, Germany (movement report, pp. 317 – 325)
    Artistic and digital resistance

    Kerman Calvo and Ester Bejarano
    Music, solidarities and balconies in Spain (movement report, pp. 326 – 332)

    Neto Holanda and Valesca Lima [PT]
    Movimentos e ações político-culturais do Brasil em tempos de pandemia do Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 333 – 338)

    Margherita Massarenti
    How Covid-19 led to a #Rentstrike and what it can teach us about online organizing (movement report, pp. 339 – 346)

    Dounya
    Knowledge is power: virtual forms of everyday resistance and grassroots broadcasting in Iran (movement report, pp. 347 – 354)
    Imagining a new world

    Donatella della Porta
    How progressive social movements can save democracy in pandemic times (movement report, pp. 355 – 358)

    Jackie Smith
    Responding to coronavirus pandemic: human rights movement-building to transform global capitalism (movement report, pp. 359 – 366)

    Yariv Mohar
    Human rights amid Covid-19: from struggle to orchestration of tradeoffs (movement report, pp. 367 – 370)

    Julien Landry, Ann Marie Smith, Patience Agwenjang, Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Jagat Basnet, Bhumiraj Chapagain, Aklilu Gebremichael, Barbara Maigari and Namadi Saka,
    Social justice snapshots: governance adaptations, innovations and practitioner learning in a time of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 371 – 382)

    Roger Spear, Gulcin Erdi, Marla A. Parker and Maria Anastasia
    Innovations in citizen response to crises: volunteerism and social mobilization during COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 383 – 391)

    Breno Bringel
    Covid-19 and the new global chaos (movement report, pp. 392 – 399)

    https://www.interfacejournal.net/interface-volume-12-issue-1

    #mouvements_sociaux #résistance #covid-19 #confinement #revue #aide_mutuelle #Espagne #résistance #Irlande #Kenya #impuissance #sentiment_d'impuissance #faim #violence #Delhi #Inde #féminisme #Wuhan #Pakistan #PinkDot #LGBT #Singapour #solidarité_féministe #solidarité #Mexique #care #Berlin #Allemagne #queer #gig_economy #travail #travail_domestique #travailleurs_domestiques #Italie #Egypte #travailleurs_étrangers #Karnataka #distanciation_sociale #migrations #Suisse #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #FightEveryCrisis #climat #changement_climatique #décroissance #Haïti #extractivisme #pollution #River_Periyar #Periyar #souveraineté_alimentaire #nourriture #alimentation #CampiAperti #Bologne #agriculture #Grèce #Karlsruhe #Cooperation_Birmingham #UK #Angleterre #Leipzig #musique #Brésil #Rentstrike #Iran #droits_humains #justice_sociale #innovation #innovation_sociale

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • FRA and Frontex to work together on developing fundamental rights monitors

    Today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) signed an agreement on developing Frontex’s fundamental rights monitors. Under this agreement, FRA will provide advice and expertise to help set up effective fundamental rights monitoring during Frontex’s operations at EU borders.

    “It is essential that the EU, its Member States and agencies do their utmost to protect people’s fundamental rights. Fundamental rights monitoring of operations at the land and sea borders can help ensure that rights violations do not occur. The fundamental rights monitors are an important preventive tool and FRA will provide its fundamental rights expertise to help establish them. The vacancy notices should be published as soon as possible so the monitors can be deployed”, said FRA’s director Michael O’Flaherty.

    Under this agreement, the Fundamental Rights Agency will help develop a comprehensive manual for the future Fundamental Rights Monitors.

    To guarantee independence, the monitors should work under the overall supervision of the Frontex #Fundamental_Rights_Officer (#FRO) and be able to monitor all Frontex activities.

    FRA and Frontex have already developed the terms of reference of the future monitors, after thoroughly assessing the qualifications needed for their profile. Frontex should publish the vacancy notices as soon as possible.

    https://fra.europa.eu/en/news/2020/fra-and-frontex-work-together-developing-fundamental-rights-monitors
    #Frontex #FRA #droits_humains #collaboration #frontières #asile #migrations #Agency_for_Fundamental_Rights #accord

    ping @isskein @karine4 @reka

    • Frontex and FRA agree to establish fundamental rights monitors

      Today, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) have agreed to work together to establish fundamental rights monitors, design their training programme and integrate them into Frontex activities.

      “The establishment of the new monitors is another step to make our activities even more transparent and promote fundamental rights throughout all our activities. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards in all that we do. And Fundamental rights are an essential component of effective border management.” said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri. “The Fundamental Rights Agency is a key partner for us in this task,” he added.

      “It is essential that the EU, its Member States and agencies do their utmost to protect people’s fundamental rights. Fundamental rights monitoring of operations at the land and sea borders can help ensure that rights violations do not occur. The fundamental rights monitors are an important preventive tool and FRA will provide its fundamental rights expertise to help establish them. The vacancy notices should be published as soon as possible so the monitors can be deployed,” said FRA’s director Michael O’Flaherty.

      In a ceremony that took place online, the two directors signed a Service Level Agreement in the virtual presence of Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the Chair of LIBE Committee in the European Parliament and Georgios Koumoutsakos, Alternate Minister, Greek Ministry for Migration. Other participants included high-level representatives from Germany and the European Parliament, as well as the Chair of Frontex Consultative Forum on fundamental rights.

      The main tasks of the Frontex fundamental rights monitors will be to make sure all operational activities are in line with fundamental rights framework, monitor all types of operations and contribute to Frontex training activities.

      The monitors will be integrated with the agency’s Fundamental Rights Office. The Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer will oversee their work and assign them to particular operations.

      By the end of the year, Frontex and FRA plan to establish a team of as many as 40 fundamental rights monitors. They will undergo enhanced fundamental rights training before they take up their duties next year, when Frontex will deploy the first members of the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps.

      https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-and-fra-agree-to-establish-fundamental-rights-monitors-OBabL6
      #monitoring

  • Les députés demandent une enquête sur les allégations de refoulement de demandeurs d’asile à la frontière gréco-turque

    Les autorités grecques et de l’UE doivent enquêter sur les rapports récurrents faisant état de refoulements violents à la frontière avec la Turquie.

    Lundi, les députés de la #commission_des_libertés_civiles ont demandé au gouvernement grec de clarifier sa position concernant des reportages dans différents médias et des rapports de la société civile indiquant que la police et les garde-frontières du pays empêchaient de façon systématique les migrants d’entrer sur le territoire grec (par voies terrestre et maritime) et ce, en faisant usage de la violence et même en tirant sur eux.

    Le ministre grec de la protection des citoyens, Michalis Chrisochoidis, et le ministre de la migration et de l’asile, Notis Mitarachi, ont nié ces accusations, les qualifiant de ‘‘fake news’’ et soulignant le rôle essentiel que jouait la Grèce pour ‘‘maintenir les frontières de l’UE sûres, en respectant toujours les droits fondamentaux’’. Ils ont également averti qu’une répétition des événements qui se sont produits en mars, quand le Président Erdoğan a annoncé qu’il ouvrait les frontières turques, ne pouvait pas être écartée.

    Une majorité des députés a appelé la Commission à s’assurer que les autorités grecques respectaient la législation européenne relative à l’asile, l’exhortant à condamner l’usage de la violence et à imposer des sanctions si les violations étaient confirmées. La commissaire Ylva Johansson a convenu que les violences contre les demandeurs d’asile devaient faire l’objet d’enquêtes, non seulement en Grèce mais dans toute l’UE. ‘‘Nous ne pouvons pas protéger nos frontières en violant les droits des citoyens’’, a-t-elle déclaré.

    Certains députés ont félicité la Grèce pour son contrôle des frontières de l’UE avec la Turquie. La commissaire Johansson a également salué les progrès réalisés ces derniers mois et souligné que, malgré une situation très compliquée, les autorités grecques avaient réussi à empêcher la propagation du COVID-19 au sein des camps de réfugiés.

    https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/fr/press-room/20200703IPR82627/demandeurs-d-asile-a-la-frontiere-greco-turque-les-deputes-veulent-u

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #violence #LIBE #Grèce #Evros #refoulement #push-backs #refoulements #droits_humains #îles

    • La (non-) réponse de Ministres grecs à la #commission_LIBE concernant les violences et les morts aux frontières gréco-turques (https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/libe-committee-meeting_20200706-1645-COMMITTEE-LIBE_vd)

      Αλλα λόγια ν’ αγαπιόμαστε...

      Θλίψη και ντροπή προκαλούσε η εικόνα των Νότη Μηταράκη, Γιώργου Κουμουτσάκου και Μιχάλη Χρυσοχοΐδη στη χθεσινή Επιτροπή Πολιτικών Ελευθεριών, Δικαιοσύνης και Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων του Ευρωκοινοβουλίου ● Οι Ελληνες υπουργοί δέχτηκαν καταιγισμό ερωτήσεων σχετικά με τις αποκαλύψεις για τη βία και τους θανάτους στα ελληνικά σύνορα και δεν έδωσαν ούτε... μισή απάντηση με ουσία !

      Σε Βατερλό για τους υπουργούς Μ. Χρυσοχοΐδη, Γ. Κουμουτσάκο και Ν. Μηταράκη εξελίχθηκε η χθεσινή Επιτροπή Πολιτικών Ελευθεριών, Δικαιοσύνης και Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων του Ευρωκοινοβουλίου με θέμα την κατάσταση στα ελληνοτουρκικά σύνορα και τον σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, παρουσία της επιτρόπου Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων Ιλβα Γιόχανσον.

      Μόνο θλιβερή μπορεί να χαρακτηριστεί η εικόνα των Ελλήνων υπουργών, που δέχονταν βροχή τις ερωτήσεις για τις αποκαλύψεις για παράνομες επιχειρήσεις αποτροπής και επαναπροώθησης και για την ανεξέλεγκτη βία και τους νεκρούς στον Εβρο.

      Καμία συγκεκριμένη απάντηση δεν έδωσαν, αντιθέτως επαναλάμβαναν γενικολογίες για τον σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και του διεθνούς δικαίου και την προστασία της ανθρώπινης ζωής εκ μέρους της Ελλάδας, ζητώντας μάλιστα τον λόγο για τις αιχμηρές επισημάνσεις των ευρωβουλευτών. Η στάση τους σχολιάστηκε έντονα και επικριτικά.

      « Είναι εκτός θέματος, σαν να έχουν προσκληθεί σε γάμο και να απαγγέλλουν επικήδειους » ήταν το ειρωνικό σχόλιο ευρωβουλευτή, ενώ και ο πρόεδρος της επιτροπής, Χουάν Φερνάντο Λόπεζ Αγκιλάρ, σημείωσε : « Δεν θέλουν να απαντήσουν, αυτό είναι το πολιτικό συμπέρασμα της συνεδρίασης ». Η συνεδρίαση πραγματοποιήθηκε στον απόηχο του βίντεο της ερευνητικής ομάδας Forensic Architecture (La (non-) réponse de Ministres grecs à la #commission_LIBE concernant les violences et les morts aux frontières gréco-turques (https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/libe-committee-meeting_20200706-1645-COMMITTEE-LIBE_vd)) για τη δολοφονία του 22χρονου Σύρου πρόσφυγα στον Εβρο και πληθώρας δημοσιευμάτων για την πολιτική της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης στα σύνορα, αλλά και καταγγελιών που δέχτηκε η Επιτροπή από οργανώσεις δικαιωμάτων, όπως η Human Rights Watch και η Διενής Αμνηστία.
      Ράπισμα από Γιόχανσον

      Κατηγορηματική ήταν η επίτροπος Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων Ιλβα Γιόχανσον : « Υπάρχουν αναφορές για απωθήσεις μεταναστών, οι οποίες απαγορεύονται ρητά. Οι απωθήσεις είναι παράνομες και καλώ τις ελληνικές αρχές να τις διερευνήσουν όλες ». Μάταια διαβεβαίωναν ο κ. Χρυσοχοΐδης ότι « η Ελλάδα φυλάσσει τα ευρωπαϊκά σύνορα με αποτελεσματικό τρόπο » και ο κ. Μηταράκης ότι η κυβέρνηση « δίνει ιδιαίτερη έμφαση στην προστασία της ανθρώπινης ζωής ».

      « Σε καμία περίπτωση δεν πρέπει να αποκλειστεί ότι θα υπάρξει νέα απόπειρα να προωθηθούν μετανάστες στην Ελλάδα και την Ευρώπη. Παραμένουμε σε επαγρύπνηση και πρέπει να είμαστε όλοι μας προετοιμασμένοι για να εμποδίσουμε κάθε νέα παρόμοια απόπειρα », σημείωσε ο κ. Κουμουτσάκος, που υπογράμμισε ότι ο ρόλος της ασπίδας της Ευρώπης, τον οποίο βέβαια προθυμότατα δέχτηκε η κυβέρνηση, συνεπάγεται μια συγκεκριμένη πολιτική στα σύνορα.

      Η ευρωβουλευτής των Πρασίνων, Τινέκε Στρικ (https://twitter.com/Tineke_Strik/status/1280181951110971392), αναφέρθηκε στους θανάτους και τους τραυματισμούς μεταναστών από πυροβολισμούς, χαρακτήρισε « ασυνεπή » τη στάση της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης και σχολίασε ότι « μας λένε ότι είναι όλα καλά και πως δεν υπάρχει κανένα πρόβλημα και ύστερα ότι φταίει η Τουρκία, άρα υπάρχει πρόβλημα. Μας λένε ότι δεν υπάρχει ζήτημα· μα αυτό το ζήτημα συζητάμε εδώ. Η ελληνική κυβέρνηση δείχνει άρνηση για ό,τι συμβαίνει ».

      Η Κορνέλια Ερνστ (GUE) ζήτησε από τους Ελληνες υπουργούς να προσκομίσουν τα σχετικά βίντεο και τους ρώτησε αν μπορούν να διεξαγάγουν μια μη κομματική έρευνα, ενώ παράλληλα κάλεσε την Κομισιόν να αναλάβει δράση και να μη μένει μόνο στα λόγια.

      Ο Ισπανός Ντομενέκ Ρουί Ντεβέσα (Σοσιαλδημοκράτες) χαρακτήρισε ακροδεξιά τη διαχείριση του μεταναστευτικού από την ελληνική κυβέρνηση, προκαλώντας την έντονη αντίδραση των υπουργών Μ. Χρυσοχοΐδη και Γ. Κουμουτσάκου (ο Ν. Μηταράκης είχε αποχωρήσει για να συμμετάσχει στη συζήτηση στο ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο), που του ζήτησαν να ανακαλέσει και συνέστησαν στους ευρωβουλευτές να είναι προσεκτικοί.

      Οσο για τους θανάτους προσφύγων στον Εβρο από πραγματικά πυρά, ο κ. Χρυσοχοΐδης επέμενε ότι « δεν έγινε χρήση όπλων, έγινε μόνο χρήση αστυνομικών μέτρων », και επικαλέστηκε το γεγονός ότι βρίσκονταν εκατοντάδες κάμερες τηλεοπτικών συνεργείων και αυτόπτες μάρτυρες. « Αν υπάρχει καταγγελία, να τη στείλετε να διερευνηθεί », είπε. Αλλά βέβαια οι θάνατοι και οι πυροβολισμοί έχουν καταγραφεί σε κάμερες και ηχητικό υλικό, γεγονός που αναιρεί πλήρως τον ισχυρισμό του υπουργού, ενώ υποτίθεται ότι η κυβέρνηση έχει διερευνήσει τις καταγγελίες.

      Η κατάσταση για τους Ελληνες υπουργούς έγινε χειρότερη στο δεύτερο μέρος της συζήτησης, όταν ο εκτελεστικός διευθυντής της Frontex, Φαμπρίτσε Λετζέρι, παραδέχτηκε ότι σε επιχείρηση ταχείας επέμβασης στα θαλάσσια σύνορα η ελληνική ακτοφυλακή έδωσε εντολή σε σκάφος της Δανίας να μην επιβιβάσει μετανάστες και να τους επαναπροωθήσει στην Τουρκία. Οπως είπε, ζήτησε άμεσα εξηγήσεις από την Ελλάδα για να λάβει την απάντηση « ότι έγινε παρανόηση, κάποιος δεν κατάλαβε καλά την εντολή ! ».

      Στο θέμα των παράνομων επαναπροωθήσεων αναφέρθηκε και ο Μίνως Μουζουράκης από την οργάνωση Υποστήριξη Προσφύγων στο Αιγαίο, λέγοντας « είδαμε κάποιες φορές το Λιμενικό να μην κάνει επιχειρήσεις διάσωσης παρόλο που οι μετανάστες είχαν εκπέμψει SOS, ενώ έχουμε δει ανθρώπους να μένουν στη θάλασσα για 17 ώρες... ». Αλλος ευρωβουλευτής διαμαρτυρήθηκε για το επιχείρημα της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης ότι οι καταγγελίες είναι τουρκική προπαγάνδα. « Είμαστε όλοι εδώ όργανα της τουρκικής κυβέρνησης ; » αναρωτήθηκε σε έντονο ύφος.

      ΣΗΜΕΙΩΣΗ :

      Στο αρχικό κείμενο, μεταφέρθηκε λανθασμένα, με βάση την ταυτόχρονη διερμηνεία της συνεδρίασης στα ελληνικά, η δήλωση του Γιώργου Κουμουτσάκου. Ο αναπληρωτής υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου εμφανιζόταν να λέει ότι δεν πρέπει να αποκλειστεί η ανάγκη επαναπροώθησης παράτυπων μεταναστών. Η σωστή μετάφραση της δήλωσης είναι : « Σε καμία περίπτωση δεν πρέπει να αποκλειστεί ότι θα υπάρξει νέα απόπειρα να προωθηθούν μετανάστες στην Ελλάδα και την Ευρώπη [σσ. εκ μέρους της Τουρκίας] Παραμένουμε σε επαγρύπνηση και πρέπει να είμαστε όλοι μας προετοιμασμένοι για να εμποδίσουμε κάθε νέα παρόμοια απόπειρα ». Η διόρθωση έχει περιληφθεί στο κείμενο.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/250964_alla-logia-n-agapiomaste

      –---

      Du grand n’importe quoi...

      Le spectacel donné hier Notis Mitarakis (Ministre grec de la politique migratoire), George Koumoutsakos (Vice-ministre de la politique migratoire) et Michalis Chrysochoidis (Ministre de la Protection du Citoyen – euphémisme pour Ministre de l’Ordre Public) à la commission LIBE du Parlement européen est lamentable et fait honte au pays● Les ministres grecs ont reçu des salves des questions concernant les révélations sur les violences et les morts à la frontière grecque et n’ont pas réussi à apporter même l’ombre d’une réponse sur le fond de cette affaire !

      La réunion de la commission des libertés civiles, de la justice et des affaires intérieures du Parlement européen sur la situation aux postes frontaliers gréco-turcs et le respect des droits de l’homme a tourné en Waterloo pour les trois ministres grecs.

      L’image des ministres grecs, recevant des rafales des questions sur les opérations de dissuasion et de refoulements illégaux, et sur les violences incontrôlables et les morts à Evros, a été vraiment désolante. Ils n’ont réussi à donner aucune réponse précise, au contraire, ils n’ont cessé de remâcher des généralités sur le respect des droits de l’homme, du droit international et la protection de la vie humaine de la part de la Grèce, se retournant même contre les députés en raison de leurs remarques tranchantes. Leur attitude a été vivement critiquée.

      "Ils sont tout le temps hors sujet, comme s’ils avaient été invités à un mariage où ils récitent des éloges funéraires", a ironisé un député européen, tandis que le président de la commission, Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar a déclaré : "Ils ne veulent pas répondre, c’est la conclusion politique de la réunion". . La réunion a eu lieu juste après la publication de la vidéo de l’équipe de recherche de Forensic Architecture sur le meurtre du réfugié syrien de 22 ans à Evros et de nombreuses publications sur la politique du gouvernement grec aux frontières , ainsi que des dénonciations envoyées à la Commission par des Organisations de défense des droits de l’homme telles que Human Rights Watch et Amnesty International.

      Ylva Johansson, commissaire aux affaires intérieures, était catégorique : "Il y a de rapports sur les refoulements de migrants qui sont explicitement interdites. Les refoulements sont illégaux et j’appelle les autorités grecques à enquêter sur tous les cas dénoncés ». En vain, M. Chrysochoidis avait affirmé que "la Grèce protège efficacement les frontières européennes" et M. Mitarakis que le gouvernement "met l’accent sur la protection de la vie humaine".

      « Il ne faut en aucun cas exclure une nouvelle tentative de pousser des migrants vers la Grèce et l’Europe. Nous restons vigilants et nous devons tous être prêts afin d’empêcher de nouvelles tentatives de ce type », a déclaré M. Koumoutsakos, qui a souligné que le rôle du bouclier européen, que le gouvernement a assumé sans rechigner, se traduit par un certain type de gestion politique à la frontière.

      L’eurodéputée du groupe de Verts Tineke Strick a mentionné les migrants morts ou blessés par tirs de balles, et a qualifié la position du gouvernement grec comme "incohérente" : elle a déclaré que "on nous dit que tout va bien et qu’il n’y a pas de problème, et ensuite on nous dit que c’est la faute de la Turquie, ce qui veut dire qu’il y a effectivement un problème. On nous dit qu’il n’y a pas de problème, mais nous en discutons ici. Le gouvernement grec est dans le déni de ce qui se passe. " L’eurodéputée Cornelia Ernst (GUE) a demandé aux ministres grecs de fournir les vidéos pertinentes et leur a demandé s’ils pouvaient mener une enquête non partisane, tout en appelant la Commission à entreprendre des actions et ne pas en rester à la dénonciation. L’Espagnol Domènec Ruiz Devesa (sociaux-démocrates) a parlé de la gestion de l’immigration par le gouvernement grec comme étant d’extrême droite, provoquant la réaction vive des ministres Chrysochoidis et G. Koumoutsakos qui lui ont demandé de retirer ce qu’il venait de dire et ont conseillé aux députés de faire attention.

      Quant aux morts de réfugiés à Evros suite à de tirs à balles réelles, M. Chrysochoidis a insisté sur le fait qu ’"il y a eu aucun usage d’arme, seules des mesures de police ont été déployés", et a évoqué le fait qu’il y avait sur place des centaines de caméras de télévision et de témoins oculaires. "S’il y a une dénonciation, envoyez-la pour enquête", a-t-il dit. Cependant, les décès et les tirs ont été effectivement enregistrés sur caméra et documents audio, ce qui dément complètement les dires du ministre, quant à l’enquête, le gouvernement est censé avoir déjà enquêté sur les allégations.

      La situation des ministres grecs s’est aggravée pendant la deuxième partie de la débat, lorsque le directeur général de Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, a admis que lors d’une opération rapide à la frontière maritime, les garde-côtes grecs ont ordonné à un bateau danois de ne pas embarquer des migrants et de les refouler vers ka Turquie. Comme il l’a dit, il a immédiatement demandé des explications à la Grèce afin de recevoir la réponse "qu’il y a eu un malentendu, quelqu’un n’a pas bien compris l’ordre !".

      Minos Mouzourakis de l’ONG RSA (Refugees Support Aegean), a également parlé sur la question des refoulements illégaux, affirmant que "quelquefois nous avons vu la Garde côtière ne pas effectuer d’opérations de sauvetage, malgré le fait que les migrants avaient lancé un SOS, et nous avons même vu des personnes rester en mer pendant 17 heures. .. ». Un autre député européen a protesté contre l’argument brandi par le gouvernement grec, selon lequel les allégations de refoulement et de tirs mortels relèvent de la propagande turque. "Sommes-nous tous ici des organes du gouvernement turc ?" a-t-il clamé.

      Traduction reçue via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 07.07.2020

    • Interpellé sur les accusations de Peter Tauber, le secrétaire d’Etat à l’Immigration #George_Koumoutsakos a indirectement mais clairement reconnu l’existence des opérations illégales de refoulement à la frontière grecque. Il a sous-entendu que de telles opérations qui violent le droit international permettent à la Grèce d’assurer son rôle de ’#bouclier_de_l'Europe' et de protéger sa propre population des migrants porteurs éventuels du virus. Il a même insisté sur le fait que la Grèce ne peut pas être à la fois félicitée de garder de frontières européennes et être mise sur le banc des accusés. Mis à part cet aveu indirect mais transparent des opérations de refoulement de plus en plus violentes par un membre du gouvernement grec, la responsabilité des instances européennes pour cette politique criminelle d’une soi-disant ’protection’ à n’importe quel prix des frontières européennes devient évidente.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/stiles/ypografoyn/255729_faidri-omologia-koymoytsakoy (en grec)

      –-----

      Un aveu qui frôle le ridicule

      Le secrétaire d’Etat à l’Immigration Koumoutsakos reconnaît que des refoulements illégaux font partie de l’arsenal de la Grèce, en tant que « bouclier de l’Europe »

      C’est l’image d’une confusion totale et d’un double langage que donne donnée le gouvernement grec, concernant les allégations très graves d’opérations illégales de dissuasion et de refoulement les réfugiés à la frontière ; celles-ci ne font plus seulement l’objet de publication dans la presse internationale et grecque, mais sont confirmées par les gouvernements des états participant à la force navale de la mer Égée, comme l’Allemagne et le Danemark, ainsi que par le directeur de l’agence FRONTEX Fabrice Leggeri.

      Le gouvernement a catégoriquement nié tout soupçon de telles opérations illégales et a vaguement fait référence à des enquêtes, sans, bien entendu, les présenter. Il a même accusé la presse et les députés de l’opposition de reproduire des mensonges de propagande turque, une accusation vulgaire et dangereuse. Tout d’un coup, le disque a changé.

      En réponse à la publication de plaintes par le gouvernement allemand, le secrétaire d’état à l’Immigration et de l’Asile George Koumoutsakos n’a pas seulement nié les allégations de violation flagrante du droit international, mais les a adoptées indirectement mais clairement dans une interview télévisée à la chaîne ANT1 ( en grec à partir du 20ième minute). Il a recouru à un certain nombre d’excuses ridicules, en mentionnant le rôle de la Grèce comme "bouclier de l’Europe", les félicitations données au pays par les dirigeants européens début mars à Evros, et il a même fait appel à l’éventuelle connexion de la pandémie du coronavirus avec l’immigration et à la nécessité de protéger la Grèce. Une protection à assurer avec des fusillades à Evros, des violences et des refoulements illégales ? Des propos qui seraient ridicules si ils n’étaient pas si dangereux qui s’adressent à l’auditoire d’extrême droite du gouvernement et à ses fidèles porte-paroles.

      Plusieurs fois dans le passé, M. Koumoutsakos a tenté d’établir un lien similaire entre les réfugiés et le coronavirus et a été solennellement démenti par des membres même du gouvernement. Mais le problème n’est pas le manque de sérieux du ministre ni son argumentation identique à celui de l’extrême droite. Le problème est que la violation du droit international des réfugiés est la politique officielle du gouvernement grec et elle sape la crédibilité internationale du pays à un moment critique.

      Reçu via Viky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 17.08.2020

    • Το Βερολίνο καταλογίζει στην Αθήνα παράνομες επαναπροωθήσεις

      H γερμανική κυβέρνηση βρίσκεται « σε συνεχή επαφή » με την ελληνική για τις επαναπροωθήσεις. Της επιρρίπτει παραβίαση του Διεθνούς Δικαίου. Πρόκειται για μια αλλαγή στάσης σε σύγκριση με το πρόσφατο παρελθόν.

      Για πρώτη φορά η γερμανική κυβέρνηση καταλογίζει δημόσια στην Ελλάδα παράνομες επαναπροωθήσεις προσφύγων στην Τουρκία. Αυτό προκύπτει από επιστολή του υφυπουργού Άμυνας Πέτερ Τάουμπερ. Σύμφωνα με τον χριστιανοδημοκράτη πολιτικό, πληρώματα του γερμανικού πολεμικού ναυτικού έγιναν τους τελευταίους μήνες, σε δύο περιπτώσεις, μάρτυρες παράνομων επαναπροωθήσεων στα τουρκικά ύδατα στο Αιγαίο. Όπως τονίζει ο κ.Τάουμπερ, « η γερμανική κυβέρνηση βρίσκεται σε συνεχή επαφή με την ελληνική κυβέρνηση και εφιστά την προσοχή στους ισχύοντες κανόνες του Διεθνούς Δικαίου. »

      Η επιστολή του κ. Τάουμπερ με ημερομηνία 6 Αυγούστου είναι απάντηση σε επερώτηση του βουλευτή Αντρέι Χούνκο. Ο πολιτικός του κόμματος Η Αριστερά είχε ζητήσει να ενημερωθεί σχετικά με το εάν πληρώματα του γερμανικού πολεμικού ναυτικού και της αεροπορίας έχουν παρατηρήσει σκάφη της ελληνικής ακτοφυλακής ή και της Frontex να παρεμποδίζουν φουσκωτά με πρόσφυγες, να εισέλθουν στα ελληνικά ύδατα ή ακόμη να τα ρυμουλκούν πίσω στην Τουρκία.

      Παραδοχή των επαναπροωθήσεων

      Στην απάντηση του, ο κ.Τάουμπερ επιβεβαιώνει ότι το πλήρωμα του εφοδιαστικού σκάφους « Berlin » που ηγείται της Μόνιμης Ναυτικής Δύναμης 2 του ΝΑΤΟ στο Αιγαίο, παρακολούθησε στις 19 Ιουνίου περιστατικό όπως το περιγράφει στην επερώτηση του ο βουλευτής. Στο ίδιο έγγραφο ο υφυπουργός Άμυνας επιβεβαιώνει επίσης ότι το γερμανικό ναυτικό ήταν μάρτυρας ενός παρόμοιου περιστατικού. Από τα συμφραζόμενα προκύπτει ότι πρόκειται για πρόσφυγες που είχαν φτάσει στις 30 Απριλίου στη Χίο και οι οποίοι αυθημερόν μεταφέρθηκαν βίαια σε τουρκικά ύδατα. Παράλληλα ο κ.Τάουμπερ ενημερώνει ότι στις 4 Ιουνίου το « Berlin » διέσωσε στο Αιγαίο 32 άτομα που επέβαιναν σε λέμβο και διέτρεχαν κίνδυνο να πνιγούν.

      Η απάντηση του γερμανού υφυπουργού Άμυνας συνιστά αλλαγή στάσης της γερμανικής κυβέρνησης. Μέχρι πρόσφατα ακόμη αρνούνταν να καταγγείλει την Ελλάδα δημόσια για παράνομες επαναπροωθήσεις. Ενδεικτική για τη μέχρι πρότινος γερμανική στάση είναι η απάντηση που είχε δώσει στις 22 Ιουνίου στο γερμανικό κοινοβούλιο ο υφυπουργός Εσωτερικών Χέλμουτ Τάιχμαν σε ερώτηση της βουλευτού Λουίζε Άμτσμπεργκ. Η πολιτικός των Πρασίνων ζήτησε να ενημερωθεί κατά πόσο έχουν πέσει στην αντίληψη γερμανών αστυνομικών και στρατιωτών που συμμετέχουν σε αποστολές της Frontex και του ΝATO στην Ελλάδα παράνομες επαναπροωθήσεις. Στην απάντηση του, ο υφυπουργός Τάιχμαν είχε επισημάνει πως η « δημόσια αποκάλυψη » τέτοιων στοιχείων « θα μπορούσε να έχει αρνητικές επιπτώσεις στις δραστηριότητες του ΝΑΤΟ στο Αιγαίο καθώς και στις διμερείς σχέσεις μεταξύ Γερμανίας και Ελλάδας και επομένως να βλάψει τα συμφέροντα της Γερμανίας. » Αυτή η επιφυλακτικότητα δεν φαίνεται πλέον να ισχύει.

      Αμφισβήτηση του ρόλου της Frontex

      Σε σημερινή του δήλωση, ο βουλευτής του κόμματος Η Αριστερά Αντρέι Χούνκο καταλογίζει στο γερμανικό ναυτικό πως με την παθητική του στάση συνεργεί στις επαναπροωθήσεις και στη γερμανική κυβέρνηση ότι « παραβιάζει το Διεθνές Δίκαιο ». Οι αποστολές της Frontex στην Ελλάδα πρέπει σύμφωνα με τον κ. Χούνκο να διακοπούν διότι η ελληνική κυβέρνηση παραβιάζει την Ευρωπαϊκή Σύμβαση Δικαιωμάτων του Ανθρώπου.

      https://www.dw.com/el/%CF%84%CE%BF-%CE%B2%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%AF%CE%BD%CE%BF-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%AF%CE%B6%CE%B5%CE%B9-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B7%CE%BD-%CE%B1%CE%B8%CE%AE%CE%BD%CE%B1-%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%AC%CE%BD%CE%BF%CE%BC%CE%B5%CF%82-%CE%B5%CF%80%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B1%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%89%CE%B8%CE%AE%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82/a-54527198

    • Greek Migration Min. Responds to Reports of “Organized Forced Return of Migrants”

      The Greek Ministry of Migration & Asylum refuted reports that it was “organizing the forced return of migrants” on Friday and called related media reports “a systematic effort to distort facts in order to serve specific goals.”

      The policy of the ministry is to work in observance of international laws, “as a contemporary European country that welcomes refugees who are in true need, assists them and supports them to integrate in society and function independently. However, illegal migration remains one of the most serious and sensitive issues that we face as a Greek country and Greek society the last five years, and as a country that serves as an entry gate to the European Union.”

      In this context, it noted, “we obviously proceed to departures, with an emphasis on returns - voluntary or not - of people who are not entitled to international protection” and it called for “greater attention in evaluating such facts as true and reliable.”

      https://www.thenationalherald.com/greece_politics/arthro/greek_migration_min_responds_to_reports_of_organized_forced_retur

    • UNHCR concerned by pushback reports, calls for protection of refugees and asylum-seekers

      UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, remains deeply concerned by an increasing number of credible reports indicating that men, women and children may have been informally returned to Turkey immediately after reaching Greek soil or territorial waters in recent months.

      UNHCR firmly reiterates its call on Greece to refrain from such practices and to seriously investigate these reports, which include a series of credible and direct accounts that have been recorded by the UNHCR Office in Greece and have been brought to the attention of the responsible authorities. Given the nature, content, frequency, and consistency of these accounts, a proper investigation should be launched without further delay.

      UNHCR fully respects the legitimate right of States to control their borders and recognizes the challenges posed by mixed migration movements at the external borders of the EU. However, States must guarantee and safeguard the rights of those seeking international protection in accordance with national, European and international law. Every individual has the right for their case to be heard and their protection needs assessed.

      “Greece and its people have shown immense solidarity and compassion with thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers who have sought safety in the country since 2015,” said Philippe Leclerc, UNHCR Representative in Greece. “The numbers of refugee arrivals have significantly dropped since then but there are still people who continue to seek protection and asylum in Greece and in Europe,” he said.

      “Safeguarding Greece’s borders and protecting refugees are not mutually exclusive. Both are and should be possible. This is not a dilemma but a balance that must be struck,” said Leclerc. “Otherwise, the consequences may be far-reaching and damaging: for the people whose lives and safety may be put at risk; for the upholding of fundamental principles of international and European law; for long-since recognized human rights norms and values, that may be irreparably undermined,” he added.

      UNHCR is particularly concerned about the increasing reports, since March 2020, of alleged informal returns by sea of persons who, according to their own attestations or those of third persons, have disembarked on Greek shores and have thereafter been towed back to sea. Worryingly, UNHCR has also received reports and testimonies about people being left adrift at sea for a long time, often on unseaworthy and overcrowded dinghies, waiting to be rescued.

      UNHCR has also called for further preventive measures against such practices, for clear rules of process at the border and internal monitoring mechanisms, including through the reinforcement of the role of the Greek Ombudsman.

      Saving lives must be the first priority – both on land and at sea. UNHCR acknowledges the challenges faced by frontline states like Greece and calls on EU Member States to demonstrate their solidarity with Greece, particularly through the relocation of asylum-seekers.

      Solutions can be achieved through combating smuggling, expanding legal options for migration, and ensuring that all those in need of protection have effective access to it. At the same time, the return of those who, after a formal assessment of their needs, are found not to be in need of international protection is also part of effective migration management and should be consistently addressed and supported.

      The right to seek asylum is a fundamental human right. With concerted efforts and cooperation between all concerned states and the EU, managing borders can be achieved and protection concerns of refugees addressed.

      https://www.unhcr.org/gr/en/16207-unhcr-concerned-by-pushback-reports-calls-for-protection-of-refugees-an

    • Refoulements illégaux de migrants en mer : des rumeurs relayées par des passeurs, selon Athènes

      Visées par de multiples accusations sur des refoulements illégaux de migrants en mer, les autorités grecques ont estimé que ces allégations étaient le résultat d’une « propagande » menée par les réseaux de passeurs.

      Le ministre des migrations grec, Notis Mitarachi a déclaré, lundi 31 août, que des passeurs étaient à l’origine des déclarations, reléguées au rang de rumeurs, selon lesquelles Athènes expulse illégalement des demandeurs d’asile.

      « Ces incidents n’ont rien de réel », a assuré Notis Mitarachi à la BBC. Selon ce dernier, les passeurs réagiraient aux mesures strictes prises ces derniers mois par Athènes pour freiner l’immigration illégale dans le pays. Des mesures qui, d’après lui, nuisent au business des passeurs.

      « Nous pensons qu’il s’agit du résultat d’une propagande menée par des réseaux de trafic illégal qui perdent des dizaines de millions d’euros », a-t-il affirmé.

      Multiples accusations

      Plusieurs organisations de défense des droits de l’Homme, dont le Haut-commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR), ont à plusieurs reprises exhorté la Grèce à enquêter sur ces accusations de « push-backs ».

      À la mi-août, des soldats de l’armée allemande ont apporté une confirmation à ces accusations en assurant que des embarcations se dirigeant vers la Grèce avaient été repoussées vers les eaux territoriales turques.

      InfoMigrants avait par ailleurs reçu une vidéo tournée en mer Égée le 30 avril attestant de telles pratiques. Ces images montraient un navire des garde-côtes grecs faire d’énormes vagues autour d’une embarcation de migrants pour les empêcher de rejoindre l’île de Lesbos.

      Plus récemment, des révélations accablantes du New York Times ont jeté la lumière sur le fait que la Grèce a « abandonné » plus d’un millier de migrants en mer depuis le mois de mars, ce qu’Athènes dément. Le journal américain affirme que les autorités grecques laissent les embarcations dériver pour que les garde-côtes turcs leur portent secours.

      « Nous protégeons nos frontières avec détermination »

      Face à ce concert de critiques, les autorités grecques ne dévient pas de leur position. Pour toute réponse à ces accusations, Notis Mitarachi s’est contenté de souligner que les garde-côtes grecs avaient récemment secouru « des dizaines » de migrants et que les garde-côtes turcs avaient, eux, escorté « à de nombreuses occasions » des canots de passeurs dans les eaux grecques.

      « Nous protégeons nos frontières avec détermination, dans le cadre des obligations internationales et des règles européennes », a déclaré Notis Mitarachi. « La Grèce ne peut pas être la porte d’entrée de l’Europe. »

      Le Premier ministre grec, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a également démenti les accusations de refoulements illégaux, accusant la Turquie de colporter de « fausses informations » à propos des mesures « dures mais justes » appliquées par Athènes.

      La Grèce, pays par lequel plus d’un million de personnes sont passées au cours des années 2015-2016, entretient des relations tendues avec la Turquie. Les deux États ne s’entendent ni sur la question migratoire, ni sur celle des recherches d’hydrocarbures menées par la Turquie en Méditerranée orientale dans des zones disputées à la Grèce et à Chypre.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/26982/refoulements-illegaux-de-migrants-en-mer-des-rumeurs-relayees-par-des-

    • #Torino, prima città rifugio in Italia di chi difende i diritti umani

      Decolla il progetto del Comune con #Amnesty_International. Anche un polo per formare sull’accoglienza.

      Trovano casa a Torino gli attivisti di Amnesty International, ma anche tutti quelli che ogni giorno sono minacciati per la loro battaglia per i diritti umani. L’assessore ai Giovani, Marco Giusta, ha siglato un accordo che la trasforma nella prima “#shelter_city” d’Italia, cioè luogo di rifugio e accoglienza per chi si batte per i diritti umani e per questo è minacciato nel proprio Paese. Il progetto prevede un periodo di ospitalità che va da tre mesi a un anno, a seconda delle necessità: “Si tratta della messa a punto di un lavoro di tre anni e mezzo – racconta Giusta - Torino è davvero diventata la Capitale dei Diritti. Le conoscenze sono fuori dal Palazzo, costruire ponti e collaborazioni con chi lavora ogni giorno sul tema è stato fondamentale. Servivano spazi di codecisione amministrativi e li abbiamo creati al fine di lanciare programmazioni concrete e permanenti per la Città”.
      Il patto prevede da un lato la creazione di una rete d’accoglienza, ma anche il rafforzamento di progetti come #Open_011, la Casa della mobilità giovanile di corso Venezia. Una realtà nato nel 2006 durante le Olimpiadi Invernali e che oggi punta a diventare un Training Centre di livello internazionale. Sarà qui infatti la sede operativa di #JHREP, il Programma di Educazione ai Diritti Umani che Amnesty International Italia, Cifa Onlus e la rete internazionale #Hreyn intendono sviluppare per promuovere l’organizzazione di momenti formativi, training e study session nazionali e internazionali sul territorio torinese. “Torino sui diritti non deve essere arroccata, deve passare all’attacco – chiarisce l’assessore - Attacco non violento, ma strategico: serve una strategia per aggredire il fenomeno di violenza di genere, l’antisemitismo, il razzismo, il fascismo. La nostra strategia è sempre la stessa: serve diffondere valori e temi nella cittadinanza. Una città dei diritti, per me, è una città in cui le persone scelgono di venire a vivere e in cui scelgono di rimanere. In cui i e le giovani mettono alla prova i propri talenti e ambizioni. In cui ogni persona ha la possibilità di lavorare e il diritto di sentirsi a casa. In cui tutti i quartieri beneficiano di nuove opportunità e si sviluppano”.
      Già da luglio è attiva la nuova convenzione ventennale per la gestione dello spazio che prevede un ulteriore innalzamento degli standard qualitativi e l’introduzione di tariffe calmierate riservate a progetti sostenuti dalla Città o finanziati dal programma “#Erasmus_plus” e dal Consiglio d’Europa.

      https://torino.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/12/10/news/torino_prima_citta_rifugio_in_italia_di_chi_difende_i_diritti_uman
      #Turin #citoyenneté

    • Padova sarà presto la seconda città-rifugio per i difensori dei diritti umani

      L’Italia diventa sempre più sensibile al tema della protezione degli human rights defenders, i difensori dei diritti umani. Tanto che, dopo Trento, anche Padova sarà presto una pioniera delle città-rifugio.

      Grazie ad una campagna lanciata un anno e mezzo fa dalla rete In difesa di formata da oltre 40 associazioni italiane, anche il nostro Paese avrà le sue shelter-cities, luoghi protetti per avvocati, blogger, attivisti in pericolo. La provincia autonoma di Trento ha già approvato una mozione a riguardo, e presto seguirà la provincia di Padova.

      «Ma entro fine anno contiamo di arrivare a cinque enti locali trasformati in shelter cities italiane», anticipa a b-hop Francesco Martone, portavoce della rete «#In_difesa_di…» (www.indifesadi.org)

      Ma cosa sono esattamente le città-rifugio? Luoghi sicuri e protetti nei quali i perseguitati in patria per via del loro essere schierati per professione a difesa dei diritti dei più vulnerabili (pensiamo a chi protegge i popoli indigeni in America Latina o agli avvocati e blogger in Cina, o ancora agli attivisti per diritti degli omosessuali in Africa), potranno vivere tranquilli ma in attività per un periodo circoscritto della loro vita.

      E continuare a lavorare anche a distanza, per portare a compimento la loro missione.

      «Sono due le città italiane che iniziano a muoversi in questa direzione per esser accreditate come shelter city: una è Trento, che ha annunciato di recente il suo coinvolgimento in questo meccanismo – assicura Martone – e l’altra è Padova, che ancora non ha formalizzato l’impegno, ma presto lo farà».

      «Stiamo lavorando anche su Prato e poi con la Regione Lazio e il comune di Milano», dice.

      Ma come si fa a candidarsi per essere una città che protegge chi nel proprio Paese ha dei problemi a proseguire con il lavoro di attivista? Ricordiamo che solo nel 2017 sono morte 312 persone, assassinate perché combattevano per i diritti umani. Parliamo spesso di regimi, altre volte di democrazie a rischio, Stati come la Colombia, la Mauritania, l’Iraq, l’Eritrea.

      Intanto, per accogliere, bisogna avere una “vocazione” già avviata, spiega Martone. Ad esempio, una società civile che abbia già preso a cuore una causa specifica.

      Poi ci si deve collegare ad un protocollo d’intesa che nel frattempo va avanti a livello nazionale. Bisogna cioè manifestare l’interesse ad ospitare un “perseguitato” e prendersi anche dei rischi o la responsabilità di tutelare la sua identità. Certo, l’Italia rispetto ad altri Paesi è indietro ma comincia a muovere passi importanti.

      «Il tema human rights defenders in Italia è relativamente nuovo – spiega Martone– In Germania o Olanda, invece, già esistono gli shelter e funzionano bene. Per i nostri enti locali questo è un uovo di colombo, adesso ci dicono: “finalmente per la prima volta quando parliamo di diritti umani sappiamo esattamente cosa possiamo fare per tutelare le persone“».

      Si tratta di attivare anzitutto un sistema di relazioni diplomatiche abbastanza solido e multi-livello.

      «Necessariamente il nostro lavoro nella Campagna italiana coinvolge le ambasciate e il ministero degli esteri. Noi siamo da due anni in dialogo con la Farnesina su questo», spiega ancora l’attivista.

      E i risultati si vedono: nonostante l’incertezza politica l’Italia è ormai ingaggiata.

      «La Farnesina ha risposto per ora organizzando un mega convegno a Roma sulle buone pratiche.

      Il 18 giugno prossimo saranno presenti alla Farnesina, attivisti dall’area euro-mediterranea, l’Ong Frontline defenders, e Justice & Peace, una Ong olandese che gestisce il programma locale di protezione e molti altri.

      «Questa roba qui in Italia non è stata mai fatta. Intanto creiamo le premesse perché si possa iniziare a capire come fare: incontriamo soggetti che già fanno opera di protezione».

      In effetti ad Amsterdam, Groningen, l’Aja, Maastricht, Middelburg, in Olanda, esistono convenzioni e strutture dove le persone perseguitate possono riprendere fiato, cercare alleanze, ricaricare le energie. Lavorare da avvocati, giornalisti, blogger, attivisti.

      Un esempio? Amsterdam. Dove «puoi essere ciò che sei, amare chi vuoi e pensare e credere in ciò che desideri. Libertà e tolleranza sono parte integrante della città. Ed è questo che rende Amsterdam una shelter city per eccellenza». Così si legge sul sito olandese.

      Lookkaté, ad esempio, è un’attivista che viene dalla Thailandia dove promuove i diritti civili e politici del popolo Thai. Ora si trova in Olanda dove ha trovato momentanemente un po’ di pace. E di alleati.

      «L’altra grande sfida è in effetti quella di trovare terreno fertile: una società civile locale che non solo accolga ma che collabori con lo human rights defender», spiega ancora Martone.

      «Quando un attivista minacciato tende a lasciare il paese d’origine prima ci sono dei protocolli da seguire, dei visti da ottenere, uno status di protezione internazionale temporanea per esempio», spiega infine Martone.

      https://www.b-hop.it/primo-piano/anche-padova-le-citta-rifugio-difensori-dei-diritti-umani
      #Padoue

    • Il Comune di Montegrotto Terme diventa Città Rifugio per i difensori dei diritti umani

      Il Consiglio Comunale di #Montegrotto_Terme ha approvato una mozione per aderire al progetto “Città Rifugio”.

      Si tratta di un progetto pilota di accoglienza temporanea e supporto per difensori dei diritti umani minacciati, in grado di raccogliere le diverse disponibilità territoriali per la relocation degli Human Rights Defenders, da attivare di concerto con la rete "In Difesa Di - per i diritti umani e chi li difende”, con gli altri Enti locali italiani interessati, le organizzazioni della società civile presenti ed attive sul territorio, e il Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani “Antonio Papisca” dell’Università di Padova.

      Il Comune di Montegrotto Terme va ad aggiungersi ai Comuni di #Trento, Padova, #Cadoneghe, #Ponte_San_Nicolò, #Rubano, #Noventa_Padovana, #Asiago, Torino e alla Provincia Autonoma di Trento che hanno già aderito all’iniziativa.

      Con l’approvazione della mozione il Comune di Montegrotto Terme si impegna inoltre a:

      promuovere occasioni di studio, formazione e scambio di esperienze tra amministrazioni territoriali, organizzazioni della società civile e università sul ruolo degli enti locali nella protezione dei difensori dei diritti umani e le Città-Rifugio;
      promuovere nelle scuole di ogni ordine e grado iniziative di sensibilizzazione sui difensori dei diritti umani intese come educazione all’assunzione di responsabilità per lo svolgimento di ruoli di cittadinanza attiva e democratica;
      sollecitare il Governo nazionale affinché attivi programmi di protezione per i difensori dei diritti umani, rafforzando l’iniziativa del corpo diplomatico italiano nell’attuazione delle linee-guida UE ed OSCE, ed aderendo alla Temporary Relocation Platform dell’Unione Europea;
      prevedere attraverso gli strumenti della cooperazione decentrata iniziative di supporto a programmi e progetti di sostegno e protezione dei difensori dei diritti umani in paesi terzi, centrale per il perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile;
      inviare la rispettiva mozione all’ANCI ed alla Conferenza Stato-Regioni al fine di diffonderla presso altri Enti locali sollecitandone l’impegno per la protezione dei difensori dei diritti umani e la creazione di opportunità di rifugio temporaneo per attivisti a rischio e di programmi di cooperazione decentrata nei paesi terzi.

      L’iniziativa intende dare attuazione alla Dichiarazione “sul diritto e la responsabilità degli individui, dei gruppi e degli organi della società di promuovere e proteggere le libertà fondamentali e i diritti umani universalmente riconosciuti” (Dichiarazione sui Difensori dei diritti umani), adottata dall’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite il 9 dicembre 1998; alle Linee Guida sui Difensori dei diritti umani, adottate dal Consiglio dell’Unione Europea nel 2004 e aggiornate nel 2008, volte ad orientare il lavoro delle rappresentanze diplomatiche dell’Unione e degli Stati Membri e la “Piattaforma UE di coordinamento per l’asilo temporaneo dei difensori dei diritti umani”; nonché alle Linee Guida sulla protezione dei Difensori dei diritti umani, adottate dall’Organizzazione per la Sicurezza e la Cooperazione in Europa (OSCE) nel 2014.

      L’art. 1 della Dichiarazione sui Difensori dei diritti umani stabilisce che “tutti hanno il diritto, individualmente ed in associazione con altri, di promuovere e lottare per la protezione e la realizzazione dei diritti umani e delle libertà fondamentali a livello nazionale ed internazionale”.

      L’Unione Europea nell’ambito della “Piattaforma di coordinamento per l’asilo temporaneo dei difensori dei diritti umani” (European Union Human Rights Defenders RE location Platform, EUTRP), ha implementato dei programmi di training in modo da garantire la necessaria sicurezza del Difensore; l’obiettivo è dunque un approccio di sviluppo e potenziamento delle capacità (capacity building), affinché i difensori dei diritti umani acquisiscano gli strumenti per mitigare i rischi che corrono e che risultano determinanti affinché possano elevare il loro livello di sicurezza e la qualità del loro lavoro.

      Nel Rapporto presentato quest’anno dal Relatore Speciale delle Nazioni Unite sui difensori dei diritti umani è stata riaffermata la centralità degli Enti locali in un sistema integrato di protezione e sostegno ai difensori dei diritti umani che preveda anche un maggior impegno da parte della diplomazia, attraverso le ambasciate in paesi terzi e nei consessi internazionali quali il Consiglio Diritti Umani delle Nazioni Unite.
      Nel medesimo Rapporto sono indicati i principi che devono informare le iniziative a sostegno dei programmi di ricollocamento temporaneo dei difensori dei diritti umani: che siano fondate sui diritti umani, che includano difensori e difensore di differenti background, integrino la dimensione di genere, siano fondate su un approccio olistico alla sicurezza, siano orientate alla protezione di individui e collettivi, prevedano la partecipazione dei difensori e difensore nella scelta delle misure di protezione e siano flessibili al fine di soddisfare i bisogni specifici dei difensori e delle difensore.

      L’iniziativa “Città Rifugio-Shelter City” fu lanciata per la prima volta nel 2012 dai Paesi Bassi. Essa prevede che, quando i difensori dei diritti umani sono seriamente minacciati a causa del loro operato da attivisti, possono richiedere un alloggio temporaneo alle città olandesi di: Amsterdam, Groningen, L’Aja, Maastricht, Middelburg, Nijmegen, Tilburg, Utrecht. Il periodo di permanenza di un difensore dei diritti umani è ridotto (dai 3 ai 6 mesi), questo perché la ratio è di fornirgli un periodo di “rest and respite” (riposo e tregua) al di fuori del suo paese, per poi poter affrontare nuovamente la lotta nonviolenta per i diritti umani quando le minacce saranno cessate.
      L’iniziativa olandese è stata in grado di amplificare un forte segnale al governo dei paesi di origine, all’opinione pubblica e agli eventuali responsabili delle minacce al difensore dei diritti umani: sostenendo pubblicamente il difensore, l’iniziativa dimostra che le violazioni sui diritti umani denunciate dall’attivista minacciato, sono prese seriamente in considerazione da parte della comunità internazionale. A tal riguardo, particolarmente vulnerabili, risultano essere le cosiddette Women Human rights Defenders, donne attiviste minacciate, e le loro famiglie.

      In Italia, sotto impulso della rete “In Difesa Di - per i diritti umani e chi li difende” alcuni Enti locali italiani stanno lavorando alla creazione di programmi di accoglienza temporanea e rifugio per difensori e difensore dei diritti umani a rischio.

      La mozione approvata dal Comune di Montegrotto Terme è disponibile al link sottostante.

      https://unipd-centrodirittiumani.it/it/news/Il-Comune-di-Montegrotto-Terme-diventa-Citta-Rifugio-per-i-difensori-dei-diritti-umani/4969

  • EU: Damning draft report on the implementation of the Return Directive

    Tineke Strik, the Green MEP responsible for overseeing the passage through the European Parliament of the ’recast Return Directive’, which governs certain common procedures regarding the detention and expulsion of non-EU nationals, has prepared a report on the implementation of the original 2008 Return Directive. It criticises the Commission’s emphasis, since 2017, on punitive enforcement measures, at the expense of alternatives that have not been fully explored or implemented by the Commission or the member states, despite the 2008 legislation providing for them.

    See: DRAFT REPORT on the implementation of the Return Directive (2019/2208(INI)): https://www.statewatch.org/media/documents/news/2020/jun/ep-libe-returns-directive-implementation-draft-rep-9-6-20.pdf

    From the explanatory statement:

    “This Report, highlighting several gaps in the implementation of the Return Directive, is not intended to substitute the still overdue fully-fledged implementation assessment of the Commission. It calls on Member States to ensure compliance with the Return Directive and on the Commission to ensure timely and proper monitoring and support for its implementation, and to enforce compliance if necessary.

    (...)

    With a view to the dual objective of the Return Directive, notably promoting effective returns and ensuring that returns comply with fundamental rights and procedural safeguards, this Report shows that the Directive allows for and supports effective returns, but that most factors impeding effective return are absent in the current discourse, as the effectiveness is mainly stressed and understood as return rate.”

    Parliamentary procedure page: Implementation report on the Return Directive (European Parliament, link: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2019/2208(INI)&l=en)

    https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/june/eu-damning-draft-report-on-the-implementation-of-the-return-directive
    #Directive_Retour #EU #Europe #Union_européenne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #rétention #détention_administrative #évaluation #identification #efficacité #2008_Return_Directive #régimes_parallèles #retour_volontaire #déboutés #sans-papiers #permis_de_résidence #régularisation #proportionnalité #principe_de_proportionnalité #AVR_programmes #AVR #interdiction_d'entrée_sur_le_territoire #externalisation #Gambie #Bangladesh #Turquie #Ethiopie #Afghanistan #Guinée #Côte_d'Ivoire #droits_humains #Tineke_Strik #risque_de_fuite #fuite #accord #réadmission

    –—

    Quelques passages intéressants tirés du rapport:

    The study shows that Member States make use of the possibility offered in Article 2(2)(a) not to apply the Directive in “border cases”, by creating parallel regimes, where procedures falling outside the scope of the Directive offer less safeguards compared to the regular return procedure, for instance no voluntary return term, no suspensive effect of an appeal and less restrictions on the length of detention. This lower level of protection gives serious reasons for concern, as the fact that border situations may remain outside the scope of the Directive also enhances the risks of push backs and refoulement. (...) Your Rapporteur considers that it is key to ensure a proper assessment of the risk of refoulement prior to the issuance of a return decision. This already takes place in Sweden and France. Although unaccompanied minors are rarely returned, most Member States do not officially ban their return. Their being subject to a return procedure adds vulnerability to their situation, due to the lack of safeguards and legal certainty.

    (p.4)
    #frontières #zones_frontalières #push-backs #refoulement

    Sur les #statistiques et #chiffres de #Eurostat:

    According to Eurostat, Member States issued over 490.000 return decisions in 2019, of which 85% were issued by the ten Member States under the current study. These figures are less reliable then they seem, due to the divergent practices. In some Member States, migrants are issued with a return decision more than once, children are not issued a decision separately, and refusals at the border are excluded.

    Statistics on the percentage of departure being voluntary show significant varieties between the Member States: from 96% in Poland to 7% in Spain and Italy. Germany and the Netherlands have reported not being able to collect data of non-assisted voluntary returns, which is remarkable in the light of the information provided by other Member States. According to Frontex, almost half of the departures are voluntary.

    (p.5)

    As Article 7(4) is often applied in an automatic way, and as the voluntary departure period is often insufficient to organise the departure, many returnees are automatically subject to an entry ban. Due to the different interpretations of a risk of absconding, the scope of the mandatory imposition of an entry ban may vary considerably between the countries. The legislation and practice in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands and Sweden provides for an automatic entry ban if the term for voluntary departure was not granted or respected by the returnee and in other cases, the imposition is optional. In Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and Bulgaria however, legislation or practice provides for an automatic imposition of entry bans in all cases, including cases in which the returnee has left during the voluntary departure period. Also in the Netherlands, migrants with a voluntary departure term can be issued with an entry ban before the term is expired. This raises questions on the purpose and effectiveness of imposing an entry ban, as it can have a discouraging effect if imposed at an early stage. Why leave the territory in time on a voluntary basis if that is not rewarded with the possibility to re-enter? This approach is also at odds with the administrative and non-punitive approach taken in the Directive.

    (p.6)

    National legislation transposing the definition of “risk of absconding” significantly differs, and while several Member States have long lists of criteria which justify finding a risk of absconding (Belgium has 11, France 8, Germany 7, The Netherlands 19), other Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Poland) do not enumerate the criteria in an exhaustive manner. A broad legal basis for detention allows detention to be imposed in a systematic manner, while individual circumstances are marginally assessed. National practices highlighted in this context also confirm previous studies that most returns take place in the first few weeks and that longer detention hardly has an added value.

    (p.6)

    In its 2016 Communication on establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration, the Commission recognised that cooperation with third countries is essential in ensuring effective and sustainable returns. Since the adoption of this Communication, several informal arrangements have been concluded with third countries, including Gambia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Guinea and Ivory Coast. The Rapporteur regrets that such informal deals are concluded in the complete absence of duly parliamentary scrutiny and democratic and judicial oversight that according to the Treaties the conclusion of formal readmission agreements would warrant.

    (p.7)

    With the informalisation of cooperation with third countries in the field of migration, including with transit countries, also came an increased emphasis on conditionality in terms of return and readmission. The Rapporteur is concerned that funding earmarked for development cooperation is increasingly being redirected away from development and poverty eradication goals.

    (p.7)
    #développement #aide_au_développement #conditionnalité_de_l'aide

    ping @_kg_ @isskein @i_s_ @karine4 @rhoumour

  • Éloignement forcé des #étrangers : d’autres solutions justes et durables sont possibles

    Il y a deux ans, en 2018, l’ « #affaire_des_Soudanais » entraînait la mise en place d’une Commission chargée de l’évaluation de la #politique_du_retour_volontaire et de l’#éloignement_forcé d’étrangers de la #Belgique (ou #Commission_Bossuyt du nom de son président). Alors que le rapport final de la Commission Bossuyt est attendu pour l’été 2020, un regroupement d’associations, dont le CNCD-11.11.11 , publie aujourd’hui un rapport alternatif proposant une gestion différente de la politique actuelle, essentiellement basée sur l’éloignement forcé.

    Les faiblesses et limites de la Commission Bossuyt

    La Commission Bossuyt a été mise en place en réponse aux nombreuses critiques dont la politique de retour de la Belgique a fait l’objet à la suite de ladite « affaire des Soudanais » [1], à savoir la collaboration engagée avec le régime soudanais pour identifier et rapatrier une série de personnes vers ce pays sans avoir dûment vérifié qu’elles ne couraient aucun risque de torture ou de traitement dégradant, comme le prévoit l’article 3 de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH). Cette commission fait suite aux Commissions Vermeersh 1 et 2, mises en place vingt ans plus tôt, suite au décès tragique de la jeune nigériane Semira Adamu le 22 septembre 1998 lors d’une expulsion forcée depuis la Belgique.

    L’objectif de cette commission temporaire est d’évaluer le volet retour de la politique migratoire belge et d’émettre des recommandations à destination des responsables politiques en vue d’améliorer cette politique. Plusieurs faiblesses sont cependant manifestes : son mandat ne s’inscrit pas dans une approche holistique de la migration, les indicateurs de résultats n’ont pas été établis en amont du processus d’évaluation, les membres de la commission proviennent uniquement des administrations et du personnel exécutant la politique de retour. Le centre interfédéral Myria, qui a fait une analyse approfondie du rapport intermédiaire [2], déclare que la Commission Bossuyt est caractérisée par l’opacité de sa méthodologie, le manque d’indépendance de ses évaluateurs et la faible qualité de ses recommandations.
    Le rapport intermédiaire Bossuyt pointe l’inefficacité de la politique belge d’éloignement

    Lors de la présentation du rapport intermédiaire de la Commission Bossuyt, son président a salué les mesures édictées et partiellement mise en place depuis les Commissions Vermeersch, mais il a également déploré l’échec de la politique de retour de la Belgique. Les « chiffres » de retour sont en baisse malgré les moyens consacrés aux nombreuses arrestations et à la détention.

    Cette inefficacité est également constatée par d’autres acteurs, mais pour bien d’autres raisons. En effet, d’une part, comme l’acte Myria [3], « depuis 2016, on constate une diminution constante du nombre de rapatriements et de retours volontaires assistés, malgré l’augmentation du nombre d’arrestations administratives d’étrangers et du nombre de premières détentions en centre fermé ». D’autre part, comme le dénonce le Ciré [4], « la politique d’éloignement de la Belgique est avant tout symbolique mais elle est totalement inefficace et coûteuse. Elle est un non-sens au niveau financier mais aussi et avant tout au niveau des droits humains. Les alternatives à la détention sont 17% moins onéreuses que la politique de détention mais encore faut-il que celles-ci soient de véritables alternatives. Il faut pour cela obligatoirement changer de paradigme et mettre les besoins des personnes au centre de nos politiques migratoires ».

    Actuellement, la politique migratoire belge se focalise essentiellement sur l’augmentation des chiffres de retour plutôt que d’investir dans la recherche de solutions durables et profitables pour les personnes migrantes, les pays et sociétés d’accueil, de transit et d’origine. Cette obsession du retour entraîne une augmentation de la détention et des violences [5] qui lui sont intrinsèquement associées.

    Ainsi, les chiffres récemment demandés par le service d’information de la VRT à l’Office des étrangers montrent qu’en 2018, 33 386 personnes se sont vu notifier un ordre de quitter le territoire. Or, à peine 7 399 personnes ont effectivement quitté le territoire en 2018 [6], ce qui démontre l’inefficacité de cette politique actuelle.
    « Au-delà du retour » : un rapport de la société civile axé sur les alternatives

    A la veille de la publication du rapport final de la Commission Bossuyt, un collectif rassemblant des ONG, des syndicats, des chercheurs et chercheuses du monde académique, femmes et hommes du secteur de la Justice, a souhaité démontrer qu’une autre politique migratoire, notamment en matière d’éloignement, est à la fois nécessaire et réaliste. Le contenu de ce rapport, nommé « Au-delà du retour » , est basé sur celui d’un colloque organisé fin 2019 et centré sur deux dimensions : les alternatives à la détention et le respect des droits humains.

    Alternatives à la détention

    Comme le recommandait la campagne pour la justice migratoire coordonnée par le CNCD-11.11.11 de 2017 à 2019, la première recommandation du rapport porte sur la nécessité de sortir d’une vision focalisée sur la criminalisation du séjour irrégulier et le contrôle en vue du retour. Ce prisme négatif à travers lequel est pensée la politique migratoire actuelle entraine des violations des droits fondamentaux, est coûteux et inefficace au regard de ses propres objectifs (retour et éloignement effectif).

    La politique migratoire doit être basée sur un accueil solidaire, un accompagnement personnalisé basé sur l’empowerment et la recherche de solutions durables pour chaque personne.

    Des alternatives existent, comme le montre l’exemple de la ville d’Utrecht, aux Pays-Bas, détaillé dans le rapport. Grâce à un accueil accessible 24h/24, dans un climat de confiance et collaboratif, les personnes migrantes sont accompagnées de façon intensive tout au long du processus d’analyse de leur statut. Les résultats des 18 dernières années à Utrecht indiquent que 60 % des personnes obtiennent un titre de séjour légal, 20 % retournent dans leur pays d’origine, 13 % retournent dans un lieu d’accueil de demandeurs d’asile en vue d’un nouvel examen de leur dossier et 7 % disparaissent des radars. Depuis 2018, le projet pilote s’est étendu à cinq autres villes des Pays-Bas. Comme le montre cet exemple, la régularisation fait donc partie de la panoplie des outils en faveur de solutions durables.

    "La régularisation fait donc partie de la panoplie des outils en faveur de solutions durables"

    La seconde recommandation du rapport est d’investir dans les alternatives à la détention, comme le recommande le Pacte mondial sur les migrations adopté par la Belgique en décembre 2018, qui insiste sur la nécessité de ne détenir les personnes exilées qu’en tout dernier recours. La détention n’est en effet ni efficace, ni durable. Elle est extrêmement coûteuse en termes financiers et peut causer des dégâts psychologiques, en particulier chez les enfants. En Belgique, le budget consacré aux éloignements forcés a pourtant largement augmenté ces dernières années : de 63 millions € en 2014 à 88,4 millions en 2018 ; ce qui représente une augmentation de 40,3 % en cinq ans [7].
    Respect des droits humains et transparence

    L’ « affaire des Soudanais » et l’enquête de Mediapart sur le sort de Soudanais dans d’autres pays européens ont dévoilé qu’un examen minutieux du risque de mauvais traitement est essentiel tout au long du processus d’éloignement (arrestation, détention, expulsion). En effet, comme le proclame l’article 8 de la CEDH, toute personne à la droit au respect « de sa vie privée et familiale, de son domicile et de sa correspondance ». Quant à l’article 3, il stipule que « Nul ne peut être soumis à la torture ni à des peines ou traitements inhumains ou dégradants ». Cette disposition implique l’interdiction absolue de renvoyer un étranger vers un pays où il existe un risque réel qu’il y subisse un tel traitement (principe de non-refoulement [8]) ou une atteinte à sa vie.

    Lorsqu’une personne allègue un risque de mauvais traitement ou que ce risque découle manifestement de la situation dans le pays de renvoi, la loi impose un examen individuel minutieux de ce risque par une autorité disposant des compétences et des ressources nécessaires. Une équipe spécialisée doit examiner la bonne application du principe de non-refoulement. Cette obligation incombe aux autorités qui adoptent une décision d’éloignement et ce indépendamment d’une demande de protection internationale [9].

    La détention, le retour forcé et l’éloignement des étrangers sont des moments du parcours migratoire qui posent des enjeux importants en termes de droits fondamentaux. C’est pourquoi des données complètes doivent être disponibles. Ceci nécessite la publication régulière de statistiques complètes, lisibles et accessibles librement, ainsi qu’une présentation annuelle devant le parlement fédéral.

    Cette question du respect des droits humains dépasse le cadre belge. Depuis plusieurs années , l’Union européenne (UE) multiplie en effet les accords d’externalisation de la gestion de ses frontières. La politique d’externalisation consiste à déléguer à des pays tiers une part de la responsabilité de la gestion des questions migratoires. L’externalisation poursuit deux objectifs principaux : réduire en amont la mobilité des personnes migrantes vers l’UE et augmenter le nombre de retours. La Belgique s’inscrit, comme la plupart des Etats membres, dans cette approche. Or, comme le met en évidence le rapport, les accords internationaux signés dans le cadre de cette politique manquent singulièrement de transparence.

    C’est le cas par exemple de la coopération bilatérale engagée entre la Belgique et la Guinée.
    Malgré les demandes des associations actives sur les questions migratoires, le mémorandum d’entente signé en 2008 entre la Belgique et la Guinée n’est pas public. Ce texte, encore d’application aujourd’hui, régit pourtant la coopération entre la Belgique et la Guinée en matière de retour. L’Etat belge refuse la publication du document au nom de la protection des relations internationales de la Belgique, invoquant aussi le risque de menaces contre l’intégrité physique des membres du corps diplomatique et la nécessité d’obtenir l’accord du pays partenaire pour publier le document.

    Enfin, et c’est essentiel, une des recommandations prioritaires du rapport « Au-delà du retour » est de mettre en place une collaboration structurelle entre l’Etat et la société civile autour des questions migratoires, et plus précisément la question de l’éloignement et du retour. Dans ce cadre, la mise en place d’une commission permanente et indépendante d’évaluation de la politique de retour de la Belgique incluant des responsables de la société civile est une nécessité.
    Le temps des choix

    « Le temps est venu de faire les bons choix et de ne pas se tromper d’orientation ». Tel était le message de Kadri Soova, Directrice adjointe de PICUM (Platform for international cooperation on undocumented migrants) lors de son intervention au colloque. Combien d’affaires sordides faudra-t-il encore pour que la Belgique réoriente sa politique migratoire, afin qu’elle soit mise au service de la justice migratoire ? Combien de violences, de décès, de potentiels gâchés, de rêves brisés pour satisfaire les appétits électoralistes de certains décideurs politiques ? Comme le démontre le rapport, si les propositions constructives sont bel et bien là, la volonté politique manque.
    Il est donc grand temps de repenser en profondeur les politiques migratoires. A ce titre, le modèle de la justice migratoire, fondé sur le respect des droits fondamentaux, l’égalité et la solidarité, devrait constituer une réelle base de travail. La justice migratoire passe d’abord par des partenariats pour le développement durable, afin que tout être humain puisse vivre dignement là où il est né, mais aussi par l’ouverture de voies sûres et légales de migrations, ainsi que par des politiques d’intégration sociale et de lutte contre les discriminations dans les pays d’accueil, afin de rendre les politiques migratoires cohérentes avec les Objectifs de développement durable.
    La publication prochaine du rapport définitif de la Commission Bossuyt doit être l’occasion d’ouvrir un débat serein sur la politique migratoire de la Belgique, en dialogue avec les organisations spécialisées sur la question. La publication d’un rapport alternatif par ces dernières constitue un appel à l’ouverture de ce débat.

    https://www.cncd.be/Eloignement-force-des-etrangers

    –---

    Pour télécharger le rapport :

    Rapport « Au-delà du retour » 2020. À la recherche d’une politique digne et durable pour les personnes migrantes en séjour précaire ou irrégulier


    https://www.cncd.be/Rapport-Au-dela-du-retour-2020

    #renvois #expulsions #renvois_forcés #migrations #alternative #retour_volontaire #justice_migratoire #rapport #régularisation #Soudan #inefficacité #efficacité #asile #déboutés #sans-papiers #alternatives #rétention #détention_administrative #transparence #droits_humains #mauvais_traitements #société_civile #politique_migratoire

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

  • Zurück in die Diktatur

    Seit Jahren ist Eritrea das wichtigste Herkunftsland von Asylsuchenden in der Schweiz. Weil die Behörden die Asylpraxis schrittweise verschärft haben, müssten immer mehr Eritreerinnen und Eritreer in ihre Heimat zurückkehren. Freiwillig aber geht fast niemand und unfreiwillige Rückkehrer akzeptiert das eritreische Regime nicht. Deshalb werden die politischen Forderungen immer lauter, die sogenannte «freiwillige Rückkehr» zu fördern und mehr abgewiesene Asylsuchende zur Ausreise zu bewegen. Doch was erwartet die Menschen, die zurückkehren müssen? Weshalb kehrt überhaupt jemand in eine Diktatur zurück? Und wie schlimm ist die Menschenrechtslage in Eritrea wirklich?

    «Eritreer, die eine Wegweisung erhalten haben, können jederzeit freiwillig zurückkehren», sagte 2019 Mario Gattiker, der Chef des Schweizer Staatssekretariats für Migration (SEM). Jedes Asylgesuch werde sorgfältig und einzeln geprüft, ergänzt ein SEM-Sprecher auf Anfrage. Wegweisungen würden nur ausgesprochen, wenn aus Sicht des SEM keine konkrete Bedrohung bestehe.

    Unsere Recherche zeigt aber, dass die Schweizer Behörden nicht wissen, was mit Rückkehrern in Eritrea passiert. Im aktuellsten Eritrea-Bericht des SEM steht: «Eine Überwachung zurückgekehrter ehemaliger Asylbewerber ist nicht möglich. Dies bedeutet, dass es an wesentlichen Informationsquellen (…) fehlt.» Und: «Eine Quelle besagt, dass Gerüchten zufolge einige inhaftiert sind und andere nicht. In den meisten Fällen gibt es jedoch keinerlei Informationen.» Das SEM kann keinen einzigen dokumentierten Fall eines illegal ausgereisten Eritreers vorlegen, der nach seiner Rückkehr unbehelligt geblieben ist.

    Jetzt hat REFLEKT in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Online-Magazin Republik erstmals fünf Geschichten von Rückkehrerinnen und Rückkehrern rekonstruiert. Ihre Reisen sind auf der folgenden Karte dargestellt.

    Zwei der Rückkehrer, Tesfay und Yonas (beide Namen geändert), erhielten in der Schweiz kein Asyl, kehrten nach Eritrea zurück und flohen dann ein zweites Mal aus ihrer Heimat. Tesfay sagt, dass er nach der Rückkehr ein offizielles Aufgebot erhalten habe und aufgrund von Erfahrungsberichten davon ausgehen musste, inhaftiert, gefoltert oder anderswie bestraft zu werden. Yonas sagt, dass er am Flughafen von Mitarbeitern des Geheimdienstes abgeholt wurde, die ihn mit dem Auto in eine circa zwanzig Fahrtminuten entfernte Wohnung brachten. Dort sei er in einer Einzelzelle festgehalten, mehrmals verhört sowie gefoltert worden.

    Solche Fälle dürfte es eigentlich nicht geben. Die Schweizer Behörden gehen davon aus, dass weggewiesene Eritreerinnen und Eritreer zurückkehren können, ohne in ihrer Heimat eine unverhältnismässige Strafe fürchten zu müssen. Die Erzählungen der Rückkehrer widersprechen dieser Annahme. Sie zeigen, dass eine Rückkehr nach Eritrea problematisch sein kann. Und: Wenn Yonas tatsächlich gefoltert wurde, hätte die Schweiz mit seiner Wegweisung wohl das Folterverbot nach Artikel 3 der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention verletzt. Doch ob sein Fall jemals juristisch aufgearbeitet wird, ist unklar. Weil das Staatssekretariat für Migration seinen Fall für abgeschlossen hält, müsste er auf illegalem Weg in die Schweiz einreisen, um von den Behörden angehört zu werden.

    Unsere Recherche wirft dringliche Fragen auf:

    Wissen die Schweizer Behörden genug über die Lage in Eritrea, um einschätzen zu können, wie gefährlich eine Rückkehr ist?
    Wie will die Schweiz abgewiesene Asylsuchende dazu bringen, zurückzukehren, wenn sie keinen einzigen Fall einer problemlosen Rückkehr vorlegen kann?
    Ist es unter diesen Umständen vertretbar, die selbstständige Rückkehr zu fördern?
    Und weshalb weiss die Schweiz so wenig über ihre Rückkehrer, wenn es doch möglich ist, sie aufzuspüren?

    Nothilfe

    Immer mehr eritreische Asylsuchende erhalten einen negativen Entscheid und müssen mit Nothilfe über die Runden kommen. Sie dürfen keinen offiziellen Sprachkurs besuchen und dürfen nicht arbeiten. Sie sollen sich nicht integrieren und nicht integriert werden, denn aufgrund ihres negativen Asylentscheids sind sie in der Schweiz unerwünscht. In einigen Kantonen wird praktisch kein Geld an die BezügerInnen ausbezahlt, stattdessen erhalten sie Essen, Kleidung sowie Unterkunft und können medizinische Versorgung in Anspruch nehmen. In anderen Kantonen gibt es 6 bis 12 Franken pro Person und Tag.

    Im Kanton Bern gibt es 8 Franken. Die folgenden Bilder zeigen, was sich damit kaufen lässt:

    Trotz schwierigster Bedingungen harren viele abgewiesene Asylsuchenden aus Eritrea in der Schweiz aus oder reisen in andere europäische Länder weiter – nur ganz wenige kehren in ihre Heimat zurück.

    Rund 150 Eritreerinnen und Eritreern sind laut Staatssekretariat für Migration in den letzten drei Jahren selbstständig zurückgekehrt. Das SEM verweist auf diese Zahlen und sagt, dass eine freiwillige Rückkehr für abgewiesene Asylsuchende möglich ist. Die Statistik zeigt aber, dass nur wenige dieser Ausgereisten einen negativen Bescheid hatten und von der Nothilfe lebten. Die Rückkehrer sind nicht in erster Linie Personen, die gehen müssen, sondern solche, die bleiben könnten – ältere Personen zum Beispiel oder regimetreue Eritreerinnen und Eritreer aus der früheren Fluchtgeneration.

    Keiner der fünf Rückkehrer, deren Geschichten wir rekonstruieren konnten, ist wirklich freiwillig zurückgekehrt. Die meisten standen unter starkem psychischem Druck, einer hatte einen Suizidversuch hinter sich, zwei weitere hatten laut Beschreibungen von Augenzeugen schwere psychische Probleme.

    Von all den Personen mit Nothilfe, mit denen wir in der Schweiz gesprochen haben, konnte sich keine einzige eine Rückkehr in die Heimat vorstellen. Niemand weiss genau, was ihn oder sie bei einer Rückkehr erwarten würde, doch alle befürchten das Schlimmste. So auch Merhawit (Name geändert), die mit Nothilfe im Kanton Bern lebt:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0AkqYYW8Iw&feature=emb_logo

    Die Vorstellung, dass abgewiesene Asylsuchende nach Eritrea zurückkehren, wenn man sie nur schlecht genug behandelt, scheint falsch zu sein. Die Zermürbungsstrategie der Schweiz funktioniert in diesem Fall nicht.

    Allein in den letzten drei Jahren sind rund 1500 Eritreerinnen und Eritreer unkontrolliert aus der Schweiz abgereist oder untergetaucht – zehn Mal mehr als selbständig nach Eritrea zurückgekehrt sind. Viele von ihnen sind etwa in Belgien gelandet, von wo aus sie versuchen, nach England weiterzureisen. Für die Schweiz geht die Rechnung auf: Seit 2017 haben die Abgänge eritreischer Asylsuchender deutlich zugenommen und die Ankünfte nahmen ab. Die Last der Schweizer Asylpolitik tragen andere Staaten – und all die Eritreerinnen und Eritreer, die nun durch Europa irren.

    Diktatur

    Seit Jahren diskutiert die Schweiz darüber, wie schlimm die Menschenrechtslage in Eritrea wirklich ist. Wer ins Land reist, kann weder Gefängnisse besuchen noch offen mit Betroffenen sprechen. Äussern sich Asylsuchende in Europa, heisst es, die müssten ja übertreiben, damit sie einen positiven Entscheid erhalten. Dieser Mangel an Quellen ohne Eigeninteresse hat zu einem Misstrauen gegenüber Informationen zu Eritrea geführt.

    Deshalb sind wir ins Nachbarland Äthiopien gereist, um mit Eritreern zu sprechen, die das Land vor Kurzem verlassen haben, die nicht nach Europa reisen wollen und die unabhängig vom Druck einer Asylbehörde oder einer Regierung erzählen können. Zehn Personen, die zwischen 2016 und 2019 geflohen sind, haben mit uns über ihr ehemaliges Leben, ihren Alltag, über Folter, Gefängnisse und den eritreischen Nationaldienst gesprochen.

    Die Hälfte unserer Interview-Partner ist nach dem Friedensabkommen zwischen Eritrea und Äthiopien ausgereist. Neun mussten während ihrer Zeit in Eritrea Gefängnisstrafen absitzen, die meisten sogar mehrere. Einige verschwanden während Jahren in einer Zelle – fast alle wurden Opfer körperlicher Gewalt. Kein einziger wurde von einem Gericht verurteilt. Keinem wurde gesagt, weshalb er ins Gefängnis muss und für wie lange.

    Die folgende Karte zeigt eine Auswahl von Gefängnissen in Eritrea und was unsere Interview-Partner dort erlebt haben:

    Anhand von Zeugenaussagen und Satellitenbildern konnten wir den exakten Standort eines der wichtigsten Gefängnisse in Eritrea ermitteln. Die folgenden Bilder zeigen hunderte Häftlinge im Innenhof von #Adi_Abeito, wenige Klilometer nördlich der Hauptstadt Asmara.

    Entgegen aller Hoffnungen hat sich die Lage in Eritrea auch nach dem Friedensabkommen mit Äthiopien im September 2018 nicht verbessert. Alle zehn Gesprächspartner sind sich einig, dass die systematischen Menschenrechtsverletzungen weitergehen. «Nach dem Friedensabkommen habe ich wie alle anderen darauf gewartet, dass sich etwas verändert», sagt Abraham (Name geändert), der 2019 geflohen ist. «Aber nichts ist passiert. Es war dasselbe wie zuvor: unlimitierter Nationaldienst, keine Verbesserungen. Also verlor ich die Hoffnung und verliess das Land.»

    Acht unserer zehn Gesprächspartner haben im obligatorischen Nationaldienst gedient, zwei sind vor der Rekrutierung geflohen. Alle acht waren dem militärischen Arm des Nationaldienstes zugeteilt, wobei nur vier tatsächlich in militärischen Funktionen eingesetzt wurden. Die anderen mussten Schiffe entladen oder Gebäude, Strassen und sonstige Infrastruktur bauen. Ihr monatlicher Lohn: zwischen 75 und 950 Nakfa – nach offiziellem Umrechnungskurs 5 bis 60 Franken.

    Der eritreische Nationaldienst werde als Mittel zur Arbeitskraftbeschaffung für das ganze Wirtschaftssystem eingesetzt, schreibt das Schweizer Bundesverwaltungsgericht in seinem Referenzurteil vom 10. Juli 2018. Seine Dauer sei willkürlich festgelegt sowie unabsehbar. Zudem komme es zu Misshandlungen und die Dienstverweigerung werde «rigoros bestraft».
    Das Fazit: Schickt die Schweiz Menschen nach Eritrea zurück, erwartet diese Zwangsarbeit.

    Das britische Upper Tribunal, auf welches sich das Schweizer Urteil in wichtigen Punkten stützt, hält fest, dass die Gefahr, dass jemand bei der Rückkehr in den Nationaldienst einbezogen wird, wohl nicht nur gegen das Zwangsarbeitsverbot, sondern auch gegen das Verbot unmenschlicher Behandlung nach Artikel 3 der EMRK verstösst. Damit wäre der Nationaldienst ein Wegweisungshindernis.

    Dennoch kommt das Schweizer Bundesverwaltungsgericht zum Schluss, dass in bestimmten Fällen eine Wegweisung von eritreischen Asylsuchenden möglich ist – weil es sich in Eritrea nicht um eine «krasse Verletzung» des Zwangsarbeitsverbots handle. Darüber, ob der Entscheid des Schweizer Gerichts rechtlich haltbar ist, müssten nun der Europäische Gerichtshof für Meschenrechte und der UNO-Ausschuss gegen Folter entscheiden. Vor beiden Institutionen sind Fälle weggewiesener eritreischer Asylsuchender hängig.

    https://reflekt.ch/eritrea
    #Erythrée #COI #asile #migrations #réfugiés #dictature #aide_d'urgence #déboutés #Suisse #retour_au_pays #renvois #expulsions #droits_humains #prisons #prisons_secrètes

    –------

    Traduit aussi en tigrinya :
    https://reflekt.ch/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Teil-1-Tigrinya_Lay.pdf

  • Appel à l’annulation d’un contrat entre l’#UE et des entreprises israéliennes pour la surveillance des migrants par drones

    Les contrats de l’UE de 59 millions d’euros avec des entreprises militaires israélienne pour s’équiper en drones de guerre afin de surveiller les demandeurs d’asile en mer sont immoraux et d’une légalité douteuse.
    L’achat de #drones_israéliens par l’UE encourage les violations des droits de l’homme en Palestine occupée, tandis que l’utilisation abusive de tout drone pour intercepter les migrants et les demandeurs d’asile entraînerait de graves violations en Méditerranée, a déclaré aujourd’hui Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor dans un communiqué.
    L’UE devrait immédiatement résilier ces #contrats et s’abstenir d’utiliser des drones contre les demandeurs d’asile, en particulier la pratique consistant à renvoyer ces personnes en #Libye, entravant ainsi leur quête de sécurité.

    L’année dernière, l’Agence européenne des garde-frontières et des garde-côtes basée à Varsovie, #Frontex, et l’Agence européenne de sécurité maritime basée à Lisbonne, #EMSA, ont investi plus de 100 millions d’euros dans trois contrats pour des drones sans pilote. De plus, environ 59 millions d’euros des récents contrats de drones de l’UE auraient été accordés à deux sociétés militaires israéliennes : #Elbit_Systems et #Israel_Aerospace_Industries, #IAI.

    L’un des drones que Frontex a obtenu sous contrat est le #Hermes_900 d’Elbit, qui a été expérimenté sur la population mise en cage dans la #bande_de_Gaza assiégée lors de l’#opération_Bordure_protectrice de 2014. Cela montre l’#investissement de l’UE dans des équipements israéliens dont la valeur a été démontrée par son utilisation dans le cadre de l’oppression du peuple palestinien et de l’occupation de son territoire. Ces achats de drones seront perçus comme soutenant et encourageant une telle utilisation expérimentale de la #technologie_militaire par le régime répressif israélien.

    « Il est scandaleux pour l’UE d’acheter des drones à des fabricants de drones israéliens compte tenu des moyens répressifs et illégaux utilisés pour opprimer les Palestiniens vivant sous occupation depuis plus de cinquante ans », a déclaré le professeur Richard Falk, président du conseil d’administration d’Euromed-Monitor.

    Il est également inacceptable et inhumain pour l’UE d’utiliser des drones, quelle que soit la manière dont ils ont été obtenus pour violer les droits fondamentaux des migrants risquant leur vie en mer pour demander l’asile en Europe.

    Les contrats de drones de l’UE soulèvent une autre préoccupation sérieuse car l’opération Sophia ayant pris fin le 31 mars 2020, la prochaine #opération_Irini a l’intention d’utiliser ces drones militaires pour surveiller et fournir des renseignements sur les déplacements des demandeurs d’asile en #mer_Méditerranée, et cela sans fournir de protocoles de sauvetage aux personnes exposées à des dangers mortels en mer. Surtout si l’on considère qu’en 2019 le #taux_de_mortalité des demandeurs d’asile essayant de traverser la Méditerranée a augmenté de façon spectaculaire, passant de 2% en moyenne à 14%.

    L’opération Sophia utilise des navires pour patrouiller en Méditerranée, conformément au droit international, et pour aider les navires en détresse. Par exemple, la Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer (CNUDM) stipule que tous les navires sont tenus de signaler une rencontre avec un navire en détresse et, en outre, de proposer une assistance, y compris un sauvetage. Étant donné que les drones ne transportent pas d’équipement de sauvetage et ne sont pas régis par la CNUDM, il est nécessaire de s’appuyer sur les orientations du droit international des droits de l’homme et du droit international coutumier pour guider le comportement des gouvernements.

    Euro-Med Monitor craint que le passage imminent de l’UE à l’utilisation de drones plutôt que de navires en mer Méditerranée soit une tentative de contourner le #droit_international et de ne pas respecter les directives de l’UE visant à sauver la vie des personnes isolées en mer en situation critique. Le déploiement de drones, comme proposé, montre la détermination de l’UE à dissuader les demandeurs d’asile de chercher un abri sûr en Europe en facilitant leur capture en mer par les #gardes-côtes_libyens. Cette pratique reviendrait à aider et à encourager la persécution des demandeurs d’asile dans les fameux camps de détention libyens, où les pratiques de torture, d’esclavage et d’abus sexuels sont très répandues.

    En novembre 2019, l’#Italie a confirmé qu’un drone militaire appartenant à son armée s’était écrasé en Libye alors qu’il était en mission pour freiner les passages maritimes des migrants. Cela soulève de sérieuses questions quant à savoir si des opérations de drones similaires sont menées discrètement sous les auspices de l’UE.

    L’UE devrait décourager les violations des droits de l’homme contre les Palestiniens en s’abstenant d’acheter du matériel militaire israélien utilisé dans les territoires palestiniens occupés. Elle devrait plus généralement s’abstenir d’utiliser des drones militaires contre les demandeurs d’asile civils et, au lieu de cela, respecter ses obligations en vertu du droit international en offrant un refuge sûr aux réfugiés.

    Euro-Med Monitor souligne que même en cas d’utilisation de drones, les opérateurs de drones de l’UE sont tenus, en vertu du droit international, de respecter les #droits_fondamentaux à la vie, à la liberté et à la sécurité de tout bateau de migrants en danger qu’ils rencontrent. Les opérateurs sont tenus de signaler immédiatement tout incident aux autorités compétentes et de prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour garantir que les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage soient menées au profit des migrants en danger.

    L’UE devrait en outre imposer des mesures de #transparence et de #responsabilité plus strictes sur les pratiques de Frontex, notamment en créant un comité de contrôle indépendant pour enquêter sur toute violation commise et prévenir de futures transgressions. Enfin, l’UE devrait empêcher l’extradition ou l’expulsion des demandeurs d’asile vers la Libye – où leur vie serait gravement menacée – et mettre fin à la pratique des garde-côtes libyens qui consiste à arrêter et capturer des migrants en mer.

    http://www.france-palestine.org/Appel-a-l-annulation-d-un-contrat-entre-l-UE-et-des-entreprises-is
    #Europe #EU #drones #Israël #surveillance #drones #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Méditerranée #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #militarisation_des_frontières #complexe_militaro-industriel #business #armée #droits_humains #sauvetage

    ping @etraces @reka @nepthys @isskein @karine4

  • Like after #9/11, governments could use coronavirus to permanently roll back our civil liberties

    The ’emergency’ laws brought in after terrorism in 2001 reshaped the world — and there’s evidence that it could happen again.

    With over a million confirmed cases and a death toll quickly approaching 100,000, Covid-19 is the worst pandemic in modern history by many orders of magnitude. That governments were unprepared to deal with a global pandemic is at this point obvious. What is worse is that the establishment of effective testing and containment policies at the onset of the outbreak could have mitigated the spread of the virus. Because those in charge failed to bring in any of these strategies, we are now seeing a worrying trend: policies that trample on human rights and civil liberties with no clear benefit to our health or safety.

    Broad and undefined emergency powers are already being invoked — in both democracies and dictatorships. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban was granted sweeping new powers to combat the pandemic that are unlimited in scope and effectively turn Hungary’s democracy into a dictatorship. China, Thailand, Egypt, Iran and other countries continue to arrest or expel anyone who criticizes those states’ response to coronavirus.

    The US Department of Justice is considering charging anyone who intentionally spreads the virus under federal terrorism laws for spreading a “biological agent”. Israel is tapping into previously undisclosed smartphone data, gathered for counterterrorism efforts, to combat the pandemic. States in Europe, anticipating that measures against Covid-19 will violate their obligations under pan-European human rights treaties, are filing official notices of derogation.

    A chilling example of the effects of emergency powers on privacy rights and civil liberties happened during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the resulting “war on terror”, in which successive US presidents pushed the limits of executive power. As part of an effort to protect Americans from security threats abroad, US government officials justified the use of torture in interrogation, broad state surveillance tactics and unconstitutional military strikes, without the oversight of Congress. While the more controversial parts of those programs were eventually dismantled, some remain in place, with no clear end date or target.

    Those measures — passed under the guise of emergency — reshaped the world, with lasting impacts on how we communicate and the privacy we expect, as well as curbs on the freedoms of certain groups of people. The post-September 11 response has had far-reaching consequences for our politics by emboldening a cohort of populist leaders across the globe, who ride to election victories by playing to nationalist and xenophobic sentiments and warning their populations of the perils brought by outsiders. Covid-19 provides yet another emergency situation in which a climate of fear can lead to suspension of freedoms with little scrutiny — but this time we should heed the lessons of the past.

    First, any restriction on rights should have a clear sunset clause, providing that the restriction is only a temporary measure to combat the virus, and not indefinite. For example, the move to grant Hungary’s Viktor Orban sweeping powers has no end date — thus raising concerns about the purpose of such measures when Hungary is currently less affected than other regions of the world and in light of Orban’s general penchant for authoritarianism.

    Second, measures to combat the virus should be proportional to the aim and narrowly tailored to reach that outcome. In the case of the US Department of Justice debate as to whether federal terrorism laws can be applied to those who intentionally spread the virus, while that could act as a potent tool for charging those who actually seek to weaponize the virus as a biological agent, there is the potential for misapplication to lower-level offenders who cough in the wrong direction or bluff about their coronavirus-positive status. The application of laws should be carefully defined so that prosecutors do not extend the boundaries of these charges in a way that over-criminalizes.

    Third, countries should stop arresting and silencing whistleblowers and critics of a government’s Covid-19 response. Not only does this infringe on freedom of expression and the public’s right to know what their governments are doing to combat the virus, it is also unhelpful from a public health perspective. Prisons, jails and places of detention around the world are already overcrowded, unsanitary and at risk of being “superspreaders” of the virus — there is no need to add to an at-risk carceral population, particularly for non-violent offenses.

    Fourth, the collectors of big data should be more open and transparent with users whose data is being collected. Proposals about sharing a person’s coronavirus status with those around them with the aid of smartphone data should bring into clear focus, for everyone, just what privacy issues are at stake with big tech’s data collection practices.

    And finally, a plan of action should be put in place for how to move to an online voting system for the US elections in November 2020, and in other critical election spots around the world. Bolivia already had to delay its elections, which were key to repairing its democracy in a transitional period following former President Evo Morales’s departure, due to a mandatory quarantine to slow the spread of Covid-19. Other countries, including the US, should take note and not find themselves flat-footed on election day.

    A lack of preparedness is what led to the current scale of this global crisis — our rights and democracies should not suffer as a result.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/911-coronavirus-death-toll-us-trump-government-civil-liberties-a94586

    #le_monde_d'après #stratégie_du_choc #11_septembre #coronavirus #covid-19 #pandémie #liberté #droits_humains #urgence #autoritarisme #terrorisme #privacy #temporaire #Hongrie #proportionnalité #liberté_d'expression #surveillance #big-data #données

    ping @etraces

  • #Migration, #Agadez, #Niger : Des #migrants en moins vers l’#Europe, des problèmes en plus en #Afrique

    – Diminution de 75 % des flux migratoires vers le Nord via Agadez en 2017, contribuant plus globalement à la baisse globale des arrivées en Europe par les différents itinéraires méditerranéens. En 2018, 116 647 arrivées ont ainsi été enregistrées, soit 89 % de moins qu’en 2015, ce qui a conduit la Commission européenne à déclarer en 2019 que la crise migratoire était terminée.

    – Mais au-delà de la baisse de ces chiffres, l’approche du « tout sécuritaire » a entraîné cinq conséquences néfastes sur le terrain : érosion des moyens de subsistance pour les populations locales, déstabilisation croissante de la région, poursuite des trafics, accroissement des violations des droits humains des migrants et de l’érosion des relations entre citoyens et gouvernements.

    Via : Insitute For Security Studies (ISS) : https://issafrica.org/research/africa-report/securitisation-of-migration-in-africa-the-case-of-agadez-in-niger

    @cdb_77

  • La #Suisse sous couverture - Agents infiltrés (1/5)

    En 1955, les #services_de_renseignement américains et l’entreprise suisse #Crypto_AG concluent un accord confidentiel qui permettra l’#espionnage des communications de 130 pays. Durant des décennies, un pan de l’industrie helvétique sera impliqué dans ces activités, malgré la « #neutralité » du pays et avec la bénédiction du Conseil fédéral.

    https://www.rts.ch/play/tv/la-suisse-sous-couverture/video/la-suisse-sous-couverture-agents-infiltres-15?id=10868165

    #histoire #USA #guerre_froide #Crypto #William_Friedman #cryptographie #technologie #espions #renseignements #Boris_Hagelin #neutralité #espionnage #affaire_Buehler #Hans_Buehler #Nora_Makabee #BND #Siemens #Loèches #Valais

    ping @simplicissimus @etraces

    • La Suisse sous couverture - Les grandes oreilles de la Confédération (2/5)

      A #Loèche, #Swisscom, le Département fédéral de la défense et des entreprises privées proches de la #National_Security_Agency (#NSA) gèrent un parc d’antennes pour les communications satellitaires entre la Suisse et l’étranger. En l’an 2000, ce site stratégique devient la porte d’entrée privilégiée de Washington pour espionner les communications dans le monde entier.

      https://www.rts.ch/play/tv/la-suisse-sous-couverture/video/la-suisse-sous-couverture-les-grandes-oreilles-de-la-confederation-25-?id=108681
      #neutralité #télécommunication #satellites #ONYX #services_de_renseignement #USA #Etats-Unis #Jean-Paul_Rouiller #signalhorn #Treasure_Map serveurs_clandestins #déni

    • La Suisse sous couverture - #Genève, nid d’espions (3/5)

      Des salons de l’#ONU truffés de micros, des antennes camouflées dans les missions diplomatiques et des agents russes ou américains infiltrés partout... A Genève, où Edward Snowden travaillait pour la #CIA, le petit monde du renseignement grenouille discrètement et les espions chassent en meute.

      https://www.rts.ch/play/tv/la-suisse-sous-couverture/video/la-suisse-sous-couverture-geneve-nid-despions-35?id=10868210
      #Snowden #Nations_Unies #Special_collection_service (#SCS) #organisations_internationales #système_d'écoute #site_C #Wiesbaden #Fort_Meade #NSA #Russie

    • La Suisse sous couverture - Le secret bunker suisse (4/5)

      Nos données numériques personnelles sont une mine d’or d’informations qu’il faut protéger des regards indiscrets. En Suisse, une législation déficiente – elle date de 1992 – permet à des puissances étrangères d’accéder à ces données. Dans le dossier du « big data », c’est la souveraineté de la Confédération qui est en jeu.

      https://www.rts.ch/play/tv/la-suisse-sous-couverture/video/la-suisse-sous-couverture-le-secret-bunker-suisse-45?id=10868236

      #big_data #données_numériques #coffre-fort_numérique #réduit_national_4.0 #stockage #RGPD #protection_des_données #cloud_act

    • La Suisse sous couverture - Crypto révolution (5/5)

      D’un côté, Google et consorts contrôlent les canaux et le stockage de l’information. De l’autre, une puissante mouvance de hackers tente de rendre cette information publique, en piratant des systèmes informatiques. L’enjeu de cette guerre ? La défense de libertés fondamentales, aussi bien sur internet que dans la société.

      https://www.rts.ch/play/tv/la-suisse-sous-couverture/video/la-suisse-sous-couverture-crypto-revolution-55?id=10868255

      #activisme #résistance #hackers #Digital_Gesellschaft #droits_humains #chaos_computer #club #surveillance #économie_de_la_surveillance

    • La CIA s’est servie d’une entreprise suisse pour espionner plus de 100 pays

      Une affaire d’espionnage secoue la Suisse : pendant des décennies, les services de renseignement américains et allemands ont secrètement utilisé une entreprise suisse et sa technologie pour espionner de nombreux États. Que savaient les autorités suisses à ce sujet ?

      Vue de l’extérieur, la firme zougoise Crypto AG était une entreprise suisse sérieuse, spécialisée dans la technologie de pointe. Elle fabriquait un produit peu utilisé par la plupart des gens : des appareils de chiffrement. Ses clients étaient des États ainsi que leurs armées et services secrets voulant rendre leurs communications secrètes illisibles, c’est-à-dire les crypter ou les chiffrer.

      Cependant, Crypto AG n’était une entreprise normale et respectant les valeurs ayant cours en Suisse que côté pile. Côté face, elle possédait une structure cryptique – au sens propre – car ses propriétaires agissant dans l’ombre étaient, à partir de 1970, l’agence centrale de renseignement américaine (CIA) et le service de renseignement allemand (BND). Les deux services secrets firent en sorte que la technologie de cryptage « swiss made », réputée infaillible, soit munie d’une porte dérobée.

      Grâce à ces manipulations ciblées, la CIA et le BND ont pu espionner 148 États – ennemis ou alliés – pendant des dizaines d’années. Tous ces pays avait investi des millions pour obtenir la technologie de ce pays neutre et digne de confiance qu’était la Suisse. Autrement dit, ils ont payé eux-mêmes les appareils qui les ont trahis.

      Les faits ont été dévoilés à la mi-février par la télévision suisse alémanique SRF, la chaîne allemande ZDF et le « Washington Post » à l’issue d’une enquête commune. L’équipe de recherche s’est appuyée sur des dossiers de la CIA qu’on lui a fait passer en douce, et sur des entretiens avec d’anciens employés de Crypto AG et leurs proches.

      L’ampleur du « coup du siècle des services secrets » – ce sont les termes de la CIA – paraît énorme. L’affaire met en lumière les tensions de l’époque de la guerre froide. La complicité de la CIA et du BND éclaire d’un nouveau jour bon nombre d’événements historiques de ces 50 dernières années. Jusqu’où faut-il réécrire l’histoire mondiale récente ? Seule une étude approfondie des CryptoLeaks le déterminera. L’histoire suisse doit-elle, elle aussi, être révisée ? C’est la question qui fait tant de vagues aussi en Suisse. On se demande ce que les autorités suisses savaient, et si l’État suisse était au courant des agissements des services de renseignement étrangers sur son sol et les a couverts.
      « Le programme a dépassé les espérances les plus folles »

      Dans quelle mesure les activités d’espionnage de la CIA et du BND, s’appuyant sur la technologie truquée de l’entreprise Crypto AG, ont-elles abouti ? Le succès des espions est toujours un échec pour ceux qui en sont victimes : la réponse dépend donc du point de vue adopté. Celui de la CIA, d’après les sources publiées, est le suivant : « Cela a été le projet d’espionnage à la fois le plus productif et le plus long depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale. » Ainsi, entre 80 et 90 % des communications secrètes de l’Iran ont pu être déchiffrées. D’après la source de la CIA, « le programme a dépassé les espérances les plus folles de ses inventeurs. »

      Ces écoutes ont permis aux États-Unis d’influencer l’issue de tous les grands conflits ou presque à leur profit. Un exemple : selon l’état actuel des sources, le coup d’État militaire au Chili (1973) a été soutenu par les États-Unis sur la base des écoutes. En même temps, la CIA et le BND ont épié les conversations du régime militaire alors parvenu au pouvoir et n’ont donc jamais rien ignoré des méthodes de persécution et de torture qui coûtèrent la vie à 30 000 opposants au régime.
      Beaucoup de questions, premières réponses

      Les révélations sur Crypto AG font beaucoup de vagues, mais il n’est pas encore possible d’en tirer des conclusions définitives. Les grandes questions qu’elles posent esquissent cependant la portée de l’affaire pour la Suisse.

      Pourquoi la CIA et le BND ont-ils utilisé la couverture discrète d’une entreprise suisse ?

      Crypto AG a été fondée en 1952 par le cryptologue suédois Boris Hagelin. Il n’a pas implanté son entreprise en Suisse par hasard : « Lorsqu’on travaillait dans un domaine aussi sensible que la cryptographie, il valait mieux rechercher la protection d’un pays neutre mais faisant preuve de peu de scrupules moraux », indique la source de la CIA. Boris Hagelin a vendu son entreprise en 1970 à une société-écran de la CIA et du BND.

      Ce sont la CIA et le BND qui se sont livrés à ces activités d’espionnage. Pourquoi l’affaire est-elle perçue en Suisse comme un scandale « suisse » ?

      Du point de vue suisse, il est déterminant de savoir si les autorités du pays connaissaient les intentions, le modus operandi et la portée des activités d’espionnage, et si elles les ont tolérées, voire même favorisées.

      Des employés de Crypto AG soupçonnèrent que des puissances étrangères s’étaient immiscées dans les rouages de leur parfaite technique. Ils en ont informé la justice suisse. Que s’est-il passé ensuite ?

      Il est prouvé qu’au milieu des années 1970, un employé a informé des instances officielles que les appareils vendus étaient « dotés de générateurs de clés manipulés permettant aux services d’espionnage allemands et américains de déchiffrer les messages » : c’est ce que dit une fiche des Archives fédérales du 24 juillet 1977. Le problème est que les dossiers relatifs à cette fiche ont en partie disparu…

      La police fédérale suisse a enquêté sur la base de ces accusations, mais sans résultat. Des témoins de l’époque affirment aujourd’hui que les interrogatoires menés par la police ne l’ont été que « pour la forme »...

      Toute l’affaire ne sent-elle pas un peu le réchauffé de l’époque de la guerre froide ?

      Il est vrai que les premières accusations ont été lancées au milieu des années 1970. Et que Hans Bühler, ancien employé de Crypto, a accusé ouvertement son entreprise de collaborer avec des services secrets étrangers (Hans Bühler, soupçonné d’espionnage, a passé neuf mois dans une geôle iranienne, et a publié ses accusations dans un livre paru en 1994). Mais toute la portée de l’affaire n’éclate au grand jour que maintenant, car des preuves ont été fournies par des sources de la CIA. De plus, les activités d’espionnage ont perduré jusqu’en 2018, soit bien après la fin de la guerre froide. Le BND s’en est toutefois retiré en 1993 déjà, à la suite de la réunification de l’Allemagne.

      Dans l’état actuel des connaissances, que savait le Conseil fédéral de ces activités d’espionnage ?

      C’est une question clé. On ne sait pas encore dans quelle mesure des conseillers fédéraux étaient au courant de ces activités. Les documents de la CIA impliquent l’ancien conseiller fédéral Kaspar Villiger (PLR). Aujourd’hui âgé de 79 ans, ce dernier nie vigoureusement avoir été informé des détails.

      Pourquoi est-ce si important de savoir si le Conseil fédéral était au courant des activités d’espionnage ?

      S’il devait s’avérer que le Conseil fédéral, ou certains conseillers fédéraux, connaissaient ces activités d’espionnage, des questions sérieuses se posent : le gouvernement les a-t-il tolérées ? Ou les a-t-il couvertes ? A-t-il accepté que la neutralité suisse serve de leurre ? Et si la Suisse a été complice, a fermé les yeux ou couvert les faits : comment justifier l’espionnage contre des pays belligérants lorsqu’on affiche une politique de neutralité ?

      Comment le Conseil fédéral et le Parlement réagissent-ils à l’affaire ?

      La présidente de la Confédération, Simonetta Sommaruga, a dit très tôt que le gouvernement allait réunir tous les faits et était favorable à une enquête. La ministre de la Défense Viola Amherd a confirmé que son département abrite des documents laissant penser que son prédécesseur Kaspar Villiger était au courant. Désormais, l’affaire fait l’objet d’une enquête de la Délégation des Commissions de gestion des chambres fédérales. Cet organe de contrôle entend déterminer ce que la Suisse savait de ces activités d’espionnage, et si les renseignements suisses en ont même éventuellement même.

      L’affaire des CryptoLeaks met-elle en péril le rôle actuel de la Suisse ?

      La Suisse joue un rôle d’intermédiaire dans de nombreux conflits. Elle propose même ses « bons offices » dans les régions du monde sous tension. Ainsi, elle joue actuellement le « rôle du facteur » entre les États-Unis et l’Iran. La Suisse ne peut endosser ce rôle diplomatique que si sa crédibilité d’État neutre est intacte. C’est précisément cette crédibilité qui est en jeu maintenant. Ajoutons que l’Iran a été particulièrement touché par l’espionnage permis par la technologie « swiss made » truquée et vendue par le représentant de Crypto, Hans Bühler.

      Ce sont les États-Unis et l’Allemagne qui ont espionné d’autres pays. Pourquoi la réputation de la Suisse en souffrirait-elle ?

      L’avenir dira si la perception extérieure de la Suisse a subi des dommages. Mais la perception intérieure de la Suisse est de toute façon affectée : l’image de pays neutre à laquelle tiennent tant de Suisses est endommagée. L’affaire des CryptoLeaks pourrait jeter un discrédit total sur la neutralité suisse (voir aussi le commentaire de notre invité, p. 15).

      Crédibilité, confiance, image de soi : ce sont des facteurs subjectifs. L’affaire menace-t-elle aussi des intérêts économiques tangibles ?

      La Suisse possède une branche technologique en plein essor, qui dépend aussi de l’image de marque du pays. De plus, la Suisse souhaite se vendre comme une « place numérique propre », et promeut une initiative internationale dans le domaine de l’éthique. L’affaire des #CryptoLeaks tombe très mal.

      https://www.revue.ch/fr/editions/2020/03/detail/news/detail/News/la-cia-sest-servie-dune-entreprise-suisse-pour-espionner-plus-de-100-pays

  • Monitoring being pitched to fight Covid-19 was tested on refugees

    The pandemic has given a boost to controversial data-driven initiatives to track population movements

    In Italy, social media monitoring companies have been scouring Instagram to see who’s breaking the nationwide lockdown. In Israel, the government has made plans to “sift through geolocation data” collected by the Shin Bet intelligence agency and text people who have been in contact with an infected person. And in the UK, the government has asked mobile operators to share phone users’ aggregate location data to “help to predict broadly how the virus might move”.

    These efforts are just the most visible tip of a rapidly evolving industry combining the exploitation of data from the internet and mobile phones and the increasing number of sensors embedded on Earth and in space. Data scientists are intrigued by the new possibilities for behavioural prediction that such data offers. But they are also coming to terms with the complexity of actually using these data sets, and the ethical and practical problems that lurk within them.

    In the wake of the refugee crisis of 2015, tech companies and research consortiums pushed to develop projects using new data sources to predict movements of migrants into Europe. These ranged from broad efforts to extract intelligence from public social media profiles by hand, to more complex automated manipulation of big data sets through image recognition and machine learning. Two recent efforts have just been shut down, however, and others are yet to produce operational results.

    While IT companies and some areas of the humanitarian sector have applauded new possibilities, critics cite human rights concerns, or point to limitations in what such technological solutions can actually achieve.

    In September last year Frontex, the European border security agency, published a tender for “social media analysis services concerning irregular migration trends and forecasts”. The agency was offering the winning bidder up to €400,000 for “improved risk analysis regarding future irregular migratory movements” and support of Frontex’s anti-immigration operations.

    Frontex “wants to embrace” opportunities arising from the rapid growth of social media platforms, a contracting document outlined. The border agency believes that social media interactions drastically change the way people plan their routes, and thus examining would-be migrants’ online behaviour could help it get ahead of the curve, since these interactions typically occur “well before persons reach the external borders of the EU”.

    Frontex asked bidders to develop lists of key words that could be mined from platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The winning company would produce a monthly report containing “predictive intelligence ... of irregular flows”.

    Early this year, however, Frontex cancelled the opportunity. It followed swiftly on from another shutdown; Frontex’s sister agency, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), had fallen foul of the European data protection watchdog, the EDPS, for searching social media content from would-be migrants.

    The EASO had been using the data to flag “shifts in asylum and migration routes, smuggling offers and the discourse among social media community users on key issues – flights, human trafficking and asylum systems/processes”. The search covered a broad range of languages, including Arabic, Pashto, Dari, Urdu, Tigrinya, Amharic, Edo, Pidgin English, Russian, Kurmanji Kurdish, Hausa and French.

    Although the EASO’s mission, as its name suggests, is centred around support for the asylum system, its reports were widely circulated, including to organisations that attempt to limit illegal immigration – Europol, Interpol, member states and Frontex itself.

    In shutting down the EASO’s social media monitoring project, the watchdog cited numerous concerns about process, the impact on fundamental rights and the lack of a legal basis for the work.

    “This processing operation concerns a vast number of social media users,” the EDPS pointed out. Because EASO’s reports are read by border security forces, there was a significant risk that data shared by asylum seekers to help others travel safely to Europe could instead be unfairly used against them without their knowledge.

    Social media monitoring “poses high risks to individuals’ rights and freedoms,” the regulator concluded in an assessment it delivered last November. “It involves the use of personal data in a way that goes beyond their initial purpose, their initial context of publication and in ways that individuals could not reasonably anticipate. This may have a chilling effect on people’s ability and willingness to express themselves and form relationships freely.”

    EASO told the Bureau that the ban had “negative consequences” on “the ability of EU member states to adapt the preparedness, and increase the effectiveness, of their asylum systems” and also noted a “potential harmful impact on the safety of migrants and asylum seekers”.

    Frontex said that its social media analysis tender was cancelled after new European border regulations came into force, but added that it was considering modifying the tender in response to these rules.
    Coronavirus

    Drug shortages put worst-hit Covid-19 patients at risk
    European doctors running low on drugs needed to treat Covid-19 patients
    Big Tobacco criticised for ’coronavirus publicity stunt’ after donating ventilators

    The two shutdowns represented a stumbling block for efforts to track population movements via new technologies and sources of data. But the public health crisis precipitated by the Covid-19 virus has brought such efforts abruptly to wider attention. In doing so it has cast a spotlight on a complex knot of issues. What information is personal, and legally protected? How does that protection work? What do concepts like anonymisation, privacy and consent mean in an age of big data?
    The shape of things to come

    International humanitarian organisations have long been interested in whether they can use nontraditional data sources to help plan disaster responses. As they often operate in inaccessible regions with little available or accurate official data about population sizes and movements, they can benefit from using new big data sources to estimate how many people are moving where. In particular, as well as using social media, recent efforts have sought to combine insights from mobile phones – a vital possession for a refugee or disaster survivor – with images generated by “Earth observation” satellites.

    “Mobiles, satellites and social media are the holy trinity of movement prediction,” said Linnet Taylor, professor at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society in the Netherlands, who has been studying the privacy implications of such new data sources. “It’s the shape of things to come.”

    As the devastating impact of the Syrian civil war worsened in 2015, Europe saw itself in crisis. Refugee movements dominated the headlines and while some countries, notably Germany, opened up to more arrivals than usual, others shut down. European agencies and tech companies started to team up with a new offering: a migration hotspot predictor.

    Controversially, they were importing a concept drawn from distant catastrophe zones into decision-making on what should happen within the borders of the EU.

    “Here’s the heart of the matter,” said Nathaniel Raymond, a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs who focuses on the security implications of information communication technologies for vulnerable populations. “In ungoverned frontier cases [European data protection law] doesn’t apply. Use of these technologies might be ethically safer there, and in any case it’s the only thing that is available. When you enter governed space, data volume and ease of manipulation go up. Putting this technology to work in the EU is a total inversion.”
    “Mobiles, satellites and social media are the holy trinity of movement prediction”

    Justin Ginnetti, head of data and analysis at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Switzerland, made a similar point. His organisation monitors movements to help humanitarian groups provide food, shelter and aid to those forced from their homes, but he casts a skeptical eye on governments using the same technology in the context of migration.

    “Many governments – within the EU and elsewhere – are very interested in these technologies, for reasons that are not the same as ours,” he told the Bureau. He called such technologies “a nuclear fly swatter,” adding: “The key question is: What problem are you really trying to solve with it? For many governments, it’s not preparing to ‘better respond to inflow of people’ – it’s raising red flags, to identify those en route and prevent them from arriving.”
    Eye in the sky

    A key player in marketing this concept was the European Space Agency (ESA) – an organisation based in Paris, with a major spaceport in French Guiana. The ESA’s pitch was to combine its space assets with other people’s data. “Could you be leveraging space technology and data for the benefit of life on Earth?” a recent presentation from the organisation on “disruptive smart technologies” asked. “We’ll work together to make your idea commercially viable.”

    By 2016, technologists at the ESA had spotted an opportunity. “Europe is being confronted with the most significant influxes of migrants and refugees in its history,” a presentation for their Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems Programme stated. “One burning issue is the lack of timely information on migration trends, flows and rates. Big data applications have been recognised as a potentially powerful tool.” It decided to assess how it could harness such data.

    The ESA reached out to various European agencies, including EASO and Frontex, to offer a stake in what it called “big data applications to boost preparedness and response to migration”. The space agency would fund initial feasibility stages, but wanted any operational work to be jointly funded.

    One such feasibility study was carried out by GMV, a privately owned tech group covering banking, defence, health, telecommunications and satellites. GMV announced in a press release in August 2017 that the study would “assess the added value of big data solutions in the migration sector, namely the reduction of safety risks for migrants, the enhancement of border controls, as well as prevention and response to security issues related with unexpected migration movements”. It would do this by integrating “multiple space assets” with other sources including mobile phones and social media.

    When contacted by the Bureau, a spokeswoman from GMV said that, contrary to the press release, “nothing in the feasibility study related to the enhancement of border controls”.

    In the same year, the technology multinational CGI teamed up with the Dutch Statistics Office to explore similar questions. They started by looking at data around asylum flows from Syria and at how satellite images and social media could indicate changes in migration patterns in Niger, a key route into Europe. Following this experiment, they approached EASO in October 2017. CGI’s presentation of the work noted that at the time EASO was looking for a social media analysis tool that could monitor Facebook groups, predict arrivals of migrants at EU borders, and determine the number of “hotspots” and migrant shelters. CGI pitched a combined project, co-funded by the ESA, to start in 2019 and expand to serve more organisations in 2020.
    The proposal was to identify “hotspot activities”, using phone data to group individuals “according to where they spend the night”

    The idea was called Migration Radar 2.0. The ESA wrote that “analysing social media data allows for better understanding of the behaviour and sentiments of crowds at a particular geographic location and a specific moment in time, which can be indicators of possible migration movements in the immediate future”. Combined with continuous monitoring from space, the result would be an “early warning system” that offered potential future movements and routes, “as well as information about the composition of people in terms of origin, age, gender”.

    Internal notes released by EASO to the Bureau show the sheer range of companies trying to get a slice of the action. The agency had considered offers of services not only from the ESA, GMV, the Dutch Statistics Office and CGI, but also from BIP, a consulting firm, the aerospace group Thales Alenia, the geoinformation specialist EGEOS and Vodafone.

    Some of the pitches were better received than others. An EASO analyst who took notes on the various proposals remarked that “most oversell a bit”. They went on: “Some claimed they could trace GSM [ie mobile networks] but then clarified they could do it for Venezuelans only, and maybe one or two countries in Africa.” Financial implications were not always clearly provided. On the other hand, the official noted, the ESA and its consortium would pay 80% of costs and “we can get collaboration on something we plan to do anyway”.

    The features on offer included automatic alerts, a social media timeline, sentiment analysis, “animated bubbles with asylum applications from countries of origin over time”, the detection and monitoring of smuggling sites, hotspot maps, change detection and border monitoring.

    The document notes a group of services available from Vodafone, for example, in the context of a proposed project to monitor asylum centres in Italy. The proposal was to identify “hotspot activities”, using phone data to group individuals either by nationality or “according to where they spend the night”, and also to test if their movements into the country from abroad could be back-tracked. A tentative estimate for the cost of a pilot project, spread over four municipalities, came to €250,000 – of which an unspecified amount was for “regulatory (privacy) issues”.

    Stumbling blocks

    Elsewhere, efforts to harness social media data for similar purposes were proving problematic. A September 2017 UN study tried to establish whether analysing social media posts, specifically on Twitter, “could provide insights into ... altered routes, or the conversations PoC [“persons of concern”] are having with service providers, including smugglers”. The hypothesis was that this could “better inform the orientation of resource allocations, and advocacy efforts” - but the study was unable to conclude either way, after failing to identify enough relevant data on Twitter.

    The ESA pressed ahead, with four feasibility studies concluding in 2018 and 2019. The Migration Radar project produced a dashboard that showcased the use of satellite imagery for automatically detecting changes in temporary settlement, as well as tools to analyse sentiment on social media. The prototype received positive reviews, its backers wrote, encouraging them to keep developing the product.

    CGI was effusive about the predictive power of its technology, which could automatically detect “groups of people, traces of trucks at unexpected places, tent camps, waste heaps and boats” while offering insight into “the sentiments of migrants at certain moments” and “information that is shared about routes and motives for taking certain routes”. Armed with this data, the company argued that it could create a service which could predict the possible outcomes of migration movements before they happened.

    The ESA’s other “big data applications” study had identified a demand among EU agencies and other potential customers for predictive analyses to ensure “preparedness” and alert systems for migration events. A package of services was proposed, using data drawn from social media and satellites.

    Both projects were slated to evolve into a second, operational phase. But this seems to have never become reality. CGI told the Bureau that “since the completion of the [Migration Radar] project, we have not carried out any extra activities in this domain”.

    The ESA told the Bureau that its studies had “confirmed the usefulness” of combining space technology and big data for monitoring migration movements. The agency added that its corporate partners were working on follow-on projects despite “internal delays”.

    EASO itself told the Bureau that it “took a decision not to get involved” in the various proposals it had received.

    Specialists found a “striking absence” of agreed upon core principles when using the new technologies

    But even as these efforts slowed, others have been pursuing similar goals. The European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography has proposed a “Big Data for Migration Alliance” to address data access, security and ethics concerns. A new partnership between the ESA and GMV – “Bigmig" – aims to support “migration management and prevention” through a combination of satellite observation and machine-learning techniques (the company emphasised to the Bureau that its focus was humanitarian). And a consortium of universities and private sector partners – GMV among them – has just launched a €3 million EU-funded project, named Hummingbird, to improve predictions of migration patterns, including through analysing phone call records, satellite imagery and social media.

    At a conference in Berlin in October 2019, dozens of specialists from academia, government and the humanitarian sector debated the use of these new technologies for “forecasting human mobility in contexts of crises”. Their conclusions raised numerous red flags. They found a “striking absence” of agreed upon core principles. It was hard to balance the potential good with ethical concerns, because the most useful data tended to be more specific, leading to greater risks of misuse and even, in the worst case scenario, weaponisation of the data. Partnerships with corporations introduced transparency complications. Communication of predictive findings to decision makers, and particularly the “miscommunication of the scope and limitations associated with such findings”, was identified as a particular problem.

    The full consequences of relying on artificial intelligence and “employing large scale, automated, and combined analysis of datasets of different sources” to predict movements in a crisis could not be foreseen, the workshop report concluded. “Humanitarian and political actors who base their decisions on such analytics must therefore carefully reflect on the potential risks.”

    A fresh crisis

    Until recently, discussion of such risks remained mostly confined to scientific papers and NGO workshops. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought it crashing into the mainstream.

    Some see critical advantages to using call data records to trace movements and map the spread of the virus. “Using our mobile technology, we have the potential to build models that help to predict broadly how the virus might move,” an O2 spokesperson said in March. But others believe that it is too late for this to be useful. The UK’s chief scientific officer, Patrick Vallance, told a press conference in March that using this type of data “would have been a good idea in January”.

    Like the 2015 refugee crisis, the global emergency offers an opportunity for industry to get ahead of the curve with innovative uses of big data. At a summit in Downing Street on 11 March, Dominic Cummings asked tech firms “what [they] could bring to the table” to help the fight against Covid-19.

    Human rights advocates worry about the longer term effects of such efforts, however. “Right now, we’re seeing states around the world roll out powerful new surveillance measures and strike up hasty partnerships with tech companies,” Anna Bacciarelli, a technology researcher at Amnesty International, told the Bureau. “While states must act to protect people in this pandemic, it is vital that we ensure that invasive surveillance measures do not become normalised and permanent, beyond their emergency status.”

    More creative methods of surveillance and prediction are not necessarily answering the right question, others warn.

    “The single largest determinant of Covid-19 mortality is healthcare system capacity,” said Sean McDonald, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, who studied the use of phone data in the west African Ebola outbreak of 2014-5. “But governments are focusing on the pandemic as a problem of people management rather than a problem of building response capacity. More broadly, there is nowhere near enough proof that the science or math underlying the technologies being deployed meaningfully contribute to controlling the virus at all.”

    Legally, this type of data processing raises complicated questions. While European data protection law - the GDPR - generally prohibits processing of “special categories of personal data”, including ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation, biometrics and health, it allows such processing in a number of instances (among them public health emergencies). In the case of refugee movement prediction, there are signs that the law is cracking at the seams.
    “There is nowhere near enough proof that the science or math underlying the technologies being deployed meaningfully contribute to controlling the virus at all.”

    Under GDPR, researchers are supposed to make “impact assessments” of how their data processing can affect fundamental rights. If they find potential for concern they should consult their national information commissioner. There is no simple way to know whether such assessments have been produced, however, or whether they were thoroughly carried out.

    Researchers engaged with crunching mobile phone data point to anonymisation and aggregation as effective tools for ensuring privacy is maintained. But the solution is not straightforward, either technically or legally.

    “If telcos are using individual call records or location data to provide intel on the whereabouts, movements or activities of migrants and refugees, they still need a legal basis to use that data for that purpose in the first place – even if the final intelligence report itself does not contain any personal data,” said Ben Hayes, director of AWO, a data rights law firm and consultancy. “The more likely it is that the people concerned may be identified or affected, the more serious this matter becomes.”

    More broadly, experts worry that, faced with the potential of big data technology to illuminate movements of groups of people, the law’s provisions on privacy begin to seem outdated.

    “We’re paying more attention now to privacy under its traditional definition,” Nathaniel Raymond said. “But privacy is not the same as group legibility.” Simply put, while issues around the sensitivity of personal data can be obvious, the combinations of seemingly unrelated data that offer insights about what small groups of people are doing can be hard to foresee, and hard to mitigate. Raymond argues that the concept of privacy as enshrined in the newly minted data protection law is anachronistic. As he puts it, “GDPR is already dead, stuffed and mounted. We’re increasing vulnerability under the colour of law.”

    https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2020-04-28/monitoring-being-pitched-to-fight-covid-19-was-first-tested-o
    #cobaye #surveillance #réfugiés #covid-19 #coronavirus #test #smartphone #téléphones_portables #Frontex #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Shin_Bet #internet #big_data #droits_humains #réseaux_sociaux #intelligence_prédictive #European_Asylum_Support_Office (#EASO) #EDPS #protection_des_données #humanitaire #images_satellites #technologie #European_Space_Agency (#ESA) #GMV #CGI #Niger #Facebook #Migration_Radar_2.0 #early_warning_system #BIP #Thales_Alenia #EGEOS #complexe_militaro-industriel #Vodafone #GSM #Italie #twitter #détection #routes_migratoires #systèmes_d'alerte #satellites #Knowledge_Centre_on_Migration_and_Demography #Big_Data for_Migration_Alliance #Bigmig #machine-learning #Hummingbird #weaponisation_of_the_data #IA #intelligence_artificielle #données_personnelles

    ping @etraces @isskein @karine4 @reka

    signalé ici par @sinehebdo :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/849167

  • Mapping covid-19 impact in refugee camps

    Ce virus ne discrimine pas par la couleur de peau, le genre ou le statut. Toutefois, il est certain qu’il affectera dans des proportions plus grandes et des formes plus sévères les plus vulnérables d’entre nous – notamment les réfugiés et personnes déplacées – pour qui, en moyenne, l’accès aux soins, à l’information et les opportunités pour se protéger des ces conséquences socio-économiques sont moindres. C’est pourquoi nous avons décidé avec le soutien des membres de la communauté Techfugees de collaborer ensemble à distance afin de mesurer l’impact du coronavirus sur les communautés réfugiées et identifier les solutions existantes potentiellement prêtes à être déployées localement ou partagées.

    La plateforme collecte des #données quantitative et qualitative sur la manière dont le #coronavirus affecte les communautés réfugiées. D’abord d’un point de vue purement sanitaire & humanitaires, mais aussi capturant des données sur l’#impact_socio-économique et les atteintes aux droits de l’Homme. La plateforme fournit également un éventail de solutions existantes afin de venir en aide et de rendre plus autonome les personnes réfugiées. Ces données sont mise à jour de manière hebdomadaire.


    La carte/the map:
    https://open.sourcemap.com/maps/5e9c38d0344d98be0c8ba221

    Le fichier de données / the spreadsheet:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SlaoJl0SSZPDHlkhyPHRWFjX3G0jLv2l2LgTMbgqZD8/edit#gid=418451224

    https://techfugees.com/fr/mapping-covid19-impact
    #coronavirus #cartographie #cartographie_collaborative #cartographie_participative #techfugees #visualisation #camps #campements #réfugiés #asile #migrations #droits_humains #autonomie #camps_de_réfugiés

    via @isskein
    ping @reka @visionscarto @thomas_lacroix

  • Vers des jours heureux... | Le Club de Mediapart

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/les-invites-de-mediapart/article/280420/vers-des-jours-heureux

    Un virus inconnu circule autour de la planète depuis le début de l’année. Péril mortel et invisible, nous obligeant à nous écarter les uns des autres comme si nous étions dangereux les uns pour les autres, il a retourné les tréfonds des sociétés comme on retourne un gant et il a mis au grand jour ce que l’on tentait jusqu’ici de masquer. Sans doute provoque-t-il un nombre important de morts et met-il sous une lumière crue les limites des systèmes de santé des pays développés, y compris les plus riches d’entre eux. Sans doute, ailleurs, expose-t-il les populations de pays plus pauvres à un extrême danger, les contraignant pour se protéger à accomplir une obligation impossible, le confinement. Mais ceci n’est que la surface des choses.

    Le gant retourné donne à voir la voie périlleuse dans laquelle le monde se trouve engagé depuis des décennies. En mettant les services hospitaliers sous contrainte budgétaire, là où ils étaient développés, et en les négligeant là où ils sont insuffisants, les responsables politiques affolés se sont trouvés pris de court devant l’arrivée de la pandémie. En France, l’impréparation criante à ce type d’évènements, la liquidation coupable de la réserve de masques, la délocalisation de l’industrie pharmaceutique avec pour seule raison la recherche de profits plus grands, la faiblesse des moyens de la recherche scientifique, mettent le gouvernement en situation d’improvisation. En prenant le chemin du confinement dont il ne sait comment sortir, il s’est engagé dans la voie d’une mise en cause radicale des libertés publiques. S’étant privé des autres moyens de protection de la population, il bénéficie d’un acquiescement forcé de cette dernière. Pour le cas où cet acquiescement manquerait, un discours moralisateur et culpabilisant se déploie. Et pourtant, partout, d’innombrables initiatives contredisent l’individualisme entretenu par le modèle économique et social et témoignent de la permanence de la fraternité entre les humains.

    Mais le gant retourné fait apparaître aussi, au moins aux yeux les plus lucides, que la réponse aux enjeux auxquels l’humanité dans son ensemble est en ce moment confrontée, ne saurait être une addition de politiques nationales, encore moins si ces politiques tentent de se mener en vase clos. Il y manquera toujours une part, celle de la communauté des humains qui ne peut refuser plus longtemps de se voir pour ce qu’elle est : une communauté de destin, ce qu’Hannah Arendt nommait une association politique d’hommes libres.

    Ainsi, derrière la crise sanitaire qui est au premier plan, avec la crise économique qui s’amorce et la catastrophe écologique en cours, c’est une crise de civilisation qui émerge enfin. Le monde entièrement dominé par le système capitaliste qui ne cesse de creuser les inégalités et de détruire la nature, est aujourd’hui un bateau ivre qui n’a d’autre horizon que son naufrage à travers des violences insoupçonnées.

    S’il est encore temps de reprendre les commandes, alors ce séisme inédit est l’occasion que le monde doit saisir pour rompre enfin avec sa destruction largement amorcée et inventer une société entièrement différente. Ainsi, ayant conjuré la terreur de l’inconnu, les peuples danseront de joie sur les décombres du vieux monde qui menaçait de les emporter.

    Pour cela, il faut :

    – ne pas tricher avec les constats qu’il y a lieu de faire ;
    – mesurer les risques d’une sortie de crise orientée à un retour à la situation antérieure ou à d’autres dérives ;
    – saisir cette opportunité pour poser les fondements radicalement différents d’une société mondiale juste et viable.

    #covid-19 #le_monde_d_après

  • #Plainte contre l’Europe complice des horreurs perpétrées en Libye

    L’UE a violé ses obligations financières en soutenant sa gestion migratoire par la Libye selon plusieurs ONG. Dans une plainte déposée ce 27 avril, celles-ci réclament un audit de la #cour_des_comptes_européenne.

    Détention arbitraire, torture, viol, esclavage, etc. Les sévices dont sont victimes migrants et réfugiés dans la Libye en guerre sont largement documentés. Et la complicité de l’Union européenne qui externalise sa gestion migratoire, fortement dénoncée.

    Les ONG de défense des droits humains ont choisi un nouvel angle d’attaque pour contester la politique européenne de soutien aux autorités libyennes pour qu’elles interceptent en mer et maintiennent coûte que coûte sur leur sol les demandeurs d’asile. Elles ont décidé de frapper au porte-monnaie.

    Trois ONG portent plainte

    Trois organisations spécialisées dans l’expertise juridique et politique des migrations, le #Global_legal_action_network (réseau mondial d’action juridique, #GLAN), l’association pour les études juridiques sur l’immigration (#ASGI) et l’association italienne des loisirs et de la culture (#ARCI) ont déposé une plainte auprès de la cour des comptes européenne ce lundi 27 avril.

    La plainte est étayée par une déclaration de douze ONG de défense des droits humains, tels Amnesty International et la FIDH. Elle porte sur « les infractions aux #règles_financières de l’UE ». Les trois organisations estiment illégal le #soutien_financier européen à la gestion migratoire libyenne et réclament que la cour des comptes lance un audit sur la coopération de l’UE avec la Libye.

    Une plainte « révolutionnaire »

    « Les #lois_budgétaires de l’UE donnent mandat à l’UE de veiller à la bonne utilisation des #fonds_européens_de_développement, notamment en contrôlant et en évaluant en permanence leur impact sur les droits de l’homme. Sans garanties en matière de droits de l’homme, le programme de l’UE en Libye est en violation flagrante des lois européennes et internationales et se rend complice des souffrances humaines causées par le retour des migrants en Libye », fait valoir Valentina Azarova, conseillère juridique pour le GLAN.

    En s’appuyant sur le soutien matériel apporté à la Libye, cette plainte est « révolutionnaire », estime Leslie Piquemal du CIHRS, l’Institut d’études des droits de l’homme du Caire, cosignataire de la déclaration.

    Le respect des droits de l’homme transféré à la Libye

    L’UE a alloué, en juillet 2017, 91,3 millions d’euros au programme « #Gestion_intégrée_des_frontières_et_des_migrations_en_Libye » (#GIF) qui doit durer jusqu’à la fin de 2021. Ce programme a pour objectif « d’améliorer la capacité de la Libye à contrôler ses frontières et à assurer le sauvetage en mer, d’une manière pleinement conforme aux obligations et aux normes internationales en matière de droits de l’homme. » Ces #fonds ont été engagés par le biais du #Fonds_fiduciaire_d’urgence_de_l’Union_européenne_pour_la stabilité_et_la_lutte_contre_les_causes_profondes_des-migrations_irrégulières_et_des personnes_déplacées_en_Afrique (#EUTFA), lui-même principalement financé par le #Fonds_européen_de_développement.

    Si le Fonds européen de développement est soumis à des règles de bonne gestion financière - les projets soutenus doivent notamment être assortis d’un système visant à évaluer, atténuer et contrôler leur impact sur les droits de l’homme - l’EUTFA, lui, en est affranchi. Cette compatibilité avec les droits de l’homme a été transférée aux bénéficiaires des fonds.

    « L’absence de programmes de surveillance des droits et le risque que les fonds de développement soient détournés au profit de programmes de sécurité, comme le montre le #Fonds_fiduciaire_pour_l’Afrique, sont des préoccupations flagrantes que les institutions et les États membres de l’UE devraient chercher à corriger », fait valoir la plainte.

    En 2018, la cour des comptes avait elle-même pointé les faiblesses de l’EUTFA - manque de précision et risque d’#inefficacité -, et soulignait la nécessité de les revoir.

    https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Migrants-plainte-contre-lEurope-complice-horreurs-perpetrees-Libye-2020-04
    #justice #EU #UE #Europe #Libye #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #droits_humains

    ping @karine4 @isskein @_kg_

    • Complaint to the European Court of Auditors Concerning the Mismanagement of EU Funds by the EUTrust Fund for Africa’s ‘Support to Integrated Border and Migration Management in Libya’ (IBM) Programme Submitted by Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), and Italian Recreational and Cultural Association (ARCI)

      https://c5e65ece-003b-4d73-aa76-854664da4e33.filesusr.com/ugd/14ee1a_ae6a20e6b5ea4b00b0aa0e77ece91241.pdf

    • EU: Time to review and remedy cooperation policies facilitating abuse of refugees and migrants in Libya

      One year after the resumption of the armed conflict in Tripoli, and at a time when the humanitarian situation in Libya continues to deteriorate due to further military escalation and the spreading of the Covid-19 virus, Amnesty International, the Italian Recreational and Cultural Association (ARCI), Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF), Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EuroMed Rights), the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), Oxfam International, Migreurop, and Saferworld are calling on EU institutions to stop any actions trapping people in a country where they are in constant, grave danger.

      EU institutions should review and reform the bloc’s policies of cooperation with Libya on migration and border management and control. During the past three years, these have facilitated the containment of tens of thousands of women, men and children in a country where they have been exposed to appalling abuse.

      The call coincides with the submission by GLAN, ASGI and ARCI of a complaint before the European Court of Auditors (ECA). In their complaint, the three organisations are requesting the body to launch an audit into EU’s cooperation with Libya. Such an audit would seek to determine whether the EU has breached its financial regulations, as well as its human rights obligations, in its support for Libyan border management.

      https://euromedrights.org/publication/eu-time-to-review-and-remedy-cooperation-policies-facilitating-abuse-

    • Stop cooperation with and funding to the Libyan coastguard, MEPs ask

      The EU should stop channeling funds to Libya to manage migration and to train its coastguard, as the violation of human rights of migrants and asylum-seekers continues.

      In a debate in the Civil Liberties Committee with representatives of the Commission, Frontex, UNHCR, the Council of Europe and NGOs, a majority of MEPs insisted that Libya is not a “safe country” for disembarkation of people rescued at sea and demanded that the cooperation with the Libyan coastguard stops.

      Most of the speakers acknowledged the challenges faced by front line countries receiving most of the migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing Libya, namely Italy and Malta, and underlined that the European common asylum system needs to be reshuffled, with a focus on solidarity among member states and respect of international legislation. Others made clear that member states are entitled to protect their borders, especially in the middle of a health crisis such as the current one. Some instead criticised the closure of ports due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stressed that letting people drown cannot be a solution.

      Background

      According to UNHCR, the human rights situation inside Libya is extremely complicated, in the context of intensifying combat, the coronavirus crisis and the high number of economic migrants, refugees and internally displaced people needing material and humanitarian assistance. Around 1,500 people remain in detention centers in appalling conditions, arbitrary detentions continue to take place and resettlement schemes of the most vulnerable people to neighbouring countries have been suspended.

      Since the beginning of the year, 3,277 persons have arrived in Italy by sea and 1,135 in Malta. On 1 April, the EU naval Operation Irini succeeded Operation Sophia, with a focus on enforcing the arms embargo to Libya, in an attempt to contribute to the pacification of the country.

      You can watch the debate again: https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/es/libe-committee-meeting_20200427-1600-COMMITTEE-LIBE_vd

      https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20200427IPR77915/stop-cooperation-with-and-funding-to-the-libyan-coastguard-meps-ask

    • EU : Time to review and remedy cooperation policies facilitating abuse of refugees and migrants in Libya

      One year after the resumption of the armed conflict in Tripoli, and at a time when the humanitarian situation in Libya continues to deteriorate due to further military escalation and the spreading of the Covid-19 virus, Amnesty International, the Italian Recreational and Cultural Association (ARCI), Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF), Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EuroMed Rights), the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), Oxfam International, Migreurop, and Saferworld are calling on EU institutions to stop any actions trapping people in a country where they are in constant, grave danger.
      EU institutions should review and reform the bloc’s policies of cooperation with Libya on migration and border management and control. During the past three years, these have facilitated the containment of tens of thousands of women, men and children in a country where they have been exposed to appalling abuse.
      The call coincides with the submission by GLAN, ASGI and ARCI of a complaint before the European Court of Auditors (ECA)*. In their complaint, the three organisations are requesting the body to launch an audit into EU’s cooperation with Libya. Such an audit would seek to determine whether the EU has breached its financial regulations, as well as its human rights obligations, in its support for Libyan border management.

      The EU cooperation with Libya on border control and its consequences

      EU Member States and Institutions have long responded to the arrival of refugees and migrants, crossing the central Mediterranean on unseaworthy and overcrowded boats, by cooperating with Libyan authorities to stop departures and ensure that people rescued or intercepted at sea would be disembarked in Libya. In recent years, this policy has been pursued through new and numerous means, including the provision of training, speedboats, equipment and various forms of assistance to Libyan authorities such as the Libyan Coast Guard and Port Security (LCGPS, under the Ministry of Defence) and the General Administration for Coastal Security (GACS, under the Ministry of Interior), both under Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

      EU institutions have played a key role in the definition and execution of this strategy. While significant resources have been invested in projects aimed at alleviating the suffering of refugees and migrants stranded in Libya and remain central to EU public communications on the topic, EU actions have nonetheless facilitated and perpetuated this policy of containment. The contained people have become victims of human rights violations and abuse, including indefinite, arbitrary detention and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, which such cosmetic measures have not remedied.

      Indeed, the overall policy of cooperation with the Libyan authorities on border control and management has been designed and consistently implemented at the EU level. It started with the launch of the EU Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM) in 2013, with the goal to support the Libyan authorities in improving and developing the security of the country’s borders. [1] It continued with the modification of the mandate of naval operation EunavforMed Sophia, tasked since June 2016 [2] to train members of the Libyan Coast Guard. It expanded with the Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, dated 25 January 2017, indicating action to step up the capacity of the Libyan Coast Guard as a key priority. [3]] The strategy was completed through the Malta Declaration [4], of 3 February 2017, which explicitly indicated “training, equipment and support to the Libyan national coast guard and other relevant agencies” as its first priority. Crucially, this declaration also affirmed the intention to strengthen the mainstreaming of migration within the EU’s official development assistance for Africa, including through the mobilization of resources under the EU Emergency trust fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa (EUTFA).

      The EU has then concretely implemented this strategy through the funding of specific projects, in particular the project “Support to Integrated border and migration management in Libya” (IBM project), launched in July 2017 and funded by the EUTFA with a total of €91.3m. [5] The project has focused almost entirely on enhancing the operational capacity of Libyan authorities in maritime surveillance : assisting with the supply and maintenance of speedboats ; setting up basic facilities to coordinate operations and planning the establishment of fully-fledged operational rooms ; and supporting the definition of a Libyan Search and Rescue Region, declared by Libya in December 2017. This, notwithstanding the fact that the country cannot be considered a place of safety for the disembarkation of people rescued at sea, a fact that even the Libyan authorities admitted earlier this month. It should also be noted that, despite the assistance provided, Libya has been unable to attend to this rescue area and has benefited from extensive and decisive support from Italy to coordinate maritime operations, including many triggered following sightings by EU assets. [6]

      While this strategy has achieved its objective of drastically reducing the number of people reaching Europe via the central Mediterranean – as well as the absolute number of deaths at sea, given the plummeting departures – it has also led to dramatic human consequences. Following disembarkation in Libya, since 2016 tens of thousands of women, men and children have been transferred to detention centres nominally under the control of the Libyan Ministry of Interior, where people have been detained arbitrarily for an indeterminate period of time, and where inhumane conditions and overcrowding are accompanied by the prevalence of torture and other ill-treatment. Cases of beatings, sexual violence, exploitation, forced labour, unlawful killings, and deaths in custody due to inadequate medical treatment or lack of adequate food, have been widely documented. Even outside of detention centres, refugees and migrants are constantly exposed to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, trafficking and exploitation. [7]

      The already dire humanitarian situation has been compounded, in recent weeks, by newly escalating violence in Tripoli as well as by the spreading of Covid-19 disease. All parties to the conflict, including the GNA and the Libyan National Army (LNA), have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law. Indiscriminate attacks have resulted in deaths among civilians, including dozens of refugees and migrants killed in the bombing of the detention centre of Tajoura, near Tripoli, in July 2019. [8] The risk of an escalation of violence in Libya due to the fragile political situation should have been foreseen by EU decision-makers.

      Many risks were well-known by EU Member States’ and institutions’ officials when designing the cooperation with Libya. In particular, the systematic human rights violations in detention centres – the very centres where Libyan authorities detain people who, with EU support, they intercept at sea – have been documented widely for a number of years, including by UN agencies who have also attempted to respond to such risks through human rights due diligence steps and the adoption of restrictive measures on their programmes. [9]

      While fully conscious of the horrific violations and abuses experienced by refugees and migrants taken to Libya, EU institutions have undertaken to implement the above-mentioned strategy for the past four years.

      The EU has thus contributed to the disembarkation in Libya and transfer to detention centres of tens of thousands of women, men and children. What is more, taking into account the 2012 European Court of Human Rights decision in the case Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy, ruling that maritime pushbacks towards Libya breach the European Convention on Human Rights – this strategy has been designed to circumvent responsibility under international and EU laws, in multiple ways. [10] First, the focus on the capacity-building of the LCGPS is meant to ensure that people are intercepted at sea and subsequently disembarked in Libya by non-European actors – since both international and EU law prohibit the transfer of anyone to a country where their rights and freedoms are at serious risk. Second, EU institutions have tried to minimise the EU’s direct involvement and deflect attention from their responsibility for the serious abuses they have contributed to by focusing on funding projects implemented primarily by Member States. Finally, by transferring European
      development and other aid resources into the EUTFA, a fund that can be used with reduced transparency and limited supervision, and then using those funds to realize projects such as IBM, they have reduced avenues for holding decision-makers to account for the harmful contributions made by such actions.

      The complaint before the European Court of Auditors

      On 27 April 2020, GLAN, ASGI, and ARCI submitted a complaint before the European Court of Auditors, the EU body responsible for auditing the use and management of the EU budget.

      The complaint was drafted based on an expert opinion by academic experts on EU budget and development laws, Prof Dr Phillip Dann and Dr Michael Riegner of Humboldt University and Ms Lena Zagst of Hamburg University, published alongside the complaint. Following close to a year’s efforts to obtain information from various EU institutions about the use of EU funds, the complaint argues that EU funds used to implement the EU’s migration policy have been mismanaged, in breach of EU laws governing the EU budget, and with consequences for the EU and its Member States under international law. The complaint claims that the European Commission has failed to uphold its obligations under EU law to ensure that it is not acquiescing or contributing to serious human rights violations. In particular, it argues that provision of financial means to implement projects resulting in return to and containment in Libya of people at risk of human rights abuse, with knowledge of these consequences and in the absence of any legally required measures to mitigate such risks, engages the responsibility of the EU institutions. The complaint is unique insofar as it specifically addresses the responsibilities of EU institutions relevant to the use of EU funds in such projects, linking their financial disbursements and human rights obligations. Crucially, it is filed in the context of several previous and ongoing litigation efforts before domestic and regional courts and international bodies, including the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee.

      The complaint calls on the ECA to launch an audit into the IBM programme for the misuse of EU funds and for its harmful impacts on human rights. The complaint argues, based on EU financial legislation, the illegality of the IBM programme due to inconsistency with the permissible funding objectives for development and other underlying funds disbursed by the EUTFA. Specifically, the use of EU funds in the IBM programme contravenes the obligation to follow legal requirements for the use of such funds, to ensure that use ‘does no harm’, and is compliant with EU law regarding sound financial management principles of effectiveness, efficiency and transparency. The arguments are based on the appended legal opinion and supported by information specific to the IBM programme researched and analysed by the groups.

      The human rights impact of the funding is particularly severe due to the fact that the IBM programme, now in its second phase, which is set to last until late 2021, is being implemented without any conditionality or restriction on the use of funding or review of funded activities, and without a human rights review or monitoring of the human rights impact. EU and international law, the complaint argues, requires that the EU and its Member States make the implementation of the programme conditional on the closure of detention centres and the enactment of asylum laws by Libyan authorities, amongst other concrete and verifiable steps.
      The programme should also provide for robust and effective review mechanisms that could result in its suspension if conditions are not respected.

      There is no doubt that EU institutions have been long aware of the risks involved in cooperating with Libyan authorities on border control and management. A recent investigation by The Guardian revealed how in early 2019 the Director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, wrote to Paraskevi Michou, the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs in the European Commission, outlining issues arising from sharing information about the position of boats in distress with Libyan authorities, highlighting how “the Commission and in general institutions may face questions of a political nature as a consequence of the SAR related operational exchanges of information.” [11] Indeed, questions about the lawfulness of the cooperation have previously been asked, not only by members of civil society. As early as March 2017, a review by the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact noted that the UK and EU work efforts to build the capacity of the LCGPS aimed at increasing the likelihood that refugees and other irregular migrants were intercepted by the LCGPS, and that those intercepted were placed in detention. The body, which reports its findings to the British Parliament, expressed concern that “the programme delivers migrants back to a system that leads to indiscriminate and indefinite detention and denies refugees their right to asylum”, and concluded that the risk of UK aid causing unintended harm to vulnerable migrants, or preventing refugees from reaching a place of safety, had been inadequately assessed. [12] Subsequently, both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe expressed deep concern about the consequences of European cooperation with Libya on border control. [13]

      In 2018, the ECA opened a first, general audit on the EUTFA, leading to the Special Report “European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa : Flexible but lacking focus”. [14] In its conclusions, the ECA found that the fund’s more general established objectives were too broad to efficiently steer action and measure impact ; that the Commission did not comprehensively analyse needs nor the means at its disposal to address them ; that the selection of projects had been fast but not fully consistent and clear ; and that, while projects have started to deliver outputs, their monitoring was deficient. Among other weaknesses, the report highlighted the lack of a specific risk assessment framework, or – in the case of projects for the North of Africa – of any documented criteria for selecting project proposals. The funding of the IBM programme reveals that these concerns have now materialised.

      The “action fiche” for the first phase of the IBM programme – i.e. the document summarizing its objectives and relevant plans and activities – acknowledges that “Under the existing Libyan legislation, once rescued, irregular migrants generally end up in detention centres which generate international concerns.” [15] The action fiche for the second phase of the programme expands on this : “The treatment of migrants in Libyan detention centres is of great concern : there is a lack of food, hygiene is abhorrent and there is a situation of total despair. Equally important is the absence of a clear and verifiable system of the rule of law, which meets the international and human rights standards. Migrants in detention centres have often no access to legal process and cannot address any misuse of power. This situation has led to criticism on the current programs financed by the EU in Libya and influenced the design of this action.” [16]

      Despite such references to human rights and international law, the programme has not provided for any measure adequate to address the role of such funding in contributing to the dire situation of refugees and migrants trapped in Libya. Other measures supposedly adopted to mitigate the human rights impact of the programme, such as trainings and political demarches, either depend on the good will of Libyan authorities, or are tokenistic. While EU officials express concern that the continuation of abuse against refugees and migrants in Libya may “further damage the narrative and reputation of the EU”, the risk of actively facilitating this abuse is not considered in the brief risk analysis provided in the action fiche for the second phase . Notably, most of the project’s impact monitoring is outsourced to the Italian Ministry of Interior, which is also in charge of implementing many of the planned actions and has repeatedly refused to disclose information or even discuss related concerns.

      As the IBM project is set to last until end 2021, it is high time to reassess this project, as well as the implications of the wider strategy adopted by the EU and its Member States to stop irregular crossings in the central Mediterranean. Human rights violations should be stopped and remedied, not encouraged and enabled. At a time when refugees and migrants stuck in Libya, as a result of EU decisions and projects, are exposed not only to serious abuse but also to the risks emerging from intensifying conflict and spreading disease, Europe should ensure the accountability of its own institutions and that any migration cooperation programmes are devised in line with its international obligations, not least in terms of their financial dimension.

      http://www.migreurop.org/article2987