• Haiti : President Abinader announces the construction of a double fence at the border
    https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-33130-haiti-flash-president-abinader-announces-the-construction-of-

    On Saturday February 27, 2021, Dominican President Luis Abinader announced during his speech on the occasion of the 177th anniversary of the country’s independence that in the second half of 2021, the construction of a double fence on the line will begin at the border separating the Dominican Republic and Haiti in order to protect sovereignty and territorial security. He said that with this fence, the cost of which is unknown at the moment, "Within two years, we want to end the serious (...)

    #capteur #CCTV #biométrie #température #facial #reconnaissance #vidéo-surveillance #frontières (...)

    ##surveillance

  • Le confinement prolongé jusqu’à la fin de mars en Nouvelle-Calédonie
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/03/18/le-confinement-prolonge-jusqu-a-la-fin-de-mars-en-nouvelle-caledonie_6073548

    Confinée depuis le 9 mars après avoir recensé, au début du mois, ses tous premiers cas de Covid-19, la Nouvelle-Calédonie a décidé de prolonger ces restrictions strictes d’une semaine. « Cette troisième semaine de confinement sera décisive », a déclaré, jeudi 18 mars, Thierry Santa, président du gouvernement collégial, appelant « chaque Calédonienne et chaque Calédonien à jouer son rôle pour éviter une épidémie de Covid-19 en Nouvelle-Calédonie, voire même permettre un retour à une situation “Covid free” ». L’archipel du Pacifique sud a recensé ses neuf premiers cas de la maladie le 7 mars, hors quatorzaine obligatoire pour tout passager arrivant, après une introduction du virus via la bulle sanitaire en place avec l’archipel voisin de Wallis-et-Futuna. Depuis, vingt-huit autres cas de la maladie ont été décelés, mais le dernier patient diagnostiqué positif « qui n’était pas isolé au moment de sa détection ou dans les jours qui précédaient remonte au 10 mars », a précisé M. Santa.
    Les autorités sanitaires mènent d’intenses investigations pour contacter, tester et isoler tous les passagers arrivés de Wallis-et-Futuna depuis le 25 janvier et identifier les personnes avec lesquelles ils ont été en contact. Les vols internationaux dans le sens des arrivées, déjà drastiquement réduits, sont suspendus depuis le 7 mars tandis que tous les établissements scolaires et universitaires sont fermés.Afin qu’ils ne rouvrent pas à l’issue du confinement, le gouvernement a avancé d’une semaine les vacances de Pâques, qui débuteront le 29 mars et non le 6 avril, comme le prévoyait le calendrier scolaire.Les autorités ont parallèlement accéléré la campagne de vaccination, avec l’objectif d’atteindre 2 000 injections quotidiennes. A ce jour, près de 20 000 personnes sur 270 000 habitants ont reçu une ou les deux doses du vaccin. Le haut-commissaire Laurent Prévost a annoncé l’envoi « dans les deux prochaines semaines de 15 000 nouvelles doses » du vaccin Pfizer-BioNtech.Distant de 1 800 kilomètres, l’archipel de Wallis-et-Futuna connaît une situation beaucoup plus dégradée avec 261 cas de Covid-19 décelés depuis le 6 mars pour une population d’environ 11 500 habitants. Mercredi, soixante-douze soignants de la réserve sanitaire et plusieurs tonnes de matériel médical, dont 18 000 doses de vaccin, dépêchés par l’Etat, sont arrivés sur place. La Nouvelle-Calédonie a également envoyé des bénévoles de la Croix-Rouge et six tonnes d’équipement médical.

    #Covod-19#migrant#migration#nouvellecalédonie#pacifique#wallisetfunutna#sante#vaccination#circulation#frontiere#bulledevoyage#confinement

  • Covid-19 : une consultation à grande échelle sur le passeport vaccinal
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/03/17/covid-19-pres-de-sept-francais-sur-dix-opposes-au-passeport-vaccinal_6073449

    question cruciale pour l’exécutif : celle du passeport vaccinal. Mardi 16 mars, le Conseil économique, social et environnemental (CESE) a rendu public les résultats d’une consultation en ligne sur le sujet, effectuée du 17 février au 7 mars. Les internautes étaient invités à répondre à la question « que pensez-vous du passeport vaccinal ? » et à obligatoirement étayer leur avis.Plus de 110 500 personnes ont donné leur position. Au final, 67,1 % d’entre elles se disent « très défavorables » à cette idée, 5,6 % « défavorables », 20, 2 % « très favorables », 5,1 % « favorables », le reste se déclarant « mitigé ». « Ce n’est pas un sondage ni un panel représentatif de la population française, rappelle Stéphanie Goujon, conseillère du CESE. C’est sur la base du volontariat et on peut imaginer que ceux qui sont contre auront plus tendance à s’exprimer. »
    Chez les pro passeport vaccinal, le principal argument avancé est celui d’un retour à la vie normale avec la réouverture des lieux collectifs fermés (restaurants, musées, salles de sport…), la possibilité de voyager à l’étranger et de voir ses proches sans crainte. Selon eux, la mise en œuvre d’une telle mesure et son acceptabilité sont conditionnées au fait que toutes les personnes volontaires puissent être vaccinées – ce qui n’est pas le cas actuellement. « Les répondants insistent ainsi sur la nécessaire accélération de la campagne de vaccination », précise le CESE dans la synthèse des résultats. Pour ces internautes, le passeport vaccinal pourrait également « permettre d’inciter à la vaccination, en présentant aux personnes réticentes tous les avantages à la vaccination ».
    Pour ceux opposés à un tel dispositif, ce retour à la vie normale est « beaucoup plus nuancé », observe le CESE. Il s’agirait d’une « proposition liberticide » qui créerait « une discrimination entre les citoyens vaccinés et non vaccinés (…) et de fait restreindrait les libertés des derniers ». Autre point soulevé : « Le passeport vaccinal serait trop difficile à mettre en place pour qu’il soit effectif », notamment dans les restaurants. Des internautes mettent également en avant « les risques du vaccin encore non éprouvé (pas de retours sur son efficacité, sa dangerosité et sa compatibilité avec les nouveaux variants) ». Certains proposent donc de ne mettre en place cette disposition que pour les déplacements à l’étranger, d’autres de la remplacer pour les personnes non vaccinées par un test PCR négatif réalisé 72 heures auparavant.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migartion#france#UE#vaccination#passeportvaccinal#circulation#frontiere

  • Covid-19 : la Commission européenne mise sur un certificat sanitaire pour « faciliter la liberté de mouvement »
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/03/17/covid-19-la-commission-europeenne-mise-sur-un-certificat-sanitaire-pour-faci

    Covid-19 : la Commission européenne mise sur un certificat sanitaire pour « faciliter la liberté de mouvement ». Ce passeport vaccinal permettrait de fluidifier la circulation au sein de l’UE. Mais le débat sur les informations qu’il comportera et les droits qu’il ouvrira s’annonce difficile.L’objectif est clair – faire en sorte que cet été, la liberté de circulation au sein de l’Union européenne (UE) ne soit pas un vain postulat – ; mais la manière de l’atteindre reste semée d’embûches. Mercredi 17 mars, la Commission européenne a présenté le principal instrument à sa disposition pour y parvenir, en attendant que les vaccins contre le Covid-19 produisent leur effet et assurent une immunité collective : le « certificat digital vert », appelé ainsi en référence aux « voies vertes » mises en place il y a un peu moins d’un an pour assurer un passage aux transporteurs routiers quand, face à la propagation du virus, les frontières fermaient les unes après les autres.
    Ce visa sanitaire, s’il devait voir le jour d’ici à juin comme l’exécutif communautaire le souhaite, n’est, en théorie, qu’un outil mis à la disposition des Vingt-Sept. A chacun d’entre eux ensuite, assure la Commission, de décider, des droits qu’il ouvre – par exemple celui de séjourner sur son sol sans avoir à subir de quarantaine pour un non ressortissant – même si l’objectif assumé est bel et bien « de faciliter la liberté de mouvement », comme on peut le lire dans le projet de législation. « Ils seront obligés de fournir le “certificat vert” aux citoyens qui y ont droit mais ils décideront de l’usage qu’ils veulent en faire », explique ainsi un haut fonctionnaire européen.
    En réalité, la Commission marche sur des œufs tant la question des frontières, qui relève des compétences nationales, est sensible. Elle sait aussi que sa proposition fera l’objet de négociations difficiles entre, d’un côté, le Parlement européen et, de l’autre, les Vingt-Sept, qui devront l’adopter à la majorité qualifiée.« Le Parlement européen va vouloir la rendre plus contraignante pour les Etats membres, et les contraindre à associer à ce certificat vert une liberté de circulation », commente un diplomate. Avant de poursuivre : « Du côté des Etats membres, certains, au Nord, comme l’Allemagne ou les Pays-Bas, craignent que cela se transforme en une tentative d’harmonisation des règles aux frontières. D’autres, au Sud, qui veulent sauver leur saison estivale, ont peur que ce ne soit pas prêt à temps. » Athènes, Madrid ou Lisbonne, dont les économies sont très dépendantes du tourisme, comptent sur ce « certificat vert » pour ouvrir les portes de leurs hôtels et restaurants à tous ceux qui souhaiteraient venir en vacances chez eux.Bruxelles sait que si le « certificat digital vert » ne voit pas le jour, les Etats membres se doteront les uns après les autres de leur propre passeport sanitaire, sans avoir à cœur de se coordonner, comme on l’a déjà vu dans le passé avec les applications de traçage du Covid-19. Des initiatives ont d’ailleurs déjà commencé ici ou là. Entre autres, le Danemark et la Suède ont annoncé la mise en place de certificats électroniques. Quant à la Grèce, elle a, comme Chypre, signé un accord bilatéral avec Israël autorisant leurs ressortissants vaccinés à se déplacer entre les deux pays. Face à ce nouveau risque de fragmentation, donc, Bruxelles veut poser des jalons, avec un dispositif qui se veut interopérable et sécurisé.
    Alors que les campagnes de vaccination restent laborieuses – à ce stade, seuls 9 % des Européens se sont vus administrer une première dose – et qu’elles n’auront sans doute pas commencé pour les plus jeunes avant cet été, la Commission propose donc un « certificat vert » non discriminant : il devra être remis aux ressortissants des pays européens qui auront déjà contracté le virus, et seront donc provisoirement immunisés, ainsi qu’à ceux qui auront fait l’objet d’un test négatif, ou qui auront été vaccinés – il précisera alors avec quel vaccin et à quelle date.Tant que l’on parle des vaccins autorisés par l’Agence européenne des médicaments – quatre, à ce stade : Pfizer-BioNTecH, Moderna, AstraZeneca et Johnson & Johnson –, cela va de soi. Mais Bruxelles prévoit aussi que ceux qu’elle n’a pas homologués puissent être inscrits sur ce certificat. Libre à chaque Etat membre de décider s’il accepte de faire venir sur son sol les personnes qui en ont bénéficié.La Hongrie, qui utilise les vaccins russe Spoutnik V et chinois Sinopharm, devrait modérément apprécier… Et, au sein de l’UE, les pays les plus touristiques, comme la Grèce, n’ont pas l’intention de limiter leurs débouchés. Ils espèrent pouvoir faire venir chez eux des ressortissants de pays hors UE, qui n’auront pas forcément été vaccinés avec l’un des vaccins autorisés par l’Agence européenne des médicaments.Afin qu’il soit facile d’utilisation, la Commission prévoit que le « certificat vert » soit doté d’un QR code, et puisse être gardé sous forme électronique, ou papier. Il devra être « gratuit », précise-t-elle. Enfin, il sera rédigé dans la langue du pays où il a été émis mais aussi en anglais, afin qu’il soit lisible partout sur le continent.La Commission a en effet constaté que, même si les Vingt-Sept se sont engagés à reconnaître mutuellement leurs tests, en pratique, certains d’entre eux se soustraient à cette promesse, dès lors qu’ils sont rédigés dans une langue qui ne leur est pas familière.Un groupe d’experts des Etats membres s’est déjà mis d’accord sur la manière de rendre ce document sécurisé. Objectif : éviter la falsification, comme cela existe aujourd’hui pour les tests PCR. Dans une notification du 1er février, Europol signale ainsi plusieurs circuits qui ont permis de mettre sur le marché de faux tests négatifs, par exemple à l’aéroport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, pour un prix variant « de 150 à 300 euros », rapporte l’agence européenne. Tous ces sujets – les données qui figureront sur ce certificat, l’outil numérique qui sera utilisé, les droits qu’il ouvrira – sont extrêmement délicats et susceptibles de faire naître des débats complexes entre les Vingt-Sept. « Il n’est pas sûr qu’on ait le temps de faire une législation en deux ou trois mois. Il faut, en parallèle aux négociations qui vont commencer, travailler à une solution plus pragmatique qui ne serait pas une législation, mais des recommandations de la Commission », confie une source européenne.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#UE#sante#circultion#frontiere#vaccination#passepotvaccinal#test#droit#tourisme#economie

  • La #Fissure

    Pendant trois années, #Carlos_Spottorno et #Guillermo_Abril ont sillonné les frontières de l’Europe. À partir des 25’000 photographies et 15 carnets de notes rapportés, ils ont composé une « bande dessinée » faite de photos.
    De l’Afrique à l’Arctique, les journalistes racontent : une rencontre avec les Africains du Gourougou, le sauvetage d’une embarcation au large des côtes lybiennes, l’exode des réfugiés à travers les Balkans, les manœuvres des chars de l’OTAN en face de la Biélorussie...

    http://www.gallimard-bd.fr/ouvrage-J00352-la_fissure.html

    #BD #bande_dessinée #livre #réfugiés #frontières #migrations #photographie

  • Tandis qu’Israël se vaccine, la Palestine replonge dans l’épidémie
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/03/14/tandis-qu-israel-se-vaccine-la-palestine-replonge-dans-l-epidemie_6073048_32

    Il a fallu trois mois pour que la campagne de vaccination israélienne contre le Covid-19, la plus rapide au monde, touche les travailleurs palestiniens. Les travailleurs s’alignent devant un bâtiment de béton nu en construction. Une équipe du Magen David Adom (l’Etoile rouge de David, l’équivalent israélien de la Croix-Rouge) prépare des seringues à l’intérieur pour vacciner les ouvriers palestiniens qui patientent depuis deux heures ce matin du mercredi 10 mars à Mishor Adumim, dans la principale zone industrielle des colonies en Cisjordanie. Ordres, contre-ordres de soldats : l’armée a envoyé des recrues arabophones, pour faciliter le contact. Depuis lundi et durant les semaines à venir, environ 80 000 Palestiniens légalement employés en Israël doivent être inoculés, et 35 000 dans les colonies.
    Il a fallu trois mois pour que la campagne de vaccination israélienne contre le Covid-19, la plus rapide au monde, touche les travailleurs transfrontaliers, porteurs en puissance du virus entre la Palestine et Israël. C’est un moment de contraste brutal, comme une photographie oubliée au bain révélateur du Covid. Tandis qu’Israël rouvre depuis une semaine les bars et les clubs de danse aux heureux vaccinés (54 % de sa population a reçu une première dose), la Cisjordanie, elle, se recroqueville dans un nouveau confinement. L’épidémie y est hors de contrôle.
    De gauche à droite : 1- Centre de depistage à l’Université arabe américaine de Ramallah. Les tests ne sont pas gratuits (ils coûtent 150 ILS soit 37€), donc c’est en majorité la classe moyenne palestinienne qui peut se permettre de les passer. Le Dr Nouar Qutob, chef du département des sciences de la santé de la Faculté, et son équipe, mènent des recherches intensives sur le virus et ont également mis en place un laboratoire de dépistage pour les Palestiniens. 2- Des travailleurs palestiniens attendent devant le centre de vaccination de Mishor Adumim. 3- Des agents de santé israéliens vaccinent des travailleurs palestiniens, au centre de vaccination de Mishor Adumim, en Cisjordanie, le 10 mars.
    De gauche à droite : 1- Centre de depistage à l’Université arabe américaine de Ramallah. Les tests ne sont pas gratuits (ils coûtent 150 ILS soit 37€), donc c’est en majorité la classe moyenne palestinienne qui peut se permettre de les passer. Le Dr Nouar Qutob, chef du département des sciences de la santé de la Faculté, et son équipe, mènent des recherches intensives sur le virus et ont également mis en place un laboratoire de dépistage pour les Palestiniens.
    Dans la zone industrielle de Mishor Adumim, le patron d’Omar Jalayta a été clair : il perdra son emploi s’il ne se fait pas vacciner. Ce chauffeur de Jéricho, 45 ans, employé dans une usine israélienne d’aluminium, ne s’est pas fait prier. « J’avais peur de tout autour de moi. Peur de voir ma famille », avoue-t-il. M. Jalayta a été récemment mis en congé sans solde durant deux semaines parce que son frère a été contaminé. Il présume que l’Autorité palestinienne a transmis cette information aux services de santé israéliens.
    Lire aussi Covid-19 : en Israël, la réouverture des restaurants et le « retour à la vie » après une campagne de vaccination massive A l’ombre d’un hangar voisin, Mohammed Tmaizi, 23 ans, regarde la cohue des futurs vaccinés avec le sourire. Il préférerait ne pas y passer, mais il se fait une raison. Son père au moins ne pourra plus le confiner à l’étage inférieur de la maison familiale, à Hébron. Ses cousins ne refuseront plus de le voir, parce qu’il travaille dans une colonie juive – avant le miracle vaccinal, le virus circulait plus intensément en Israël qu’en Palestine.
    « J’ai de la chance. Qui d’autre a cette opportunité ? », interroge Umm Aiman, 63 ans, employée de maison dans la colonie voisine de Maale Adumim. Sa patronne israélienne l’a déposée ce matin à l’entrée de la zone industrielle. Trois volontaires de la colonie, lycéennes pimpantes, ongles peints et lunettes noires, guident Umm Aiman dans le centre de vaccination. Quant à ses six enfants, ils attendront que l’Autorité palestinienne distribue ses propres vaccins.
    L’équipe de l’Etoile rouge de David est bien rodée. Depuis le début de l’épidémie, elle a traversé une à une les classes de la société palestinienne, telles qu’Israël les détermine. Dès décembre, ils ont vacciné à tour de bras, sans distinction, à Jérusalem-Ouest comme à l’est, dans la partie arabe de la ville sainte annexée après la guerre de 1967. Puis en février, ils se sont établis durant plusieurs jours au point de contrôle de Qalandia, pour inoculer les résidents d’un quartier arabe déshérité, coupé du centre-ville par le mur de séparation, ainsi que leurs familles proches.
    Les experts de santé israéliens exhortent de longue date l’Etat à vacciner les travailleurs. « Lorsqu’ils le seront, il sera possible d’obtenir une immunité de masse en Israël », estime Ronni Gamzu, directeur de l’hôpital Sourasky de Tel-Aviv, qui fut un temps le principal conseiller du gouvernement dans la lutte contre l’épidémie. « Sur le plan épidémiologique, nous serons couverts. Mais sur le plan éthique cela ne suffit pas : nous devons nous assurer que [tous] les Palestiniens sont vaccinés. »Depuis décembre, des défenseurs des droits humains rappellent que la quatrième convention de Genève oblige Israël à vacciner les territoires, en tant que puissance occupante. L’Etat hébreu répond que l’Autorité palestinienne est souveraine en matière de santé, selon les accords de paix d’Oslo. L’Autorité palestinienne, quant à elle, n’a rendu publique nulle demande d’aide officielle à Israël, ne souhaitant pas apparaître comme dépendante. Cependant une telle requête a bien été faite, selon la télévision d’Etat israélienne KAN, lors d’une réunion de hauts responsables de santé israéliens et palestiniens à Ramallah, en février. Israël aurait refusé.
    L’Autorité palestinienne n’est pas pressée d’éclaircir ce point. Ses responsables évitent la presse. Ils ne souhaitent pas commenter un nouvel arrivage de vaccins orchestré par Mohammed Dahlan, un rival exilé du président Mahmoud Abbas : il a fait livrer jeudi soir 40 000 doses des Emirats arabes unis dans la bande de Gaza, le fief du Hamas. Cette deuxième livraison en un mois est une torture pour M. Abbas. Elle le renvoie à sa propre impuissance. Il attend 100 000 doses promises par la Chine, et des livraisons du système Covax de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé. Israël ne lui a fourni que 2 000 vaccins, en dépit de ses stocks immenses : plus de 7,5 millions de doses Pfizer.L’Autorité palestinienne tâche aussi de faire silence sur un scandale : 80 % des quelques milliers de doses offertes par Israël et la Russie ont été distribuées aux personnels soignants des hôpitaux, en Cisjordanie, mais de hauts responsables âgés de l’Autorité palestinienne ont aussi été vaccinés, et 200 doses ont été envoyées au royaume jordanien. Maladroitement, l’Autorité palestinienne a tenté de tenir ces faits sous silence. Des militants de la société civile soupçonnent certains de ces dirigeants d’avoir aussi fait vacciner leurs enfants. Sur la liste des bénéficiaires publiée par l’Autorité palestinienne figure une centaine « d’étudiants », sans plus de précision.Cette polémique déprime Moussa Atary, directeur médical du principal hôpital de Ramallah. Environ 20 % de son personnel médical est vacciné : 180 personnes. M. Atary n’a pas pris de vacances depuis un an, comme nombre d’infirmiers et comme l’unique pneumologue de l’établissement. Il est épuisé. Les masques, les gants manquent, et le générateur de l’hôpital ne produit plus assez d’oxygène. Mardi, il comptait 80 malades alités en état critique – on n’accepte plus les cas moins graves – et 22 autres se serraient aux urgences. M. Atary aimerait les transférer dans les hôpitaux de Naplouse ou d’Hébron, mais ils sont saturés eux aussi.Ce médecin n’est pas prompt à blâmer Israël. Il rappelle que nombre de Palestiniens ne portent plus le masque depuis des mois. Le « confinement intelligent » décrété les soirs et week-end en janvier a été mal respecté : ceux qui le pouvaient n’ont pas cessé de passer en Israël. Aujourd’hui aux entrées de Ramallah, les policiers bloquent des voitures à plaques minéralogiques israéliennes, quand bien même leurs conducteurs ont plus de chances d’être vaccinés que les autres. Le centre-ville est mort, tous les stores métalliques baissés. Qui veut un shawarma en Palestine peut aller se nourrir dans les colonies. Dans la zone industrielle de Mishor Adumim, le grill près du supermarché Rami Levy tourne à plein régime.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#israel#palestinien#vaccination#inclusion#travailleurmigrant#sante##confinement#systemesante#politiquesante#frontiere

  • Covid-19 : l’Australie veut établir une « bulle de voyage » avec Singapour
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/03/14/covid-19-l-australie-veut-etablir-une-bulle-de-voyage-avec-singapour_6073066

    Covid-19 : l’Australie veut établir une « bulle de voyage » avec Singapour
    Le tourisme international, qui représentait 30 milliards d’euros par an pour l’économie australienne, a été réduit à néant par la crise sanitaire.
    L’Australie « travaille avec Singapour » à l’établissement d’une « bulle de voyage » entre les deux pays pour le mois de juillet, afin de relancer le secteur du tourisme, anéanti par l’épidémie de Covid-19. Le vice-premier ministre australien, Michael McCormack, a annoncé ce plan dimanche 14 mars à la télévision publique ABC : « Au fur et à mesure que le vaccin sera déployé, non seulement en Australie mais dans d’autres pays, nous rouvrirons davantage de bulles », a-t-il assuré.L’Australie avait fermé ses frontières dès le début de la pandémie afin d’empêcher toute flambée épidémique sur son territoire. Les personnes ne détenant pas la citoyenneté australienne ne pouvaient entrer dans le pays, sauf exception.
    L’accord devrait permettre aux Australiens et aux Singapouriens qui ont été vaccinés contre le Covid-19 de voyager entre les deux pays sans avoir à observer de quarantaine, selon The Sydney Morning Herald. Canberra espère que des visiteurs de pays tiers, voyageant pour les études ou les affaires, et des citoyens rentrant au pays puissent passer leurs deux semaines de quarantaine à Singapour avant de s’envoler vers l’Australie.
    De son côté, Singapour, qui a déjà ouvert sa frontière à quelques pays qui ont maîtrisé l’épidémie, y compris l’Australie, a confirmé être en « pourparlers avec l’Australie » à ce sujet ; la cité-Etat a tenu à préciser qu’elle n’était « pas en discussion [pour devenir] un centre de quarantaine ou un centre de vaccination ».L’Australie a déjà mis en place une « bulle de voyage » à sens unique avec la Nouvelle-Zélande, permettant aux Néo-Zélandais de se rendre en Australie sans quarantaine, même si ce programme a été suspendu à plusieurs reprises lors des résurgences épidémiques. Avant la pandémie, le tourisme international représentait environ 45 milliards de dollars australiens (30 milliards d’euros) par an pour l’économie australienne.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#australie#nouvellezelande#singapour#bullevoyage#sante#quarantaine#vaccination#tourisme#economie#frontiere#passeportvaccinal

  • Le Mexique a rapatrié les corps de migrants Guatelmatèques victimes du crime organisé
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/03/13/le-mexique-a-rapatrie-les-corps-de-migrants-guatelmateques-victimes-du-crime

    Une crise sécuritaire dénoncée, début mars, par un rapport de l’organisation de défense des droits de l’homme Human Rights Watch, qui fustige « les violences et les extorsions de la part des policiers, des agents migratoires et des groupes criminels mexicains ». Ce à quoi Gina Garibo ajoute : « Les réseaux de passeurs profitent aussi de la frustration des migrants. » Leurs tarifs ont en effet décollé, passant de 3 000 dollars à plus de 13 000 dollars pour un départ d’Amérique centrale. « Des milliers d’autres subissent le même sort, disparaissant dans des fosses clandestines » Jose Luis Gonzalez, coordinateur au Guatemala du réseau jésuite d’aide aux migrants« Certains abandonnent les clandestins en chemin, les livrent au crime organisé, qui les enlève contre rançon, les recrute de force, voire les tue », affirme Jose Luis Gonzalez, coordinateur au Guatemala du réseau jésuite d’aide aux migrants. Le religieux accompagne les proches des seize victimes du massacre de Camargo, dont les corps sont arrivés, vendredi, dans leur pays. Le président guatémaltèque, Alejandro Giammattei, a déclaré trois jours de deuil national.
    L’enquête mexicaine sur le drame s’oriente vers la rivalité territoriale entre le cartel du nord-est et celui du golfe. Les trois passeurs mexicains tués travaillaient sans doute pour la concurrence. « Des milliers d’autres subissent le même sort, disparaissant dans des fosses clandestines », souligne le père Gonzalez, qui déplore que « le discours de Biden, plus favorable aux migrants, ne se traduise pas encore dans les faits ». D’autant que le président américain a maintenu la règle des « expulsions express », instaurée par M. Trump, au nom des mesures sanitaires liées au Covid-19. Quelque 136 419 clandestins ont ainsi été expulsés et renvoyés, en janvier et en février, dans leur pays d’origine. « Ne venez pas aux Etats-Unis de manière irrégulière, la frontière reste fermée », martèle Roberta Jacobson, coordinatrice de la frontière sud à la Maison Blanche. « Les Centraméricains sont trop désespérés, par la violence et la misère dans leurs pays, pour ne pas tenter quand même la traversée », répond M. Gonzalez, qui redoute une crise migratoire et humanitaire.

    #Covid-19#migration#migrant#etatsunis#mexique#ameriquecentrale#crisemigratoire#pandemie#frontiere#politiquemigratoire#trafic#mesuresanitaire

  • Utviste 58 passasjerer fra én flyging til Torp – NRK Vestfold og Telemark – Lokale nyheter, TV og radio

    La Norvège ne rigole pas avec la fermeture des frontières et les règles très strictes pour l’entrée. en 2020 et 2021 so far, 7 600 personnes ont été interdites d’entrée sur le territoire norvégien, et renvoyées d’où elles venaient par le même avion avec lequel elles sont arrivées. Et quand c’était les avions du soir, les passagers étaient placés en hôtel de quarantaine sou surveillance pour être remise dans le premier avion retour le lendemain matin.
    https://www.nrk.no/vestfoldogtelemark/utviste-58-passasjerer-fra-en-flyging-til-torp-1.15414142

    Tall fra politiet viser en stor økning i antall bortvisninger i grensekontrollen. 600 er hittil i år sendt tilbake fra Gardermoen.

    I januar måtte 332 personer returnere til hjemlandet fra Torp, mens tallet for februar er 125.

    – Det at så mange ble bortvist i januar kommer nok delvis av endringer i regelverk og fordi mange som jobber i Norge var i hjemlandet på juleferie.

    Statistikk i forbindelse med koronaviruset – Politiet.no
    https://www.politiet.no/aktuelt-tall-og-fakta/tall-og-fakta/statistikk-i-forbindelse-med-koronaviruset

    I uke 9 ble 380 personer bortvist fra Norge. Det er 52 flere enn uken før. 60 av bortvisningene skyldtes manglende dokumentasjon på negativ Covid-19-test. For 294 personer var bortvisningsgrunnen at de ikke hadde rett til innreise som følge av innreiserestriksjoner. For de øvrige var det andre årsaker til bortvisningen.

    Så langt i år er 3094 personer bortvist fra Norge.

    #norvège #corona

  • Puerto Rico sees a surge in tourism – and a rise in aggressive tourist behavior | Puerto Rico | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/12/puerto-rico-tourists-aggressive-behavior-coronavirus
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/e221e4073316ad37b5b43197c62e3f73851975f9/0_164_3073_1844/master/3073.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    At the Condado Vanderbilt hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Christian Correa clocked in to work the night-shift as a doorman and braced for the worst.
    Correa, who is also a bellman at the hotel, has seen a surge in American tourists coming to the US territory in the last three months and the hotel has been busy. Although he used to enjoy high season before the pandemic, recently, many tourists arriving to Puerto Rico have enraged local residents and hospitality workers as the island eases its Covid-19 restrictions.“The tourists think they can do whatever they want,” says Correa, 24, who is also a student at the University of Puerto Rico. “We’ve seen fights, parties in the rooms and aggressive behavior.”
    Should you book a holiday for 2021 yet? And what about refunds?
    Low-cost flights to Puerto Rico have enticed many travelers to choose the island as a vacation spot during the pandemic. A one-way flight to Puerto Rico from Florida booked two days in advance could be as low as $62.Hotel occupancy reached 60% during Presidents’ Day holiday weekend in February, according to the island’s destination marketing organization, Discover Puerto Rico. It was the highest number since Christmas, and hotels expect to reach the same occupancy rates for the forthcoming spring break.
    “We are certainly seeing the effects of increased traveler confidence coinciding with vaccine distribution in the US,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.For José Silva, owner of El Chicharrón restaurant, tourists arriving in the last weeks have put him on edge due to the large crowds without face masks forming on the weekends. His restaurant is located in La Placita de Santurce, a popular tourist area. Silva says the police close the streets around the area on weekends, making it hard for Ubers or taxis to pick up tourists after bars and restaurants close.“We’ve asked the police to help keep everyone distanced and look for an alternative for this area,” says Silva.In Old San Juan, another popular tourist area, Cristina Colón has been questioning whether her job as a waitress in Pirilo Pizza is worth the money as she sees a rise in clientele who refuse to abide by the Covid-19 precautions.“I’m not only concerned with my physical health, but my mental health too,” says Colón. “I’m nervous about myself, and for the friends and family I surround myself with, because I have no idea where this person who doesn’t want to wear a mask is coming from.”
    Puerto Rico went into lockdown last March. Though restrictions were eased slightly over the summer, and the former governor Wanda Vázquez reopened beaches fully in September, they were closed again from November until January.Those restrictions hit the hospitality industry hard. “The executive orders implemented by Wanda Vázquez put the hotel industry under threat,” said Joaquín Bolívar, the president of Puerto Rico’s Hotel and Tourism Association.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#puertorico#etatsunis#sante#frontiere#tourisme#economie

  • En Nouvelle-Calédonie reconfinée, « on a tenu un an, c’est déjà incroyable »
    https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2021/03/11/en-nouvelle-caledonie-reconfinee-on-a-tenu-un-an-c-est-deja-incroyable_60727

    En Nouvelle-Calédonie reconfinée, « on a tenu un an, c’est déjà incroyable »Jusqu’à la semaine dernière, le territoire était l’un des derniers au monde exempts de cas de Covid-19. Comptant 16 personnes atteintes jeudi, les autorités ont décidé de frapper vite et fort.Dimanche 7 mars, les autorités de Nouvelle-Calédonie ont décrété un confinement de deux semaines après l’apparition de cas de Covid-19 dans le territoire jusqu’ici épargné par l’épidémie.« On attend l’astéroïde », plaisante un internaute, à propos de la série noire qui frappe la Nouvelle-Calédonie. En une semaine, les habitants ont vécu une attaque mortelle de requin, une alerte au tsunami, un cyclone, et, pour parachever le tout, l’annonce, dimanche 7 mars, d’un confinement strict de deux semaines, à la suite du dépistage de neuf premiers cas de Covid-19.Sans parler de la chute du gouvernement collégial le 2 février et de l’incapacité de la nouvelle équipe élue à désigner un président, sur fond de querelle entre indépendantistes. En attendant, l’exécutif démissionnaire est cantonné à l’expédition des affaires courantes, qui, vu le contexte, portent bien mal leur nom.
    Sous cloche, l’archipel n’avait connu qu’un mois de confinement au début de la crise, du 23 mars au 20 avril 2020, et a dressé un sas sanitaire à ses frontières, imposant à tout arrivant un isolement de quatorze jours dans des hôtels réquisitionnés, dont la sortie n’est autorisée qu’après deux tests PCR négatifs.
    Depuis presque un an, le Caillou pouvait ainsi se targuer d’être l’un des derniers havres « du monde d’avant » avec restaurants, boîtes de nuit, cinéma, dîners entre amis et embrassades. Dimanche, « la bamboche » a brutalement pris fin. Selon des éléments qui restent à confirmer, le virus est arrivé par l’archipel voisin de Wallis-et-Futuna, avec lequel une bulle sanitaire avait été instaurée.Une « fuite » dans l’organisation de la quatorzaine en hôtel, également imposée à Wallis-et-Futuna à tout passager entrant, semble à l’origine de l’introduction de la maladie dans ce petit archipel de 11 500 habitants (un premier cas samedi, 129 jeudi 11 mars), laquelle s’est ensuite propagée en Nouvelle-Calédonie, où, jeudi, le compteur affichait 16 cas, dont un porteur du variant anglais.
    Tous ces patients sont récemment revenus de Wallis-et-Futuna ou sont des cas contacts. « Ça devait arriver, on ne pouvait pas rester indéfiniment dans notre bulle. On a tenu un an, c’est déjà incroyable », confie avec flegme Marianne, directrice d’une agence de communication, qui a mis son salarié en télétravail et redoute un confinement long dans un contexte déjà dégradé.
    « Le Covid s’ajoute à la crise politique, à celle du nickel et aux incertitudes sur l’avenir. C’est un peu la totale », déplore la quinquagénaire, en faisant allusion aux déboires de l’industrie métallurgique et à la tenue, au plus tard en octobre 2022, d’un troisième et dernier référendum sur l’indépendance, dans le cadre de l’accord de Nouméa (1998) et du processus de décolonisation. Les deux premiers, en 2018 et 2020, ont été gagnés par les partisans du maintien dans la République française. « C’était miraculeux qu’on y ait échappé jusque-là. Les Calédoniens sont des gens plutôt civiques et je pense qu’on va réussir à limiter la casse », se persuade pour sa part Andrée, retraitée, réajustant « ce masque qui tient chaud » en plein été austral. Pour contrer le risque d’épidémie, le gouvernement local et le Haut-Commissariat de la République ont décidé de frapper vite et fort. « On adopte la stratégie “zéro Covid” de nos voisins australiens et néo-zélandais, qui a fait ses preuves. On écrase une mouche avec un trente tonnes », explique Christopher Gygés, porte-parole du gouvernement, alors que le confinement strict est entré en vigueur dès lundi minuit.Pour deux semaines au moins, tous les établissements scolaires et universitaires sont fermés, les déplacements non impérieux sont limités à une heure par jour dans un rayon d’un kilomètre, le port du masque est obligatoire dans l’espace public, tandis que les vols internationaux dans le sens des arrivées sont suspendus, à l’instar des vols domestiques interîles. « Nous n’avons pas été pris de court car depuis un an, même si on était “Covid-free”, une cellule d’anticipation était en place en cas d’arrivée du virus », poursuit M. Gygès, qui précise qu’un stock de 5 millions de masques est disponible. Les autorités ont en outre demandé à toutes les personnes revenues de Wallis-et-Futuna depuis le 25 janvier, environ 600, de s’isoler et de se signaler aux services sanitaires. Président du Sénat coutumier, Justin Gaïa a de son côté demandé de surseoir à toutes les cérémonies traditionnelles et « de fermer les accès de toutes les tribus [kanak] » où la vie en communauté favorise la circulation du virus.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#france#nouvellecalédonie#sante#covidfree#casimporte#insularite#circulation#frontiere

  • Covid-19 : Israël reprend vie avec le passeport vert
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/03/11/covid-19-israel-reprend-vie-avec-le-passeport-vert_6072723_3210.html

    Covid-19 : Israël reprend vie avec le passeport vert La vie reprend partout en Israël, fruit d’une campagne de vaccination d’une rapidité unique au monde. Pourtant le Covid-19 impose encore certaines pudeurs, qu’il revient à chacun de lever peu à peu. Depuis dimanche 7 mars, les bars et les restaurants, les hôtels et les halls de mariage, les établissements sportifs et culturels, comme les entreprises, rouvrent. Dernière étape d’une levée graduelle de confinement, chaque activité se voit imposer une jauge limite d’assistance, selon des critères complexes – pour les collèges, ce n’est qu’à temps partiel et pas dans les villes les plus contaminées. Il est doux cependant de parcourir les boulevards de Tel-Aviv et de prétendre comme tout le monde que l’épidémie est derrière nous.
    Comme tout le monde ou presque : seuls sont autorisés à s’attabler en salle les détenteurs d’un certificat de vaccination ou de guérison. Le sésame est matérialisé par un code QR ou une animation sur smartphone, par un simple document pour les étrangers. Lundi, 54 % des Israéliens avaient reçu une première dose de vaccin Pfizer, et plus de 42 % une seconde. Israël a aussi commencé à vacciner les 115 000 travailleurs palestiniens employés légalement sur son sol et dans les colonies, alors que les territoires connaissent un regain massif de l’épidémie.
    Au Lima Lima, il y a encore des frontières invisibles : entre la rue et le bar, où le videur vous fait entrer prestement, parce que des policiers arrivent – quand bien même ils n’ont rien à y redire. Entre la salle de danse, réservée aux vaccinés, et le bar à ciel ouvert, où une dizaine de bouteilles à peine sont alignées derrière le comptoir. Le patron, Gilad Dubinowski, 30 ans, n’a pas refait les stocks. Il a rouvert avec un tiers de ses anciens employés : les autres n’ont pas répondu à ses appels. « Comment les blâmer ? Ils se sont fait une autre vie depuis un an et je ne peux rien leur promettre », dit-il. Nombre de travailleurs toucheront des indemnités de chômage dues à l’épidémie jusqu’en juin : ils n’entendent pas y renoncer trop vite.
    Une petite centaine de clients – la limite pour un espace de danse où l’on sert de l’alcool – a rejoint cette soirée hip-hop prisée avant l’épidémie. Il y a ceux qui se laissent aller sans mesure, comme Keren Or, 22 ans : « La vodka et la musique à la maison, c’était pas pareil. Et puis tout va refermer dans deux semaines, pour les fêtes de Pessah », craint-elle. Il y a aussi ceux qui se tiennent au bord de la piste de danse et les nerveux qui s’abandonnent quand même. « Depuis un an, il n’y avait plus vraiment de vie gay à Tel-Aviv. J’ai bien vu quelques garçons, mais j’avais peur de contaminer ma famille et je n’ai pas recommencé à draguer », dit Amit, économiste de 31
    La plupart des experts de santé encouragent cette réouverture. Les hôpitaux ne risquent plus, pour l’heure, d’être débordés. Mais nombre d’Israéliens craignent un bref mirage, qui aurait moins à voir avec la réalité sanitaire qu’avec les élections législatives prévues le 23 mars, les quatrièmes en deux ans. Amit salue la performance du premier ministre, Benyamin Nétanyahou, maître d’œuvre de ce succès vaccinal, et s’interroge : « Une fois qu’on aura voté, est-ce que tout refermera encore ? »
    Pour Ronni Gamzu, directeur de l’hôpital Sourasky de Tel-Aviv, qui fut un temps le principal conseiller du gouvernement dans la lutte contre l’épidémie, rouvrir est un impératif économique, certes. Mais c’est avant tout une affaire de « santé mentale » du pays. « Les gens se sont dédiés à cette campagne de vaccination. Ils ont fait confiance au gouvernement et aux experts. Nous devons leur rendre leur vie en retour », dit-il. L’Etat n’en fait d’ailleurs pas mystère : ces certificats doivent avant tout inciter les indécis à se faire vacciner, dans le cadre d’une campagne qui se poursuit agressivementLa presse constate que les passeports verts sont falsifiables : des faux s’échangent en ligne. Mais ces contournements demeurent négligeables. L’Etat n’en fait d’ailleurs pas mystère : ces certificats doivent avant tout inciter les indécis à se faire vacciner, dans le cadre d’une campagne qui se poursuit agressivement. Début mars, le Parlement a passé une loi autorisant l’Etat à transmettre aux mairies l’identité des non-vaccinés. Dans les entreprises, pas question d’imposer le vaccin aux employés, mais le ministre de la santé, Yuli Edelstein, a envisagé de faire tester les récalcitrants tous les deux jours. L’idée a aussi flotté de contraindre les professeurs des écoles publiques à se faire vacciner – 24 % ne le sont pas. Déjà, à l’hôpital Hadassah de Tel-Aviv, 80 docteurs, infirmiers et personnels administratifs sans passeport ont été mis en congé sans solde. Difficile d’imaginer que la justice laisse se généraliser une telle forme de harcèlement. Mais le discours des autorités vise à imposer le sentiment qu’il n’y a pas d’autre choix.
    Symbole de cette intransigeance, l’aéroport international de Tel-Aviv est demeuré en activité minimale depuis la fin janvier. Afin de fermer la porte aux nouveaux variants, des milliers d’Israéliens sont demeurés bloqués hors du pays. Depuis dimanche, les vols reprennent, notamment depuis la France, pour un millier de personnes par jour – un chiffre qui doit aller croissant.Les autorités ont testé ces dernières semaines un système de bracelets électroniques, censé imposé aux Israéliens de retour de respecter leur quarantaine à domicile. Dès février, le gouvernement a aussi signé des accords avec la Grèce et Chypre, qui reconnaissent mutuellement leurs certificats de vaccination nationaux : un coup de pouce aux futurs touristes. Maya Domatov, 62 ans, exilée depuis deux mois à New York, est revenue mardi au pays avec son mari. Elle s’isolera chez son fils et mettra un bulletin pour « Bibi » Nétanyahou dans l’urne le 23 mars, avant de passer Pessah à Jérusalem. Le couple a payé 1 000 dollars pour faire et refaire des tests Covid-19, en attendant d’obtenir l’autorisation de voyager. Elle préférerait ne pas se faire vacciner, mais elle ne pourra pas remonter dans un avion sans passeport vert.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#Israel#sante#santementale#frontiere#vaccination#passeportvaccinal#grece#chypre#france

  • Italian prosecutor presses charges against the #Iuventa crew

    The Prosecutor of #Trapani officially charged 21 individuals and 3 organisations of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. All the accusations are related to operations conducted between 2016 and 2017. This is a political declaration of intent to criminalise solidarity, and it has a deadly consequence: people die, when they could be saved.

    The story
    As the EU transformed the Mediterranean sea into the deadliest border in the world, the rescue ship Iuventa, operated in a joint effort by more than 200 volunteers at sea, and supported by thousands on shore, started search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean in July 2016. Their lifesaving efforts were forcibly stopped when, on the 2nd of August 2017, the ship was seized by the Italian prosecutor and ten people were put under investigation.

    More than three years after the seizure of the rescue ship Iuventa by Italian authorities, the Prosecutor of Trapani has declared the investigation against the Iuventa crew closed. The crew members who stand accused of aiding and abetting illegal immigration are facing up to 20 years in prison. Yet the legal fight is far from over.

    The legal case

    This day marks the beginning of the trial against the Iuventa crew despite initial accusation theories already having been publicly proven unfounded. The main so-called “eyewitness” who collected evidence against the Iuventa crew publicly revoked his testimony. He then stated to the press that he had been promised a job within the Italian right party Lega Nord in exchange for his witness statement. Furthermore, through a detailed reconstruction of events, renowned team of scientists „Forensic Architecture“, disproved the theses of the prosecution in a public analysis of Iuventa operations.

    “Saving lives is never a crime. We will prove that all the operations of the Iuventa crew were absolutely lawful. While the EU turned away from the Mediterranean transforming it into a mass grave for Europe’s undesirables, the crew of the Iuventa headed to sea as volunteers, in order to protect the fundamental rights to life and to seek asylum, as required by international law and before that by human solidarity”
    —> Francesca Cancellaro, lawyer of the group

    The crew
    While the EU turned away from the Mediterranean, paying militias to bring people back to places of abuse, and transforming the Mediterranean into a mass grave for Europe’s undesirables, the crew of the Iuventa headed to sea as volunteers, moved by an urge of
    solidarity.

    “Aslong as governments break their own laws, international conventions and maritime law, all accusations are like a joke to me. It would be funny if this joke didn’t mean death, distress and misery for the people on the move”
    —> Dariush, captain onboard the Iuventa

    “Although we stand accused, it is us who accuse European authorities of refusing safe passage and of letting people drown.”
    —> Sascha Girke, the former Head of Mission onboard the Iuventa

    https://iuventa10.org/2021/03/04/italian-prosecutor-presses-charges-against-the-iuventa-crew
    #Italie #condamnation #Iuventa #sauvetage #mer #Méditerranée #sauvetages_en_mer #migrations #justice (well...) #mer_Méditerranée #frontières #réfugiés #ONG #solidarité #criminalisation_de_la_solidarité

    • Message du team de la Iuventa :

      Cher(e)s ami(e)s, partisan(e)s et camarades,

      Après plus de 3 ans d’enquête, le procureur de Trapani (Sicile) a officiellement inculpé 21 individus et 3 organisations pour aide et encouragement à l’immigration illégale. Toutes ces accusations sont liées à des opérations conduites entre 2016 et 2017. Parmi ces individus sont des membres d’équipage de la Iuventa.

      Il s’agit ici d’une déclaration d’intention à criminaliser la migration et la solidarité - et les conséquences en sont fatales : des personnes meurent, alors qu’elles peuvent être sauvées !

      Nous nous battrons ! Il s’agit d’une affaire politique. Il ne s’agit pas de nous, mais de la politique meurtrière d’exclusion de l’UE et rien de moins que du droit à la vie que l’UE refuse systématiquement aux personnes.

      Nous avons besoin de votre soutien plus que jamais ! Le déroulement et l’issue de cette affaire dépendront énormément des médias et de l’opinion publique.

      Vous pouvez nous soutenir :

      En vous abonnant à nos réseaux sociaux et en publiant le contenu
      En transférant notre Communiqué de Presse à votre journaliste fiable (Ci-joint les version en Allemand, Anglais et Italien)
      En continuant à suivre nos chaînes pour plus d’informations - la lutte vient de commencer !

      Pour plus d’informations sur l’affaire et l’histoire de la Iuventa, vous pouvez visiter et partager notre site https://iuventa10.org

      Salutations solidaires !
      Iuventa Crew

      Message reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 3 mars 2021

  • Covid-19 dans le monde : l’Italie va produire le vaccin Spoutnik V, la Chine lance un passeport numérique
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/03/09/covid-19-dans-le-monde-l-italie-va-produire-le-vaccin-spoutnik-v-la-chine-la

    La Chine lance son passeport numérique.La Chine a lancé pour ses citoyens un passeport numérique qui leur permettra de prouver leur statut sanitaire lors d’un voyage vers ou depuis l’étranger et pourrait contribuer à une ouverture accrue des frontières chinoises. Ce « certificat de santé pour les voyages internationaux » est une application pour smartphone qui affiche et authentifie les données sanitaires des passagers, comme leurs tests Covid (PCR et anticorps) ou leur statut vaccinal. Pour l’instant, l’application n’est pas obligatoire et est réservée aux Chinois.
    L’application vise à « promouvoir la relance économique mondiale et faciliter le passage des frontières », a expliqué le ministère des affaires étrangères, sans préciser quels étaient les bénéfices concrets auxquels elle donne droit, ni si d’autres pays comptent la reconnaître. Les Etats-Unis et le Royaume-Uni envisagent de lancer des systèmes similaires. Dans l’Union européenne, l’idée d’un « passeport vert » sera présentée par la Commission de Bruxelles le 17 mars

    #Covid-19#migration#migrant#chine#vaccination#frontiere#passeportvaccinal

  • Frontex : les lobbyistes derrière la politique migratoire de l’Europe
    https://www.alternatives-economiques.fr/frontex-lobbyistes-derriere-politique-migratoire-de-leurope/00098362

    Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, défend les intérêts des entreprises plutôt que les droits de l’homme, dénonce un nouveau rapport de l’ONG Corporate Europe Observatory. Le millésime 2020 n’a pas été bon pour Frontex. L’agence a fait la Une des journaux à cause d’une recrudescence de violations des droits humains et d’expulsions illégales de migrants et de réfugiés. Elle fait à présent l’objet d’une enquête de l’Office européen de lutte anti-fraude (Olaf). « Le scandale de (...)

    #Airbus #Atos #Frontex #Idemia #Leonardo_ #NEC #migration #fraude #frontières (...)

    ##surveillance

  • Malta pushback claims ’may’ form part of Frontex misconduct probe

    MEPs are looking into claims migrants were unlawfully pushed back.

    MEPs probing claims of misconduct by the EU’s border agency have not excluded investigating reports of migrant pushbacks by Malta.

    European Parliament vice-president and Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola on Friday said that the door was not shut on investigating whether Malta had indeed pushed migrants back to Libya using private fishing vessels last year, and whether border agency Frontex was complicit in this.

    Metsola was selected to chair an investigative committee tasked with looking into allegations of misconduct made about the EU’s border agency.

    The agency has come under scrutiny following allegations of harassment and misconduct as well as claims that it facilitated the pushback of migrants - a violation of international law.

    EU anti-fraud agency OLAF opened its own investigation into the agency earlier this year and the EU Ombudsman is also investigating.

    Frontex has rebutted claims of misconduct.

    “What we want out of this process is to give answers to the questions being asked and come up with suggestions to improve the way things are done,” Metsola told a press briefing organised by the European Parliament.

    In April last year Times of Malta reported how a private fishing boat picked up a group of migrants stranded at sea and returned them to war-torn Libya, with high level sources saying the vessel was commissioned by Maltese authorities to provide ’help’.

    Asked about the incident and whether it fell within the scope of the committee’s work, Metsola told Times of Malta that the matter had already been discussed in one of the EP’s civil liberties committee meetings.

    “Of course all political groups have put forward ideas for scrutiny on different matters in this regard across a number of member states. The door has not been closed to look into any concerns, and we are open to all points including this issue,” Metsola said.

    The MEP added that the group’s remit was rather broad, but it would certainly be taking a look at the Mediterranean.

    The internal scrutiny began after German news outlet Der Spiegel published reports alleging Frontex was unlawfully returning asylum seekers to the places they were fleeing.

    The investigative committee, which is made up of 14 MEPs, will report back to parliament within four months.

    https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/malta-pushback-claims-may-form-part-of-frontex-misconduct-probe.855988

    #refoulement #refoulements #push-back #push-backs #Malte #Frontex #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières

  • #Biden and the Border Security-Industrial Complex

    Successive administrations have poured money into the business of militarizing immigration control—and lobbyists have returned the favors. Will this president stop the juggernaut?

    There are many ways I wish I’d spent my last days of freedom before the coronavirus’s inexorable and deadly advance through the US began last year, but attending the 2020 Border Security Expo was not one of them. On March 9, 2020, President Trump told us the flu was more deadly than coronavirus and that nothing would be shut down. “Think about that!” he tweeted. On March 13, he declared the pandemic a national emergency. In the days between, I flew to San Antonio, Texas, to attend the Expo in an attempt to better understand the border security industry and its links to government. I soon found myself squeezing through dozens of suited men with buzz cuts clapping each other on the back and scarfing bagels at the catering table, with scant mention of the coming catastrophe.

    Instead, the focus was on how best to spend the ever-increasing budgets of the Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which had discretionary spending allocations that totaled $27 billion. Together, that was up 20 percent on the previous year’s budgets; and for decades now, under Democrats and Republicans alike, the border security industry has generally received more and more money each year. For the first time in years, the agencies’ latest combined budget records a modest reduction, of $1.5 billion (though the expenditure on ICE continues to grow unchecked).

    President Biden is working to undo some of the most violent anti-immigrant policies of his predecessor, including lifting the travel ban on thirteen nations, almost all in the Middle East or Africa, and working to end the Migrant Protection Protocols, which forced some 25,000 asylum seekers to stay in Mexico as they awaited their day in court. He has also created a task force to reunite families separated at the US–Mexico border and has already sent a comprehensive immigration reform bill to lawmakers. And he has halted construction of Donald Trump’s notorious border wall.

    Does this all signify that he is ready to consider taming the vast militarized machine that is the border security industry? Or will he, like Democratic presidents before him, quietly continue to expand it?

    (#paywall)

    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2021/03/02/biden-and-the-border-security-industrial-complex

    #USA #complexe_militaro-industriel #Etats-Unis #migrations #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #business #réfugiés #migrations #militarisation_des_frontières #Joe_Biden #Customs_and_Border_Protection_agency (#CBP) #Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement (#ICE)

    • Biden’s Border. The industry, the Democrats and the 2020 elections

      This briefing profiles the leading US border security contractors, their related financial campaign contributions during the 2020 elections, and how they have shaped a bipartisan approach in favor of border militarization for more than three decades. It suggests that a real change in border and immigration policies will require the Democrats to break with the industry that helps finance them.

      Key findings:

      – Early into his presidency, Joe Biden has already indicated through 10 executive orders that he wants to end the brutality associated with Trump’s border and immigration policies. However undoing all the harmful dimensions of the US border regime will require substantial structural change and an end to the close ties between the Democrats and the border industry.

      - The border security and immigration detention industry has boomed in the last decades thanks to constant increases in government spending by both parties—Democrats and Republicans. Between 2008 and 2020, CBP and ICE issued 105,997 contracts worth $55.1 billion to private corporations.The industry is now deeply embedded in US government bodies and decision-making, with close financial ties to strategic politicians.

      – 13 companies play a pivotal role in the US border industry: #CoreCivic, #Deloitte, #Elbit_Systems, #GEO_Group, #General_Atomics, #General_Dynamics, #G4S, #IBM, #Leidos, #Lockheed_Martin, #L3Harris, #Northrop_Grumman, and #Palantir. Some of the firms also provide other services and products to the US government, but border and detention contracts have been a consistently growing part of all of their portfolios.

      - These top border contractors through individual donations and their #Political_Action_Committees (PACs) gave more than $40 million during the 2020 electoral cycle to the two parties ($40,333,427). Democrats overall received more contributions from the big border contractors than the Republicans (55 percent versus 45 percent). This is a swing back to the Democrats, as over the last 10 years contributions from 11 of the 13 companies have favored Republicans. It suggests an intention by the border industry to hedge their political bets and ensure that border security policies are not rolled back to the detriment of future profits.

      – The 13 border security companies’ executives and top employees contributed three times more to Joe Biden ($5,364,994) than to Donald Trump ($1,730,435).

      - A few border security companies show preferences towards one political party. Detention-related companies, in particular CoreCivic, G4S and GEO Group, strongly favor Republicans along with military contractors Elbit Systems and General Atomics, while auditing and IT companies Deloitte, IBM and Palantir overwhelmingly favor the Democrats.

      – The 13 companies have contributed $10 million ($9,674,911) in the 2020 electoral cycle to members of strategic legislative committees that design and fund border security policies: the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the House Homeland Security Committee. The biggest contributors are Deloitte, General Dynamics, L3Harris, Leidos, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, and nearly all donate substantially to both parties, with a preference for Republican candidates. Democrat Senator Jack Reed ($426,413), Republican Congresswoman Kay Granger ($442,406) and Republican Senator Richard Shelby ($430,150) all received more than $400,000 in 2020.

      – Biden is opposed to the wall-building of Trump, but has along with many Democrats voiced public support for a more hidden ‘virtual wall’ and ‘smart borders’, deploying surveillance technologies that will be both more lucrative for the industry and more hidden in terms of the abuses they perpetrate.

      - Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas developed and implemented DACA under Obama’s administration, but also as a lawyer with the firm WilmerHale between 2018 and 2020 earned $3.3 million representing companies including border contractors Northrop Grumman and Leidos.

      - Over the last 40 years, Biden has a mixed voting record on border policy, showing some support for immigrant rights on several occasions but also approving legislation (the 1996 Illegal Immigration and Immigration Reform Act) that enabled the mass deportations under Obama, and the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which extended the wall long before Trump’s election.

      – The Democrat Party as a whole also has a mixed record. Under President Bill Clinton, the Democrats approved the 1994 Prevention through Deterrence national border strategy and implemented the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act that dramatically increased the pace of border militarization as well as deportations. Later Obama became the first president to deport nearly 3 million people during his eight-year term.

      – Nearly 8,000 bodies have been recovered in the U.S.–Mexico borderlands between 1998 and 2019 as a result of policies by both parties. The organization No More Deaths has estimated that three to ten times as many people may have died or disappeared since today’s border-enforcement strategy was implemented. The border industrial complex’s profits are based on border and immmigration policies that have deadly consequences.

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

      #rapport #TNI #murs #barrières_frontalières #démocrates #républicains #industrie_frontalière #smart_borders #murs_virtuels #technologie #morts #décès #mortalité

  • President Biden Faces Challenge From Surge of Migrants at the Border - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/08/us/politics/immigration-mexico-border-biden.html

    WASHINGTON — Thousands of migrant children are backed up in United States detention facilities along the border with Mexico, part of a surge of immigration from Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence that could overwhelm President Biden’s attempt to create a more humane approach to those seeking entry into the country.The number of migrant children in custody along the border has tripled in the past two weeks to more than 3,250, according to federal immigration agency documents obtained by The New York Times, and many of them are being held in jail-like facilities for longer than the three days allowed by law.The problem for the administration is both the number of children crossing the border and what to do with them once they are in custody. Under the law, the children are supposed to be moved to shelters run by the Health and Human Services Department, but because of the pandemic the shelters until last week were limiting how many children they could accommodate.
    The growing number of unaccompanied children is just one element of an escalating problem at the border. Border agents encountered a migrant at the border about 78,000 times in January — more than double the rate at the same time a year ago and higher than in any January in a decade.
    Immigration authorities are expected to announce this week that there were close to 100,000 apprehensions, including encounters at port entries, in February, according to people familiar with the agency’s latest data. An additional 19,000 migrants, including adults and children, have been caught by border agents since March 1.
    “We’re at an inflection point,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, an independent research group. “How quickly can the government process people safely and humanely?”The situation resembles the huge wave of migrant children that filled detention centers in 2014 that preceded the harsh crackdown imposed by President Donald J. Trump. Seven years ago, Mr. Biden, the vice president at the time, traveled to Guatemala and declared that “the current situation is untenable and unsustainable.”
    Now, Mr. Biden is facing a migration challenge of his own — one that his administration has refused to call a “crisis” but could nevertheless become a potent political weapon for his Republican adversaries and upend his efforts to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.
    The president has proposed overhauling the nation’s decades-old immigration system by making it easier for asylum seekers and refugees, expanding legal pathways for foreign workers, increasing opportunities for family-based immigration and vastly reducing threats of mass deportations. His State Department announced on Monday that foreigners rejected after Jan. 20, 2020, under Mr. Trump’s travel ban could try to obtain visas without paying additional fees.‘We Wanted to See the Owl, and We Also Wanted to Go for a Run’But his approach — to broadly reopen the nation’s borders to vulnerable children with what he hopes will be a welcoming contrast to Mr. Trump’s erection of legal and physical barriers — is already at risk from the grim realities of migration patterns that have roiled the globe for years. Sensing a change in tone and approach after Mr. Trump’s defeat, migrants are once again fleeing poverty, violence and the devastation left by hurricanes and heading north toward the United States.
    Hundreds of migrant families are also being released into the United States after being apprehended at the border, prompting predictable attacks by conservatives. Liberal politicians are denouncing the expansion of detention facilities and railing against the continued imposition of Trump-era rules intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from immigrants. And advocates for families separated at the border during Mr. Trump’s administration are pressuring the president to move faster to reunite them.

    #vulnerabilite
    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#mexique#sante#frontiere#politiquemigratoire#regularisation#famille#pandemie

  • Covid-19: China launches digital health certificates for overseas travel | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3124726/covid-19-china-launches-digital-health-certificates-overseas

    Covid-19: China launches digital health certificates for overseas travel
    . WeChat-based system uses QR codes to show travellers’ coronavirus and antibody test results and whether they have been vaccinated China ready to discuss ‘the establishment of mutual recognition mechanisms’ with other countries, foreign ministry says. China has launched a digital health certificate that it hopes will help make foreign travel easier for its citizens. Photo: EPA-EFE China has launched a digital health certificate that it hopes will help make foreign travel easier for its citizens.
    China has launched a digital health certificate for its citizens that they might one day be able to use as a “vaccine passport”, as countries around the world embark on inoculation programmes and consider ways to reopen their borders.
    The certificates, which work though the WeChat social media platform, include details of users’ coronavirusand antibody test results and whether they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press briefing. All of the information is encrypted in a QR code that can be verified, decrypted and read using a public key provided by the issuing authority, he said.The digital document, which is available only to Chinese nationals, could then be provided to the relevant authorities overseas as evidence of a person’s health status, he said. “China stands ready to discuss with other countries the establishment of mutual recognition mechanisms for health code information on the basis of accommodating each other’s concerns,” Zhao said.The launch of the programme comes after it was announced by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a press conference held on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress
    in Beijing.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#Chine#sante#passeportvaccinal#frontiere

  • The big wall


    https://thebigwall.org/en

    An ActionAid investigation into how Italy tried to stop migration from Africa, using EU funds, and how much money it spent.

    There are satellites, drones, ships, cooperation projects, police posts, repatriation flights, training centers. They are the bricks of an invisible but tangible and often violent wall. Erected starting in 2015 onwards, thanks to over one billion euros of public money. With one goal: to eliminate those movements by sea, from North Africa to Italy, which in 2015 caused an outcry over a “refugee crisis”. Here we tell you about the (fragile) foundations and the (dramatic) impacts of this project. Which must be changed, urgently.

    –---

    Ready, Set, Go

    Imagine a board game, Risk style. The board is a huge geographical map, which descends south from Italy, including the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa and almost reaching the equator, in Cameroon, South Sudan, Rwanda. Places we know little about and read rarely about.

    Each player distributes activity cards and objects between countries and along borders. In Ethiopia there is a camera crew shooting TV series called ‘Miraj’ [mirage], which recounts the misadventures of naive youth who rely on shady characters to reach Europe. There is military equipment, distributed almost everywhere: off-road vehicles for the Tunisian border police, ambulances and tank trucks for the army in Niger, patrol boats for Libya, surveillance drones taking off from Sicily.

    There is technology: satellite systems on ships in the Mediterranean, software for recording fingerprints in Egypt, laptops for the Nigerian police. And still: coming and going of flights between Libya and Nigeria, Guinea, Gambia. Maritime coordination centers, police posts in the middle of the Sahara, job orientation offices in Tunisia or Ethiopia, clinics in Uganda, facilities for minors in Eritrea, and refugee camps in Sudan.

    Hold your breath for a moment longer, because we still haven’t mentioned the training courses. And there are many: to produce yogurt in Ivory Coast, open a farm in Senegal or a beauty salon in Nigeria, to learn about the rights of refugees, or how to use a radar station.

    Crazed pawns, overlapping cards and unclear rules. Except for one: from these African countries, more than 25 of them, not one person should make it to Italy. There is only one exception allowed: leaving with a visa. Embassy officials, however, have precise instructions: anyone who doesn’t have something to return to should not be accepted. Relationships, family, and friends don’t count, but only incomes, properties, businesses, and titles do.

    For a young professional, a worker, a student, an activist, anyone looking for safety, future and adventure beyond the borders of the continent, for people like me writing and perhaps like you reading, the only allies become the facilitators, those who Europe calls traffickers and who, from friends, can turn into worst enemies.

    We called it The Big Wall. It could be one of those strategy games that keeps going throughout the night, for fans of geopolitics, conflicts, finance. But this is real life, and it’s the result of years of investments, experiments, documents and meetings. At first disorderly, sporadic, then systematized and increased since 2015, when United Nations agencies, echoed by the international media, sounded an alarm: there is a migrant crisis happening and Europe must intervene. Immediately.

    Italy was at the forefront, and all those agreements, projects, and programs from previous years suddenly converged and multiplied, becoming bricks of a wall that, from an increasingly militarized Mediterranean, moved south, to the travelers’ countries of origin.

    The basic idea, which bounced around chancelleries and European institutions, was to use multiple tools: development cooperation, support for security forces, on-site protection of refugees, repatriation, information campaigns on the risks of irregular migration. This, in the language of Brussels, was a “comprehensive approach”.

    We talked to some of the protagonists of this story — those who built the wall, who tried to jump it, and who would like to demolish it — and we looked through thousands of pages of reports, minutes, resolutions, decrees, calls for tenders, contracts, newspaper articles, research, to understand how much money Italy has spent, where, and what impacts it has had. Months of work to discover not only that this wall has dramatic consequences, but that the European – and Italian – approach to international migration stems from erroneous premises, from an emergency stance that has disastrous results for everyone, including European citizens.
    Libya: the tip of the iceberg

    It was the start of the 2017/2018 academic year and Omer Shatz, professor of international law, offered his Sciences Po students the opportunity to work alongside him on the preparation of a dossier. For the students of the faculty, this was nothing new. In the classrooms of the austere building on the Rive Gauche of Paris, which European and African heads of state have passed though, not least Emmanuel Macron, it’s normal to work on real life materials: peace agreements in Colombia, trials against dictators and foreign fighters. Those who walk on those marble floors already know that they will be able to speak with confidence in circles that matter, in politics as well as diplomacy.

    Shatz, who as a criminal lawyer in Israel is familiar with abuses and rights violations, launched his students a new challenge: to bring Europe to the International Criminal Court for the first time. “Since it was created, the court has only condemned African citizens – dictators, militia leaders – but showing European responsibility was urgent,” he explains.

    One year after first proposing the plan, Shatz sent an envelope to the Court’s headquarters, in the Dutch town of The Hague. With his colleague Juan Branco and eight of his students he recounted, in 245 pages, cases of “widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population”, linked to “crimes against humanity consciously committed by European actors, in the central Mediterranean and in Libya, in line with Italian and European Union policies”.

    The civilian population to which they refer comprises migrants and refugees, swallowed by the waves or intercepted in the central Mediterranean and brought back to shore by Libyan assets, to be placed in a seemingly endless cycle of detention. Among them are the 13.000 dead recorded since 2015, in the stretch of sea between North Africa and Italy, out of 523.000 people who survived the crossing, but also the many African and Asian citizens, who are rarely counted, who were tortured in Libya and died in any of the dozens of detention centers for foreigners, often run by militias.

    “At first we thought that the EU and Italy were outsourcing dirty work to Libya to block people, which in jargon is called ‘aiding and abetting’ in the commission of a crime, then we realized that the Europeans were actually the conductors of these operations, while the Libyans performed”, says Shatz, who, at the end of 2020, was preparing a second document for the International Criminal Court to include more names, those of the “anonymous officials of the European and Italian bureaucracy who participated in this criminal enterprise”, which was centered around the “reinvention of the Libyan Coast Guard, conceived by Italian actors”.

    Identifying heads of department, office directors, and institution executives in democratic countries as alleged criminals might seem excessive. For Shatz, however, “this is the first time, after the Nuremberg trials, after Eichmann, that Europe has committed crimes of this magnitude, outside of an armed conflict”. The court, which routinely rejects at least 95 percent of the cases presented, did not do so with Shatz and his students’ case. “Encouraging news, but that does not mean that the start of proceedings is around the corner”, explains the lawyer.

    At the basis of the alleged crimes, he continues, are “regulations, memoranda of understanding, maritime cooperation, detention centers, patrols and drones” created and financed by the European Union and Italy. Here Shatz is speaking about the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya to “reduce the flow of illegal migrants”, as the text of the document states. An objective to be achieved through training and support for the two maritime patrol forces of the very fragile Libyan national unity government, by “adapting” the existing detention centers, and supporting local development initiatives.

    Signed in Rome on February 2, 2017 and in force until 2023, the text is grafted onto the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation signed by Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Gaddafi in 2008, but is tied to a specific budget: that of the so-called Africa Fund, established in 2016 as the “Fund for extraordinary interventions to relaunch dialogue and cooperation with African countries of priority importance for migration routes” and extended in 2020 — as the Migration Fund — to non-African countries too.

    310 million euros were allocated in total between the end of 2016 and November 2020, and 252 of those were disbursed, according to our reconstruction.

    A multiplication of tools and funds that, explains Mario Giro, “was born after the summit between the European Union and African leaders in Malta, in November 2015”. According to the former undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from 2013, and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs between 2016 and 2018, that summit in Malta “sanctioned the triumph of a European obsession, that of reducing migration from Africa at all costs: in exchange of this containment, there was a willingness to spend, invest”. For Giro, the one in Malta was an “attempt to come together, but not a real partnership”.

    Libya, where more than 90 percent of those attempting to cross the central Mediterranean departed from in those years, was the heart of a project in which Italian funds and interests support and integrate with programs by the European Union and other member states. It was an all-European dialogue, from which powerful Africans — political leaders but also policemen, militiamen, and the traffickers themselves — tried to obtain something: legitimacy, funds, equipment.

    Fragmented and torn apart by a decade-long conflict, Libya was however not alone. In October 2015, just before the handshakes and the usual photographs at the Malta meeting, the European Commission established an Emergency Trust Fund to “address the root causes of migration in Africa”.

    To do so, as Dutch researcher Thomas Spijkerboer will reconstruct years later, the EU executive declared a state of emergency in the 26 African countries that benefit from the Fund, thus justifying the choice to circumvent European competition rules in favor of direct award procedures. However “it’s implausible – Spijkerboeker will go on to argue – that there is a crisis in all 26 African countries where the Trust Fund operates through the duration of the Trust Fund”, now extended until the end of 2021.

    However, the imperative, as an advisor to the Budget Commission of the European Parliament explains, was to act immediately: “not within a few weeks, but days, hours“.

    Faced with a Libya still ineffective at stopping flows to the north, it was in fact necessary to intervene further south, traveling backwards along the routes that converge from dozens of African countries and go towards Tripolitania. And — like dominoes in reverse — raising borders and convincing, or forcing, potential travelers to stop in their countries of origin or in others along the way, before they arrived on the shores of the Mediterranean.

    For the first time since decolonization, human mobility in Africa became the keystone of Italian policies on the continent, so much so that analysts began speaking of migration diplomacy. Factors such as the number of migrants leaving from a given country and the number of border posts or repatriations all became part of the political game, on the same level as profits from oil extraction, promises of investment, arms sales, or trade agreements.

    Comprising projects, funds, and programs, this migration diplomacy comes at a cost. For the period between January 2015 and November 2020, we tracked down 317 funding lines managed by Italy with its own funds and partially co-financed by the European Union. A total of 1.337 billion euros, spent over five years and destined to eight different items of expenditure. Here Libya is in first place, but it is not alone.

    A long story, in short

    For simplicity’s sake, we can say that it all started in the hot summer of 2002, with an almost surrealist lightning war over a barren rock on the edge of the Mediterranean: the Isla de Persejil, the island of parsley. A little island in the Strait of Gibraltar, disputed for decades between Morocco and Spain, which had its ephemeral moment of glory when in July of that year the Moroccan monarchy sent six soldiers, some tents and a flag. Jose-Maria Aznar’s government quickly responded with a reconquista to the sound of fighter-bombers, frigates, and helicopters.

    Peace was signed only a few weeks later and the island went back to being a land of shepherds and military patrols. Which from then on, however, were joint ones.

    “There was talk of combating drug trafficking and illegal fishing, but the reality was different: these were the first anti-immigration operations co-managed by Spanish and Moroccan soldiers”, explains Sebastian Cobarrubias, professor of geography at the University of Zaragoza. The model, he says, was the one of Franco-Spanish counter-terrorism operations in the Basque Country, exported from the Pyrenees to the sea border.

    A process of externalization of Spanish and European migration policy was born following those events in 2002, and culminating years later with the crisis de los cayucos, the pirogue crisis: the arrival of tens of thousands of people – 31,000 in 2006 alone – in the Canary Islands, following extremely dangerous crossings from Senegal, Mauritania and Morocco.

    In close dialogue with the European Commission, which saw the Spanish border as the most porous one of the fragile Schengen area, the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero reacted quickly. “Within a few months, cooperation and repatriation agreements were signed with nine African countries,” says Cobarrubias, who fought for years, with little success, to obtain the texts of the agreements.

    The events of the late 2000s look terribly similar to what Italy will try to implement a decade later with its Mediterranean neighbors, Libya first of all. So much so that in 2016 it was the Spanish Minister of the Interior himself, Jorge Fernández Díaz, who recalled that “the Spanish one is a European management model, reproducible in other contexts”. A vision confirmed by the European Commission officials with whom we spoke.

    At the heart of the Spanish strategy, which over a few short years led to a drastic decrease of arrivals by sea, was the opening of new diplomatic offices in Africa, the launch of local development projects, and above all the support given to the security forces of partner countries.

    Cobarrubias recounts at least four characteristic elements of the Madrid approach: the construction of new patrol forces “such as the Mauritanian Coast Guard, which did not exist and was created by Spain thanks to European funds, with the support of the newly created Frontex agency”; direct and indirect support for detention centers, such as the infamous ‘Guantanamito’, or little Guantanamo, denounced by civil society organizations in Mauritania; the real-time collection of border data and information, carried out by the SIVE satellite system, a prototype of Eurosur, an incredibly expensive intelligence center on the EU’s external borders launched in 2013, based on drones, satellites, airplanes, and sensors; and finally, the strategy of working backwards along migration routes, to seal borders, from the sea to the Sahara desert, and investing locally with development and governance programs, which Spain did during the two phases of the so-called Plan Africa, between 2006 and 2012.

    Replace “Spain” with “Italy”, and “Mauritania” with “Libya”, and you’ll have an idea of what happened years later, in an attempt to seal another European border.

    The main legacy of the Spanish model, according to the Italian sociologist Lorenzo Gabrielli, however, is the negative conditionality, which is the fact of conditioning the disbursement of these loans – for security forces, ministries, trade agreements – at the level of the African partners’ cooperation in the management of migration, constantly threatening to reduce investments if there are not enough repatriations being carried out, or if controls and pushbacks fail. An idea that is reminiscent both of the enlargement process of the European Union, with all the access restrictions placed on candidate countries, and of the Schengen Treaty, the attempt to break down internal European borders, which, as a consequence, created the need to protect a new common border, the external one.
    La externalización europea del control migratorio: ¿La acción española como modelo? Read more

    At the end of 2015, when almost 150,000 people had reached the Italian coast and over 850,000 had crossed Turkey and the Balkans to enter the European Union, the story of the maritime migration to Spain had almost faded from memory.

    But something remained of it: a management model. Based, once again, on an idea of crisis.

    “We tried to apply it to post-Gaddafi Libya – explains Stefano Manservisi, who over the past decade has chaired two key departments for migration policies in the EU Commission, Home Affairs and Development Cooperation – but in 2013 we soon realized that things had blown up, that that there was no government to talk to: the whole strategy had to be reformulated”.

    Going backwards, through routes and processes

    The six-month presidency of the European Council, in 2014, was the perfect opportunity for Italy.

    In November of that year, Matteo Renzi’s government hosted a conference in Rome to launch the Khartoum Process, the brand new initiative for the migration route between the EU and the Horn of Africa, modeled on the Rabat Process, born in 2006, at the apex of the crisis de los cayucos, after pressure from Spain. It’s a regional cooperation platform between EU countries and nine African countries, based on the exchange of information and coordination between governments, to manage migration.
    Il processo di Khartoum: l’Italia e l’Europa contro le migrazioni Read more

    Warning: if you start to find terms such as ‘process’ and ‘coordination platform’ nebulous, don’t worry. The backbone of European policies is made of these structures: meetings, committees, negotiating tables with unattractive names, whose roles elude most of us. It’s a tendency towards the multiplication of dialogue and decision spaces, that the migration policies of recent years have, if possible, accentuated, in the name of flexibility, of being ready for any eventuality. Of continuous crisis.

    Let’s go back to that inter-ministerial meeting in Rome that gave life to the Khartoum Process and in which Libya, where the civil war had resumed violently a few months earlier, was not present.

    Italy thus began looking beyond Libya, to the so-called countries of origin and transit. Such as Ethiopia, a historic beneficiary of Italian development cooperation, and Sudan. Indeed, both nations host refugees from Eritrea and Somalia, two of the main countries of origin of those who cross the central Mediterranean between 2013 and 2015. Improving their living conditions was urgent, to prevent them from traveling again, from dreaming of Europe. In Niger, on the other hand, which is an access corridor to Libya for those traveling from countries such as Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, and Mali, Italy co-financed a study for a new law against migrant smuggling, then adopted in 2015, which became the cornerstone of a radical attempt to reduce movement across the Sahara desert, which you will read about later.

    A year later, with the Malta summit and the birth of the EU Trust Fund for Africa, Italy was therefore ready to act. With a 123 million euro contribution, allocated from 2017 through the Africa Fund and the Migration Fund, Italy became the second donor country, and one of the most active in trying to manage those over 4 billion euros allocated for five years. [If you are curious about the financing mechanisms of the Trust Fund, read here: https://thebigwall.org/en/trust-fund/].

    Through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), born in 2014 as an operational branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy immediately made itself available to manage European Fund projects, and one idea seemed to be the driving one: using classic development programs, but implemented in record time, to offer on-site alternatives to young people eager to leave, while improving access to basic services.

    Local development, therefore, became the intervention to address the so-called root causes of migration. For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the newborn AICS, it seemed a winning approach. Unsurprisingly, the first project approved through the Trust Fund for Africa was managed by the Italian agency in Ethiopia.

    “Stemming irregular migration in Northern and Central Ethiopia” received 19.8 million euros in funding, a rare sum for local development interventions. The goal was to create job opportunities and open career guidance centers for young people in four Ethiopian regions. Or at least that’s how it seemed. In the first place, among the objectives listed in the project sheet, there is in fact another one: to reduce irregular migration.

    In the logical matrix of the project, which insiders know is the presentation – through data, indicators and figures – of the expected results, there is no indicator that appears next to the “reduction of irregular migration” objective. There is no way, it’s implicitly admitted, to verify that that goal has been achieved. That the young person trained to start a micro-enterprise in the Wollo area, for example, is one less migrant.

    Bizarre, not to mention wrong. But indicative of the problems of an approach of which, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains to us, “Italy had made itself the spokesperson in Europe”.

    “The mantra was that more development would stop migration, and at a certain point that worked for everyone: for AICS, which justified its funds in the face of political landscape that was scared by the issue of landings, and for many NGOs, which immediately understood that migrations were the parsley to be sprinkled on the funding requests that were presented”, explains the official, who, like so many in this story, prefers to remain anonymous.

    This idea of the root causes was reproduced, as in an echo chamber, “without programmatic documents, without guidelines, but on the wave of a vague idea of political consensus around the goal of containing migration”, he adds. This makes it almost impossible to talk about, so much so that a proposal for new guidelines on immigration and development, drawn up during 2020 by AICS, was set aside for months.

    Indeed, if someone were to say, as evidenced by scholars such as Michael Clemens, that development can also increase migration, and that migration itself is a source of development, the whole ‘root causes’ idea would collapse and the already tight cooperation budgets would risk being cut, in the name of the same absolute imperative as always: reducing arrivals to Italy and Europe.

    Maintaining a vague, costly and unverifiable approach is equally damaging.

    Bram Frouws, director of the Mixed Migration Center, a think-tank that studies international mobility, points out, for example, how the ‘root cause’ approach arises from a vision of migration as a problem to be eradicated rather than managed, and that paradoxically, the definition of these deep causes always remains superficial. In fact, there is never talk of how international fishing agreements damage local communities, nor of land grabbing by speculators, major construction work, or corruption and arms sales. There is only talk of generic economic vulnerability, of a country’s lack of stability. An almost abstract phenomenon, in which European actors are exempt from any responsibility.

    There is another problem: in the name of the fight against irregular migration, interventions have shifted from poorer and truly vulnerable countries and populations to regions with ‘high migratory rates’, a term repeated in dozens of project descriptions funded over the past few years, distorting one of the cardinal principles of development aid, codified in regulations and agreements: that of responding to the most urgent needs of a given population, and of not imposing external priorities, even more so if it is countries considered richer are the ones doing it.

    The Nigerien experiment

    While Ethiopia and Sudan absorb the most substantial share of funds destined to tackle the root causes of migration — respectively 47 and 32 million euros out of a total expenditure of 195 million euros — Niger, which for years has been contending for the podium of least developed country on the planet with Central African Republic according to the United Nations Human Development Index — benefits from just over 10 million euros.

    Here in fact it’s more urgent, for Italy and the EU, to intervene on border control rather than root causes, to stop the flow of people that cross the country until they arrive in Agadez, to then disappear in the Sahara and emerge, days later — if all goes well — in southern Libya. In 2016, the International Organization for Migration counted nearly 300,000 people passing through a single checkpoint along the road to Libya. The figure bounced between the offices of the European Commission, and from there to the Farnesina, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: faced with an uncontrollable Libya, intervening in Niger became a priority.

    Italy did it in great style, even before opening an embassy in the country, in February 2017: with a contribution to the state budget of Niger of 50 million euros, part of the Africa Fund, included as part of a maxi-program managed by the EU in the country and paid out in several installments.

    While the project documents list a number of conditions for the continuation of the funding, including increased monitoring along the routes to Libya and the adoption of regulations and strategies for border control, some local and European officials with whom we have spoken think that the assessments were made with one eye closed: the important thing was in fact to provide those funds to be spent in a country that for Italy, until then, had been synonymous only with tourism in the Sahara dunes and development in rural areas.

    Having become a priority in the New Partnership Framework on Migration, yet another EU operational program, launched in 2016, Niger seemed thus exempt from controls on the management of funds to which beneficiaries of European funds are normally subject to.

    “Our control mechanisms, the Court of Auditors, the Parliament and the anti-corruption Authority, do not work, and yet the European partners have injected millions of euros into state coffers, without imposing transparency mechanisms”, reports then Ali Idrissa Nani , president of the Réseau des Organizations pour la Transparence et l’Analyse du Budget (ROTAB), a network of associations that seeks to monitor state spending in Niger.

    “It leaves me embittered, but for some years we we’ve had the impression that civil liberties, human rights, and participation are no longer a European priority“, continues Nani, who —- at the end of 2020 — has just filed a complaint with the Court of Niamey, to ask the Prosecutor to open an investigation into the possible disappearance of at least 120 million euros in funds from the Ministry of Defense, a Pandora’s box uncovered by local and international journalists.

    For Nani, who like other Nigerien activists spent most of 2018 in prison for encouraging demonstrations against high living costs, this explosion of European and Italian cooperation didn’t do the country any good, and in fact favoured authoritarian tendencies, and limited even more the independence of the judiciary.

    For their part, the Nigerien rulers have more than others seized the opportunity offered by European donors to obtain legitimacy and support. Right after the Valletta summit, they were the first to present an action plan to reduce migration to Libya, which they abruptly implemented in mid-2016, applying the anti-trafficking law whose preliminary study was financed by Italy, with the aim of emptying the city of #Agadez of migrants from other countries.

    The transport of people to the Libyan border, an activity that until that point happened in the light of day and was sanctioned at least informally by the local authorities, thus became illegal from one day to the next. Hundreds of drivers, intermediaries, and facilitators were arrested, and an entire economy crashed

    But did the movement of people really decrease? Almost impossible to tell. The only data available are those of the International Organization for Migration, which continues to record the number of transits at certain police posts. But drivers and foreign travelers no longer pass through them, fearing they will be arrested or stopped. Routes and journeys, as always happens, are remodeled, only to reappear elsewhere. Over the border with Chad, or in Algeria, or in a risky zigzagging of small tracks, to avoid patrols.

    For Hamidou Manou Nabara, a Nigerien sociologist and researcher, the problems with this type of cooperation are manifold.

    On the one hand, it restricted the free movement guaranteed within the Economic Community of West African States, a sort of ‘Schengen area’ between 15 countries in the region, making half of Niger, from Agadez to the north, a no-go areas for foreign citizens, even though they still had the right to move throughout the national territory.

    Finally, those traveling north were made even more vulnerable. “The control of borders and migratory movements was justified on humanitarian grounds, to contrast human trafficking, but in reality very few victims of trafficking were ever identified: the center of this cooperation is repression”, explains Nabara.

    Increasing controls, through military and police operations, actually exposes travelers to greater violations of human rights, both by state agents and passeurs, making the Sahara crossings longer and riskier.

    The fight against human trafficking, a slogan repeated by European and African leaders and a central expenditure item of the Italian intervention between Africa and the Mediterranean — 142 million euros in five years —- actually risks having the opposite effect. Because a trafiicker’s bread and butter, in addition to people’s desire to travel, is closed borders and denied visas.

    A reinvented frontier

    Galvanized by the activism of the European Commission after the launch of the Trust Fund but under pressure internally, faced with a discourse on migration that seemed to invade every public space — from the front pages of newspapers to television talk-shows — and unable to agree on how to manage migration within the Schengen area, European rulers thus found an agreement outside the continent: to add more bricks to that wall that must reduce movements through the Mediterranean.

    Between 2015 and 2016, Italian, Dutch, German, French and European Union ministers, presidents and senior officials travel relentlessly between countries considered priorities for migration, and increasingly for security, and invite their colleagues to the European capitals. A coming and going of flights to Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Tunisia, Senegal, Chad, Guinea, to make agreements, negotiate.

    “Niamey had become a crossroads for European diplomats”, remembers Ali Idrissa Nani, “but few understood the reasons”.

    However, unlike the border with Turkey, where the agreement signed with the EU at the beginning of 2016 in no time reduced the arrival of Syrian, Afghan, and Iraqi citizens in Greece, the continent’s other ‘hot’ border, promises of speed and effectiveness by the Trust Fund for Africa did not seem to materialize. Departures from Libya, in particular, remained constant. And in the meantime, in the upcoming election in a divided Italy, the issue of migration seemed to be tipping the balance, capable of shifting votes and alliances.

    It is at that point that the Italian Ministry of the Interior, newly led by Marco Minniti, put its foot on the accelerator. The Viminale, the Italian Ministry of the Interior, became the orchestrator of a new intervention plan, refined between Rome and Brussels, with German support, which went back to focusing everything on Libya and on that stretch of sea that separates it from Italy.

    “In those months the phones were hot, everyone was looking for Marco“, says an official of the Interior Ministry, who admits that “the Ministry of the Interior had snatched the Libyan dossier from Foreign Affairs, but only because up until then the Foreign Ministry hadn’t obtained anything” .

    Minniti’s first move was the signing of the new Memorandum with Libya, which gave way to a tripartite plan.

    At the top of the agenda was the creation of a maritime interception device for boats departing from the Libyan coast, through the reconstruction of the Coast Guard and the General Administration for Coastal Security (GACS), the two patrol forces belonging to the Ministry of Defense and that of the Interior, and the establishment of a rescue coordination center, prerequisites for Libya to declare to the International Maritime Organization that it had a Search and Rescue Area, so that the Italian Coast Guard could ask Libyan colleagues to intervene if there were boats in trouble.

    Accompanying this work in Libya is a jungle of Italian and EU missions, surveillance systems and military operations — from the European Frontex, Eunavfor Med and Eubam Libya, to the Italian military mission “Safe Waters” — equipped with drones, planes, patrol boats, whose task is to monitor the Libyan Sea, which is increasingly emptied by the European humanitarian ships that started operating in 2014 (whose maneuvering spaces are in the meantime reduced to the bone due to various strategies) to support Libyan interception operations.

    The second point of the ‘Minniti agenda’ was to progressively empty Libya of migrants and refugees, so that an escape by sea would become increasingly difficult. Between 2017 and 2020, the Libyan assets, which are in large part composed of patrol boats donated by Italy, intercepted and returned to shore about 56,000 people according to data released by UN agencies. The Italian-European plan envisages two solutions: for economic migrants, the return to the country of origin; for refugees, the possibility of obtaining protection.

    There is one part of this plan that worked better, at least in terms of European wishes: repatriation, presented as ‘assisted voluntary return’. This vision was propelled by images, released in October 2017 by CNN as part of a report on the abuse of foreigners in Libya, of what appears to be a slave auction. The images reopened the unhealed wounds of the slave trade through Atlantic and Sahara, and helped the creation of a Joint Initiative between the International Organization for Migration, the European Union, and the African Union, aimed at returning and reintegrating people in the countries of origin.

    Part of the Italian funding for IOM was injected into this complex system of repatriation by air, from Tripoli to more than 20 countries, which has contributed to the repatriation of 87,000 people over three years. 33,000 from Libya, and 37,000 from Niger.

    A similar program for refugees, which envisages transit through other African countries (Niger and Rwanda gave their availability) and from there resettlement to Europe or North America, recorded much lower numbers: 3,300 evacuations between the end of 2017 and the end of 2020. For the 47,000 people registered as refugees in Libya, leaving the country without returning to their home country, to the starting point, is almost impossible.

    Finally, there is a third, lesser-known point of the Italian plan: even in Libya, Italy wants to intervene on the root causes of migration, or rather on the economies linked to the transit and smuggling of migrants. The scheme is simple: support basic services and local authorities in migrant transit areas, in exchange for this transit being controlled and reduced. The transit of people brings with it the circulation of currency, a more valuable asset than usual in a country at war, and this above all in the south of Libya, in the immense Saharan region of Fezzan, the gateway to the country, bordering Algeria, Niger, and Chad and almost inaccessible to international humanitarian agencies.

    A game in which intelligence plays central role (as also revealed by the journalist Lorenzo D’Agostino on Foreign Policy), as indeed it did in another negotiation and exchange of money: those 5 million euros destined — according to various journalistic reconstructions — to a Sabratha militia, the Anas Al-Dabbashi Brigade, to stop departures from the coastal city.

    A year later, its leader, Ahmed Al-Dabbashi, will be sanctioned by the UN Security Council, as leader for criminal activities related to human trafficking.

    The one built in record time by the ministry led by Marco Minniti is therefore a complicated and expensive puzzle. To finance it, there are above all the Trust Fund for Africa of the EU, and the Italian Africa Fund, initially headed only by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and unpacked among several ministries for the occasion, but also the Internal Security Fund of the EU, which funds military equipment for all Italian security forces, as well as funds and activities from the Ministry of Defense.

    A significant part of those 666 million euros dedicated to border control, but also of funds to support governance and fight traffickers, converges and enters this plan: a machine that was built too quickly, among whose wheels human rights and Libya’s peace process are sacrificed.

    “We were looking for an immediate result and we lost sight of the big picture, sacrificing peace on the altar of the fight against migration, when Libya was in pieces, in the hands of militias who were holding us hostage”. This is how former Deputy Minister Mario Giro describes the troubled handling of the Libyan dossier.

    For Marwa Mohamed, a Libyan activist, all these funds and interventions were “provided without any real clause of respect for human rights, and have fragmented the country even more, because they were intercepted by the militias, which are the same ones that manage both the smuggling of migrants that detention centers, such as that of Abd el-Rahman al-Milad, known as ‘al-Bija’ ”.

    Projects aimed at Libyan municipalities, included in the interventions on the root causes of migration — such as the whole detention system, invigorated by the introduction of people intercepted at sea (and ‘improved’ through millions of euros of Italian funds) — offer legitimacy, when they do not finance it directly, to the ramified and violent system of local powers that the German political scientist Wolfram Lacher defines as the ‘Tripoli militia cartel‘. [for more details on the many Italian funds in Libya, read here].
    Fondi italiani in Libia Read more

    “Bringing migrants back to shore, perpetuating a detention system, does not only mean subjecting people to new abuses, but also enriching the militias, fueling the conflict”, continues Mohamed, who is now based in London, where she is a spokesman of the Libyan Lawyers for Justice organization.

    The last few years of Italian cooperation, she argues, have been “a sequence of lost opportunities”. And to those who tell you — Italian and European officials especially — that reforming justice, putting an end to that absolute impunity that strengthens the militias, is too difficult, Mohamed replies without hesitation: “to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, the authorities contacted the militias close to the Tripoli government one by one and in the meantime built a non-existent structure from scratch, the Libyan Coast Guard: and you’re telling me that you can’t put the judicial system back on its feet and protect refugees? ”

    The only thing that mattered, however, in that summer of 2017, were the numbers. Which, for the first time since 2013, were falling again, and quickly. In the month of August there were 80 percent fewer landings than the year before. And so it would be for the following months and years.

    “Since then, we have continued to allocate, renewing programs and projects, without asking for any guarantee in exchange for the treatment of migrants”, explains Matteo De Bellis, researcher at Amnesty International, remembering that the Italian promise to modify the Memorandum of Understanding, introducing clauses of protection, has been on stop since the controversial renewal of the document, in February 2020.

    Repatriations, evacuations, promises

    We are 1500 kilometers of road, and sand, south of Tripoli. Here Salah* spends his days escaping a merciless sun. The last three years of the life of the thirty-year-old Sudanese have not offered much else and now, like many fellow sufferers, he does not hide his fatigue.

    We are in a camp 15 kilometers from Agadez, in Niger, in the middle of the Sahara desert, where Salah lives with a thousand people, mostly Sudanese from the Darfur region, the epicenter of one of the most dramatic and lethal conflicts of recent decades.

    Like almost all the inhabitants of this temporary Saharan settlement, managed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and — at the end of 2020 — undergoing rehabilitation also thanks to Italian funds, he passed through Libya and since 2017, after three years of interceptions at sea and detention, he’s been desperately searching for a way out, for a future.

    Salah fled Darfur in 2016, after receiving threats from pro-government armed militias, and reached Tripoli after a series of vicissitudes and violence. In late spring 2017, he sailed from nearby Zawiya with 115 other people. They were intercepted, brought back to shore and imprisoned in a detention center, formally headed by the government but in fact controlled by the Al-Nasr militia, linked to the trafficker Al-Bija.

    “They beat us everywhere, for days, raped some women in front of us, and asked everyone to call families to get money sent,” Salah recalls. Months later, after paying some money and escaping, he crossed the Sahara again, up to Agadez. UNHCR had just opened a facility and from there, as rumour had it, you could ask to be resettled to Europe.

    Faced with sealed maritime borders, and after experiencing torture and abuse, that faint hope set in motion almost two thousand people, who, hoping to reach Italy, found themselves on the edges of the Sahara, along what many, by virtue of investments and negotiations, had started to call the ‘new European frontier’.

    Three years later, a little over a thousand people remain of that initial group. Only a few dozen of them had access to resettlement, while many returned to Libya, and to all of its abuses.

    Something similar is also happening in Tunisia, where since 2017, the number of migrants and refugees entering the country has increased. They are fleeing by land and sometimes by sea from Libya, going to crowd UN structures. Then, faced with a lack of real prospects, they return to Libya.

    For Romdhane Ben Amor, spokesman for the Tunisian Federation for Economic and Social Rights, “in Tunisia European partners have financed a non-reception: overcrowded centers in unworthy conditions, which have become recruitment areas for traffickers, because in fact there are two options offered there: go home or try to get back to the sea “.

    In short, even the interventions for the protection of migrants and refugees must be read in a broader context, of a contraction of mobility and human rights. “The refugee management itself has submitted to the goal of containment, which is the true original sin of the Italian and European strategy,” admits a UNHCR official.

    This dogma of containment, at any cost, affects everyone — people who travel, humanitarian actors, civil society, local governments — by distorting priorities, diverting funds, and undermining future relationships and prospects. The same ones that European officials call partnerships and which in the case of Africa, as reiterated in 2020 by President Ursula Von Der Leyen, should be “between equals”.

    Let’s take another example: the Egypt of President Abdel Fetah Al-Sisi. Since 2016, it has been increasingly isolated on the international level, also due to violent internal repression, which Italy knows something about. Among the thousands of people who have been disappeared or killed in recent years, is researcher Giulio Regeni, whose body was thrown on the side of a road north of Cairo in February 2016.

    Around the time of the murder, in which the complicity and cover-ups by the Egyptian security forces were immediately evident, the Italian Ministry of the Interior restarted its dialogue with the country. “It’s absurd, but Italy started to support Egypt in negotiations with the European Union,” explains lawyer Muhammed Al-Kashef, a member of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Right and now a refugee in Germany.

    By inserting itself on an already existing cooperation project that saw italy, for example, finance the use of fingerprint-recording software used by the Egyptian police, the Italian Ministry of the Interior was able to create a police academy in Cairo, inaugurated in 2018 with European funds, to train the border guards of over 20 African countries. Italy also backed Egyptian requests within the Khartoum Process and, on a different front, sells weapons and conducts joint naval exercises.

    “Rome could have played a role in Egypt, supporting the democratic process after the 2011 revolution, but it preferred to fall into the migration trap, fearing a wave of migration that would never happen,” says Al-Kashef.

    With one result: “they have helped transform Egypt into a country that kills dreams, and often dreamers too, and from which all young people today want to escape”. Much more so than in 2015 or that hopeful 2011.

    Cracks in the wall, and how to widen them

    If you have read this far, following personal stories and routes of people and funds, you will have understood one thing, above all: that the beating heart of this strategy, set up by Italy with the participation of the European Union and vice versa, is the reduction of migrations across the Mediterranean. The wall, in fact.

    Now try to add other European countries to this picture. Since 2015 many have fully adopted — or returned to — this process of ‘externalization’ of migration policies. Spain, where the Canary Islands route reopened in 2019, demonstrating the fragility of the model you read about above; France, with its strategic network in the former colonies, the so-called Françafrique. And then Germany, Belgium, Holland, United Kingdom, Austria.

    Complicated, isn’t it? This great wall’s bricks and builders keep multiplying. Even more strategies, meetings, committees, funds and documents. And often, the same lack of transparency, which makes reconstructing these loans – understanding which cement, sand, and lime mixture was used, i.e. who really benefited from the expense, what equipment was provided, how the results were monitored – a long process, when it’s not impossible.

    The Pact on Migration and Asylum of the European Union, presented in September 2020, seems to confirm this: cooperation with third countries and relaunching repatriations are at its core.

    Even the European Union budget for the seven-year period 2021-2027, approved in December 2020, continues to focus on this expenditure, for example by earmarking for migration projects 10 percent of the new Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, equipped with 70 billion euros, but also diverting a large part of the Immigration and Asylum Fund (8.7 billion) towards support for repatriation, and foreseeing 12.1 billion euros for border control.

    While now, with the new US presidency, some have called into question the future of the wall on the border with Mexico, perhaps the most famous of the anti-migrant barriers in the world, the wall built in the Mediterranean and further south, up to the equator, has seemingly never been so strong.

    But economists, sociologists, human rights defenders, analysts and travelers all demonstrate the problems with this model. “It’s a completely flawed approach, and there are no quick fixes to change it,” says David Kipp, a researcher at the German Institute for International Affairs, a government-funded think-tank.

    For Kipp, however, we must begin to deflate this migration bubble, and go back to addressing migration as a human phenomenon, to be understood and managed. “I dream of the moment when this issue will be normalized, and will become something boring,” he admits timidly.

    To do this, cracks must be opened in the wall and in a model that seems solid but really isn’t, that has undesirable effects, violates human rights, and isolates Europe and Italy.

    Anna Knoll, researcher at the European Center for Development Policy Management, explains for example that European policies have tried to limit movements even within Africa, while the future of the continent is the freedom of movement of goods and people, and “for Europe, it is an excellent time to support this, also given the pressure from other international players, China first of all”.

    For Sabelo Mbokazi, who heads the Labor and Migration department of the Social Affairs Commission of the African Union (AU), there is one issue on which the two continental blocs have divergent positions: legal entry channels. “For the EU, they are something residual, we have a much broader vision,” he explains. And this will be one of the themes of the next EU-AU summit, which was postponed several times in 2020.

    It’s a completely flawed approach, and there are no quick fixes to change it
    David Kipp - researcher at the German Institute for International Affairs

    Indeed, the issue of legal access channels to the Italian and European territory is one of the most important, and so far almost imperceptible, cracks in this Big Wall. In the last five years, Italy has spent just 15 million euros on it, 1.1 percent of the total expenditure dedicated to external dimensions of migration.

    The European Union hasn’t done any better. “Legal migration, which was one of the pillars of the strategy born in Valletta in 2015, has remained a dead letter, but if we limit ourselves to closing the borders, we will not go far”, says Stefano Manservisi, who as a senior official of the EU Commission worked on all the migration dossiers during those years.

    Yet we all know that a trafficker’s worst enemy are passport stamps, visas, and airline tickets.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=HmR96ySikkY

    Helen Dempster, who’s an economist at the Center for Global Development, spends her days studying how to do this: how to open legal channels of entry, and how to get states to think about it. And there is an effective example: we must not end up like Japan.

    “For decades, Japan has had very restrictive migration policies, it hasn’t allowed anyone in”, explains Dempster, “but in recent years it has realized that, with its aging population, it soon won’t have enough people to do basic jobs, pay taxes, and finance pensions”. And so, in April 2019, the Asian country began accepting work visa applications, hoping to attract 500,000 foreign workers.

    In Europe, however, “the hysteria surrounding migration in 2015 and 2016 stopped all debate“. Slowly, things are starting to move again. On the other hand, several European states, Italy and Germany especially, have one thing in common with Japan: an increasingly aging population.

    “All European labor ministries know that they must act quickly, but there are two preconceptions: that it is difficult to develop adequate projects, and that public opinion is against it.” For Dempster, who helped design an access program to the Belgian IT sector for Moroccan workers, these are false problems. “If we want to look at it from the point of view of the security of the receiving countries, bringing a person with a passport allows us to have a lot more information about who they are, which we do not have if we force them to arrive by sea”, she explains.

    Let’s look at some figures to make it easier: in 2007, Italy made 340,000 entry visas available, half of them seasonal, for non-EU workers, as part of the Flows Decree, Italy’s main legal entry channel adopted annually by the government. Few people cried “invasion” back then. Ten years later, in 2017, those 119,000 people who reached Italy through the Mediterranean seemed a disproportionate number. In the same year, the quotas of the Flow decree were just 30,000.

    Perhaps these numbers aren’t comparable, and building legal entry programs is certainly long, expensive, and apparently impractical, if we think of the economic and social effects of the coronavirus pandemic in which we are immersed. For Dempster, however, “it is important to be ready, to launch pilot programs, to create infrastructures and relationships”. So that we don’t end up like Japan, “which has urgently launched an access program for workers, without really knowing how to manage them”.

    The Spanish case, as already mentioned, shows how a model born twenty years ago, and then adopted along all the borders between Europe and Africa, does not really work.

    As international mobility declined, aided by the pandemic, at least 41,000 people landed in Spain in 2020, almost all of them in the Canary Islands. Numbers that take us back to 2006 and remind us how, after all, this ‘outsourcing’ offers costly and ineffective solutions.

    It’s reminiscent of so-called planned obsolescence, the production model for which a technological object isn’t built to last, inducing the consumer to replace it after a few years. But continually renewing and re-financing these walls can be convenient for multinational security companies, shipyards, political speculators, authoritarian regimes, and international traffickers. Certainly not for citizens, who — from the Italian and European institutions — would expect better products. May they think of what the world will be like in 10, 30, 50 years, and avoid trampling human rights and canceling democratic processes in the name of a goal that — history seems to teach — is short-lived. The ideas are not lacking. [At this link you’ll find the recommendations developed by ActionAid: https://thebigwall.org/en/recommendations/].

    https://thebigwall.org/en
    #Italie #externalisation #complexe_militaro-industriel #migrations #frontières #business #Afrique #budget #Afrique_du_Nord #Libye #chiffres #Niger #Soudan #Ethiopie #Sénégal #root_causes #causes_profondes #contrôles_frontaliers #EU_Trust_Fund_for_Africa #Trust_Fund #propagande #campagne #dissuasion

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749
    Et plus précisément :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765328

    ping @isskein @karine4 @rhoumour @_kg_

  • Trasportavano migranti dalla Slovenia in un furgone, un arresto e due fermi
    https://www.editorialedomani.it/fatti/trasportavano-migranti-dalla-slovenia-in-un-furgone-un-arresto-e-du

    L’autista a bordo del veicolo ha tentato la fuga ma si è schiantato contro un albero. Due migranti sono ricoverati in ospedale, mentre gli altri sono stati affidati a un centro accoglienza per minori. Avevano pagato dai 1.600 ai 1.800 euro il trasporto in Italia.

    Erano in otto. Tutti minori di origine bengalesi. Le forze dell’ordine li hanno trovati stipati dentro un furgone Fiat Ducato. Hanno pagato una cifra tra i 1.600 e i 1.800 euro per entrare in Italia dalla Slovenia. Ora la polizia di Trieste ha arrestato un macedone e sottoposto a fermo di indiziato di delitto un cittadino kosovaro e un altro macedone ritenuti responsabili, in concorso tra loro e con altri soggetti complici che sono in corso di identificazione, dei reati di favoreggiamento aggravato dell’immigrazione clandestina.

    L’indagine

    Le indagini sono iniziate dopo che le forze dell’ordine hanno individuato dei movimenti sospetti riguardo a due veicoli, una Volkswagen Passat con targa italiana e un Fiat Ducato con targa slovena, che avrebbero potuto essere impiegati per un imminente trasporto di migranti. Dall’Italia i trafficanti hanno raggiunto la Slovenia e dopo cinque ore sono rientrati in formazione sospetta. La Passat era in prima fila per segnalare eventuali controlli delle forze dell’ordine lungo il tragitto. La polizia ha tentato di fermarli, mentre l’autista della Passat non ha opposto resistenza, l’uomo a bordo del furgone ha tentato la fuga, che si è conclusa contro un albero di palma nella località di Monrupino.

    Una volta abbandonato il veicolo, l’autista si è dileguato nell’area boschiva della zona facendo perdere le sue tracce. All’interno del furgone gli agenti hanno trovato otto minori bengalesi che sono stai trasportati immediatamente all’ospedale. Sei di loro sono stati dimessi con una prognosi di alcuni giorni e sono stati affidati a una struttura di accoglienza per minori, mentre i due rimanenti sono stati trattenuti in ospedale per via dei traumi e delle fratture riportate in seguito all’incidente.

    Le indagini sono proseguite e le forze dell’ordine hanno quindi arrestato il macedone per il reato di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina in concorso, mentre gli altri sono stati sottoposti a fermo di indiziato di delitto. Uno dei due fermati è stato possedeva una carta d’identità croata contraffatta.

    @cdb_77 #slovenie #italie #migration #accident #frontière #trieste

  • A Djibouti, une vingtaine de migrants meurent noyés, jetés à la mer par des passeurs
    https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2021/03/04/a-djibouti-une-vingtaine-de-migrants-meurent-noyes-jetes-a-la-mer-par-des-pa

    A Djibouti, une vingtaine de migrants meurent noyés, jetés à la mer par des passeurs. Des survivants, soignés par l’OIM dans la ville djiboutienne d’Obock, ont raconté qu’au moins deux cents migrants étaient entassés dans leur bateau, qui a quitté Djibouti mercredi matin.
    La zone entre Djibouti et le Yémen a été à nouveau le théâtre d’un drame mercredi. Au moins vingt migrants sont morts après que des passeurs ont jeté des dizaines de personnes à la mer, a annoncé jeudi 4 mars l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).Des survivants, soignés par l’OIM dans la ville djiboutienne d’Obock, ont raconté qu’au moins deux cents migrants étaient entassés dans leur bateau, qui a quitté Djibouti mercredi matin. « Trente minutes après le départ les passeurs ont forcé environ quatre-vingts personnes à se jeter à l’eau », précise l’OIM. dans un communiqué transmis jeudi.Seules soixante personnes ont regagné le rivage, ajoute Yvonne Ndege, porte-parole de l’OIM pour l’Afrique de l’Est et la Corne de l’Afrique. « Les survivants pensent qu’au moins vingt personnes ont été tuées. Certains sont toujours portés disparus. Cinq corps ont été retrouvés sur la côte » de Djibouti, a déclaré Mme Ndege.« Nous travaillons étroitement avec les autorités djiboutiennes pour porter assistance aux migrants, mais la tragédie de mercredi est une preuve supplémentaire que des criminels continuent d’exploiter pour l’argent des personnes prêtes à tout pour améliorer leurs conditions de vie, sans considération pour les conséquences », ajoute dans ce texte Stéphanie Daviot, responsable de l’OIM à Djibouti.
    Le détroit de Bab El-Mandeb, qui sépare Djibouti du Yémen, donne lieu à un trafic de migrants et de réfugiés dans les deux sens, des Yéménites fuyant la guerre et des Africains allant tenter leur chance dans la Péninsule arabique. Il s’agit du troisième incident de ce type ces six derniers mois, note l’OIM. En octobre, huit migrants éthiopiens sont morts dans des circonstances similaires et douze autres ont été portés disparus. Ils faisaient le chemin inverse, quittant le Yémen pour Djibouti, après avoir échoué dans leur tentative de rejoindre l’Arabie saoudite en raison des fermetures de frontières imposées par la pandémie de Covid-19.

    #Covid-19#migration#migrant#djibouti#arabiesaoudite#yemen#sante#mortalite#parcourmigratoire#frontiere#OIM#trafic#refugie

  • Covid-19 : la création d’un passeport vaccinal se heurterait à de nombreux obstacles juridiques
    https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2021/03/04/covid-19-la-creation-d-un-passeport-vaccinal-se-heurterait-a-de-nombreux-obs

    Covid-19 : la création d’un passeport vaccinal se heurterait à de nombreux obstacles juridiques.Si l’accès de tous aux vaccins n’est pas garanti, ce sésame pourrait constituer une rupture d’égalité. En outre, l’efficacité des vaccins dans la prévention de la transmission du virus n’est pas encore établie, souligne l’OMS. Sans remettre en cause la pertinence de la promotion de la vaccination contre le SARS-CoV-2, les juristes sont particulièrement inquiets des projets de passeport vaccinal, pour la circulation entre pays, et de « passe sanitaire », pour accéder à certains lieux comme les restaurants ou les cinémas. « Soumettre la liberté d’aller et de venir au fait d’avoir été vacciné alors que le vaccin n’est pas disponible pour tous constituerait une rupture d’égalité contraire à tous nos principes essentiels », analyse un haut magistrat spécialiste des questions de santé et de libertés publiques.
    Introduire une telle disposition dans la loi risquerait tout bonnement d’être censuré par le Conseil constitutionnel. « C’est un débat totalement prématuré à un moment où le vaccin est indisponible pour la majorité des gens », confirme Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez, professeure de droit public à l’université Paris-Nanterre. Ce qui l’amène à soulever la question suivante : « Quelle sera la justification épidémiologique à mettre en place un tel passeport quand le vaccin sera entièrement disponible, quand 70 % ou 80 % de la population aura été vaccinée et que l’on aura atteint l’immunité collective ? »
    Indépendamment de cette question essentielle du moment où un tel sésame pourrait être obligatoire par rapport à l’état d’avancement de la campagne de vaccination, de nombreuses questions juridiques surgissent. Instaurer une telle entrave à la liberté de chacun ne peut se justifier que si l’objectif est légitime et la mesure proportionnée.
    Une vaccination obligatoire déguisée ?Or, en l’absence de certitudes scientifiques sur le fait que les vaccins permettent de ne plus être porteur du virus, conditionner l’accès à certains lieux n’apporte pas de sécurité en matière de prophylaxie. D’ailleurs, au siège de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), on affirme aujourd’hui que « les autorités nationales et les voyagistes ne devraient pas introduire d’exigences de preuve de vaccination contre le Covid-19 pour les voyages internationaux comme condition de départ ou d’entrée. En effet, l’efficacité des vaccins dans la prévention de la transmission n’est pas encore établie et l’approvisionnement mondial en vaccins est limité ».
    Le président de la République et le premier ministre ont l’un et l’autre affirmé fin 2020 que le vaccin ne serait pas obligatoire, mais imposer un tel passeport pour accéder à des services culturels ou de loisirs s’apparenterait à une vaccination obligatoire déguisée. En soi, cela n’est pas contraire aux garanties des libertés. Le carnet de vaccination international pour la fièvre jaune est déjà indispensable pour voyager dans certains pays ou en Guyane, et des vaccins sont obligatoires pour les enfants.« Mais, à chaque fois que des juges se sont prononcés sur l’acceptabilité juridique d’une vaccination obligatoire, ils l’ont toujours conditionnée à des certitudes scientifiques établies, avec un recul sur les effets du vaccin en question et en considérant la gravité des maladies qu’il permet d’éviter. Ce qui n’est pas le cas. L’analogie avec ces vaccins obligatoires ne tient pas », conclut Mme Hennette-Vauchez. La protection d’un autre droit, le droit à la santé, n’est pas garantie par l’atteinte à la liberté que représenterait la vaccination obligatoire contre le Covid-19. Une telle disposition ne résisterait donc pas à l’examen de proportionnalité auquel se livre le Conseil constitutionnel.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#sante#france#UE#vaccination#passeportvaccinal#circulation#frontiere#droit

  • Covid-19 : le débat sur le « passeport vaccinal » en six questions
    https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2021/03/03/le-debat-sur-le-passeport-vaccinal-en-six-questions_6071847_4355770.html

    Des Allemands en Espagne, des Néerlandais en Grèce et des Français en Italie ? Cette carte postale du « monde d’avant » pourrait être d’actualité cet été si la vaccination s’accélère et si, contrairement à la cacophonie en 2020, les différents pays arrivent à s’accorder sur les conditions d’entrée sur leur territoire.C’est dans cette optique que la Commission européenne a annoncé, lundi 1er mars, qu’elle allait présenter un projet de « passeport vaccinal » dans le courant du mois de mars. La France et l’Allemagne, qui jugeaient au départ un tel dispositif prématuré, montrent finalement leur intérêt pour la question, tandis que d’autres pays membres expérimentent d’ores et déjà différents types de certificats sanitaires.
    Ce projet pose de nombreuses questions, tant du point de vue de sa faisabilité à l’échelle européenne que de son efficacité d’un point de vue sanitaire. Le tour du sujet en six questions.
    A quoi pourrait ressembler un passeport vaccinal ?Traditionnellement, un passeport est un document délivré par l’administration d’un Etat attestant de l’identité et de la nationalité d’une personne. Dans le cadre de la pandémie, il pourrait s’agir d’un ou plusieurs documents attestant qu’une personne ne risque pas d’être contaminée ou de contaminer d’autres personnes.Concrètement, la présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen, a avancé l’idée d’une plate-forme qui « connecterait les différentes solutions nationales ». Il ne s’agirait donc pas d’un document unique valable dans toute l’Union européenne. Plusieurs critères pourraient être pris en compte :une vaccination ; en cas d’impossibilité de vaccination, un test négatif récent au Covid-19 ; la présence d’anticorps pour une personne qui aurait déjà été infectée par le virus. Une telle démarche n’est pas nouvelle : l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a ainsi mis en place un « carnet jaune », un certificat de vaccination exigé à l’entrée de plusieurs pays d’Afrique. « Ce type de certification a été utilisé dans le passé — par exemple, avec la fièvre jaune —, et il n’est pas déraisonnable de l’utiliser à l’avenir pour d’autres maladies contagieuses, y compris le Covid-19 », rappelle Françoise Baylis, spécialiste d’éthique scientifique et médicale et professeure de philosophie à l’université Dalhousie, à Halifax (Canada).Dans la course au sésame pour retrouver une liberté de mouvement, certaines organisations, particulièrement concernées, ont pris un temps d’avance par rapport aux Etats et aux institutions internationales. L’Association internationale du transport aérien (IATA), a par exemple lancé, en novembre, le « Travel Pass », permettant d’éditer l’équivalent d’un passeport sanitaire, en rassemblant l’ensemble des documents exigés selon le lieu de destination. Une initiative concurrente, « AOK Pass », sera testée par Air France à partir du 11 mars, pour les tests PCR de moins de soixante-douze heures, demandés pour aller aux Antilles.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#sante#passeportvaccinal#UE#OMS#circulation#frontiere