• 114 migrants ivoiriens, guinéens et libériens rentrent d’Algérie avec l’aide de l’OIM en pleine pandémie de COVID-19 | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
    https://www.iom.int/fr/news/114-migrants-ivoiriens-guineens-et-liberiens-rentrent-dalgerie-avec-laide-de-lo
    https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/styles/highlights/public/press_release/media/algeria_1_thumbnail_0.jpg?itok=M4oocDul

    Grâce à la collaboration des autorités algériennes et aux autorisations qui ont été accordées dans le cadre du programme de retour volontaire de migrants en situation irrégulière en Algérie, les restrictions de voyage ont été exceptionnellement levées pour permettre à l’OIM de faciliter le retour des migrants. Les ambassades partenaires de Côte-d’Ivoire et de Guinée ont apporté leur soutien à la délivrance de documents de voyage pour tous les migrants en temps utile avant leur départ. En l’absence d’une représentation diplomatique permanente en Algérie, le gouvernement du Libéria a procédé à des entretiens de vérification d’identité à distance et a assuré la délivrance de documents permettant aux migrants de profiter de l’opération de retour.
    Les migrants résidant en dehors d’Alger ont reçu une aide au transport sur le territoire et ont été hébergés dans les centres de transit gérés par l’OIM (DARV), une structure gouvernementale mise à la disposition de l’OIM pour accueillir les migrants en attente de rentrer dans leur pays d’origine. La procédure de circulation sur le territoire et de sortie a été étroitement coordonnée et soutenue par les autorités algériennes compétentes, ce qui a considérablement facilité la préparation et le départ des migrants. Le personnel de l’OIM en Algérie a mis en œuvre des mesures de prévention spécifiques contre la COVID-19, en accord avec les normes internationales, nationales et celles de l’OIM, comprenant des contrôles médicaux préalables ainsi qu’un test PCR obligatoire cinq jours avant le vol, la distribution de kits contre la COVID-19 et la sensibilisation à la prévention de la COVID-19.
    À leur arrivée dans leurs pays respectifs, les migrants seront accueillis par le personnel de l’OIM à l’aéroport et bénéficieront d’une assistance à l’arrivée, notamment une protection et des services médicaux, avant de retourner dans leurs communautés d’origine

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#algerie#liberia#guinee#cotedivoire##retour#reintegration#OIM#sante#sensibilisation#test

  • Plus de 60 Nigérians rentrent du Liban tandis que les conditions pour les travailleurs migrants s’aggravent | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
    https://www.iom.int/fr/news/plus-de-60-nigerians-rentrent-du-liban-tandis-que-les-conditions-pour-les-trava

    « Nous sommes tous au Nigéria maintenant et nous apprécions votre gentillesse et vos efforts pour nous aider à rentrer chez nous », a déclaré l’un des migrants, rentré au Nigéria à la fin du mois de juillet. « Je vous suis très reconnaissant de m’avoir aidé ».À l’arrivée au Nigéria, l’aide de l’OIM comprend une période de quarantaine de 14 jours, une orientation vers l’aide juridique, un test de dépistage de la COVID-19 avant le départ, la fourniture d’équipements de protection individuelle, un hébergement, ainsi qu’un soutien médical et psychosocial. L’OIM fournira un soutien supplémentaire à la réintégration aux nouveaux arrivants après avoir évalué leurs besoins.« Depuis le début de la pandémie, les opérations d’aide au retour volontaire des Nigérians bloqués sont retardées », a expliqué Abrham Tamrat, responsable du programme de l’OIM au Nigéria. « Compte tenu de la situation actuelle au Liban, nous intensifions nos efforts de coordination avec le gouvernement nigérian pour faire en sorte que les migrants nigérians puissent rentrer chez eux en toute sécurité tout en maintenant les communautés d’origine en bonne santé ».

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#liban#nigeria#rapatriement#sante#santementale#reintegration

  • Nigerians returned from Europe face stigma and growing hardship

    ‘There’s no job here, and even my family is ashamed to see me, coming back empty-handed with two kids.’

    The EU is doubling down on reducing migration from Africa, funding both voluntary return programmes for those stranded along migration routes before they reach Europe while also doing its best to increase the number of rejected asylum seekers it is deporting.

    The two approaches serve the same purpose for Brussels, but the amount of support provided by the EU and international aid groups for people to get back on their feet is radically different depending on whether they are voluntary returnees or deportees.

    For now, the coronavirus pandemic has slowed voluntary return programmes and significantly reduced the number of people being deported from EU countries, such as Germany. Once travel restrictions are lifted, however, the EU will likely resume its focus on both policies.

    The EU has made Nigeria one of five priority countries in Africa in its efforts to reduce the flow of migrants and asylum seekers. This has involved pouring hundreds of millions of euros into projects in Nigeria to address the “root causes” of migration and funding a “voluntary return” programme run by the UN’s migration agency, IOM.

    Since its launch in 2017, more than 80,000 people, including 16,800 Nigerians, have been repatriated to 23 African countries after getting stuck or having a change of heart while travelling along often-dangerous migration routes connecting sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa.

    Many of the Nigerians who have opted for IOM-facilitated repatriation were stuck in detention centres or exploitative labour situations in Libya. Over the same time period, around 8,400 Nigerians have been deported from Europe, according to official figures.

    Back in their home country, little distinction is made between voluntary returnees and deportees. Both are often socially stigmatised and rejected by their communities. Having a family member reach Europe and be able to send remittances back home is often a vital lifeline for people living in impoverished communities. Returning – regardless of how it happens – is seen as failure.

    In addition to stigmatisation, returnees face daily economic struggles, a situation that has only become worse with the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on Nigeria’s already struggling economy.

    Despite facing common challenges, deportees are largely left to their own devices, while voluntary returnees have access to an EU-funded support system that includes a small three-months salary, training opportunities, controversial “empowerment” and personal development sessions, and funds to help them start businesses – even if these programmes often don’t necessarily end up being effective.
    ‘It’s a well-oiled mechanism’

    Many of the voluntary returnee and deportation flights land in Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city and main hub for international travel. On a hot and humid day in February, before countries imposed curfews and sealed their borders due to coronavirus, two of these flights arrived within several hours of each other at the city’s hulking airport.

    First, a group of about 45 people in winter clothes walked through the back gate of the cargo airport looking out of place and disoriented. Deportees told TNH they had been taken into immigration custody by German police the day before and forced onto a flight in Frankfurt. Officials from the Nigerian Immigration Service, the country’s border police, said they are usually told to prepare to receive deportees after the planes have already left from Europe.

    Out in the parking lot, a woman fainted under the hot sun. When she recovered, she said she was pregnant and didn’t know where she would sleep that night. A man began shouting angrily about how he had been treated in Europe, where he had lived for 16 years. Police officers soon arrived to disperse the deportees. Without money or phones, many didn’t know where to go or what to do.

    Several hours later, a plane carrying 116 voluntary returnees from Libya touched down at the airport’s commercial terminal. In a huge hangar, dozens of officials guided the returnees through an efficient, well-organised process.

    The voluntary returnees queued patiently to be screened by police, state health officials, and IOM personnel who diligently filled out forms. Officials from Nigeria’s anti-people trafficking agency also screened the female returnees to determine if they had fallen victim to an illegal network that has entrapped tens of thousands of Nigerian women in situations of forced sex work in Europe and in transit countries such as Libya and Niger.

    “It’s a well-oiled mechanism. Each agency knows its role,” Alexander Oturu, a programme manager at Nigeria’s National Commission for Refugees, Migrants & Internally Displaced Persons, which oversees the reception of returnees, told The New Humanitarian.

    Voluntary returnees are put up in a hotel for one night and then helped to travel back to their home regions or temporarily hosted in government shelters, and later they have access to IOM’s reintegration programming.

    Initially, there wasn’t enough funding for the programmes. But now almost 10,000 of the around 16,600 returnees have been able to access this support, out of which about 4,500 have set up small businesses – mostly shops and repair services – according to IOM programme coordinator Abrham Tamrat Desta.

    The main goal is to “address the push factors, so that upon returning, these people don’t face the same situation they fled from”, Desta said. “This is crucial, as our data show that 97 percent of returnees left for economic reasons.”
    COVID-19 making things worse

    Six hours drive south of Lagos is Benin City, the capital of Edo State.

    An overwhelming number of the people who set out for Europe come from this region. It is also where the majority of European migration-related funding ends up materialising, in the form of job creation programmes, awareness raising campaigns about the risks of irregular migration, and efforts to dismantle powerful trafficking networks.

    Progress* is one of the beneficiaries. When TNH met her she was full of smiles, but at 26 years old, she has already been through a lot. After being trafficked at 17 and forced into sex work in Libya, she had a child whose father later died in a shipwreck trying to reach Europe. Progress returned to Nigeria, but couldn’t escape the debt her traffickers expected her to pay. Seeing little choice, she left her child with her sister and returned to Libya.

    Multiple attempts to escape spiralling violence in the country ended in failure. Once, she was pulled out of the water by Libyan fishermen after nearly drowning. Almost 200 other people died in that wreck. On two other occasions, the boat she was in was intercepted and she was dragged back to shore by the EU-supported Libyan Coast Guard.

    After the second attempt, she registered for the IOM voluntary return programme. “I was hoping to get back home immediately, but Libyans put me in prison and obliged me to pay to be released and take the flight,” she said.

    Back in Benin City, she took part in a business training programme run by IOM. She couldn’t provide the paperwork needed to launch her business and finally found support from Pathfinders Justice Initiative – one of the many local NGOs that has benefited from EU funding in recent years.

    She eventually opened a hairdressing boutique, but coronavirus containment measures forced her to close up just as she was starting to build a regular clientele. Unable to provide for her son, now seven years old, she has been forced to send him back to live with her sister.

    Progress isn’t the only returnee struggling due to the impact of the pandemic. Mobility restrictions and the shuttering of non-essential activities – due to remain until early August at least – have “exacerbated returnees’ existing psychosocial vulnerabilities”, an IOM spokesperson said.

    The Edo State Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking, set up by the local government to coordinate prosecutions and welfare initiatives, is trying to ease the difficulties people are facing by distributing food items. As of early June, the task force said it had reached 1,000 of the more than 5,000 people who have returned to the state since 2017.
    ‘Sent here to die’

    Jennifer, 39, lives in an unfinished two-storey building also in Benin City. When TNH visited, her three-year-old son, Prince, stood paralysed and crying, and her six-year-old son, Emmanuel, ran and hid on the appartment’s small balcony. “It’s the German police,” Jennifer said. “The kids are afraid of white men now.”

    Jennifer, who preferred that only her first name is published, left Edo State in 1999. Like many others, she was lied to by traffickers, who tell young Nigerian women they will send them to Europe to get an education or find employment but who end up forcing them into sex work and debt bondage.

    It took a decade of being moved around Europe by trafficking rings before Jennifer was able to pay off her debt. She got a residency permit and settled down in Italy for a period of time. In 2016, jobless and looking to get away from an unstable relationship, she moved to Germany and applied for asylum.

    Her application was not accepted, but deportation proceedings against her were put on hold. That is until June 2019, when 15 policemen showed up at her apartment. “They told me I had five minutes to check on my things and took away my phone,” Jennifer said.

    The next day she was on a flight to Nigeria with Prince and Emmanuel. When they landed, “the Nigerian Immigration Service threw us out of the gate of the airport in Lagos, 20 years after my departure”. she said.

    Nine months after being deported, Jennifer is surviving on small donations coming from volunteers in Germany. It’s the only aid she has received. “There’s no job here, and even my family is ashamed to see me, coming back empty-handed with two kids,” she said.

    Jennifer, like other deportees TNH spoke to, was aware of the support system in place for people who return through IOM, but felt completely excluded from it. The deportation and lack of support has taken a heavy psychological toll, and Jennifer said she has contemplated suicide. “I was sent here to die,” she said.
    ‘The vicious circle of trafficking’

    Without a solid economic foundation, there’s always a risk that people will once again fall victim to traffickers or see no other choice but to leave on their own again in search of opportunity.

    “When support is absent or slow to materialise – and this has happened also for Libyan returnees – women have been pushed again in the hands of traffickers,” said Ruth Evon Odahosa, from the Pathfinders Justice Initiative.

    IOM said its mandate does not include deportees, and various Nigerian government agencies expressed frustration to TNH about the lack of European interest in the topic. “These deportations are implemented inhumanely,” said Margaret Ngozi Ukegbu, a zonal director for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

    The German development agency, GIZ, which runs several migration-related programmes in Nigeria, said their programming does not distinguish between returnees and deportees, but the agency would not disclose figures on how many deportees had benefited from its services.

    Despite the amount of money being spent by the EU, voluntary returnees often struggle to get back on their feet. They have psychological needs stemming from their journeys that go unmet, and the businesses started with IOM seed money frequently aren’t sustainable in the long term.

    “It’s crucial that, upon returning home, migrants can get access to skills acquisition programmes, regardless of the way they returned, so that they can make a new start and avoid falling back in the vicious circle of trafficking,” Maria Grazie Giammarinaro, the former UN’s special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, told TNH.

    * Name changed at request of interviewee.

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2020/07/28/Nigeria-migrants-return-Europe

    #stigmatisation #renvois #expulsions #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Nigeria #réfugiés_nigérians #réintegration #retour_volontaire #IOM #OIM #chiffres #statistiques #trafic_d'êtres_humains

    ping @_kg_ @rhoumour @isskein @karine4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      State-of-play report

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

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

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

      The new standing corps

      Recruitment

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

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

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

      Training

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

      Use of force

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Privileges and immunities

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

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

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

      Law enforcement

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

      Fundamental rights and data protection

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Returns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      EUROSUR

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

      Summary

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

      Jane Kilpatrick

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

      It was updated on 1 July with some minor corrections:

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

      Endnotes

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

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

      [3] Section 1.1, state of play report

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

      [5] Section 7.1, state of play report

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

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

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

      [9] Chapter III, state of play report

      [10] Section 2.5, state of play report

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

      [12] Chapter III, state of play report

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

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

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

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

      [17] Article 110, 2019 Regulation

      [18] Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [19] Section 8, state of play report

      [20] Article 111(1), 2019 Regulation

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

      [22] Article 110(1), 2019 Regulation

      [23] Section 9, state of play report

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

      [25] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [26] Chapter III, state of play report

      [27] Section 3.2, state of play report

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

      [29] State of play report, p. 19

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

      [31] Section 4, state of play report

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

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

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

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

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

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

      What is the standing corps?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The size of the standing corps

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

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

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

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

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

      What are the profiles?

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

      Tasks to be carried out by these officials include:

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

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

      Recruitment for the profiles

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

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

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

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

      “Never touch yourself with gloves”

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

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

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

      Fit for service?

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

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

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

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

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

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Endnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      [8] Annex II, 2019 Regulation

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

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

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

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

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

      [14] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Frontex seeks company for drone flights

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

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

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

      Aircraft from arms companies

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

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

      Three EU maritime surveillance agencies

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

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

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

      New interested parties for drone flights

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

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

      Information to non-EU countries

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

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

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

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

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

      Drones enable ‘pull-backs’

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

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

      Matthias Monroy

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

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

      Endnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      #drones

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

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

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

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

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

      From external to internal surveillance

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

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

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

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

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

      Legal provisions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Sources of data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Operational activities at the internal borders

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

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

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

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

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

      A European Parliament study published in 2016 highlighted that:

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

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

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

      Chris Jones

      Endnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      [9] Article 26(4), 2019 Regulation

      [10] Article 25, 2019 Regulation

      [11] Article 26, 2019 Regulation

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

      [13] Article 24(3), 2019 Regulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      #mouvements_secondaires #hotspot #hotspots

  • Reintegration Handbook - Practical guidance on the design, implementation and monitoring of reintegration assistance

    Overview:
    This Handbook aims to provide practical guidance on the design, implementation and monitoring of reintegration assistance for returnees. While reintegration is a process taking place in different return contexts (for example following spontaneous, forced or assisted voluntary returns, or internal displacement), the Handbook focuses on assistance provided to migrants unable or unwilling to remain in the host country.

    The Handbook has been conceived as a hands-on tool, targeting the various stakeholders involved in the provision of reintegration-related support at different levels and at different stages: project developers, project managers and case managers but also policy makers and other reintegration practitioners. The Handbook is written on the basis that the goal of reintegration assistance is to foster sustainable reintegration, defined in the next section, for returnees and that this requires a whole-of-government approach, through the adoption of coordinated measures, policies, and practices between relevant stakeholders at the international, regional, national and local levels. Each module will specify which target audience it is aimed at.

    Module 1: An integrated approach to reintegration – describes the basic concepts of return and reintegration and explains IOM’s integrated approach to reintegration. It also lays out the general considerations when developing a comprehensive reintegration programme, including assessments, staffing and budgeting.
    Module 2: Reintegration assistance at the individual level – outlines suggested steps for assisting returnees, taking into account the economic, social and psychosocial dimensions of reintegration.
    Module 3: Reintegration assistance at the community level – provides guidance on assessing community needs and engaging the community in reintegration activities. It also provides examples of community-level reintegration initiatives in the economic, social and psychosocial dimensions.
    Module 4: Reintegration assistance at the structural level – proposes ways to strengthen capacities of all actors and to promote stakeholder engagement and ownership in reintegration programming. It suggests approaches for mainstreaming reintegration into existing policies and strategies.
    Module 5: Monitoring and evaluation of reintegration assistance – provides guidance and tools to design programmes, monitor interventions and carry out evaluations to maximize effectiveness and learning
    Annexes provide additional useful tools and further guidance on specific reintegration interventions.

    https://publications.iom.int/fr/books/reintegration-handbook-practical-guidance-design-implementation-an
    #réintégration #IOM #OIM #manuel #handbook #guide #renvois #expulsions

    ping @isskein @rhoumour @_kg_ @karine4 @i_s_

  • Migrants : les échecs d’un #programme_de_retour_volontaire financé par l’#UE

    Alors qu’il embarque sur un vol de la Libye vers le Nigeria à la fin 2018, James a déjà survécu à un naufrage en Méditerranée, traversé une demi-douzaine d’États africains, été la cible de coups de feu et passé deux ans à être maltraité et torturé dans les centres de détention libyens connus pour la brutalité qui y règne.

    En 2020, de retour dans sa ville de Benin City (Etat d’Edo au Nigéria), James se retrouve expulsé de sa maison après n’avoir pas pu payer son loyer. Il dort désormais à même le sol de son salon de coiffure.

    Sa famille et ses amis l’ont tous rejeté parce qu’il n’a pas réussi à rejoindre l’Europe.

    « Le fait que tu sois de retour n’est source de bonheur pour personne ici. Personne ne semble se soucier de toi [...]. Tu es revenu les #mains_vides », raconte-t-il à Euronews.

    James est l’un des quelque 81 000 migrants africains qui sont rentrés dans leur pays d’origine avec l’aide de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) des Nations unies et le #soutien_financier de l’Union européenne, dans le cadre d’une initiative conjointe de 357 millions d’euros (https://migrationjointinitiative.org). Outre une place sur un vol au départ de la Libye ou de plusieurs autres pays de transit, les migrants se voient promettre de l’argent, un #soutien et des #conseils pour leur permettre de se réintégrer dans leur pays d’origine une fois rentrés chez eux.

    Mais une enquête d’Euronews menée dans sept pays africains a révélé des lacunes importantes dans ce programme, considéré comme la réponse phare de l’UE pour empêcher les migrants d’essayer de se rendre en Europe.

    Des dizaines de migrants ayant participé au programme ont déclaré à Euronews qu’une fois rentrés chez eux, ils ne recevaient aucune aide. Et ceux qui ont reçu une aide financière, comme James, ont déclaré qu’elle était insuffisante.

    Nombreux sont ceux qui envisagent de tenter à nouveau de se rendre en Europe dès que l’occasion se présente.

    « Je ne me sens pas à ma place ici », confie James. « Si l’occasion se présente, je quitte le pays ».

    Sur les 81 000 migrants qui ont été rapatriés depuis 2017, près de 33 000 ont été renvoyés de Libye par avion. Parmi eux, beaucoup ont été victimes de détention, d’abus et de violences de la part de passeurs, de milices et de bandes criminelles. Les conditions sont si mauvaises dans le pays d’Afrique du Nord que le programme est appelé « retour humanitaire volontaire » (VHR), plutôt que programme de « retour volontaire assisté » (AVR) comme ailleurs en Afrique.

    Après trois ans passés en Libye, Mohi, 24 ans, a accepté l’offre d’un vol de retour en 2019. Mais, une fois de retour dans son pays, son programme de réintégration ne s’est jamais concrétisé. « Rien ne nous a été fourni ; ils continuent à nous dire ’demain’ », raconte-t-il à Euronews depuis le nord du Darfour, au Soudan.

    Mohi n’est pas seul. Les propres statistiques de l’OIM sur les rapatriés au Soudan révèlent que seuls 766 personnes sur plus de 2 600 ont reçu un soutien économique. L’OIM attribue cette situation à des taux d’inflation élevés et à une pénurie de biens et d’argent sur place.

    Mais M. Kwaku Arhin-Sam, spécialiste des projets de développement et directeur de l’Institut d’évaluation Friedensau, estime de manière plus générale que la moitié des programmes de réintégration de l’OIM échouent.

    « La plupart des gens sont perdus au bout de quelques jours », explique-t-il.
    Deux tiers des migrants ne terminent pas les programmes de réintégration

    L’OIM elle-même revoit cette estimation à la baisse : l’agence des Nations unies a déclaré à Euronews que jusqu’à présent, seul un tiers des migrants qui ont commencé à bénéficier d’une aide à la réintégration sont allés au bout du processus. Un porte-parole a déclaré que l’initiative conjointe OIM/EU étant un processus volontaire, « les migrants peuvent décider de se désister à tout moment, ou de ne pas s’engager du tout ».

    Un porte-parole de l’OIM ajoute que la réintégration des migrants une fois qu’ils sont rentrés chez eux va bien au-delà du mandat de l’organisation, et « nécessite un leadership fort de la part des autorités nationales », ainsi que « des contributions actives à tous les niveaux de la société ».

    Entre mai 2017 et février 2019, l’OIM a aidé plus de 12 000 personnes à rentrer au Nigeria. Parmi elles, 9 000 étaient « joignables » lorsqu’elles sont rentrées chez elles, 5 000 ont reçu une formation professionnelle et 4 300 ont bénéficié d’une « aide à la réintégration ». Si l’on inclut l’accès aux services de conseil ou de santé, selon l’OIM Nigéria, un total de 7 000 sur 12 000 rapatriés – soit 58 % – ont reçu une aide à la réintégration.

    Mais le nombre de personnes classées comme ayant terminé le programme d’aide à la réintégration n’était que de 1 289. De plus, les recherches de Jill Alpes, experte en migration et chercheuse associée au Centre de recherche sur les frontières de Nimègue, ont révélé que des enquêtes visant à vérifier l’efficacité de ces programmes n’ont été menées qu’auprès de 136 rapatriés.

    Parallèlement, une étude de Harvard sur les Nigérians de retour de Libye (https://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2464/2019/11/Harvard-FXB-Center-Returning-Home-FINAL.pdf) estime que 61,3 % des personnes interrogées ne travaillaient pas après leur retour, et que quelque 16,8 % supplémentaires ne travaillaient que pendant une courte période, pas assez longue pour générer une source de revenus stable. À leur retour, la grande majorité des rapatriés, 98,3 %, ne suivaient aucune forme d’enseignement régulier.

    La commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson, a admis à Euronews que « c’est un domaine dans lequel nous avons besoin d’améliorations ». Mme Johansson a déclaré qu’il était trop tôt pour dire quelles pourraient être ces améliorations, mais a maintenu que l’UE avait de bonnes relations avec l’OIM.

    Sandrine, Rachel et Berline, originaires du Cameroun, ont elles accepté de prendre un vol de l’OIM de Misrata, en Libye, à Yaoundé, la capitale camerounaise, en septembre 2018.

    En Libye, elles disent avoir subi des violences, des abus sexuels et avoir déjà risqué leur vie en tentant de traverser la Méditerranée. À cette occasion, elles ont été interceptées par les garde-côtes libyens et renvoyées en Libye.

    Une fois rentrées au Cameroun, Berline et Rachel disent n’avoir reçu ni argent ni soutien de l’OIM. Sandrine a reçu environ 900 000 fcfa (1 373,20 euros) pour payer l’éducation de ses enfants et lancer une petite entreprise – mais cela n’a pas duré longtemps.

    « Je vendais du poulet au bord de la route à Yaoundé, mais le projet ne s’est pas bien déroulé et je l’ai abandonné », confie-t-elle.

    Elle se souvient aussi d’avoir accouché dans un centre de détention de Tripoli avec des fusillades comme fond sonore.

    Toutes les trois ont affirmé qu’au moment de leur départ pour le Cameroun, elles n’avaient aucune idée de l’endroit où elles allaient dormir une fois arrivées et qu’elles n’avaient même pas d’argent pour appeler leur famille afin de les informer de leur retour.

    « Nous avons quitté le pays, et quand nous y sommes revenues, nous avons trouvé la même situation, parfois même pire. C’est pourquoi les gens décident de repartir », explique Berline.

    En novembre 2019, moins de la moitié des 3 514 migrants camerounais qui ont reçu une forme ou une autre de soutien de la part de l’OIM étaient considérés comme « véritablement intégrés » (https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/ENG_Press%20release%20COPIL_EUTF%20UE_IOM_Cameroon.pdf).

    Seydou, un rapatrié malien, a reçu de l’argent de l’OIM pour payer son loyer pendant trois mois et les factures médicales de sa femme malade. Il a également reçu une formation commerciale et un moto-taxi.

    Mais au Mali, il gagne environ 15 euros par jour, alors qu’en Algérie, où il travaillait illégalement, il avait été capable de renvoyer chez lui plus de 1 300 euros au total, ce qui a permis de financer la construction d’une maison pour son frère dans leur village.

    Il tente actuellement d’obtenir un visa qui lui permettrait de rejoindre un autre de ses frères en France.

    Seydou est cependant l’un des rares Maliens chanceux. Les recherches de Jill Alpes, publiées par Brot für die Welt et Medico (l’agence humanitaire des Églises protestantes en Allemagne), ont révélé que seuls 10 % des migrants retournés au Mali jusqu’en janvier 2019 avaient reçu un soutien quelconque de l’OIM.

    L’OIM, quant à elle, affirme que 14 879 Maliens ont entamé le processus de réintégration – mais ce chiffre ne révèle pas combien de personnes l’ont achevé.
    Les stigmates du retour

    Dans certains cas, l’argent que les migrants reçoivent est utilisé pour financer une nouvelle tentative pour rejoindre l’Europe.

    Dans un des cas, une douzaine de personnes qui avaient atteint l’Europe et avaient été renvoyées chez elles ont été découvertes parmi les survivants du naufrage d’un bateau en 2019 (https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/21407/mauritanian-coast-guard-intercepts-boat-carrying-around-190-migrants-i se dirigeait vers les îles Canaries. « Ils étaient revenus et ils avaient décidé de reprendre la route », a déclaré Laura Lungarotti, chef de la mission de l’OIM en Mauritanie.

    Safa Msehli, porte-parole de l’OIM, a déclaré à Euronews que l’organisation ne pouvait pas empêcher des personnes de tenter de repartir vers l’Europe une fois revenues.

    « C’est aux gens de décider s’ils veulent ou non émigrer et dans aucun de ses différents programmes, l’OIM ne prévoit pas d’empêcher les gens de repartir », a-t-elle expliqué.

    Qu’est-ce que l’OIM ?

    A partir de 2016, l’OIM s’est redéfinie comme agence des Nations unies pour les migrations, et en parallèle son budget a augmenté rapidement (https://governingbodies.iom.int/system/files/en/council/110/C-110-10%20-%20Director%20General%27s%20report%20to%20the%20110). Il est passé de 242,2 millions de dollars US (213 millions d’euros) en 1998 à plus de 2 milliards de dollars US (1,7 milliard d’euros) à l’automne 2019, soit une multiplication par huit. Bien qu’elle ne fasse pas partie des Nations unies, l’OIM est désormais une « organisation apparentée », avec un statut similaire à celui d’un prestataire privé.

    L’UE et ses États membres sont collectivement les principaux contributeurs au budget de l’OIM (https://governingbodies.iom.int/system/files/en/council/110/Statements/EU%20coordinated%20statement%20-%20Point%2013%20-%20final%20IOM), leurs dons représentant près de la moitié de son financement opérationnel.

    De son côté, l’OIM tient à mettre en évidence sur son site web les cas où son programme de retour volontaire a été couronné de succès, notamment celui de Khadeejah Shaeban, une rapatriée soudanaise revenue de Libye qui a pu monter un atelier de couture.

    –-
    Comment fonctionne le processus d’aide à la réintégration ?
    Les migrants embarquent dans un avion de l’OIM sur la base du volontariat et retournent dans leur pays ;
    Ils ont droit à des conseils avant et après le voyage ;
    Chaque « rapatrié » peut bénéficier de l’aide de bureaux locaux, en partenariat avec des ONG locales ;
    L’assistance à l’accueil après l’arrivée peut comprendre l’accueil à l’aéroport, l’hébergement pour la nuit, une allocation en espèces pour les besoins immédiats, une première assistance médicale, une aide pour le voyage suivant, une assistance matérielle ;
    Une fois arrivés, les migrants sont enregistrés et vont dans un centre d’hébergement temporaire où ils restent jusqu’à ce qu’ils puissent participer à des séances de conseil avec le personnel de l’OIM. Des entretiens individuels doivent aider les migrants à identifier leurs besoins. Les migrants en situation vulnérable reçoivent des conseils supplémentaires, adaptés à leur situation spécifique ;
    Cette assistance est généralement non monétaire et consiste en des cours de création d’entreprise, des formations professionnelles (de quelques jours à six mois/un an), des salons de l’emploi, des groupes de discussion ou des séances de conseil ; l’aide à la création de micro-entreprises. Toutefois, pour certains cas vulnérables, une assistance en espèces est fournie pour faire face aux dépenses quotidiennes et aux besoins médicaux ;
    Chaque module comprend des activités de suivi et d’évaluation afin de déterminer l’efficacité des programmes de réintégration.

    –-

    Des migrants d’#Afghanistan et du #Yémen ont été renvoyés dans ces pays dans le cadre de ce programme, ainsi que vers la Somalie, l’Érythrée et le Sud-Soudan, malgré le fait que les pays de l’UE découragent tout voyage dans ces régions.

    En vertu du droit international relatif aux Droits de l’homme, le principe de « #non-refoulement » garantit que nul ne doit être renvoyé dans un pays où il risque d’être torturé, d’être soumis à des traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants ou de subir d’autres préjudices irréparables. Ce principe s’applique à tous les migrants, à tout moment et quel que soit leur statut migratoire.

    L’OIM fait valoir que des procédures sont en place pour informer les migrants pendant toutes les phases précédant leur départ, y compris pour ceux qui sont vulnérables, en leur expliquant le soutien que l’organisation peut leur apporter une fois arrivés au pays.

    Mais même lorsque les migrants atterrissent dans des pays qui ne sont pas en proie à des conflits de longue durée, comme le Nigeria, certains risquent d’être confrontés à des dangers et des menaces bien réelles.

    Les principes directeurs du Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) sur la protection internationale considèrent que les femmes ou les mineurs victimes de trafic ont le droit de demander le statut de réfugié. Ces populations vulnérables risquent d’être persécutées à leur retour, y compris au Nigeria, voire même d’être à nouveau victime de traite.
    Forcer la main ?

    Le caractère volontaire contestable des opérations de retour s’étend également au Niger voisin, pays qui compte le plus grand nombre de migrants assistés par l’OIM et qui est présenté comme la nouvelle frontière méridionale de l’Europe.

    En 2015, le Niger s’est montré disposé à lutter contre la migration en échange d’un dédommagement de l’UE, mais des centaines de milliers de migrants continuent de suivre les routes à travers le désert en direction du nord pendant que le business du trafic d’êtres humains est florissant.

    Selon le Conseil européen sur les réfugiés et les exilés, une moyenne de 500 personnes sont expulsées d’Algérie vers le Niger chaque semaine, au mépris du droit international.

    La police algérienne détient, identifie et achemine les migrants vers ce qu’ils appellent le « #point zéro », situé à 15 km de la frontière avec le Niger. De là, les hommes, femmes et enfants sont contraints de marcher dans le désert pendant environ 25 km pour atteindre le campement le plus proche.

    « Ils arrivent à un campement frontalier géré par l’OIM (Assamaka) dans des conditions épouvantables, notamment des femmes enceintes souffrant d’hémorragies et en état de choc complet », a constaté Felipe González Morales, le rapporteur spécial des Nations unies, après sa visite en octobre 2018 (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23698%26LangID).

    Jill Alpes, au Centre de recherche sur les frontières de Nimègue, estime que ces expulsions sont la raison principale pour laquelle les migrants acceptent d’être renvoyés du Niger. Souvent repérés lors d’opérations de recherche et de sauvetage de l’OIM dans le désert, ces migrants n’ont guère d’autre choix que d’accepter l’aide de l’organisation et l’offre de rapatriement qui s’ensuit.

    Dans ses travaux de recherche, Mme Alpes écrit que « seuls les migrants qui acceptent de rentrer au pays peuvent devenir bénéficiaire du travail humanitaire de l’OIM. Bien que des exceptions existent, l’OIM offre en principe le transport d’Assamakka à Arlit uniquement aux personnes expulsées qui acceptent de retourner dans leur pays d’origine ».

    Les opérations de l’IOM au Niger

    M. Morales, le rapporteur spécial des Nations unies, semble être d’accord (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23698%26LangID). Il a constaté que « de nombreux migrants qui ont souscrit à l’aide au retour volontaire sont victimes de multiples violations des droits de l’Homme et ont besoin d’une protection fondée sur le droit international », et qu’ils ne devraient donc pas être renvoyés dans leur pays. « Cependant, très peu d’entre eux sont orientés vers une procédure de détermination du statut de réfugié ou d’asile, et les autres cas sont traités en vue de leur retour ».

    « Le fait que le Fonds fiduciaire de l’Union européenne apporte un soutien financier à l’OIM en grande partie pour sensibiliser les migrants et les renvoyer dans leur pays d’origine, même lorsque le caractère volontaire est souvent douteux, compromet son approche de la coopération au développement fondée sur les droits », indique le rapporteur spécial des Nations unies.
    Des contrôles insuffisants

    Loren Landau, professeur spécialiste des migrations et du développement au Département du développement international d’Oxford, affirme que le travail de l’OIM souffre en plus d’un manque de supervision indépendante.

    « Il y a très peu de recherches indépendantes et beaucoup de rapports. Mais ce sont tous des rapports écrits par l’OIM. Ils commandent eux-même leur propre évaluation , et ce, depuis des années », détaille le professeur.

    Dans le même temps, le Dr. Arhin-Sam, spécialiste lui de l’évaluation des programmes de développement, remet en question la responsabilité et la redevabilité de l’ensemble de la structure, arguant que les institutions et agences locales dépendent financièrement de l’OIM.

    « Cela a créé un haut niveau de dépendance pour les agences nationales qui doivent évaluer le travail des agences internationales comme l’OIM : elles ne peuvent pas être critiques envers l’OIM. Alors que font-elles ? Elles continuent à dire dans leurs rapports que l’OIM fonctionne bien. De cette façon, l’OIM peut ensuite se tourner vers l’UE et dire que tout va bien ».

    Selon M. Arhin-Sam, les ONG locales et les agences qui aident les rapatriés « sont dans une compétition très dangereuse entre elles » pour obtenir le plus de travail possible des agences des Nations unies et entrer dans leurs bonnes grâces.

    « Si l’OIM travaille avec une ONG locale, celle-ci ne peut plus travailler avec le HCR. Elle se considère alors chanceuse d’être financée par l’OIM et ne peuvent donc pas la critiquer », affirme-t-il.

    Par ailleurs, l’UE participe en tant qu’observateur aux organes de décision du HCR et de l’OIM, sans droit de vote, et tous les États membres de l’UE sont également membres de l’OIM.

    « Le principal bailleur de fonds de l’OIM est l’UE, et ils doivent se soumettre aux exigences de leur client. Cela rend le partenariat très suspect », souligne M. Arhin-Sam. « [Lorsque les fonctionnaires européens] viennent évaluer les projets, ils vérifient si tout ce qui est écrit dans le contrat a été fourni. Mais que cela corresponde à la volonté des gens et aux complexités de la réalité sur le terrain, c’est une autre histoire ».
    Une relation abusive

    « Les États africains ne sont pas nécessairement eux-mêmes favorables aux migrants », estime le professeur Landau. « L’UE a convaincu ces États avec des accords bilatéraux. S’ils s’opposent à l’UE, ils perdront l’aide internationale dont ils bénéficient aujourd’hui. Malgré le langage du partenariat, il est évident que la relation entre l’UE et les États africains ressemble à une relation abusive, dans laquelle un partenaire est dépendant de l’autre ».

    Les chercheurs soulignent que si les retours de Libye offrent une voie de sortie essentielle pour les migrants en situation d’extrême danger, la question de savoir pourquoi les gens sont allés en Libye en premier lieu n’est jamais abordée.

    Une étude réalisée par l’activiste humanitaire libyenne Amera Markous (https://www.cerahgeneve.ch/files/6115/7235/2489/Amera_Markous_-_MAS_Dissertation_2019.pdf) affirme que les migrants et les réfugiés sont dans l’impossibilité d’évaluer en connaissance de cause s’ils doivent retourner dans leur pays quand ils se trouvent dans une situation de détresse, comme par exemple dans un centre de détention libyen.

    « Comment faites-vous en sorte qu’ils partent parce qu’ils le veulent, ou simplement parce qu’ils sont désespérés et que l’OIM leur offre cette seule alternative ? » souligne la chercheuse.

    En plus des abus, le stress et le manque de soins médicaux peuvent influencer la décision des migrants de rentrer chez eux. Jean-Pierre Gauci, chercheur principal à l’Institut britannique de droit international et comparé, estime, lui, que ceux qui gèrent les centres de détention peuvent faire pression sur un migrant emprisonné pour qu’il s’inscrive au programme.

    « Il existe une situation de pouvoir, perçu ou réel, qui peut entraver le consentement effectif et véritablement libre », explique-t-il.

    En réponse, l’OIM affirme que le programme Retour Humanitaire Volontaire est bien volontaire, que les migrants peuvent changer d’avis avant d’embarquer et décider de rester sur place.

    « Il n’est pas rare que des migrants qui soient prêts à voyager, avec des billets d’avion et des documents de voyage, changent d’avis et restent en Libye », déclare un porte-parole de l’OIM.

    Mais M. Landau affirme que l’initiative UE-OIM n’a pas été conçue dans le but d’améliorer la vie des migrants.

    « L’objectif n’est pas de rendre les migrants heureux ou de les réintégrer réellement, mais de s’en débarrasser d’une manière qui soit acceptable pour les Européens », affirme le chercheur.

    « Si par ’fonctionner’, nous entendons se débarrasser de ces personnes, alors le projet fonctionne pour l’UE. C’est une bonne affaire. Il ne vise pas à résoudre les causes profondes des migrations, mais crée une excuse pour ce genre d’expulsions ».

    https://fr.euronews.com/2020/06/22/migrants-les-echecs-d-un-programme-de-retour-volontaire-finance-par-l-u
    #retour_volontaire #échec #campagne #dissuasion #migrations #asile #réfugiés #IOM #renvois #expulsions #efficacité #réintégration #EU #Union_européenne #Niger #Libye #retour_humanitaire_volontaire (#VHR) #retour_volontaire_assisté (#AVR) #statistiques #chiffres #aide_à_la_réintégration #Nigeria #réfugiés_nigérians #travail #Cameroun #migrerrance #stigmates #stigmatisation #Assamaka #choix #rapatriement #Fonds_fiduciaire_de_l'Union européenne #fonds_fiduciaire #coopération_au_développement #aide_au_développement #HCR #partenariat #pouvoir

    –---
    Ajouté à la métaliste migrations & développement (et plus précisément en lien avec la #conditionnalité_de_l'aide) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768702

    ping @rhoumour @karine4 @isskein @_kg_

  • L’OIM et l’UE renforcent leur réponse à l’impact de la COVID-19 sur les migrants de retour à travers l’Afrique de l’Ouest et l’Afrique centrale | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
    https://www.iom.int/fr/news/loim-et-lue-renforcent-leur-reponse-limpact-de-la-covid-19-sur-les-migrants-de-

    L’OIM fait face à la pandémie de COVID-19 en Afrique de l’Ouest et en Afrique centrale et aide les migrants les plus touchés par les difficultés socioéconomiques. Grâce au soutien de l’UE, un fonds d’urgence pour la COVID-19 de plus d’un million d’euros a été mis à disposition dans le cadre de l’Initiative conjointe UE-OIM pour aider au retour volontaire des migrants lorsque des couloirs humanitaires sont accordés par les pays d’origine.
    Afin d’améliorer la disponibilité des fournitures médicales de base dans toute la région, l’OIM intègre les activités liées à la COVID-19 dans les initiatives existantes. Dans le cadre de leur aide à la réintégration, les migrants de retour produisent des milliers d’articles d’équipement de protection pour les fonctionnaires de l’immigration et des frontières en première ligne. L’OIM développe également des programmes d’assistance alternatifs. Dans certains pays, elle prévoit par exemple d’utiliser l’aide à la réintégration pour fournir des subventions aux migrants de retour pendant trois mois

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#migrant-retour#réintégration#OIM2quipement-médical#santé#couloirs-humanitaires#vulnérabilité

    • A Hard Lesson for Migrants Who Give Up: There May Be No Welcome Mat Back Home

      Jessica Kablan, 27, came back to Ivory Coast seven months pregnant by a man she had turned to for protection on the road.Credit...Yagazie Emezi for The New York Times

      THIAROYE-SUR-MER, Senegal — The fishing village has long sent its men to sea, but after foreign trawlers scraped the bottom clean, the men began coming back empty-handed. It has long sent its men abroad for work, too, but their luck is often no better.

      Last November, when El Hadji Macoura Diop, a 37-year-old fisherman, failed to reach Europe by boat, he could not bring himself to call his wife and tell her he was giving up. “I knew it would just destroy her,” he said.

      Hard as it is to leave home for an unknown land and an uncertain future, coming back, migrants say, can be even harder. Often, they feel ashamed to admit defeat, especially to families that may have scrimped to raise money for their trip. And they struggle to reintegrate into the societies they left behind.

      In 2010, when he was 19, Yaya Guindo fled his life herding cattle in a small farming village in Ivory Coast. Last winter, after eight years on the road working in construction and at restaurants, he returned, broken and defeated, from a detention center in Libya.

      He tried to go home, he said, but his friends mocked him. “I didn’t have anything,” he said. “I was embarrassed.”

      The experiences of Mr. Diop and Mr. Guindo are far from unusual. Researchers estimate that one out of four people who migrate in search of opportunity return to their country of birth — some by choice, others not.

      Just since 2017, the International Organization for Migration has helped more than 62,000 migrants return to 13 countries in West and Central Africa, transported on charter flights and buses arranged by the agency. Many said they wanted to go home after being detained in abysmal conditions in Libyan detention centers, like one in Tajoura that was bombed in early July, killing more than 50 people.

      Once back, they are offered help reintegrating, including temporary shelter, pocket money, job training and psychological counseling.

      “These people left for a reason, and if you don’t address that, they will keep dying at sea,” said Florence Kim, a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration, which runs the program. “If you give people what they needed in the first place, they don’t need to take the risks.”

      The organization placed Mr. Guindo in a training program as a restaurant worker in a trendy neighborhood of Abidjan, the largest city in Ivory Coast. Other returning migrants have been given training as carpenters, tailors or shopkeepers.

      But after the initial support, the migrants are on their own.

      “We’re trying not to create a parallel system where migrants who are coming back to their country would have better service than Ivorians who chose not to leave,” Lavinia Prati, a reintegration officer for the International Organization for Migration.

      The transition can be rocky.

      Mr. Guindo, for example, has angered his employers by skipping work to play basketball for a local club. He says he needs to maintain good relations with the club because it is giving him housing in exchange for playing.

      Yet as hard as it is to adjust, Mr. Guindo said he was staying put.

      “I saw people dying of hunger, I saw women raped, men beheaded,” he said. “What I saw, what I lived, what I heard — I would not leave again.”

      Another returnee to Ivory Coast, Jessica Kablan, 27, came back seven months pregnant by a man she had turned to for protection on the road. Although the nature of the relationship was intrinsically coercive, it seemed to her the best choice she could make under the circumstances. When her boyfriend back home — who had helped pay for her trip — realized she was pregnant, he ended the relationship.

      She does not blame him.

      “I came back with a child,” she said. “How could he accept that?”

      Meliane Lorng, a psychologist who counsels returning migrants through the International Organization for Migration, says the women with children often don’t tell their families that they are back, “because the infant is the living testimony that they were raped.”

      Uncounted other migrants, like the fisherman, have returned on their own, without the help of humanitarian agencies.

      Thiaroye-sur-Mer has been a major source of migration for more than a decade. Hundreds of men have tried to reach Europe — mainly Spain. Everyone knows the migrant motto, “Barca ou barzakh”: Wolof for “Barcelona or die.”

      Some make it. Some die trying. And some return, said Moustapha Diouf, himself a returned migrant, who created a community center for them.

      To the outsider, Thiaroye-sur-Mer can seem like an idyllic place, not somewhere people would be eager to leave: Men sit on the beach, mending their nets, while children play in the surf. But when they do come back home, migrants often get a stark reminder of why they left in the first place.

      One recent day, Mr. Diop, the fisherman who abandoned his attempt to reach Europe, and his five partners came back to shore with about 100 small silver fish called sardinella in their nets. Once the owner of the boat got his share, they would earn about a dollar each, he said.

      There was a time when some migrants setting off in hopes of a better life left right from the shores of the village by pirogue, the colorfully painted wooden canoes used for fishing. More recently, the grapevine has advised them to go by air to Morocco, where Senegalese do not need visas, and then catch passage across the Mediterranean with a smuggler.

      From the roofs of the village houses, the view of the ocean goes on forever. It is easy to imagine that Europe might be just beyond the horizon. And it is possible to forget, if only for a moment, the many dangers of the journey.

      Often, it is the women who encourage the men to migrate.

      Mr. Diop’s mother, Fatou Ndaw, 55, chose him to go because he was the oldest of three brothers, and a fisherman. “He was the one who knows how to read the signs of the ocean,” she said.

      Mr. Diop tried twice.

      On his first attempt, in 2006, he headed for the Canary Islands. Along the way, he watched as six people from his village died after bouts of vomiting and dehydration, their bodies tossed overboard with a prayer.

      Mr. Diop landed, but he was deported two days before an uncle living in Spain arrived to claim him, he said.

      To pay for his second attempt, last fall, Mr. Diop’s mother sold her jewelry; his wife, Mbayang Hanne, saved the money that she earned frying doughnuts under a tent on the beach and selling them with coffee.

      Mr. Diop bought a round-trip plane ticket to Casablanca, where he did not need a visa and could stay with a childhood friend. From there, he took a bus to Tangier and boarded a boat for Spain.

      This time, his boat was stopped before it reached international waters. Mr. Diop says he was fingerprinted and dropped at the Algerian border. He walked 16 hours with other migrants until a car picked them up and took them to Casablanca.

      In Casablanca, the weather was bad and the boats were not running. He slept on the street in the rain. His round-trip ticket on Royal Air Maroc was expiring in two days. Homesick and miserable, Mr. Diop called his parents. They advised him to use the ticket to return home.

      He spent some sleepless nights agonizing over whether to call his wife, and decided not to.

      At the airport back in Dakar, he did not even have enough money for a taxi. A stranger took pity on him and drove him home.

      To Mr. Diop’s relief, his wife was out when he got there — but all that did was put off the inevitable. When she returned, she was shocked to find him in the house.

      It was hard to explain why he had failed when so many others had succeeded. Some of his neighbors, Mr. Diop felt, were judging him. But others told him it was not his fault.

      “Europe doesn’t belong to anybody,” he recalled their telling him. “If God decides, one day you’ll have breakfast in Europe. Never give up.”

      And he has not. Mr. Diop says he is not discouraged by deaths he has seen on the migrant path. It is simply part of the risk, he says.

      He and his family are saving for him to leave again.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/world/africa/africa-migrants-return-home.html

    • Video: Sent back to Ivory Coast, illegal migrants face stigma, rejection

      https://youtu.be/n3moMpBDD64

      It’s the contradiction of Ivory Coast. While its economy is one of the most dynamic in Africa, more and more of its people are setting out into the desert towards the Mediterranean in a bid to reach Europe. Some succeed, but for others, the journey is cut short and they are sent back to Ivory Coast. Returning home is often difficult as it comes with a sense of failure and rejection from their loved ones. Our Abidjan correspondents report.

      https://www.france24.com/en/20180905-focus-ivory-coast-returnees-illegal-migrants-europe-libya-mediter

    • Ivory Coast: the migration challenge

      Ivory Coast is one of the major departure points for migrants travelling illegally to Europe. Without a job or a tangible future in their country, many risk their lives seeking a better one abroad. To combat this pattern, the European Union is working in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Collective reintegration projects, such as business partnerships between returning migrants and members of their community, aim to discourage risky irregular migration through sustainable work and dialogue at home. To see how it works, Euronews travels to Ivory Coast, which recently hosted the African Union-European Union summit.

      Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s economic capital, is one of West Africa’s most highly urbanised cities. But behind its apparent success story, and despite being among the world’s biggest exporters of cacao, coffee and bananas, Ivory Coast is still plagued by poverty, which affected nearly half the population in 2015. Many young people faced with unemployment try to reach Europe. According to the IOM and the EU, among the 155.000 migrants who reached Europe between January and November 2017, most came from West Africa.

      Europe isn’t the Eldorado

      We meet Jean-Marie in the capital Abidjan. He is one of many who was seduced by the prospect of a better life beyond his country’s borders. A promising football talent, he was lured to Tunisia by a so-called “sports agent” who took his money and disappeared.

      “In the first weeks everything went well, I only understood it was a scam after a while because I never saw that person again, he disappeared with the 2.500 euros I gave him,” Jean-Marie Gbougouri tells us. “So, in the end, I was stuck over there, I had nothing left. So for me, Eldorado is not necessarily Europe. Of course, we all dream of going to Europe, but not in those conditions. I’m in good shape, but taking a boat to Italy isn’t going to change my situation. So I’d rather go home and invest my energy in my own country and see what happens.”

      The IOM helped Jean-Marie return home and set up a business as a chicken farmer. Voluntary return and its follow-up are priorities for the EU, which funds the IOM’s projects. According to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, interviewed by Euronews, the EU has helped 14,000 people return home this year.

      Once home, the migrants need assistance says the IOM’s director in Ivory Coast, Marina Schramm: “There is this point of failure which is why it is extremely important for us to work on the psychological and psychosocial support, create an identity again, build self-confidence. And I think therefore training is extremely important, having a diploma makes someone out of you again, not just someone that came back with nothing.”

      Boosting cacao revenue

      To prevent Ivory Coast’s youth from leaving, there need to be jobs for them. The country is the world’s biggest producer of cacao, most of which is consumed as chocolate in Europe and North America. But cocoa farmers in Africa are deeply affected by the fluctuating prices of cocoa. Overproduction this year caused prices to drop.

      Moreover, what Ivory Coast lacks, says Euronews’ Isabel Marques da Silva, is the processing industry.

      “A cooperative working in the fair trade business gets better prices for its cacao. But the added value is in the transformation process, which does not takes place in Ivory Coast. So in the end, the farmers get less than 10 percent of the price of a chocolate bar made and sold in Europe,” she says.

      There are exceptions like the Société Coopérative Equitable du Bandama, in the town of M’Brimbo, northeast of Abidjan. It brings together Ivory Coast’s first certified organic and fair trade cocoa producers.

      Thanks to this certification they have developed their own trade channels and are therefore spared the price fluctuations of the regular market. The next step would be to make the chocolate locally.

      “We’ll need funding, or at least someone to help train us locally so that we can make the chocolate here,” says SCEB president Jean Evariste Salo. “In Europe, people are tired of eating toxic food, they’re starting to ask for organic produce: organic is the future.”

      Boosting digital growth

      Entrepreneurship in Africa is booming as is the digital economy.

      Computer engineer Guiako Obin is the co-founder of Babylab, a Fab Lab where local children in the deprived neighbourhood of Abobo in Abidjan can come and learn about computers, upcycling and coding.

      “What we need is to lobby local authorities in order to copy what’s being done in other parts of Ivory Coast and Africa,” Guiako tells us.

      The development of digital opportunities was at the heart of the recent EU-Africa Business Forum in Abidjan.

      According to Stefano Manservisi, head of International Cooperation and Development at the EU, “(The priority is) interconnectivity, access to basic information, and access to services which are more transparent, more affordable, in terms also of the relationships between people and the administration, but also people and the market.”

      The forum took place ahead of the EU-African summit, where leaders agreed on four key priorities for the coming years including economic opportunities for youth, peace and security, mobility and migration, and cooperation on governance.

      –-> #vidéo on:

      https://www.euronews.com/2017/12/05/ivory-coast-the-migration-challenge

    • Migrants de retour en Côte d’Ivoire (1/6) : Ibrahim raconte l’enfer libyen

      Des migrants dans un centre de détention, en Libye, avant d’être rapatriés dans leur pays, le 2 décembre 2017

      RFI vous propose une série de reportages sur ces Ivoiriens qui ont tenté de migrer vers l’Europe en partant de la grande ville de l’ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire, Daloa. Si le phénomène a ralenti aujourd’hui, il y a encore deux ans, ce sont des centaines de jeunes hommes, de jeunes femmes et même d’enfants qui tentaient chaque mois de prendre la très dangereuse route de la Libye dans l’espoir d’embarquer sur un radeau en direction de l’Italie. Ibrahim Doumbia, 31 ans, est l’un d’entre eux. Pour lui, l’enfer a duré plus d’un an.
      Publicité

      Dans son petit atelier de couture en bord de route à Daloa, Ibrahim Doumbia raconte un rêve d’Europe qui a viré au cauchemar, dès le désert nigérien. « Tu sais, les gens parlent beaucoup de la mer, la mer. Mais là où les gens restent beaucoup, c’est dans le désert. Le désert, c’est un cimetière, confie-t-il. S’il y a un problème d’eau qui arrive à un moment, même à ton frère, le peu d’eau qu’il te reste, tu ne peux pas lui donner. Celui qui nous transporte, souvent, il veut même sortir avec une de nos sœurs, mais la fille ne peut pas refuser, parce que si elle refuse, nous restons tous bloqués dans le désert. »

      En Libye, l’enfer continue. A Bani Walid d’abord. La captivité, le travail forcé, les coups, le viol pour les femmes. Puis une évasion. Arrivé à Tripoli, il tente la traversée vers l’Italie avec des dizaines d’autres, sur deux radeaux de fortune. « Il y avait la tempête. Ce n’était pas facile. Il y avait trop de vagues. Et ils ont commencé à couler. Nous, on était obligés de nous éloigner un peu. Parce que, si d’autres essayaient de plonger dans la mer pour les remonter, nous tous risquions de couler. On les a regardés mourir. On ne pouvait pas. »

      Neuf mois dans un camp pour migrants assimilé à une « prison »

      Après cet échec : de nouveau la détention dans un camp pour migrants. « Moi, je suis resté dans cette prison pendant neuf mois. Chaque jour que Dieu fait, on voyait l’un de nos frères qui mourait. Souvent, vers trois heures du matin, ils venaient et frappaient tout le monde. Chacun essayait d’appeler ses parents, pour qu’ils essaient de tout faire pour les libérer de cette prison-là. »

      Rapatrié il y a deux ans, Ibrahim est un survivant. Hanté chaque nuit par les images de cette aventure dramatique, il s’estime chanceux de s’en être sorti. Aujourd’hui, il tente de dissuader les candidats au départ.

      http://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20190313-migrants-retour-cote-ivoire-16-ibrahim-raconte-conditions-periple-libye

    • Migrants de retour en Côte d’Ivoire (2/6) : une réinsertion incertaine


      Des migrants ivoiriens venus de Libye, de retour au pays, le 20 novembre 2017

      RFI vous propose une série de reportages sur ces Ivoiriens qui ont tenté de migrer vers l’Europe en partant de la grande ville de l’ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire, Daloa. Chaque mois, des jeunes hommes, des jeunes femmes et même des enfants décident de prendre la très dangereuse route de la Libye dans l’espoir d’embarquer sur un radeau en direction de l’Europe. Des jeunes qui travaillent pour économiser un pécule pour partir, souvent avec l’aide de leur famille. Malheur à ceux qui doivent rentrer au pays où l’emploi stable se fait rare.
      Publicité

      Jean Martial vient d’obtenir un petit local ou il peut vendre ses fripes. A 35 ans, il a déjà tenté une fois de « partir à l’aventure », mais il s’est cassé les dents en Libye. Pour prendre la route, Jean Martial avait travaillé afin d’économiser 800 000 francs CFA, environ 1 200 euros. Et pour lui permettre de revenir, sa famille lui a envoyé de l’argent.

      Pour autant, cet échec n’a pas fait disparaître son envie d’Europe. « L’Europe, c’est le rêve de chaque personne ici. Si vous voyiez la misère et la souffrance que nous traversons. Aujourd’hui, si tu es en Europe, par la grâce de Dieu tu trouves un petit boulot, tu peux t’occuper de ta famille. Là-bas, au moins, le fonctionnaire est bien payé, le petit débrouillard est bien payé. »

      « Ce qui manque ici, ce sont les opportunités pour les jeunes »

      L’ONG italienne CeVi (Centro di volontariato internazionale) est arrivée en 2006 à Daloa, ville considérée il y a encore deux ou trois ans commela plaque tournante ivoirienne des départs vers l’Europe. CeVi fait notamment de la sensibilisation, auprès des populations et des autorités, et aide ceux qui sont revenus, les « retournés » à se réinsérer.

      « Ce qui manque ici, ce sont les opportunités pour les jeunes et surtout une perspective de stabilité. Parce que, quand on est commerçant, on ne sait jamais combien on va gagner dans le mois, si on va pouvoir envoyer les enfants à l’école, explique Laura Visentin de CeVi. Daloa, c’est vrai, est une grande ville. Mais au final, c’est comme si c’était un village, parce qu’il n’y a pas d’usine. Au-delà de la fonction publique, il n’y a pas d’entreprises. Et le problème c’est que, si un enfant demande un million pour partir, la famille cotise. Mais si un enfant demande un million pour commencer un petit business ici, la famille ne donne pas. »

      Ces dernières années, les stratégies des ONG, des autorités ou des grandes agences semblent porter leurs fruits. Les départs de Daloa ont manifestement baissé, mais le phénomène existe toujours.

      http://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20190314-migrants-retour-cote-ivoire-26-reinsertion-avenir-cevi

    • Migrants de retour en Côte d’Ivoire (3/6) : le récit de Junior, 9 ans

      Migrants au large des côtes libyennes, le 19 juin 2017.

      RFI vous propose une série de reportages sur ces Ivoiriens qui ont tenté de migrer vers l’Europe en partant de la grande ville de l’Ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire, Daloa. Si le phénomène a un peu ralenti aujourd’hui, il y a encore deux ans, ce sont des centaines de personnes qui tentaient chaque mois de prendre la très dangereuse route de la Libye dans l’espoir d’embarquer sur un radeau en direction de l’Italie. Des hommes, des femmes, et même des enfants, souvent seuls. Junior avait neuf ans quand il a tenté de rejoindre l’Europe avec le rêve de devenir ingénieur.
      Publicité

      Junior a désormais onze ans et un regard d’acier. Dans son quartier, tout le monde le considère comme un petit génie de l’électronique. Quand il est parti, il n’avait que neuf ans. L’aventure a duré douze mois. Son âge ne lui a pas épargné la faim, la soif, les coups ou la captivité. Ni même d’assister à des meurtres pour rien ou presque. « Il y a le désert, pour le traverser aussi c’était dur. On peut venir là, prendre une lame, te tuer parce que tu as bu l’eau ou bien parce que tu as payé le pain et mangé. On peut arracher ton argent, prendre une lame, te tuer... »

      Un beau matin, Junior a volé l’argent que cachait son père et est parti sans le dire à personne. Direction l’Europe pour devenir ingénieur. « Si j’avais réussi, j’aurais pu aider ma famille, parce que j’ai des petits frères. Il y a beaucoup de mes amis qui sont partis, c’est pour ça que j’ai pris la route. Je peux partir, si je vois que ça ne va pas encore. Je peux retenter. Ou bien je prends une autre route, si je vois qu’il y a une autre route, je peux prendre ça. Ma famille n’a rien, je peux l’aider. »

      « Tu partais pour aller faire quoi là-bas, à ton âge ? »

      Vendeur de pneus rechapés, M. Amossa, le père de junior, a des yeux pleins d’admiration pour ce petit garçon qui lui a donné des mois d’angoisse. « Quand il est revenu, je lui ai demandé : "Tu partais pour aller faire quoi là-bas, à ton âge ?" Il m’a répondu qu’il partait pour développer sa connaissance. Comme lui-même, il aime faire les fabrications. S’il y a délestage, il y a des trucs qu’il fabrique, il donne à sa grand-mère et puis ça alimente la maison. Je ne sais pas comment il a fabriqué tout ça. Au début, c’est vrai, je lui ai dit de rester tranquille, de continuer son étude… S’il veut aller à l’aventure pour se chercher, ça viendra avec le temps. »

      http://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20190315-migrants-retour-cote-ivoire-3-6-junior-9-ans-recit

    • Migrants de retour en Côte d’Ivoire (4/6) : la honte et la gêne après l’échec

      Migrants ivoiriens rapatriés de Libye à leur arrivée à l’aéroport d’Abidjan, lundi 20 novembre 2017.

      Toute la semaine, RFI vous propose une série de reportages sur ces Ivoiriens qui ont tenté de migrer vers l’Europe, en partant de Daloa. Cette ville, la troisième du pays, est la plus grande de l’ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire. Elle a longtemps été considérée comme un point de départ majeur des Ivoiriens vers l’Europe mais, pour beaucoup, le voyage s’est arrêté avant, souvent en Libye. Pour ces hommes et ces femmes, le retour à Daloa est alors synonyme de honte.
      Publicité

      Elle souhaite se faire appeler Mimi. Partie pour la Libye afin de gagner l’Europe, elle n’a jamais pu traverser la Méditerranée. Au bout de sept mois de calvaire, elle a été rapatriée à Abidjan par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).

      « La manière dont tu rentres au pays, ce n’est pas celle que tu as décidée, ce n’est pas cette manière-là que tu as voulue. On est rentré avec désespoir. On s’est dit qu’on a vraiment perdu du temps, notre argent… On a perdu plein, plein de choses. On n’a vraiment pas le moral. Je me disais que je préférais encore la mort que de revenir comme ça », se confie-t-elle.

      La honte d’avoir menti à sa mère et d’avoir pris son argent. La honte de l’échec, aussi. Les premières semaines, Mimi se cache chez une de ses sœurs, à Abidjan. Puis elle fait un accident vasculaire cérébral (AVC). « Trop de pensées », dit-elle.

      Soignée, elle finira, plusieurs mois après, par retourner à Daloa garder la maison de sa mère qui, à son tour, est partie à Abidjan suivre des soins. A Daloa, le sentiment de honte est encore plus fort et elle ne quitte quasiment pas sa cour.

      « Comme je suis moi-même de Daloa, c’est mon voyage qui m’empêchait de venir m’installer ici à cause de la honte, de la gêne. Le fait de partir et de ne pas avoir réussi le voyage, les gens vont mal l’interpréter. Voilà pourquoi je suis dans mon coin. Je suis là, je ne fais rien pour le moment et tout cela me stresse encore plus. Je suis malade depuis mon retour. Je prends des médicaments pour éviter trop de stress et, par conséquent, je suis renfermée, trop renfermée. Avant, ce n’était pas ça ma vie », témoigne-t-elle.

      Malgré tout, Mimi a un projet, celui d’ouvrir une échoppe de jus de fruits sur la rue qui passe devant sa cour. Plus une thérapie qu’un business.

      http://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20190316-cote-ivoire-migrants-retour-libye-daloa-mediterranee-oim-europe-echec-h

    • Migrants de retour en Côte d’Ivoire (5/6) : sensibilisation auprès des « mamans »

      Des migrants africains secourus au large de la Libye en août 2018.

      Toute la semaine RFI vous propose une série de reportages sur ces Ivoiriens qui ont tenté de migrer vers l’Europe en partant de Daloa. Cette ville, la troisième du pays, est la plus grande de l’ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire a longtemps été considérée comme un point de départ majeur des Ivoiriens vers l’Europe. Aujourd’hui, du constat de tous, le phénomène a fortement ralenti. La répression de quelques passeurs et la sensibilisation de masse sont passées par là. Sensibilisation mieux ciblée aussi, notamment envers les « mamans ».
      Publicité

      Dans cette cour du quartier Orly, de Daloa, comme chaque mercredi, une douzaine de mamans du quartier se retrouvent pour discuter, boire le thé et manger des bonbons. Parmi ces femmes, Awa Touré.

      « Il y a beaucoup de mamans dont les enfants sont partis. Toutes les mamans se décarcassent pour avoir l’argent pour donner aux enfants qui s’en vont. Mais, moi, mon enfant n’est pas parti. C’est mon seul garçon. Il est commerçant et vend des pneus. Je lui ai dit : « il ne faut pas partir ». Il est resté. Je veux qu’il reste à côté de moi et puis, je me débrouille. L’argent que je touche, je le lui donne. Je veux qu’il ait un magasin à lui », raconte-t-elle.

      La famille, et les mères en particulier, sont souvent pourvoyeuses de fonds pour les candidats au départ. Du coup, ces mamans sont, depuis quelque temps, la cible de la sensibilisation de la part d’ONG. Laura Visentin de l’organisation italienne CeVi, est présente à Daloa, depuis douze ans.

      « On faisait de la sensibilisation avec les jeunes parce que l’on pensait que c’était nos cibles dans la mesure où ce sont eux qui partent. Mais après, on a compris que souvent, ce sont les mamans elles-mêmes qui poussent les enfants à partir et là, nous avons commencé à faire de la sensibilisation avec elles, à montrer des documentaires sur le désert et sur la traversée de la mer. Il y a beaucoup de mamans qui ont commencé à pleurer. Elles ont dit : « Mais moi, j’ai envoyé mon enfant comme ça. Je ne savais pas que c’était comme ça. Personne ne nous a dit ». Et c’est à partir de là que la pression de la famille a diminué un peu et aujourd’hui, les mamans, au lieu d’encourager, elles découragent », explique Laura Visentin.

      Si ce facteur n’est pas le seul qui explique la baisse du nombre de départs de Daloa depuis deux ans, « c’en est un », estiment les acteurs sur le terrain.

      http://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20190317-cote-ivoire-migrants-retour-daloa-ong-cevi-laura-visentin-sensibilisati

    • Migrants de retour en Côte d’Ivoire (6/6) : la lutte contre les passeurs

      Une centaine de migrants ivoiriens rapatriés de Libye, le 20 novembre 2017 (photo d’illustration).

      RFI vous propose une série de reportages sur ces Ivoiriens qui ont tenté de migrer vers l’Europe en partant de Daloa. Cette ville, la troisième du pays, est la plus grande de l’ouest de la Cote d’Ivoire a longtemps été considérée comme un point de départ majeur des Ivoiriens vers l’Europe. Aujourd’hui, du constat de tous, le phénomène a fortement ralenti. La sensibilisation est passée par là. Mais la répression aussi. Aujourd’hui selon le gouvernement, une cinquantaine de passeurs dans tout le pays ont été condamnés.
      Publicité

      Adama est un repenti. Arrivé d’Abidjan il y a environ cinq ans, il a été pendant deux ans et demi un passeur. Lui préfère le terme de « démarcheur », qui aidait les candidats au départ à atteindre l’Europe, en moyenne une quinzaine par mois.

      « A cette époque-là, j’étais à Daloa. Quand je prenais quelqu’un, bien avant qu’il décolle, je discutais avec la famille. Si on finissait par tomber d’accord, on donnait le chemin au niveau des différents correspondants qu’on avait dans les différentes villes. Quand il arrivait à Agadez, la famille payait le restant d’argent. A l’époque, de la Côte d’Ivoire à la Libye, on prenait 600 000 francs CFA. De la Côte d’Ivoire en Italie, on prenait 900-950 000. »

      Adama a passé un an en prison à cause de son activité. Aujourd’hui, il fait de la sensibilisation lorsqu’il n’est pas dans sa petite menuiserie ouverte aux quatre vents. Il y a quelques années encore, Daloa comptait une trentaine de passeurs, selon lui. La plupart se serait volatilisée.

      La migration ralentit. Conséquence de la politique des autorités, estime Yaya Sylla, premier adjoint au maire, à commencer par la lutte contre ces passeurs.

      « Dans un premier temps, il s’agit de récupérer celui qui le fait. C’est plus facile de le repérer s’il n’est pas de Daloa. Ensuite, nous jouons au niveau de la sensibilisation. Et en tant qu’autorité, nous faisons en sorte de pouvoir mettre la jeunesse au travail. Parce que tout part de là. Nous avons mis beaucoup de programmes en place pour l’emploi des jeunes. »

      Depuis des années, ce sont les ONG et les organisations de jeunesse qui sont en première ligne pour dissuader les candidats au départ de prendre la route, et leurs familles de les soutenir.

      http://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20190318-cote-ivoire-serie-migrants-passeurs-daloa

    • Côte d’Ivoire : retour de Libye de migrants ivoiriens

      Migrants ivoiriens rapatriés de Libye à leur arrivée à l’aéroport d’Abidjan, lundi 20 novembre 2017.

      Quelque 155 migrants ivoiriens en Libye ont été rapatriés lundi soir à Abidjan. Ces candidats à l’émigration en Europe, dont le voyage s’est arrêté en Libye, ont été accueillis par la direction des Ivoiriens de l’étranger et l’Organisation internationale pour les Migrations.
      Publicité

      Dans la zone charter de l’aéroport d’Abidjan les enfants courent et s’amusent sur les tapis à bagages à l’arrêt. Les parents souvent épuisés par leur périple, parfois gênés de revenir sous les objectifs des appareils photos ou de caméras de télévision, aimeraient que les formalités d’enregistrement soient expédiées pour pouvoir aller se reposer.

      http://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20171121-cote-ivoire-migrants-libye-retour-abidjan-reportage

  • #Côte_d’Ivoire : World-Renowned Photojournalist Reza Trains #Returned_Migrants, Journalists in Photography

    “Photography is a universal language which can help express feelings and convey emotions without using words,” said #Reza_Deghati, the internationally acclaimed news photographer, who began his celebrated career 40 years ago, after he left his native Iran.

    This month, he is sharing his expertise, and his enthusiasm, with migrants returning to their African homeland after hard journeys abroad. “Photography allows returnees to gain self-confidence and rediscover themselves,” he explained. “Learning how to take a good picture of their daily lives helps them value their life and show us their side of their own story.”

    During the dates 6-8 December, Reza Deghati worked in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (#IOM) which organized a three-day photography training event in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Six young photographers participated in the training here in the Ivorian capital.

    After learning the technical aspects of photography, the participants trained their newly acquired skills on by visiting reintegration and recreational activities organized by IOM for returned migrants and community members. For instance, the participants attended a street art painting performed by returned migrants on the walls of a school rehabilitated by other returnees.

    The aim of this pilot project was to offer returned migrants an opportunity to become visual storytellers of their daily life back home and help local journalists change the narrative on migration in the country.

    “I couldn’t finish the first level of high school last year because I left for Algeria,” said 17-year-old Laciné who now is back at school as part of the reintegration assistance he received from IOM after returning to Côte d’Ivoire.

    “For me, this training is a new start as it can help me show others what I have experienced and what I am experiencing without using words,” Laciné explained.

    The training will be followed by a three-month coaching by IOM photographer Mohamed Diabaté, and the photographs taken by the participants will be exhibited in Spring 2020.

    “Learning photography means learning to look at the world in a different way,” Diabaté said. The IOM Côte d’Ivoire photographer and filmmaker added: “It also gives a new dimension to the returnees’ daily lives and it shows a reality that someone else cannot grasp. It enables us to see through their eyes.”

    This training is the first of a series that will be organized by IOM across West Africa in 2020. It was organized in the frame of an EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions.

    One participant, reporter Benjamin B., explained what he gained from the sessions with Reza Deghati this way: “As a journalist, I have a pen, and I can write. Words can explain reality. But the pictures will show it. If I have both skills, I can better write about migration.”

    https://www.iom.int/news/cote-divoire-world-renowned-photojournalist-reza-trains-returned-migrants-journ
    #photographie #photojournalisme #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #réfugiés_ivoiriens #réintégration #OIM #returnees #expulsion #art #Mohamed_Diabaté #cours_de_photo #Afrique_de_l'Ouest

    Il n’y a pas de limites à l’indécence de l’OIM :

    The aim of this pilot project was to offer returned migrants an opportunity to become visual storytellers of their daily life back home and help local journalists change the narrative on migration in the country.
    This training is the first of a series that will be organized by IOM across West Africa in 2020. It was organized in the frame of an #EU-IOM_Joint_Initiative_for_Migrant_Protection_and_Reintegration_in_the_Sahel_and_Lake_Chad_regions (https://migrationjointinitiative.org).

    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere @_kg_ @isskein @karine4 @reka

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les campagnes de #dissuasion à l’émigration (intégré à la métaliste plus générale sur l’externalisation des frontières) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765326

  • Europe spends billions stopping migration. Good luck figuring out where the money actually goes

    How much money exactly does Europe spend trying to curb migration from Nigeria? And what’s it used for? We tried to find out, but Europe certainly doesn’t make it easy. These flashy graphics show you just how complicated the funding is.
    In a shiny new factory in the Benin forest, a woman named Blessing slices pineapples into rings. Hundreds of miles away, at a remote border post in the Sahara, Abubakar scans travellers’ fingerprints. And in village squares across Nigeria, Usman performs his theatre show about the dangers of travelling to Europe.

    What do all these people have in common?

    All their lives are touched by the billions of euros European governments spend in an effort to curb migration from Africa.

    Since the summer of 2015,
    Read more about the influx of refugees to Europe in 2015 on the UNHCR website.
    when countless boats full of migrants began arriving on the shores of Greece and Italy, Europe has increased migration spending by billions.
    Read my guide to EU migration policy here.
    And much of this money is being spent in Africa.

    Within Europe, the political left and right have very different ways of framing the potential benefits of that funding. Those on the left say migration spending not only provides Africans with better opportunities in their home countries but also reduces migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. Those on the right say migration spending discourages Africans from making the perilous journey to Europe.

    However they spin it, the end result is the same: both left and right have embraced funding designed to reduce migration from Africa. In fact, the European Union (EU) plans to double migration spending under the new 2021-2027 budget, while quadrupling spending on border control.

    The three of us – journalists from Nigeria, Italy and the Netherlands – began asking ourselves: just how much money are we talking here?

    At first glance, it seems like a perfectly straightforward question. Just add up the migration budgets of the EU and the individual member states and you’ve got your answer, right? But after months of research, it turns out that things are nowhere near that simple.

    In fact, we discovered that European migration spending resembles nothing so much as a gigantic plate of spaghetti.

    If you try to tease out a single strand, at least three more will cling to it. Try to find where one strand begins, and you’ll find yourself tangled up in dozens of others.

    This is deeply concerning. Though Europe maintains a pretence of transparency, in practice it’s virtually impossible to hold the EU and its member states accountable for their migration expenditures, let alone assess how effective they are. If a team of journalists who have devoted months to the issue can’t manage it, then how could EU parliament members juggling multiple portfolios ever hope to?

    This lack of oversight is particularly problematic in the case of migration, an issue that ranks high on European political agendas. The subject of migration fuels a great deal of political grandstanding, populist opportunism, and social unrest. And the debate surrounding the issue is rife with misinformation.

    For an issue of this magnitude, it’s crucial to have a clear view of existing policies and to examine whether these policies make sense. But to be able to do that, we need to understand the funding streams: how much money is being spent and what is it being spent on?

    While working on this article, we spoke to researchers and officials who characterised EU migration spending as “opaque”, “unclear” and “chaotic”. We combed through countless websites, official documents, annual reports and budgets, and we submitted freedom of information requests
    in a number of European countries, in Nigeria, and to the European commission. And we discovered that the subject of migration, while not exactly cloak-and-dagger stuff, is apparently sensitive enough that most people preferred to speak off the record.

    Above all, we were troubled by the fact that no one seems to have a clear overview of European migration budgets – and by how painfully characteristic this is of European migration policy as a whole.
    Nigeria – ‘a tough cookie’

    It wasn’t long before we realised that mapping out all European cash flows to all African countries would take us years. Instead, we decided to focus on Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and the continent’s strongest economy, as well as the country of origin of the largest group of African asylum seekers in the EU. “A tough cookie” in the words of one senior EU official, but also “our most important migration partner in the coming years”.

    But Nigeria wasn’t exactly eager to embrace the role of “most important migration partner”. After all, migration has been a lifeline for Nigeria’s economy: last year, Nigerian migrants living abroad sent home $25bn – roughly 6% of the country’s GNP.

    It took a major European charm offensive to get Nigeria on board – a “long saga” with “more than one tense meeting”, according to a high-ranking EU diplomat we spoke to.

    The European parliament invited Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian president, to Strasbourg in 2016. Over the next several years, one European dignitary after another visited Nigeria: from Angela Merkel,
    the German chancellor, to Matteo Renzi,
    the Italian prime minister, to Emmanuel Macron,
    the French president, to Mark Rutte,

    the Dutch prime minister.

    Three guesses as to what they all wanted to talk about.
    ‘No data available’

    But let’s get back to those funding streams.

    The EU would have you believe that everything fits neatly into a flowchart. When asked to respond to this article, the European commission told us: “We take transparency very seriously.” One spokesperson after another, all from various EU agencies, informed us that the information was “freely available online”.

    But as Wilma Haan, director of the Open State Foundation, notes: “Just throwing a bunch of stuff online doesn’t make you transparent. People have to be able to find the information and verify it.”

    Yet that’s exactly what the EU did. The EU foundations and agencies we contacted referred us to dozens of different websites. In some cases, the information was relatively easy to find,
    but in others the data was fragmented or missing entirely. All too often, our searches turned up results such as “data soon available”
    or “no data available”.

    The website of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) – worth around €3.1bn – is typical of the problems we faced. While we were able to find a list of projects funded by AMIF online,

    the list only contains the names of the projects – not the countries in which they’re carried out. As a result, there’s only one way to find out what’s going on where: by Googling each of the project names individually.

    This lack of a clear overview has major consequences for the democratic process, says Tineke Strik, member of the European parliament (Green party). Under the guise of “flexibility”, the European parliament has “no oversight over the funds whatsoever”. Strik says: “In the best-case scenario, we’ll discover them listed on the European commission’s website.”

    At the EU’s Nigerian headquarters, one official explained that she does try to keep track of European countries’ migration-related projects to identify “gaps and overlaps”. When asked why this information wasn’t published online, she responded: “It’s something I do alongside my daily work.”
    Getting a feel for Europe’s migration spaghetti

    “There’s no way you’re going to get anywhere with this.”

    This was the response from a Correspondent member who researches government funding when we announced this project several months ago. Not exactly the most encouraging words to start our journey. Still, over the past few months, we’ve done our best to make as much progress as we could.

    Let’s start in the Netherlands, Maite’s home country. When we tried to find out how much Dutch tax money is spent in Nigeria on migration-related issues, we soon found ourselves down yet another rabbit hole.

    The Dutch ministry of foreign affairs, which controls all funding for Dutch foreign policy, seemed like a good starting point. The ministry divides its budget into centralised and decentralised funds. The centralised funds are managed in the Netherlands administrative capital, The Hague, while the decentralised funds are distributed by Dutch embassies abroad.

    Exactly how much money goes to the Dutch embassy in the Nigerian capital Abuja is unclear – no information is available online. When we contacted the embassy, they weren’t able to provide us with any figures, either. According to their press officer, these budgets are “fragmented”, and the total can only be determined at the end of the year.

    The ministry of foreign affairs distributes centralised funds through its departments. But migration is a topic that spans a number of different departments: the department for stabilisation and humanitarian aid (DSH), the security policy department (DVB), the sub-Saharan Africa department (DAF), and the migration policy bureau (BMB), to name just a few. There’s no way of knowing whether each department spends money on migration, let alone how much of it goes to Nigeria.

    Not to mention the fact that other ministries, such as the ministry of economic affairs and the ministry of justice and security, also deal with migration-related issues.

    Next, we decided to check out the Dutch development aid budget
    in the hope it would clear things up a bit. Unfortunately, the budget isn’t organised by country, but by theme. And since migration isn’t one of the main themes, it’s scattered over several different sections. Luckily, the document does contain an annex (https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/begrotingen/2019/09/17/hgis---nota-homogene-groep-internationale-samenwerking-rijksbegroting-) that goes into more detail about migration.

    In this annex, we found that the Netherlands spends a substantial chunk of money on “migration cooperation”, “reception in the region” and humanitarian aid for refugees.

    And then there’s the ministry of foreign affairs’ Stability Fund,
    the ministry of justice and security’s budget for the processing and repatriation of asylum seekers, and the ministry of education, culture and science’s budget for providing asylum seekers with an education.

    But again, it’s impossible to determine just how much of this funding finds its way to Nigeria. This is partly due to the fact that many migration projects operate in multiple countries simultaneously (in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, for example). Regional projects such as this generally don’t share details of how funding is divided up among the participating countries.

    Using data from the Dutch embassy and an NGO that monitors Dutch projects in Nigeria, we found that €6m in aid goes specifically to Nigeria, with another €19m for the region as a whole. Dutch law enforcement also provides in-kind support to help strengthen Nigeria’s border control.

    But hold on, there’s more. We need to factor in the money that the Netherlands spends on migration through its contributions to the EU.

    The Netherlands pays hundreds of millions into the European Development Fund (EDF), which is partly used to finance migration projects. Part of that money also gets transferred to another EU migration fund: the EUTF for Africa.
    The Netherlands also contributes directly to this fund.

    But that’s not all. The Netherlands also gives (either directly or through the EU) to a variety of other EU funds and agencies that finance migration projects in Nigeria. And just as in the Netherlands, these EU funds and agencies are scattered over many different offices. There’s no single “EU ministry of migration”.

    To give you a taste of just how convoluted things can get: the AMIF falls under the EU’s home affairs “ministry”

    (DG HOME), the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) falls under the “ministry” for international cooperation and development (DG DEVCO), and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) falls under the European External Action Service (EEAS). The EU border agency, Frontex, is its own separate entity, and there’s also a “ministry” for humanitarian aid (DG ECHO).

    Still with me?

    Because this was just the Netherlands.

    Now let’s take a look at Giacomo’s country of origin, Italy, which is also home to one of Europe’s largest Nigerian communities (surpassed only by the UK).

    Italy’s ministry of foreign affairs funds the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), which provides humanitarian aid in north-eastern Nigeria, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency. AICS also finances a wide range of projects aimed at raising awareness of the risks of illegal migration. It’s impossible to say how much of this money ends up in Nigeria, though, since the awareness campaigns target multiple countries at once.

    This data is all available online – though you’ll have to do some digging to find it. But when it comes to the funds managed by Italy’s ministry of the interior, things start to get a bit murkier. Despite the ministry having signed numerous agreements on migration with African countries in recent years, there’s little trace of the money online. Reference to a €92,000 donation for new computers for Nigeria’s law enforcement and immigration services was all we could find.

    Things get even more complicated when we look at Italy’s “Africa Fund”, which was launched in 2017 to foster cooperation with “priority countries along major migration routes”. The fund is jointly managed by the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of the interior.

    Part of the money goes to the EUTF for Africa, but the fund also contributes to United Nations (UN) organisations, such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as to the Italian ministry of defence and the ministry of economy and finance.

    Like most European governments, Italy also contributes to EU funds and agencies concerned with migration, such as Frontex, Europol, and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

    And then there are the contributions to UN agencies that deal with migration: UNHCR, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), IOM, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to name just a few.

    Now multiply all of this by the number of European countries currently active in Nigeria. Oh, and let’s not forget the World Bank,

    which has only recently waded into the waters of the migration industry.

    And then there are the European development banks. And the EU’s External Investment Plan, which was launched in 2016 with the ambitious goal of generating €44bn in private investments in developing countries, with a particular focus on migrants’ countries of origin. Not to mention the regional “migration dialogues”
    organised in west Africa under the Rabat Process and the Cotonou Agreement.

    This is the European migration spaghetti.
    How we managed to compile a list nonetheless

    By now, one thing should be clear: there are a staggering number of ministries, funds and departments involved in European migration spending. It’s no wonder that no one in Europe seems to have a clear overview of the situation. But we thought that maybe, just maybe, there was one party that might have the overview we seek: Nigeria. After all, the Nigerian government has to be involved in all the projects that take place there, right?

    We decided to ask around in Nigeria’s corridors of power. Was anyone keeping track of European migration funding? The Ministry of Finance? Or maybe the Ministry of the Interior, or the Ministry of Labour and Employment?

    Nope.

    We then tried asking Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency (NAPTIP), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).

    No luck there, either. When it comes to migration, things are just as fragmented under the Nigerian government as they are in Europe.

    In the meantime, we contacted each of the European embassies in Nigeria.
    This proved to be the most fruitful approach and yielded the most complete lists of projects. The database of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
    was particularly useful in fleshing out our overview.

    So does that mean our list is now complete? Probably not.

    More to the point: the whole undertaking is highly subjective, since there’s no official definition of what qualifies as a migration project and what doesn’t.

    For example, consider initiatives to create jobs for young people in Nigeria. Would those be development projects or trade projects? Or are they actually migration projects (the idea being that young people wouldn’t migrate if they could find work)?

    What about efforts to improve border control in northern Nigeria? Would they fall under counterterrorism? Security? Institutional development? Or is this actually a migration-related issue?

    Each country has its own way of categorising projects.

    There’s no single, unified standard within the EU.

    When choosing what to include in our own overview, we limited ourselves to projects that European countries themselves designated as being migration related.

    While it’s certainly not perfect, this overview allows us to draw at least some meaningful conclusions about three key issues: where the money is going, where it isn’t going, and what this means for Nigeria.
    1) Where is the money going?

    In Nigeria, we found

    If you’d like to work with the data yourself, feel free to download the full overview here.
    50 migration projects being funded by 11 different European countries, as well as 32 migration projects that rely on EU funding. Together, they amount to more than €770m in funding.

    Most of the money from Brussels is spent on improving Nigerian border control:
    more than €378m. For example, the European Investment Bank has launched a €250m initiative

    to provide all Nigerians with biometric identity cards.

    The funding provided by individual countries largely goes to projects aimed at creating employment opportunities

    in Nigeria: at least €92m.

    Significantly, only €300,000 is spent on creating more legal opportunities to migrate – less than 0.09% of all funding.

    We also found 47 “regional” projects that are not limited to Nigeria, but also include other countries.
    Together, they amount to more than €775m in funding.
    Regional migration spending is mainly focused on migrants who have become stranded in transit and is used to return them home and help them to reintegrate when they get there. Campaigns designed to raise awareness of the dangers of travelling to Europe also receive a relatively large proportion of funding in the region.

    2) Where isn’t the money going?

    When we look at the list of institutions – or “implementing agencies”, as they’re known in policy speak – that receive money from Europe, one thing immediately stands out: virtually none of them are Nigerian organisations.

    “The EU funds projects in Nigeria, but that money doesn’t go directly to Nigerian organisations,” says Charles Nwanelo, head of migration at the NCFRMI.

    See their website here.
    “Instead, it goes to international organisations, such as the IOM, which use the money to carry out projects here. This means we actually have no idea how much money the EU is spending in Nigeria.”

    We hear the same story again and again from Nigerian government officials: they never see a cent of European funding, as it’s controlled by EU and UN organisations. This is partially a response to corruption within Nigerian institutions – Europe feels it can keep closer tabs on its money by channelling it through international organisations. As a result, these organisations are growing rapidly in Nigeria. To get an idea of just how rapidly: the number of people working for the IOM in Nigeria has more than quadrupled over the past two years.

    Of course, this doesn’t mean that Nigerian organisations are going unfunded. Implementing agencies are free to pass funding along to Nigerian groups. For example, the IOM hires Nigerian NGOs to provide training for returning migrants and sponsors a project that provides training and new software to the Nigerian immigration service.

    Nevertheless, the system has inevitably led to the emergence of a parallel aid universe in which the Nigerian government plays only a supporting role. “The Nigerian parliament should demand to see an overview of all current and upcoming projects being carried out in their country every three months,” says Bob van Dillen, migration expert at development organisation Cordaid.

    But that would be “difficult”, according to one German official we spoke to, because “this isn’t a priority for the Nigerian government. This is at the top of Europe’s agenda, not Nigeria’s.”

    Most Nigerian migrants to Europe come from Edo state, where the governor has been doing his absolute best to compile an overview of all migration projects. He set up a task force that aims to coordinate migration activities in his state. The task force has been largely unsuccessful because the EU doesn’t provide it with any direct funding and doesn’t require member states to cooperate with it.

    3) What are the real-world consequences for Nigeria?

    We’ve established that the Nigerian government isn’t involved in allocating migration spending and that local officials are struggling to keep tabs on things. So who is coordinating all those billions in funding?

    Each month, the European donors and implementing agencies mentioned above meet at the EU delegation to discuss their migration projects. However, diplomats from multiple European countries have told us that no real coordination takes place at these meetings. No one checks to see whether projects conflict or overlap. Instead, the meetings are “more on the basis of letting each other know”, as one diplomat put it.

    One German official noted: “What we should do is look together at what works, what doesn’t, and which lessons we can learn from each other. Not to mention how to prevent people from shopping around from project to project.”

    Other diplomats consider this too utopian and feel that there are far too many players to make that level of coordination feasible. In practice, then, it seems that chaotic funding streams inevitably lead to one thing: more chaos.
    And we’ve only looked at one country ...

    That giant plate of spaghetti we just sifted through only represents a single serving – other countries have their own versions of Nigeria’s migration spaghetti. Alongside Nigeria, the EU has also designated Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia and Niger as “priority countries”. The EU’s largest migration fund, the EUTF, finances projects in 26 different African countries. And the sums of money involved are only going to increase.

    When we first started this project, our aim was to chart a path through the new European zeal for funding. We wanted to track the flow of migration money to find answers to some crucial questions: will this funding help Nigerians make better lives for themselves in their own country? Will it help reduce the trafficking of women? Will it provide more safe, legal ways for Nigerians to travel to Europe?

    Or will it primarily go towards maintaining the international aid industry? Does it encourage corruption? Does it make migrants even more vulnerable to exploitation along the way?

    But we’re still far from answering these questions. Recently, a new study by the UNDP

    called into question “the notion that migration can be prevented or significantly reduced through programmatic and policy responses”.

    Nevertheless, European programming and policy responses will only increase in scope in the coming years.

    But the more Europe spends on migration, the more tangled the spaghetti becomes and the harder it gets to check whether funds are being spent wisely. With the erosion of transparency comes the erosion of democratic oversight.

    So to anyone who can figure out how to untangle the spaghetti, we say: be our guest.

    https://thecorrespondent.com/154/europe-spends-billions-stopping-migration-good-luck-figuring-out-where-the-money-actually-goes/171168048128-fac42704
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Nigeria #EU #EU #Union_européenne #externalisation #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Frontex #Trust_fund #Pays-Bas #argent #transparence (manque de - ) #budget #remittances #AMIF #développement #aide_au_développement #European_Development_Fund (#EDF) #EUTF_for_Africa #European_Neighbourhood_Instrument (#ENI) #Development_Cooperation_Instrument (#DCI) #Italie #Banque_mondiale #External_Investment_Plan #processus_de_rabat #accords_de_Cotonou #biométrie #carte_d'identité_biométrique #travail #développement #aide_au_développement #coopération_au_développement #emploi #réintégration #campagnes #IOM #OIM

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749
    Et ajouté à la métaliste développement/migrations :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358

    ping @isskein @isskein @pascaline @_kg_

    • Résumé en français par Jasmine Caye (@forumasile) :

      Pour freiner la migration en provenance d’Afrique les dépenses européennes explosent

      Maite Vermeulen est une journaliste hollandaise, cofondatrice du site d’information The Correspondent et spécialisée dans les questions migratoires. Avec deux autres journalistes, l’italien Giacomo Zandonini (Italie) et le nigérian Ajibola Amzat, elle a tenté de comprendre les raisons derrières la flambée des dépenses européennes sensées freiner la migration en provenance du continent africain.

      Depuis le Nigéria, Maite Vermeulen s’est intéressée aux causes de la migration nigériane vers l’Europe et sur les milliards d’euros déversés dans les programmes humanitaires et sécuritaires dans ce pays. Selon elle, la politique sécuritaire européenne n’empêchera pas les personnes motivées de tenter leur chance pour rejoindre l’Europe. Elle constate que les fonds destinés à freiner la migration sont toujours attribués aux mêmes grandes organisations gouvernementales ou non-gouvernementales. Les financements européens échappent aussi aux évaluations d’impact permettant de mesurer les effets des aides sur le terrain.

      Le travail de recherche des journalistes a duré six mois et se poursuit. Il est financé par Money Trail un projet qui soutient des journalistes africains, asiatiques et européens pour enquêter en réseau sur les flux financiers illicites et la corruption en Afrique, en Asie et en Europe.

      Les Nigérians ne viennent pas en Europe pour obtenir l’asile

      L’équipe a d’abord tenté d’élucider cette énigme : pourquoi tant de nigérians choisissent de migrer vers l’Europe alors qu’ils n’obtiennent quasiment jamais l’asile. Le Nigéria est un pays de plus de 190 millions d’habitants et l’économie la plus riche d’Afrique. Sa population représente le plus grand groupe de migrants africains qui arrivent en Europe de manière irrégulière. Sur les 180 000 migrants qui ont atteint les côtes italiennes en 2016, 21% étaient nigérians. Le Nigéria figure aussi régulièrement parmi les cinq premiers pays d’origine des demandeurs d’asile de l’Union européenne. Près de 60% des requérants nigérians proviennent de l’Etat d’Edo dont la capitale est Bénin City. Pourtant leurs chance d’obtenir un statut de protection sont minimes. En effet, seuls 9% des demandeurs d’asile nigérians reçoivent l’asile dans l’UE. Les 91% restants sont renvoyés chez eux ou disparaissent dans la nature.

      Dans l’article Want to make sense of migration ? Ask the people who stayed behind, Maite Vermeulen explique que Bénin City a été construite grâce aux nigérians travaillant illégalement en Italie. Et les femmes sont peut-être bien à l’origine d’un immense trafic de prostituées. Elle nous explique ceci :

      “Pour comprendre le présent, il faut revenir aux années 80. À cette époque, des entreprises italiennes étaient établies dans l’État d’Edo. Certains hommes d’affaires italiens ont épousé des femmes de Benin City, qui sont retournées en Italie avec leur conjoint. Ils ont commencé à exercer des activités commerciales, à commercialiser des textiles, de la dentelle et du cuir, de l’or et des bijoux. Ces femmes ont été les premières à faire venir d’autres femmes de leur famille en Italie – souvent légalement, car l’agriculture italienne avait cruellement besoin de travailleurs pour cueillir des tomates et des raisins. Mais lorsque, à la fin des années 80, la chute des prix du pétrole a plongé l’économie nigériane à l’arrêt, beaucoup de ces femmes d’affaires ont fait faillite. Les femmes travaillant dans l’agriculture ont également connu une période difficile : leur emploi est allé à des ouvriers d’Europe de l’Est. Ainsi, de nombreuses femmes Edo en Italie n’avaient qu’une seule alternative : la prostitution. Ce dernier recours s’est avéré être lucratif. En peu de temps, les femmes ont gagné plus que jamais auparavant. Elles sont donc retournées à Benin City dans les années 1990 avec beaucoup de devises européennes – avec plus d’argent, en fait, que beaucoup de gens de leur ville n’en avaient jamais vu. Elles ont construit des appartements pour gagner des revenus locatifs. Ces femmes étaient appelées « talos », ou mammas italiennes. Tout le monde les admirait. Les jeunes femmes les considéraient comme des modèles et voulaient également aller en Europe. Certains chercheurs appellent ce phénomène la « théorie de la causalité cumulative » : chaque migrant qui réussit entraîne plus de personnes de sa communauté à vouloir migrer. A cette époque, presque personne à Benin City ne savait d’où venait exactement l’argent. Les talos ont commencé à prêter de l’argent aux filles de leur famille afin qu’elles puissent également se rendre en Italie. Ce n’est que lorsque ces femmes sont arrivées qu’on leur a dit comment elles devaient rembourser le prêt. Certaines ont accepté, d’autres ont été forcées. Toutes gagnaient de l’argent. Dans les premières années, le secret des mammas italiennes était gardé au sein de la famille. Mais de plus en plus de femmes ont payé leurs dettes – à cette époque, cela prenait environ un an ou deux – et elles ont ensuite décidé d’aller chercher de l’argent elles-mêmes. En tant que « Mamas », elles ont commencé à recruter d’autres femmes dans leur ville natale. Puis, lentement, l’argent a commencé à manquer à Benin City : un grand nombre de leurs femmes travaillaient dans l’industrie du sexe en Italie.”

      Aujourd’hui, l’Union européenne considère le Nigéria comme son plus important “partenaire migratoire”et depuis quelques années les euros s’y déversent à flots afin de financer des programmes des sécurisation des frontières, de création d’emploi, de lutte contre la traite d’être humains et des programmes de sensibilisation sur les dangers de la migration vers l’Europe.
      Le “cartel migratoire” ou comment peu d’organisation monopolisent les projets sur le terrain

      Dans un autre article intitulé A breakdown of Europe’s € 1.5 billion migration spending in Nigeria, les journalistes se demandent comment les fonds européens sont alloués au Nigéria. Encore une fois on parle ici des projets destinés à freiner la migration. En tout ce sont 770 millions d’euros investis dans ces “projets migration”. En plus, le Nigéria bénéficie d’autres fonds supplémentaires à travers les “projets régionaux” qui s’élèvent à 775 millions d’euros destinés principalement à coordonner et organiser les retours vers les pays d’origines. Mais contrairement aux engagements de l’Union européenne les fonds alloués aux projets en faveur de la migration légale sont très inférieurs aux promesses et représentent 0.09% des aides allouées au Nigéria.

      A qui profitent ces fonds ? Au “cartel migratoire” constitué du Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR), de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM), de l’UNICEF, de l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIL), de l’Organisation internationale des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime (UNODC). Ces organisations récoltent près de 60% des fonds alloués par l’Union européenne aux “projets migration” au Nigéria et dans la région. Les ONG et les consultants privés récupèrent 13% du total des fonds alloués, soit 89 millions d’euros, le double de ce qu’elles reçoivent en Europe.
      Les montants explosent, la transparence diminue

      Où va vraiment l’argent et comment mesurer les effets réels sur les populations ciblées. Quels sont les impacts de ces projets ? Depuis 2015, l’Europe a augmenté ses dépenses allouées à la migration qui s’élèvent désormais à plusieurs milliards.

      La plus grande partie de ces fonds est attribuée à l’Afrique. Dans l’article Europe spends billions stopping migration. Good luck figuring out where the money actually goes, Maite Vermeulen, Ajibola Amzat et Giacomo Zandonini expliquent que l’UE prévoit de doubler ces dépenses dans le budget 2021-2027 et quadrupler les dépenses sur le contrôle des frontières.

      Des mois de recherche n’ont pas permis de comprendre comment étaient alloués les fonds pour la migration. Les sites internet sont flous et de nombreux bureaucrates européens se disent incapables concilier les dépenses car la transparence fait défaut. Difficile de comprendre l’allocation précise des fonds de l’Union européenne et celle des fonds des Etats européens. Le tout ressemble, selon les chercheurs, à un immense plat de spaghettis. Ils se posent une question importante : si eux n’y arrivent pas après des mois de recherche comment les députés européens pourraient s’y retrouver ? D’autres chercheurs et fonctionnaires européens qualifient les dépenses de migration de l’UE d’opaques. La consultation de nombreux sites internet, documents officiels, rapports annuels et budgets, et les nombreuses demandes d’accès à l’information auprès de plusieurs pays européens actifs au Nigéria ainsi que les demandes d’explications adressées à la Commission européenne n’ont pas permis d’arriver à une vision globale et précise des budgets attribués à la politique migratoire européenne. Selon Tineke Strik, député vert au parlement européen, ce manque de clarté a des conséquences importantes sur le processus démocratique, car sans vision globale précise, il n’y a pas vraiment de surveillance possible sur les dépenses réelles ni sur l’impact réel des programmes sur le terrain.

      https://thecorrespondent.com/154/europe-spends-billions-stopping-migration-good-luck-figuring-out-where-the-money-actually-goes/102663569008-2e2c2159

  • Why return from Europe is causing problems for The Gambia

    Roughly 38,500 Gambians left the country through ‘irregular’ means between 2013 and 2017. Today, almost every family has ties abroad. The influx of immigrants to Europe and elsewhere was caused by political oppression under the long-serving former president Yahya Jammeh. His oppressive politics also severely affected the economic prospects of The Gambia’s young population.

    As a result, a large number of citizens, mostly young men, sought asylum in Europe. But very few have been allowed to stay. Even more were turned away when Jammeh was toppled after elections in 2017 and the country returned to democracy. More recently, there has been a big push from European Union (EU) member states to return failed asylum seekers back home to The Gambia.

    The question of returns is particularly volatile in the west African nation of 2 million people, reflected in the country’s and European press.

    A slight increase in Gambian deportations began in November 2018 after the EU and the government agreed on a ‘good practice’ agreement for efficient return procedures.

    This intensified cooperation became possible due to the governmental change in 2017, with President Adama Barrow becoming President after the elections, as we found in our research on the political economy of migration governance in The Gambia.

    Despite initial cooperation with the EU on returns, in March 2019 Barrow’s government imposed a moratorium on any further deportations of its nationals from the EU. After a standoff of several months, the moratorium has now been lifted. Though only temporary, the moratorium was an important tool for the government to manage problems with its domestic legitimacy.
    Relationship challenges

    Jammeh’s ousting ended years of severe repression and corruption that had discouraged donor countries from cooperating with The Gambia. When he left, the country quickly established positive relations with the EU which has become its most important development partner. It provides €55 million in budgetary support and runs three projects to address the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration. But the moratorium was a stress test for this new relationship.

    Before the moratorium was imposed in March 2019, the government had started to tentatively cooperate with the EU on return matters. For example, it sent regular missions to Europe to issue nationals with identification documents to facilitate their return.

    Relations began to sour when European governments increased returns in a way that authorities in The Gambia viewed as inconsistent with the ‘good practice’ agreement. The agreement stipulates that return numbers should not overstretch the country’s capacity to receive returnees. It also states that adequate notice must be given before asylum seekers are returned. Both of these provisions were allegedly breached.
    Problems at home

    The incoming returns quickly led to heated debates among the population and on social media. The rumblings peaked in February 2019 with one particular return flight from Germany. Authorities in Banjul claimed they had not been well informed about it and initially refused entry. Public demonstrations followed in March. The moratorium, which European partners had already been notified about, was declared shortly afterwards.

    The moratorium can be linked to diplomatic and technical inefficiencies, but it is also based on a more fundamental problem for Barrow’s government. By cooperating with the EU on returns, they risk their domestic legitimacy because by and large, most Gambians in Europe do not want to return home.

    The initial euphoria that surrounded the democratic transition is wearing off. Many reform processes such as in the security sector and in the media environment are dragging. The economic situation of many has not improved. Allowing more deportations from the EU is perceived as betrayal by many migrants and their families.

    The government is frequently suspected to play an active role in returns and is accused of witholding information about their dealings with the EU and member states like Germany. Incidentally, President Barrow is currently seeking to extend his rule beyond the three-year transition period originally agreed upon, ending in January 2020. Opposition to these plans is widespread.

    In these politically tense times, pressing a pause button on returns fulfilled a symbolic function by defending Gambians against foreign national interests. The recent lifting of the moratorium is politically very risky. It paves the way for more of the deeply unpopular chartered return operations.

    What next?

    On the whole, The Gambia has little room to manoeuvre. It is highly dependent on the EU’s goodwill and financial support for its reforms process. In line with the development focus of the EU, the position of the government is to prepare the ground for more “humane” repatriations, which will need more time and joint efforts.

    This would include better and more comprehensive reintegration opportunities for returned migrants. Reintegration is already the focus of various projects funded by the European Union Trust Fund. Programmes like the International Organisation for Migration’s ‘Post-Arrival Reintegration Assistance’ for returnees from Europe are up and running. However, they only serve a limited number of returnees and cannot meet all their needs.

    It is important to note that the role of the Gambian state in providing reintegration support has been marginal.

    With the lifting of the moratorium EU-Gambia cooperation stands at a crossroads. If EU member states maintain their hardline returnee approach The Gambia’s new government will continue to struggle with its legitimacy challenges. This could potentially jeopardise democratisation efforts.

    In the alternative, the EU could take a more cooperative stance by working on more holistic, development-oriented solutions. A starting point would be to move away from plans to return high numbers of failed asylum seekers. Sending back large numbers of migrants has never been feasible.

    The Gambian government will be more honest about its migration dealings with the EU if the agreements are fair and practical. Most importantly, if Gambians had access to fair and practical migration pathways this would lessen cases of irregular migration, which continue to remain high.

    Without a greater share of legal migration, the issue of return will continue to be particularly contentious.

    https://theconversation.com/why-return-from-europe-is-causing-problems-for-the-gambia-124036
    #Gambie #retour #renvois #expulsions #réfugiés_gambiens #développement #coopération_au_développement #aide_au_développement #conditionnalité_de_l'aide #Allemagne #moratoire #réintégration #European_Union_Trust_Fund #Trust_Fund #Post-Arrival_Reintegration_Assistance #OIM #IOM
    ping @karine4 @_kg_

    J’ai ajouté « #deportees » dans la liste des #mots autour de la migration :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/414225
    Et plus précisément ici : https://seenthis.net/messages/414225#message812066
    #terminologie #vocabulaire
    ping @sinehebdo

    Ajouté à la métaliste développement-migrations, autour de la conditionnalité de l’aide :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

  • Return : voluntary, safe, dignified and durable ?

    Voluntary return in safety and with dignity has long been a core tenet of the international refugee regime. In the 23 articles on ‘Return’ in this issue of FMR, authors explore various obstacles to achieving sustainable return, discuss the need to guard against premature or forced return, and debate the assumptions and perceptions that influence policy and practice. This issue also includes a mini-feature on ‘Towards understanding and addressing the root causes of displacement’.


    https://www.fmreview.org/return

    #revue #retours_volontaires #dignité #retour #retour_au_pays
    #Soudan_du_Sud #réfugiés_sud-soudanais #réfugiés_Rohingya #Rohingya #Inde #Sri_Lanka #réfugiés_sri-lankais #réfugiés_syriens #Syrie #Allemagne #Erythrée #Liban #Turquie #Jordanie #Kenya #réfugiés_Somaliens #Somalie #Dadaab #Myanmar #Birmanie #Darfour #réintégration_économique #réintégration

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

  • Nigerian migrants struggle to reintegrate after Libya ordeal

    Emerging from her ordeal, Gloria considers herself “privileged”. Last year, the 26-year-old left Nigeria with four other women, dreaming of a better life in Europe.

    On a tortuous journey, three of the five friends died before reaching Libya, where the two survivors were stranded for almost a year. Now only Gloria is back home in Nigeria.

    She dreamed of being a fashion designer but now sews synthetic tracksuits in a shabby workshop in Benin City, southern Nigeria, for 15,000 naira a month ($41.50, 38 euros).

    “After transport, the money is almost finished”, she says.

    Still, she adds quickly, she “thanks God for having a job”.

    Her employment is part of a training programme, set up by southern Edo State, the departure point for most Nigerian migrants.

    Gloria is one of nearly 14,000 young Nigerians to have returned from Libya since 2017 under a United Nations voluntary repatriation programme.

    She and the other returnees quoted in this story asked not to be identified by their real names.

    She is “not asking for too much”, just a roof over her head and to be able to eat, Gloria tells AFP.

    But she blames herself for daring to dream that life could be better elsewhere and believing the smugglers’ promises that they would reach Europe within two weeks.

    – Broke and broken -

    In Libya, prospects of crossing the Mediterranean vanished, after a tightening of European Union immigration policies.

    Many spend months, even years stranded in Libya, sold as slaves by their smugglers.

    But once back home in Nigeria, life is even more difficult than before: saddled with debt, struggling to find work, broken by their treatment at the hands of the traffickers and by their failed dreams.

    Human Rights Watch highlighted the “continuing anguish” that returnees face.

    Many suffer long-term mental and physical health problems as well as social stigma on returning to Nigeria, the report released last month said.

    Government-run centres tasked with looking after them are poorly funded and “unable to meet survivors’ multiple needs for long-term comprehensive assistance”, it added.

    Edo State has set up a support programme which is rare in Nigeria.

    The state hosts some 4,800 of the nearly 14,000 returnees — most aged 17 to 35 and with no diploma or formal qualifications.

    Under the scheme, they can travel for free to Benin City, Edo’s capital, stay two nights in a hotel, receive an hour of psychological support and an about 1,000-euro allowance.

    It barely moves the needle for those starting again but is enough to stoke envy in a country where state aid is scarce and 83 million people live in extreme poverty.

    – Stigma -

    Showing potential students around, Ukinebo Dare, of the Edo Innovates vocational training programme, says many youngsters grumble that returnees get “preferential treatment”.

    In modern classrooms in Benin City, a few hundred students learn to “code”, do photography, start a small business and learn marketing in courses open to all.

    “Classes are both for the youth and returnees, (be)cause we don’t want the stigma to affect them,” Dare said.

    “It’s a priority for us to give youth, who are potential migrants, opportunities in jobs they can be interested in.”

    According to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, 55 percent of the under-35s were unemployed at the end of last year.

    Tike had a low paying job before leaving Nigeria in February 2017 but since returning from Libya says his life is “more, more, more harder than before”.

    Although he returned “physically” in December 2017 he says his “mindset was fully corrupted”.

    “I got paranoid. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t sleep, always looking out if there is any danger,” he said, at the tiny flat he shares with his girlfriend, also back from Libya, and their four-month-old daughter.

    – Crime -

    A few months after returning, and with no psychological support, Tike decided to train to be a butcher.

    But, more than a year since he registered for help with reintegration programmes, including one run by the International Organization for Migration, he has not found a job and has no money to start his own business.

    “We, the youth, we have no job. What we have is cultism (occult gangs),” Tike says.

    “People see it as a way of getting money, an excuse for getting into crime.”

    Since last year, when Nigeria was still in its longest economic recession in decades, crime has increased in the state of Edo, according to official data.

    “Returnees are seen as people who are coming to cause problems in the community,” laments Lilian Garuba, of the Special Force against Illegal Migration.

    “They see them as failure, and not for what they are: victims.”

    – Debt spiral -

    Peter, 24, was arrested a few days after his return.

    His mother had borrowed money from a neighbourhood lender to raise the 1,000 euros needed to pay his smuggler.

    “As soon as he heard I was back, he came to see her. She couldn’t pay (the debt), so I was arrested by the police,” he told AFP, still shaking.

    Financially crippled, his mother had to borrow more money from another lender to pay off her debts.

    Peter’s last trip was already his second attempt.

    “When I first came back from Libya, I thought I was going to try another country. I tried, but in Morocco it was even worse and thank God I was able to return to Nigeria,” he said, three weeks after getting back.

    “Now I have nothing, nothing,” he said, his voice breaking.

    “All I think about is ’kill yourself’, but what would I gain from it? I can’t do that to my mother.”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-7471729/Nigerian-migrants-struggle-reintegrate-Libya-ordeal.html
    #réintégration #Nigeria #asile #Libye #retour_volontaire #retour_au_pays #renvois #expulsions #migrations #réfugiés #Assisted_Return_and_Reintegration_Programmes
    ping @isskein @_kg_

    • Au Nigeria, la difficile réintégration des migrants rapatriés au lendemain du cauchemar libyen

      Après avoir été la proie des passeurs dans l’espoir d’une traversée pour l’Europe, 14 000 Nigérians sont revenus au pays, où ils sont souvent stigmatisés et rejetés.

      Gloria se considère comme une « privilégiée ». Elle est partie avec quatre autres filles vers l’Europe, mais, après avoir vécu l’enfer pendant près d’un an bloquée en Libye, elle est la seule à avoir été rapatriée au Nigeria. Trois de ses amies sont mortes pendant le voyage.

      La jeune femme de 26 ans a même trouvé un petit boulot de retour à Benin City, grâce à un programme de formation mis en place par l’Etat d’Edo, une région du sud du Nigeria d’où partent encore la majorité des candidats nigérians à l’exil.

      Gloria rêvait de devenir styliste. A la place, elle coud des survêtements synthétiques à la chaîne dans un atelier miteux pour 15 000 nairas par mois (40 euros), mais « remercie Dieu d’avoir un travail ».

      « Après avoir payé le transport pour rentrer à la maison, il ne reste presque rien, assure Gloria, dans un joli tee-shirt jaune. Mais je ne me plains pas. Je ne veux pas en demander trop. J’ai juste besoin d’un toit et de quoi manger », confie-t-elle.
      « Ne pas en demander trop »

      Comme beaucoup parmi les 14 000 jeunes Nigérians rentrés de Libye depuis 2017, Gloria « ne “veut” pas en demander trop ». Elle s’en veut encore d’avoir un jour osé rêver que la vie pouvait être meilleure ailleurs, et d’avoir cru naïvement des passeurs promettant de rejoindre l’Europe en moins de deux semaines.

      La plupart des Nigérians rapatriés via le programme de retour volontaire des Nations unies ont entre 17 et 35 ans et sont sans diplôme. Pendant des mois, et pour certains des années, ils sont restés bloqués en Libye, vendus, maltraités, extorqués par leurs passeurs, et incapables de traverser la Méditerranée avec le durcissement des politiques d’immigration de l’Union européenne.

      De retour dans leur pays d’origine, ils se retrouvent souvent confrontés à une vie encore plus difficile que lorsqu’ils sont partis : criblés de dettes, sans emploi, brisés par les tortures de leurs trafiquants et par leurs rêves échoués.

      Un rapport de Human Rights Watch publié le 27 août dénonce l’état terrible des « survivants de la traite » à leur retour. Beaucoup souffrent notamment de « troubles psychologiques graves », de « problèmes de santé et sont stigmatisés ». Les quelques centres ou associations qui existent pour s’occuper d’eux disposent de très peu d’aide financière et « sont incapables de répondre aux besoins des survivants sur le long terme ».

      L’Etat d’Edo, qui a dû accueillir à lui seul 4 800 des 14 000 rapatriés nigérians depuis 2017, a mis en place un rare programme de soutien pour ces populations extrêmement vulnérables : un transport gratuit à leur descente de l’avion de l’aéroport de Lagos jusqu’à Benin City, deux nuits d’hôtel, une heure de soutien psychologique et une allocation d’une centaine d’euros environ. C’est une goutte d’eau pour affronter une nouvelle vie, mais assez pour alimenter les jalousies dans un pays où les aides d’Etat sont quasiment inexistantes et où 83 millions de personnes vivent sous le seuil de l’extrême pauvreté (1,90 dollar par jour et par personne).
      « Retrouver la vie »

      La société les montre du doigt et les surnomme avec dédain les « retournés » ou les « déportés ». « Les gens disent que les “retournés” ont des traitements préférentiels », explique Ukinebo Dare, responsable du programme Edo Innovates de formation professionnelle ouvert à tous à Benin City. Il en fait la visite guidée : des salles de classe ultra modernes où des étudiants apprennent à « coder », à faire de la photographie, à monter une petite entreprise ou le B.A. ba du marketing.

      « Nous veillons à les mélanger avec d’autres jeunes. Nous ne voulons pas qu’ils soient stigmatisés, explique la jeune femme. C’est une priorité d’offrir des formations pour tous les jeunes, car ce sont autant de potentiels migrants. »

      Selon le Bureau national des statistiques, 55 % des moins de 35 ans n’avaient pas d’emploi au Nigeria fin 2018. Des chiffres particulièrement inquiétants dans ce pays qui a l’une des croissances démographiques les plus élevées au monde.

      Tike, lui, avait un petit boulot avant de tenter de gagner l’Europe en février 2017. « Quand je pense au passé, j’ai envie de pleurer », lâche-t-il dans son minuscule appartement où il vit avec sa petite amie, elle aussi de retour de Libye, et leur fille de 4 mois. Tike est rentré « physiquement » en décembre 2017. Son esprit, lui, était encore « là-haut », paralysé dans la « paranoïa » et les « traumas », confie-t-il.

      Mais quelques mois plus tard, sans aucun soutien psychologique, il a « retrouvé la vie », comme il dit, et a décidé de suivre une formation en boucherie. Cela fait plus d’un an qu’il a monté des dossiers auprès de diverses organisations d’aide à la réintégration, dont l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), mais il n’a pas trouvé d’emploi et n’a aucun argent pour démarrer sa propre société. « Beaucoup de jeunes se tournent vers les “cultes”, les gangs locaux, reconnaît Tike. Ils sont facilement recrutés par les mafias qui leur promettent un peu d’argent. »
      Spirale de pauvreté

      Depuis l’année 2018, une période très difficile économiquement pour le pays, la criminalité a augmenté dans l’Etat d’Edo, selon les données officielles. « Les “retournés” sont tenus pour responsables, regrette Lilian Garuba, de la Force spéciale contre la migration illégale, une antenne contre le trafic des êtres humains mise en place par l’Etat d’Edo. La société les perçoit comme des problèmes et non pour ce qu’ils sont : des victimes. »

      Peter, 24 ans, a été arrêté quelques jours après son retour. Sa mère avait emprunté de l’argent à un créancier du quartier pour réunir le millier d’euros nécessaire afin de payer les passeurs. « Dès qu’il a entendu dire que j’étais revenu, il a menacé ma famille. La police est venue m’arrêter », raconte-t-il à l’AFP, encore tremblant.

      Sa mère a dû réemprunter de l’argent à un autre créancier pour éponger ses dettes. Une spirale de pauvreté dont Peter ne sait comment s’extraire, sauf peut-être en rêvant, encore et toujours de l’Europe. Il en est déjà à deux tentatives infructueuses.
      « Quand je suis rentré la première fois de Libye, je me suis dit que j’allais essayer en passant par un autre pays. Mais au Maroc, c’était encore pire et, grâce à Dieu j’ai pu rentrer au Nigeria. » C’était il y a quelques semaines. « Depuis je n’ai plus rien, rien, lâche-t-il la gorge nouée. Une voix à l’intérieur de moi me dit “Tue-toi, finis-en !” Mais bon… Ça servirait à quoi ? Je ne peux pas faire ça à ma mère. »

      https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/09/20/au-nigeria-la-reintegration-difficile-des-migrants-rapatries-au-lendemain-du

      #pauvreté #OIM #IOM

  • REISO | Le renvoi des ex-mineur·e·s non accompagné·e·s
    https://asile.ch/2018/11/12/reiso-le-renvoi-des-ex-mineur%c2%b7e%c2%b7s-non-accompagne%c2%b7e%c2%b7s

    Quel est l’accompagnement professionnel apporté en Suisse aux ex-mineur·e·s non accompagné·e·s en procédure de renvoi ? Une recherche a analysé les pratiques sociales et psychologiques visant la réintégration au pays d’origine. Un article de Margaux Sidler, publié dans la revue REISO.

  • #métaliste (qui va être un grand chantier, car il y a plein d’information sur seenthis, qu’il faudrait réorganiser) sur :
    #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    Des liens vers des articles généraux sur l’externalisation des frontières de la part de l’ #UE (#EU) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/569305
    https://seenthis.net/messages/390549
    https://seenthis.net/messages/320101

    Ici une tentative (très mal réussie, car évidement, la divergence entre pratiques et les discours à un moment donné, ça se voit !) de l’UE de faire une brochure pour déconstruire les mythes autour de la migration...
    La question de l’externalisation y est abordée dans différentes parties de la brochure :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765967

    Petit chapitre/encadré sur l’externalisation des frontières dans l’ouvrage « (Dé)passer la frontière » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/769367

    Les origines de l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers (maritimes) : accord #USA-#Haïti de #1981 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768694

    L’externalisation des politiques européennes en matière de migration
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787450

    "#Sous-traitance" de la #politique_migratoire en Afrique : l’Europe a-t-elle les mains propres ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/789048

    Partners in crime ? The impacts of Europe’s outsourced migration controls on peace, stability and rights :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794636
    #paix #stabilité #droits #Libye #Niger #Turquie

  • Reçu via email de la part Zinahad Patrice Boucar via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 22.05.2018 :

    Juste vous informer de la suite de ce qu’est devenu les bureaux de l’#aracem ce jour. Il a été saccagé par les migrants revenus et que l’#OIM à refusé prendre en charge sous prétexte que c’est nous qui avons les moyens de les aider. Nous avons l’extrait de vidéo de la coordinatrice les tenant ce discours.

    Photos jointes au message :

    #association #renvois #expulsions #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Mali #réintégration

    @sinehebdo : nouveau mot ?
    #migrants_revenus

    • Association qui fait aussi un travail de réintégration des réfugiés renvoyés depuis l’Europe :
      #Association_malienne_des_expulsés
      Notre association a été créée le 6 octobre 1996 suite à des expulsions massives de Maliens immigrés dans le monde entier (France, Angola, Arabie Saoudite, Libéria, Zambie, etc.). A cette époque, nos compatriotes, démunis et humiliés par leur mésaventure, se réunissaient au Haut Conseil des Maliens de l’Extérieur (HCME). Ousmane Diarra, expulsé d’Angola, prit l’initiative de les réunir pour tenter de leur venir en aide en créant l’Association des Maliens Expulsés (AME). Un collectif de soutien mobilisant plusieurs organisations et individus se mit en place pour mener des actions communes.

      Une des premières actions significatives de l’AME fut d’organiser, en 1997 , une marche de soutien dans Bamako pour faire libérer 77 Maliens expulsés de France par le « 36e charter Debré » et emprisonnés par le gouvernement malien de l’époque. Deux semaines après cette marche, les expulsés emprisonnés étaient remis en liberté.

      Grâce à un financement d’Emmaus France, un local a été loué pour accueillir les expulsés et leur permettre d’avoir un suivi médical et des soins. Certains expulsés avaient des séquelles consécutives à une grève de la faim, d’autres avaient subi des brutalités policières lors des expulsions. Nous déplorons le décès de deux personnes par manque de moyens financiers.


      http://www.expulsesmaliens.info
      #association #AME

  • Bosnie-Herzégovine : l’heure du retour va-t-elle sonner pour les déboutés de l’espace #Schengen ?

    Des milliers d’émigrés bosniens déboutés de l’asile dans les pays occidentaux risquent d’être renvoyés chez eux. Or, beaucoup n’ont justement plus « de chez eux » en Bosnie-Herzégovine et rien n’est prévu pour leur retour. Les autorités ont-t-elles la capacité de les réintégrer ?

    La libéralisation du régime des #visas en 2010 a offert aux ressortissants bosniens la possibilité de voyager dans les pays de l’#Espace_Schengen sans visa pendant 90 jours, mais sans avoir la possibilité d’y travailler. Or beaucoup ont saisi cette opportunité pour quitter définitivement leur pays. En 2015, selon le ministère bosnien de la Sécurité, 1 679 177 personnes nées en Bosnie-Herzégovine vivaient à l’étranger, dont 57% dans un pays de l’Union européenne.

    « Selon nos estimations, plus de 30 000 de nos ressortissants partis dans des pays tiers depuis 2010 y séjournent illégalement. Étant donné que les Balkans occidentaux sont à présent considérés comme un territoire d’origine sûr, ces personnes sont de plus en plus souvent rapatriées de force dans leur pays d’origine », explique Drago Vuleta, assistant du ministre pour les Personnes déplacées et les Réfugiés de la Republika Srpska.

    “Si les renvois annoncés par l’Italie et la France s’intensifient, nous aurons un afflux de rapatriés et nous serons face à un problème, d’autant qu’un accord de réadmission avec les États-Unis est en préparation.”

    Or, pour pouvoir partir en Allemagne, en Belgique, en France, en Italie, aux États-Unis à la recherche d’une vie meilleure, beaucoup ont vendu leur maison et tous leurs biens. Aujourd’hui, alors que ces émigrés bosniens sont menacés d’être renvoyés chez eux en vertu de l’Accord de réadmission, la convention qui impose à un État de recevoir ceux de ses ressortissants qui n’ont pas le droit de séjour dans des pays tiers, les autorités bosniennes redoutent que les capacités de logement ne soient pas suffisantes pour les réintégrer. Pour Drago Vuletta, c’est le statut des familles roms de Bosnie-Herzégovine vivant en Italie qui est aujourd’hui le plus alarmant. « Si l’Italie décide de faire le pas de les renvoyer, nous serons obligés de trouver une solution pour accepter tous ces gens. »

    En Bosnie-Herzégovine, 30 institutions et trois ONG sont chargées de la réintégration des rapatriés. « Au rythme actuel, la Bosnie-Herzégovine peut répondre aux demandes des personnes réadmises. Mais si les renvois annoncés par l’Italie et la France s’intensifient, nous aurons un afflux de rapatriés et la Bosnie-Herzégovine fera face à un problème, d’autant qu’un accord de réadmission avec les États-Unis est en préparation », explique Drago Vuletta.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Bosnie-Herzegovine-le-rapatriement-des-milliers-de-Bosniens-de-l-
    #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #déboutés #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #migrants_bosniens #réfugiés_bosniens #home #réintégration

  • L’immigration au cœur de l’accord #post-Cotonou

    L’accord actuel prévoit que les pays africains réintègrent les immigrants illégaux. Pourtant, un seul accord de retour est opérationnel, celui entre l’UE et le Cap-Vert. Nombre de groupements de la société civile s’inquiètent de l’accent récemment mis par l’UE sur l’immigration.
    « Au départ, le #développement était le pilier principal de l’accord de Cotonou. Aujourd’hui, ce n’est plus qu’un des piliers. Pour l’UE, la priorité est la migration et la sécurité, puis la croissance économique, et après seulement le développement », regrette un représentant de la société civile à Euractiv.

    https://www.euractiv.fr/section/aide-au-developpement/news/migration-control-must-be-at-heart-of-next-eu-africa-pact-says-eu
    #accord_de_Cotonou #réintégration #renvois #expulsions #aide_du_développement #externalisation

    • L’impasse sur la migration assombrit les relations entre l’UE et l’Afrique

      Le contrôle des migrations en provenance d’Afrique obsède les dirigeants européens. Le sujet pourrait aussi faire dérailler le principal accord politique de l’UE avec le continent africain.

      Les dirigeants européens et africains sont très divisés sur la manière d’aborder la politique migratoire au travers des discussions qui démarrent pour renouveler l’accord de Cotonou.

      Malgré les protestations des dirigeants de l’UE, lors d’une réunion avec son homologue de l’Union africaine Moussa Faki Mahamat en mai, le chef de la Commission européenne Jean-Claude Juncker a souligné que « la coopération avec l’Afrique va bien au-delà de la migration » . Il a aussi cité l’expression d’« un partenariat entre égaux » – ce à quoi personne ne croit.

      Le mantra de la Commission européenne est que les outils d’investissement récemment mis en place par le bloc – le Fonds européen d’investissement extérieur et le Fonds fiduciaire pour l’Afrique – destinés au marché africain « s’attaqueront aux causes profondes de la migration ».

      Finalisé en 2000, quand les migrations n’effrayaient pas les dirigeants européens, le contrôle des de l’immigration ne constitue qu’une partie mineure de l’accord de Cotonou. L’accord comprend des dispositions obligeant les pays africains à reprendre les migrants illégaux, mais elles n’ont jamais été utilisées.

      En pratique, le seul accord de retour des migrants que l’UE a conclu avec un pays africain est avec le Cap-Vert, une île d’un peu plus de 500 000 habitants.

      « La migration joue un rôle relativement mineur dans l’accord de Cotonou actuel », assure Carlos Lopes, Haut Représentant de l’Union africaine pour les négociations post-Cotonou.

      Mais de nombreux pays européens ne veulent plus que l’immigration reste un point marginal du pacte. « Pour l’UE, la priorité est la migration, la sécurité, la croissance économique, puis le développement », a déclaré un dirigeant d’une ONG basée à Bruxelles qui participe aux pourparlers.

      L’UE a déjà fait part de son intention de donner la priorité au contrôle des migrations dans le prochain accord, en conditionnant l’aide et les investissements financiers futurs aux pays africains qui redoublent d’efforts pour contrôler leurs frontières.

      « Le nouveau partenariat de l’UE avec l’Afrique doit davantage se centrer sur la migration [politique] », a déclaré Koen Vervaeke, directeur général pour l’Afrique au Service européen pour l’action extérieure (SEAE), lors d’une réunion au groupe de réflexion de Chatham House en mars.

      La préoccupation des pays de l’UE en matière de contrôle des migrations est telle que le mandat de négociation du bloc sur le nouvel accord de Cotonou n’a été approuvé qu’à la fin juin, après avoir été bloqué pendant plusieurs mois par un petit groupe d’États membres dirigé par la Hongrie et la Pologne.

      Les deux pays de Visegrad, qui bloquent depuis deux ans tout quota européen de réinstallation des migrants d’Afrique du Nord, veulent que le chapitre de Cotonou couvrant la réadmission des migrants potentiels des pays ACP qui ne sont pas autorisés à rester en Europe soit considérablement renforcé.

      En échange d’une meilleure politique de retour des migrants illégaux, les responsables de l’UE font la promesse d’assouplir les mécanismes légaux permettant aux migrants africains de se déplacer légalement en Europe.

      Lors du sommet européen de juin, le communiqué approuvé par les dirigeants soulignait la nécessité d’« explorer le concept de centres régionaux de débarquement ».

      Cependant, l’idée d’accueillir des « plates-formes » de migration a jusqu’à présent été rejetée catégoriquement par les pays africains. À commencer par le Maroc, qui a rejeté le concept lors d’un sommet de l’Union africaine le 2 juillet, quelques jours seulement après que les dirigeants de l’UE se sont mis d’accord pour poursuivre l’idée.

      Les plate-formes, une solution de facilité

      « C’est une solution facile et contre-productive », a déclaré le ministre marocain des Affaires étrangères, Nasser Bourita. Au lieu de cela, les dirigeants africains ont convenu de créer un Observatoire africain des migrations et du développement (OAMD), qui sera basé à Rabat, et se concentrera sur « l’harmonisation des stratégies nationales des États africains et l’amélioration de l’interaction avec les partenaires ».

      Cependant, si les dirigeants africains ont jusqu’à présent refusé d’accueillir les nouveaux centres, Moussa Faki a déclaré que le continent portait sa propre responsabilité dans la crise migratoire, condamnant ce qu’il décrit comme des « actions intolérables » commises contre les migrants africains sur leur propre continent. Ces paroles n’ont pas encore été suivies d’actions concrètes de la part des gouvernements.

      Après plus de trois ans de sommets UE-Afrique sans débouchés concrets sur un accord sur les migrations, il y a peu de signes d’une sortie de l’impasse au cours des 18 prochains mois de négociations. Mais cela ne risque pas de faire dérailler complètement les relations UE-ACP.

      Un « no deal » sur la migration pourrait empêcher la conclusion d’un nouvel accord de Cotonou, mais ce dernier ne serait pas enterré. « Cotonou a le potentiel d’être étendu », a déclaré Carlos Lopes.

      « Je dirais qu’il n’y a aucun risque qu’il n’y ait pas d’accord. Ce n’est pas comme le Brexit. Si nous n’avons pas d’accord d’ici 2020, nous étendrons ce que nous avons déjà. »

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/impasse-on-migration-clouds-eu-africa-relations

    • Dossier :
      Accord de Cotonou : nouveau départ ou marche arrière ?

      Conclu en 2000 au Bénin, l’accord de Cotonou a façonné les relations entre l’UE et les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) durant 20 ans. L’accord expire en 2020 et les négociations autour de son successeur débuteront la semaine prochaine.

      Alors que le premier accord de Cotonou était largement perçu comme un instrument commercial et de développement, les priorités de Cotonou 2 pour les deux parties ont évolué. Les pays européens voient de plus en plus leurs relations avec l’Afrique à travers le prisme du contrôle de l’immigration.

      Quant aux pays africains, ils sont en train de mettre en place leur propre zone de libre-échange au niveau du continent et parleront d’une seule et même voix lors de ces négociations. Les pays des Caraïbes et du Pacifique réclament quant à eux plus d’investissement et de commerce avec l’Europe.

      Toutes ces requêtes sont-elles compatibles ?

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/all/special_report/eu-acp-relations-after-cotonou-agreement-re-set-re-launch-or-retreat

    • v. aussi :

      Some EU states will offer in-kind support, used to set up a business, training or other similar activities. Others tailor their schemes for different countries of origin.

      Some others offer cash handouts, but even those differ vastly.

      Sweden, according to a 2015 European Commission report, is the most generous when it comes to cash offered to people under its voluntary return programme.

      It noted that in 2014, the maximum amount of the in-cash allowance at the point of departure/after arrival varied from €40 in the Czech Republic and €50 in Portugal to €3,750 in Norway for a minor and €3,300 in Sweden for an adult.

      Anti-migrant Hungary gave more (€500) than Italy (€400), the Netherlands (€300) and Belgium (€250).

      However, such comparisons on cash assistance does not reveal the full scope of help given that some of the countries also provide in-kind reintegration support.

      https://euobserver.com/migration/140967

  • Gambian migrants’ choice: bury the straggler alive or be killed

    Water was running low as the convoy drove through the desert into Libya, so Khadim was given a terrible choice: bury a sickly fellow migrant alive, or be killed by their smugglers.

    “They told us to bury him in the sand,” said Khadim, 29. “They started waving their guns. ‘If you refuse, you’re dead.’ We started digging and digging. As we buried him he said, ‘I’m not dead yet, why are you doing this to me?’ ”

    Khadim is one of about 2,600 migrants repatriated to the Gambia from Libya on flights paid for by European countries trying to stem crossings of the Mediterranean. The vast majority of those coming home are young men, who arrive at Banjul airport with at most a few belongings in a plastic bag, sometimes after spending years in Libyan detention centres.

    They are the among the first to be sent back since footage emerged in November of migrants being sold at slave