#serco

  • Concerns raised over ’squalid’ #Serco asylum seeker housing in #Derby

    Council arranging inspection as photos show missing plaster, rubble in shower and hole in ceiling

    A council is arranging an urgent inspection of asylum seeker accommodation in Derby after concerns were raised about conditions there.

    Photos of the property seen by the Guardian show part of the kitchen ceiling missing, rubble in the base of a shower, cracked and missing tiles, rusted pipes and plaster missing from walls where wallpaper has peeled off. The garden is strewn with litter and discarded furniture.

    There are about 64,000 people in Home Office accommodation. The majority are in shared housing, and about 10,000 are in hotel accommodation.

    It has been reported that the Home Office is planning to accelerate moving people out of hotels and into housing, known as dispersed accommodation, in a scheme called Operation Oak.

    One of the asylum seekers in the house in Derby was moved from a hotel in Birmingham just over a week ago. He said: “The conditions in this house are so bad they make normal life impossible. I have not been able to take a bath for a week because water was pouring from the bathroom through the kitchen ceiling.”

    Serco, the company that has the Home Office contract for provision of accommodation in this part of the UK, was last year fined £2.6m for failings on a Home Office accommodation contract between September 2019 and January 2020. It had previously received a fine of £1m on another asylum seeker accommodation contract.

    Serco told the Guardian last year it was broadly meeting its performance standards and had improved performance on addressing emergency maintenance issues and resolving people’s complaints.

    Clare Moseley, the founder of the charity Care4Calais, which is providing support for many asylum seekers in various kinds of Home Office accommodation, said: “I am disgusted to see anyone living in conditions as squalid as these. We have recently witnessed the Home Office’s uncaring attitude towards asylum seekers in hotel accommodation. What are we going to see next in dispersal accommodation?”

    Sarah Burnett, Serco’s operations director for immigration, said: “Looking after the asylum seekers in our care and ensuring that they are kept safe is always our first priority. When complaints are raised our team of professional housing officers, maintenance and gas engineers responds and investigates and corrects the problems as and where they exist. We do this within strict timetables laid down in our contract.”

    Serco sources said one communal bathroom was working and one was being “isolated” to stop leaks going through the ceiling into the kitchen and that part of the kitchen ceiling had been removed to fix the leaks. The sources acknowledged that the working shower cubicle, which is covered in black mould, was in need of minor repairs and a thorough clean.

    “There is rubbish in the garden, which is partly due to refurbishment work and partly due to previous occupants leaving it there; Covid has prevented the timely removal of all this, but that will be put right in the coming days,” Burnett added. She said the kitchen had been fully refurbished last summer.

    A spokesperson for Derby city council said: “Based on the evidence provided in the photos, Derby city council does have concerns regarding the condition of the property. The council’s housing standards team will be inspecting this property as a matter of urgency. A discussion has taken place with Serco and we are in the process of arranging an inspection.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/25/concerns-raised-over-squalid-serco-asylum-seeker-housing-in-derby?__twi

    #logement #hébergement #UK #Angleterre #asile #réfugiés #privatisation #migrations

  • Cast away : the UK’s rushed charter flights to deport Channel crossers

    Warning: this document contains accounts of violence, attempted suicides and self harm.

    The British government has vowed to clamp down on migrants crossing the Channel in small boats, responding as ever to a tabloid media panic. One part of its strategy is a new wave of mass deportations: charter flights, specifically targeting channel-crossers, to France, Germany and Spain.

    There have been two flights so far, on the 12 and 26 August. The next one is planned for 3 September. The two recent flights stopped in both Germany (Duesseldorf) and France (Toulouse on the 12, Clermont-Ferrand on the 26). Another flight was planned to Spain on 27 August – but this was cancelled after lawyers managed to get everyone off the flight.

    Carried out in a rush by a panicked Home Office, these mass deportations have been particularly brutal, and may have involved serious legal irregularities. This report summarises what we know so far after talking to a number of the people deported and from other sources. It covers:

    The context: Calais boat crossings and the UK-France deal to stop them.

    In the UK: Yarl’s Wood repurposed as Channel-crosser processing centre; Britannia Hotels; Brook House detention centre as brutal as ever.

    The flights: detailed timeline of the 26 August charter to Dusseldorf and Clermont-Ferrand.

    Who’s on the flight: refugees including underage minors and torture survivors.

    Dumped on arrival: people arriving in Germany and France given no opportunity to claim asylum, served with immediate expulsion papers.

    The legalities: use of the Dublin III regulation to evade responsibility for refugees.

    Is it illegal?: rushed process leads to numerous irregularities.

    “that night, eight people cut themselves”

    “That night before the flight (25 August), when we were locked in our rooms and I heard that I had lost my appeal, I was desperate. I started to cut myself. I wasn’t the only one. Eight people self-harmed or tried to kill themselves rather than be taken on that plane. One guy threw a kettle of boiling water on himself. One man tried to hang himself with the cable of the TV in his room. Three of us were taken to hospital, but sent back to the detention centre after a few hours. The other five they just took to healthcare [the clinic in Brook House] and bandaged up. About 5 in the morning they came to my room, guards with riot shields. On the way to the van, they led me through a kind of corridor which was full of people – guards, managers, officials from the Home Office. They all watched while a doctor examined me, then the doctor said – ‘yes, he’s fit to fly’. On the plane later I saw one guy hurt really badly, fresh blood on his head and on his clothes. He hadn’t just tried to stop the ticket, he really wanted to kill himself. He was taken to Germany.”

    Testimony of a deported person.

    The context: boats and deals

    Since the 1990s, tens of thousands of people fleeing war, repression and poverty have crossed the “short straits” between Calais and Dover. Until 2018, people without papers attempting to cross the Channel did so mainly by getting into lorries or on trains through the Channel Tunnel. Security systems around the lorry parks, tunnel and highway were escalated massively following the eviction of the big Jungle in 2016. This forced people into seeking other, ever more dangerous, routes – including crossing one of the world’s busiest waterways in small boats. Around 300 people took this route in 2018, a further 2000 in 2019 – and reportedly more than 5,000 people already by August 2020.

    These crossings have been seized on by the UK media in their latest fit of xenophobic scaremongering. The pattern is all too familiar since the Sangatte camp of 1999: right-wing media outlets (most infamously the Daily Mail, but also others) push-out stories about dangerous “illegals” swarming across the Channel; the British government responds with clampdown promises.

    Further stoked by Brexit, recent measures have included:

    Home Secretary Priti Patel announcing a new “Fairer Borders” asylum and immigration law that she promises will “send the left into meltdown”.

    A formal request from the Home Office to the Royal Navy to assist in turning back migrants crossing by boat (although this would be illegal).

    Negotiations with the French government, leading to the announcement on 13 August of a “joint operational plan” aimed at “completely cutting this route.”

    The appointment of a “Clandestine Channel Threat Commander” to oversee operations on both sides of the Channel.

    The concrete measures are still emerging, but notable developments so far include:

    Further UK payments to France to increase security – reportedly France demanded £30 million.

    French warships from the Naval base at Cherbourg patrolling off the coast of Calais and Dunkirk.

    UK Border Force Cutters and Coastal Patrol Vessels patrolling the British side, supported by flights from Royal Air Force surveillance planes.

    The new charter flight deportation programme — reportedly named “Operation Sillath” by the Home Office.

    For the moment, at least, the governments are respecting their minimal legal obligations to protect life at sea. And there has not been evidence of illegal “push backs” or “pull backs”: where the British “push” or the French “pull” boats back across the border line by force. When these boats are intercepted in French waters the travellers are taken back to France. If they make it into UK waters, Border Force pick them up and disembark them at Dover. They are then able to claim asylum in the UK.

    There is no legal difference in claiming asylum after arriving by boat, on a plane, or any other way. However, these small boat crossers have been singled out by the government to be processed in a special way seemingly designed to deny them the right to asylum in the UK.

    Once people are safely on shore the second part of Priti Patel’s strategy to make this route unviable kicks in: systematically obstruct their asylum claims and, where possible, deport them to France or other European countries. In practice, there is no way the Home Office can deport everyone who makes it across. Rather, as with the vast majority of immigration policy, the aim is to display toughness with a spectacle of enforcement – not only in an attempt to deter other arrivals, but perhaps, above all else, to play to key media audiences.

    This is where the new wave of charter flights come in. Deportations require cooperation from the destination country, and the first flight took place on 12 August in the midst of the Franco-British negotiations. Most recently, the flights have fed a new media spectacle in the UK: the Home Office attacking “activist lawyers” for doing their job and challenging major legal flaws in these rushed removals.

    The Home Office has tried to present these deportation flights as a strong immediate response to the Channel crossings. The message is: if you make it across, you’ll be back again within days. Again, this is more spectacle than reality. All the people we know of on the flights were in the UK for several months before being deported.

    In the UK: Yarl’s Wood repurposed

    Once on shore people are taken to one of two places: either the Kent Intake Unit, which is a Home Office holding facility (i.e., a small prefab cell complex) in the Eastern Docks of Dover Port; or the Dover police station. This police stations seems increasingly to be the main location, as the small “intake unit” is often at capacity. There used to be a detention centre in Dover where new arrivals were held, notorious for its run-down state, but this was closed in October 2015.

    People are typically held in the police station for no more than a day. The next destination is usually Yarl’s Wood, the Bedfordshire detention centre run by Serco. This was, until recently, a longer term detention centre holding mainly women. However, on 18 August the Home Office announced Yarl’s Wood been repurposed as a “Short Term Holding Facility” (SHTF) specifically to process people who have crossed the Channel. People stay usually just a few days – the legal maximum stay for a “short term” facility is seven days.

    Yarl’s Wood has a normal capacity of 410 prisoners. According to sources at Yarl’s Wood:

    “last week it was almost full with over 350 people detained. A few days later this number
    had fallen to 150, showing how quickly people are moving through the centre. As of Tuesday 25th of August there was no one in the centre at all! It seems likely that numbers will fluctuate in line with Channel crossings.”

    The same source adds:

    “There is a concern about access to legal aid in Yarl’s Wood. Short Term Holding Facility regulations do not require legal advice to be available on site (in Manchester, for example, there are no duty lawyers). Apparently the rota for duty lawyers is continuing at Yarl’s Wood for the time being. But the speed with which people are being processed now means that it is practically impossible to sign up and get a meeting with the duty solicitor before being moved out.”

    The Home Office conducts people’s initial asylum screening interviews whilst they are at Yarl’s Wood. Sometimes these are done in person, or sometimes by phone.

    This is a crucial point, as this first interview decides many people’s chance of claiming asylum in the UK. The Home Office uses information from this interview to deport the Channel crossers to France and Germany under the Dublin III regulation. This is EU legislation which allows governments to pass on responsibility for assessing someone’s asylum claim to another state. That is: the UK doesn’t even begin to look at people’s asylum cases.

    From what we have seen, many of these Dublin III assessments were made in a rushed and irregular way. They often used only weak circumstantial evidence. Few people had any chance to access legal advice, or even interpreters to explain the process.

    We discuss Dublin III and these issues below in the Legal Framework section.
    In the UK: Britain’s worst hotels

    From Yarl’s Wood, people we spoke to were given immigration bail and sent to asylum accommodation. In the first instance this currently means a cheap hotel. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Home Office ordered its asylum contractors (Mears, Serco) to shut their usual initial asylum accommodation and move people into hotels. It is not clear why this decision was made, as numerous accounts suggest the hotels are much worse as possible COVID incubators. The results of this policy have already proved fatal – we refer to the death of Adnan Olbeh in a Glasgow hotel in April.

    Perhaps the government is trying to prop up chains such as Britannia Hotels, judged for seven years running “Britain’s worst hotel chain” by consumer magazine Which?. Several people on the flights were kept in Britannia hotels. The company’s main owner, multi-millionaire Alex Langsam, was dubbed the “asylum king” by British media after winning previous asylum contracts with his slum housing sideline.

    Some of the deportees we spoke to stayed in hotel accommodation for several weeks before being moved into normal “asylum dispersal” accommodation – shared houses in the cheapest parts of cities far from London. Others were picked up for deportation directly from the hotels.

    In both cases, the usual procedure is a morning raid: Immigration Enforcement squads grab people from their beds around dawn. As people are in collaborating hotels or assigned houses, they are easy to find and arrest when next on the list for deportation.

    After arrest, people were taken to the main detention centres near Heathrow (Colnbrook and Harmondsworth) or Gatwick (particularly Brook House). Some stopped first at a police station or Short Term Holding Facility for some hours or days.

    All the people we spoke to eventually ended up in Brook House, one of the two Gatwick centres.
    “they came with the shields”

    “One night in Brook House, after someone cut himself, they locked everyone in. One man panicked and started shouting asking the guards please open the door. But he didn’t speak much English, he was shouting in Arabic. He said – ‘if you don’t open the door I will boil water in my kettle and throw it on my face.’ But they didn’t understand him, they thought he was threatening them, saying he would throw it at them. So they came with the shields, took him out of his room and put him into a solitary cell. When they put him in there they kicked him and beat him, they said ‘don’t threaten us again’.” Testimony of a deported person.

    Brook House

    Brook House remains notorious, after exposure by a whistleblower of routine brutality and humiliation by guards then working for G4S. The contract has since been taken over by Mitie’s prison division – branded as “Care and Custody, a Mitie company”. Presumably, many of the same guards simply transferred over.

    In any case, according to what we heard from the deported people, nothing much has changed in Brook House – viciousness and violence from guards remains the norm. The stories included here give just a few examples. See recent detainee testimonies on the Detained Voices blog for much more.
    “they only care that you don’t die in front of them”

    “I was in my room in Brook House on my own for 12 days, I couldn’t eat or drink, just kept thinking, thinking about my situation. I called for the doctors maybe ten times. They did come a couple of times, they took my blood, but they didn’t do anything else. They don’t care about your health or your mental health. They are just scared you will die there. They don’t care what happens to you just so long as you don’t die in front of their eyes. It doesn’t matter if you die somewhere else.” Testimony of a deported person.
    Preparing the flights

    The Home Office issues papers called “Removal Directions” (RDs) to those they intend to deport. These specify the destination and day of the flight. People already in detention should be given at least 72 hours notice, including two working days, which allows them to make final appeals.

    See the Right to Remain toolkit for detailed information on notice periods and appeal procedures.

    All UK deportation flights, both tickets on normal scheduled flights and chartered planes, are booked by a private contractor called Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). The main airline used by the Home Office for charter flights is a charter company called Titan Airways.

    See this 2018 Corporate Watch report for detailed information on charter flight procedures and the companies involved. And this 2020 update on deportations overall.

    On the 12 August flight, legal challenges managed to get 19 people with Removal Directions off the plane. However, the Home Office then substituted 14 different people who were on a “reserve list”. Lawyers suspect that these 14 people did not have sufficient access to legal representation before their flight which is why they were able to be removed.

    Of the 19 people whose lawyers successfully challenged their attempted deportation, 12 would be deported on the next charter flight on 26 August. 6 were flown to Dusseldorf in Germany, and 6 to Clermont-Ferrand in France.

    Another flight was scheduled for the 27 August to Spain. However, lawyers managed to get everyone taken off, and the Home Office cancelled the flight. A Whitehall source was quoted as saying “there was 100% legal attrition rate on the flight due to unprecedented and organised casework barriers sprung on the government by three law firms.” It is suspected that the Home Office will continue their efforts to deport these people on future charter flights.

    Who was deported?

    All the people on the flights were refugees who had claimed asylum in the UK immediately on arrival at Dover. While the tabloids paint deportation flights as carrying “dangerous criminals”, none of these people had any criminal charges.

    They come from countries including Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan and Kuwait. (Ten further Yemenis were due to be on the failed flight to Spain. In June, the UK government said it will resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia to use in the bombardment of the country that has cost tens of thousands of lives).

    All have well-founded fears of persecution in their countries of origin, where there have been extensive and well-documented human rights abuses. At least some of the deportees are survivors of torture – and have been documented as such in the Home Office’s own assessments.

    One was a minor under 18 who was age assessed by the Home Office as 25 – despite them being in possession of his passport proving his real age. Unaccompanied minors should not legally be processed under the Dublin III regulation, let alone held in detention and deported.

    Many, if not all, have friends and families in the UK.

    No one had their asylum case assessed – all were removed under the Dublin III procedure (see Legal Framework section below).

    Timeline of the flight on 26 August

    Night of 25 August: Eight people due to be on the flight self-harm or attempt suicide. Others have been on hunger strike for more than a week already. Three are taken to hospital where they are hastily treated before being discharged so they can still be placed on the flight. Another five are simply bandaged up in Brook House’s healthcare facility. (See testimony above.)

    26 August, 4am onwards: Guards come to take deportees from their rooms in Brook House. There are numerous testimonies of violence: three or four guards enter rooms with shields, helmets, and riot gear and beat up prisoners if they show any resistance.

    4am onwards: The injured prisoners are taken by guards to be inspected by a doctor, in a corridor in front of officials, and are certified as “fit to fly”.

    5am onwards: Prisoners are taken one by one to waiting vans. Each is placed in a separate van with four guards. Vans are labelled with the Mitie “Care and Custody” logo. Prisoners are then kept sitting in the vans until everyone is loaded, which takes one to two hours.

    6am onwards: Vans drive from Brook House (near Gatwick Airport) to Stansted Airport. They enter straight into the airport charter flight area. Deportees are taken one by one from the vans and onto Titan’s waiting plane. It is an anonymous looking white Airbus A321-211 without the company’s livery, with the registration G-POWU. They are escorted up the steps with a guard on each side.

    On the plane there are four guards to each person: one seated on each side, one in the seat in front and one behind. Deportees are secured with restraint belts around their waists, so that their arms are handcuffed to the belts on each side. Besides the 12 deportees and 48 guards there are Home Office officials, Mitie managers, and two paramedics on the plane.

    7.48AM (BST): The Titan Airways plane (using flight number ZT311) departs Stansted airport.

    9.44AM (CEST): The flight lands in Dusseldorf. Six people are taken off the plane and are handed over to the German authorities.

    10.46AM (CEST): Titan’s Airbus takes off from Dusseldorf bound for Clermont-Ferrand, France with the remaining deportees.

    11.59AM (CEST): The Titan Airways plane (now with flight number ZT312) touches down at Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne airport and the remaining six deportees are disembarked from the plane and taken into the custody of the Police Aux Frontières (PAF, French border police).

    12:46PM (CEST): The plane leaves Clermont-Ferrand to return to the UK. It first lands in Gatwick, probably so the escorts and other officials get off, before continuing on to Stansted where the pilots finish their day.

    Dumped on arrival: Germany

    What happened to most of the deportees in Germany is not known, although it appears there was no comprehensive intake procedure by the German police. One deportee told us German police on arrival in Dusseldorf gave him a train ticket and told him to go to the asylum office in Berlin. When he arrived there, he was told to go back to his country. He told them he could not and that he had no money to stay in Berlin or travel to another country. The asylum office told him he could sleep on the streets of Berlin.

    Only one man appears to have been arrested on arrival. This was the person who had attempted suicide the night before, cutting his head and neck with razors, and had been bleeding throughout the flight.
    Dumped on arrival: France

    The deportees were taken to Clermont-Ferrand, a city in the middle of France, hundreds of kilometres away from metropolitan centres. Upon arrival they were subjected to a COVID nose swab test and then held by the PAF while French authorities decided their fate.

    Two were released around an hour and a half later with appointments to claim asylum in around one week’s time – in regional Prefectures far from Clermont-Ferrand. They were not offered any accommodation, further legal information, or means to travel to their appointments.

    The next person was released about another hour and a half after them. He was not given an appointment to claim asylum, but just provided with a hotel room for four nights.

    Throughout the rest of the day the three other detainees were taken from the airport to the police station to be fingerprinted. Beginning at 6PM these three began to be freed. The last one was released seven hours after the deportation flight landed. The police had been waiting for the Prefecture to decide whether or not to transfer them to the detention centre (Centre de Rétention Administrative – CRA). We don’t know if a factor in this was that the nearest detention centre, at Lyon, was full up.

    However, these people were not simply set free. They were given expulsion papers ordering them to leave France (OQTF: Obligation de quitter le territoire français), and banning them from returning (IRTF: Interdiction de retour sur le territoire français). These papers allowed them only 48 hours to appeal. The British government has said that people deported on flights to France have the opportunity to claim asylum in France. This is clearly not true.

    In a further bureaucratic contradiction, alongside expulsion papers people were also given orders that they must report to the Clermont-Ferrand police station every day at 10:00AM for the next 45 days (potentially to be arrested and detained at any point). They were told that if they failed to report, the police would consider them on the run.

    The Prefecture also reserved a place in a hotel many kilometres away from the airport for them for four nights, but not any further information or ways to receive food. They were also not provided any way to get to this hotel, and the police would not help them – stating that their duty finished once they gave the deportees their papers.

    “After giving me the expulsion papers the French policeman said ‘Now you can go to England.’” (Testimony of deported person)

    The PAF showed a general disregard for the health and well-being of the deportees who were in the custody throughout the day. One of the deportees had been in a wheel-chair throughout the day and was unable to walk due to the deep lacerations on his feet from self-harming. He was never taken to the hospital, despite the doctor’s recommendation, neither during the custody period nor after his release. In fact, the only reason for the doctor’s visit in the first place was to assess whether he was fit to be detained should the Prefecture decide that. The police kept him in his bloody clothes all day, and when they released him he did not have shoes and could barely walk. No crutches were given, nor did the police offer to help him get to the hotel. He was put out on the street having to carry all of his possessions in a Home Office issue plastic bag.
    “the hardest night of my life”

    “It was the hardest night of my life. My heart break was so great that I seriously thought of suicide. I put the razor in my mouth to swallow it; I saw my whole life pass quickly until the first hours of dawn. The treatment in detention was very bad, humiliating and degrading. I despised myself and felt that my life was destroyed, but it was too precious to lose it easily. I took the razor out from my mouth before I was taken out of the room, where four large-bodied people, wearing armour similar to riot police and carrying protective shields, violently took me to the large hall at the ground floor of the detention centre. I was exhausted, as I had been on hunger strike for several days. In a room next to me, one of the deportees tried to resist and was beaten so severely that blood dripping from his nose. In the big hall, they searched me carefully and took me to a car like a dangerous criminal, two people on my right and left, they drove for about two hours to the airport, there was a big passenger plane on the runway. […] That moment, I saw my dreams, my hopes, shattered in front of me when I entered the plane.”

    Testimony of deported person (from Detained Voices: https://detainedvoices.com/2020/08/27/brook-house-protestor-on-his-deportation-it-was-the-hardest-night-of).

    The Legal Framework: Dublin III

    These deportations are taking place under the Dublin III regulation. This is EU law that determines which European country is responsible for assessing a refugee’s asylum claim. The decision involves a number of criteria, the primary ones being ‘family unity’ and the best interests of children. Another criterion, in the case of people crossing borders without papers, is which country they first entered ‘irregularly’. In the law, this is supposed to be less important than family ties – but it is the most commonly used ground by governments seeking to pass on asylum applicants to other states. All the people we know of on these flights were “Dublined” because the UK claimed they had previously been in France, Germany or Spain.

    (See: House of Commons intro briefing; Right to Remain toolkit section:
    https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/what-is-the-dublin-iii-regulation-will-it-be-affected-by-b
    https://righttoremain.org.uk/toolkit/dublin)

    By invoking the Dublin regulation, the UK evades actually assessing people’s asylum cases. These people were not deported because their asylum claims failed – their cases were simply never considered. The decision to apply Dublin III is made after the initial screening interview (now taking place in Yarl’s Wood). As we saw above, very few people are able to access any legal advice before these interviews are conducted and sometimes they are carried out by telephone or without adequate translation.

    Under Dublin III the UK must make a formal request to the other government it believes is responsible for considering the asylum claim to take the person back, and present evidence as to why that government should accept responsibility. Typically, the evidence provided is the record of the person’s fingerprints registered by another country on the Europe-wide EURODAC database.

    However, in the recent deportation cases the Home Office has not always provided fingerprints but instead relied on weak circumstantial evidence. Some countries have refused this evidence, but others have accepted – notably France.

    There seems to be a pattern in the cases so far where France is accepting Dublin III returns even when other countries have refused. The suspicion is that the French government may have been incentivised to accept ‘take-back’ requests based on very flimsy evidence as part of the recent Franco-British Channel crossing negotiations (France reportedly requested £30m to help Britain make the route ‘unviable’).

    In theory, accepting a Dublin III request means that France (or another country) has taken responsibility to process someone’s asylum claim. In practice, most of the people who arrived at Clermont-Ferrand on 26 August were not given any opportunity to claim asylum – instead they were issued with expulsion papers ordering them to leave France and Europe. They were also only given 48 hours to appeal these expulsions orders without any further legal information; a near impossibility for someone who has just endured a forceful expulsion and may require urgent medical treatment.

    Due to Brexit, the United Kingdom will no longer participate in Dublin III from 31 December 2020. While there are non-EU signatories to the agreement like Switzerland and Norway, it is unclear what arrangements the UK will have after that (as with basically everything else about Brexit). If there is no overall deal, the UK will have to negotiate numerous bilateral agreements with European countries. This pattern of expedited expulsion without a proper screening process established with France could be a taste of things to come.

    Conclusion: rushed – and illegal?

    Charter flight deportations are one of the most obviously brutal tools used by the UK Border Regime. They involve the use of soul-crushing violence by the Home Office and its contractors (Mitie, Titan Airways, Britannia Hotels, and all) against people who have already lived through histories of trauma.

    For these recent deportations of Channel crossers the process seems particularly rushed. People who have risked their lives in the Channel are scooped into a machine designed to deny their asylum rights and expel them ASAP – for the sake of a quick reaction to the latest media panic. New procedures appear to have been introduced off the cuff by Home Office officials and in under-the-table deals with French counterparts.

    As a result of this rush-job, there seem to be numerous irregularities in the process. Some have been already flagged up in the successful legal challenges to the Spanish flight on 27 August. The detention and deportation of boat-crossers may well be largely illegal, and is open to being challenged further on both sides of the Channel.

    Here we recap a few particular issues:

    The highly politicised nature of the expulsion process for small boat crossers means they are being denied access to a fair asylum procedure by the Home Office.

    The deportees include people who are victims of torture and of trafficking, as well as under-aged minors.

    People are being detained, rushed through screening interviews, and “Dublined” without access to legal advice and necessary information.

    In order to avoid considering asylum requests, Britain is applying Dublin III often just using flimsy circumstantial evidence – and France is accepting these requests, perhaps as a result of recent negotiations and financial arrangements.

    Many deportees have family ties in the UK – but the primary Dublin III criterion of ‘family unity’ is ignored.

    In accepting Dublin III requests France is taking legal responsibility for people’s asylum claims. But in fact it has denied people the chance to claim asylum, instead immediately issuing expulsion papers.

    These expulsion papers (‘Order to quit France’ and ‘Ban from returning to France’ or ‘OQTF’ and ‘IRTF’) are issued with only 48 hour appeal windows. This is completely inadequate to ensure a fair procedure – even more so for traumatised people who have just endured detention and deportation, then been dumped in the middle of nowhere in a country where they have no contacts and do not speak the language.

    This completely invalidates the Home Office’s argument that the people it deports will be able to access a fair asylum procedure in France.

    https://corporatewatch.org/cast-away-the-uks-rushed-charter-flights-to-deport-channel-crossers

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UK #Angleterre #Dublin #expulsions #renvois #Royaume_Uni #vols #charter #France #Allemagne #Espagne #Home_Office #accord #témoignage #violence #Brexit #Priti_Patel #Royal_Navy #plan_opérationnel_conjoint #Manche #Commandant_de_la_menace_clandestine_dans_la_Manche #Cherbourg #militarisation_des_frontières #frontières #Calais #Dunkerque #navires #Border_Force_Cutters #avions_de_surveillance #Royal_Air_Force #Opération_Sillath #refoulements #push-backs #Douvres #Kent_Intake_Unit #Yarl’s_Wood #Bedfordshire #Serco #Short_Term_Holding_Facility (#SHTF) #hôtel #Mears #hôtels_Britannia #Alex_Langsam #Immigration_Enforcement_squads #Heathrow #Colnbrook #Harmondsworth #Gatwick #aéroport #Brook_Hous #G4S #Removal_Directions #Carlson_Wagonlit_Travel (#CWT) #privatisation #compagnies_aériennes #Titan_Airways #Clermont-Ferrand #Düsseldorf

    @karine4 —> il y a une section dédiée à l’arrivée des vols charter en France (à Clermont-Ferrand plus précisément) :
    Larguées à destination : la France

    ping @isskein

    • Traduction française :

      S’en débarrasser : le Royaume Uni se précipite pour expulser par vols charters les personnes qui traversent la Manche

      Attention : ce document contient des récits de violence, tentatives de suicide et automutilation.

      Le Royaume Uni s’attache à particulièrement réprimer les migrants traversant la Manche dans de petites embarcations, répondant comme toujours à la panique propagée par les tabloïds britanniques. Une partie de sa stratégie consiste en une nouvelle vague d’expulsions massives : des vols charters, ciblant spécifiquement les personnes traversant la Manche, vers la France, l’Allemagne et l’Espagne.

      Deux vols ont eu lieu jusqu’à présent, les 12 et 26 août. Le prochain est prévu pour le 3 septembre. Les deux vols récents ont fait escale à la fois en Allemagne (Düsseldorf) et en France (Toulouse le 12, Clermont-Ferrand le 26). Un autre vol était prévu pour l’Espagne le 27 août – mais il a été annulé après que les avocat-es aient réussi à faire descendre tout le monde de l’avion.

      Menées à la hâte par un Home Office en panique, ces déportations massives ont été particulièrement brutales, et ont pu impliquer de graves irrégularités juridiques. Ce rapport résume ce que nous savons jusqu’à présent après avoir parlé à un certain nombre de personnes expulsées et à d’autres sources. Il couvre :

      Le contexte : Les traversées en bateau de Calais et l’accord entre le Royaume-Uni et la France pour les faire cesser.
      Au Royaume-Uni : Yarl’s Wood reconverti en centre de traitement de personnes traversant la Manche ; Britannia Hotels ; le centre de détention de Brook House, toujours aussi brutal.
      Les vols : Calendrier détaillé du charter du 26 août vers Düsseldorf et Clermont-Ferrand.
      Qui est à bord du vol : Les personnes réfugiées, y compris des mineurs et des personnes torturées.
      Délaissé à l’arrivée : Les personnes arrivant en Allemagne et en France qui n’ont pas la possibilité de demander l’asile se voient délivrer immédiatement des documents d’expulsion.
      Les questions juridiques : Utilisation du règlement Dublin III pour se soustraire de la responsabilité à l’égard des réfugiés.
      Est-ce illégal ? : la précipitation du processus entraîne de nombreuses irrégularités.

      “cette nuit-là, huit personnes se sont automutilées”

      Cette nuit-là avant le vol (25 août), lorsque nous étions enfermés dans nos chambres et que j’ai appris que j’avais perdu en appel, j’étais désespéré. J’ai commencé à me mutiler. Je n’étais pas le seule. Huit personnes se sont automutilées ou ont tenté de se suicider plutôt que d’être emmenées dans cet avion. Un homme s’est jeté une bouilloire d’eau bouillante sur lui-même. Un homme a essayé de se pendre avec le câble de télé dans sa chambre. Trois d’entre nous ont été emmenés à l’hôpital, mais renvoyés au centre de détention après quelques heures. Les cinq autres ont été emmenés à l’infirmerie de Brook House où on leur a mis des pansements. Vers 5 heures du matin, ils sont venus dans ma chambre, des gardes avec des boucliers anti-émeutes. Sur le chemin pour aller au van, ils m’ont fait traverser une sorte de couloir rempli de gens – gardes, directeurs, fonctionnaires du Home Office. Ils ont tous regardé pendant qu’un médecin m’examinait, puis le médecin a dit : “oui, il est apte à voler”. Dans l’avion, plus tard, j’ai vu un homme très gravement blessé, du sang dégoulinant de sa tête et sur ses vêtements. Il n’avait pas seulement essayé d’arrêter le vol, il voulait vraiment se tuer. Il a été emmené en Allemagne.

      Témoignage d’une personne déportée.

      Le contexte : les bateaux et les accords

      Depuis les années 1990, des dizaines de milliers de personnes fuyant la guerre, la répression et la pauvreté ont franchi le “court détroit” entre Calais et Dover. Jusqu’en 2018, les personnes sans papiers qui tentaient de traverser la Manche le faisaient principalement en montant dans des camions ou des trains passant par le tunnel sous la Manche. Les systèmes de sécurité autour des parkings de camions, du tunnel et de l’autoroute ont été massivement renforcés après l’expulsion de la grande jungle en 2016. Cela a obligé les gens à chercher d’autres itinéraires, toujours plus dangereux, y compris en traversant l’une des voies navigables les plus fréquentées du monde à bord de petits bateaux. Environ 300 personnes ont emprunté cet itinéraire en 2018, 2000 autres en 2019 – et, selon les rapports, plus de 5000 personnes entre janvier et août 2020.

      Ces passages ont été relayés par les médias britanniques lors de leur dernière vague de publications xénophobiques et alarmistes. Le schéma n’est que trop familier depuis le camp Sangatte en 1999 : les médias de droite (le plus célèbre étant le Daily Mail, mais aussi d’autres) diffusent des articles abusifs sur les dangereux “illégaux” qui déferleraient à travers la Manche ; et le gouvernement britannique répond par des promesses de répression.

      Renforcé par le Brexit, les mesures et annonces récentes comprennent :

      Le ministre de l’intérieur, Priti Patel, annonce une nouvelle loi sur l’asile et l’immigration “plus juste” qui, promet-elle, “fera s’effondrer la gauche”.
      Une demande officielle du Home Office à la Royal Navy pour aider à refouler les migrants qui traversent par bateau (bien que cela soit illégal).
      Négociations avec le gouvernement français, qui ont abouti à l’annonce le 13 août d’un “plan opérationnel conjoint” visant “ à couper complètement cette route”.
      La nomination d’un “Commandant de la menace clandestine dans la Manche” pour superviser les opérations des deux côtés de la Manche.

      Les mesures concrètes se font encore attendre, mais les évolutions notables jusqu’à présent sont les suivantes :

      D’autres paiements du Royaume-Uni à la France pour accroître la sécurité – la France aurait demandé 30 millions de livres sterling.
      Des navires de guerre français de la base navale de Cherbourg patrouillant au large des côtes de Calais et de Dunkerque.
      Des Border Force Cutters (navires) et les patrouilleurs côtiers britanniques patrouillant du côté anglais soutenus par des avions de surveillance de la Royal Air Force.
      Le nouveau programme d’expulsion par vol charter – qui aurait été baptisé “Opération Sillath” par le ministère de l’intérieur.

      Pour l’instant, du moins, les gouvernements respectent leurs obligations légales minimales en matière de protection de la vie en mer. Et il n’y a pas eu de preuves de “push backs” (refoulement) ou de “pull backs” illégaux : où, de force, soit des bateaux britanniques “poussent”, soit des bateaux français “tirent” des bateaux vers l’un ou l’autre côté de la frontière. Lorsque ces bateaux sont interceptés dans les eaux françaises, les voyageurs sont ramenés en France. S’ils parviennent à entrer dans les eaux britanniques, la police aux frontières britannique les récupère et les débarque à Douvres. Ils peuvent alors demander l’asile au Royaume-Uni.

      Il n’y a pas de différence juridique entre demander l’asile après être arrivé par bateau, par avion ou de toute autre manière. Cependant, ces personnes traversant par petits bateaux ont été ciblées par le gouvernement pour être traitées d’une manière spéciale, semble-t-il conçue pour leur refuser le droit d’asile au Royaume-Uni.

      Une fois que les personnes sont à terre et en sécurité, le deuxième volet de la stratégie de Priti Patel visant à rendre cette voie non viable entre en jeu : systématiquement faire obstacle à leur demande d’asile et, si possible, les expulser vers la France ou d’autres pays européens. En pratique, il est impossible pour le Home Office d’expulser toutes les personnes qui réussissent à traverser. Il s’agit plutôt, comme dans la grande majorité des politiques d’immigration, de faire preuve de fermeté avec un spectacle de mise en vigueur – non seulement pour tenter de dissuader d’autres arrivant-es, mais peut-être surtout pour se mettre en scène devant les principaux médias.

      C’est là qu’intervient la nouvelle vague de vols charter. Les expulsions nécessitent la coopération du pays de destination, et le premier vol a eu lieu le 12 août en plein milieu des négociations franco-britanniques. Plus récemment, ces vols ont alimenté un nouveau spectacle médiatique au Royaume-Uni : le Home Office s’en prend aux “avocats militants” qui font leur travail en contestant les principales failles juridiques de ces renvois précipités.

      Le Home Office a tenté de présenter ces vols d’expulsion comme une réponse immédiate et forte aux traversées de la Manche. Le message est le suivant : si vous traversez la Manche, vous serez de retour dans les jours qui suivent. Là encore, il s’agit plus de spectacle que de réalité. Toutes les personnes que nous connaissons sur ces vols étaient au Royaume-Uni plusieurs mois avant d’être expulsées.

      Au Royaume-Uni : Yarl’s Wood réaffecté

      Une fois à terre en Angleterre, les personnes sont emmenées à l’un des deux endroits suivants : soit la Kent Intake Unit (Unité d’admission du Kent), qui est un centre de détention du ministère de l’intérieur (c’est-à-dire un petit complexe de cellules préfabriquées) dans les docks à l’est du port de Douvres ; soit le poste de police de Douvres. Ce poste de police semble être de plus en plus l’endroit principal, car la petite “unité d’admission” est souvent pleine. Il y avait autrefois un centre de détention à Douvres où étaient détenus les nouveaux arrivants, qui était connu pour son état de délabrement, mais a été fermé en octobre 2015.

      Les personnes sont généralement détenues au poste de police pendant une journée maximum. La destination suivante est généralement Yarl’s Wood, le centre de détention du Bedfordshire géré par Serco. Il s’agissait, jusqu’à récemment, d’un centre de détention à long terme qui accueillait principalement des femmes. Cependant, le 18 août, le ministère de l’intérieur a annoncé que Yarl’s Wood avait été réaménagé en “centre de détention de courte durée” (Short Term Holding Facility – SHTF) pour traiter spécifiquement les personnes qui ont traversé la Manche. Les personnes ne restent généralement que quelques jours – le séjour maximum légal pour un centre de “courte durée” est de sept jours.

      Yarl’s Wood a une capacité normale de 410 prisonniers. Selon des sources à Yarl’s Wood :

      “La semaine dernière, c’était presque plein avec plus de 350 personnes détenues. Quelques jours plus tard, ce nombre était tombé à 150, ce qui montre la rapidité avec laquelle les gens passent par le centre. Mardi 25 août, il n’y avait plus personne dans le centre ! Il semble probable que les chiffres fluctueront en fonction des traversées de la Manche.”

      La même source ajoute :

      “Il y a des inquiétudes concernant l’accès à l’aide juridique à Yarl’s Wood. La réglementation relative aux centres de détention provisoire n’exige pas que des conseils juridiques soient disponibles sur place (à Manchester, par exemple, il n’y a pas d’avocats de garde). Apparemment, le roulement des avocats de garde se poursuit à Yarl’s Wood pour l’instant. Mais la rapidité avec laquelle les personnes sont traitées maintenant signifie qu’il est pratiquement impossible de s’inscrire et d’obtenir un rendez-vous avec l’avocat de garde avant d’être transféré”.

      Le ministère de l’Intérieur mène les premiers entretiens d’évaluation des demandeurs d’asile pendant qu’ils sont à Yarl’s Wood. Ces entretiens se font parfois en personne, ou parfois par téléphone.

      C’est un moment crucial, car ce premier entretien détermine les chances de nombreuses personnes de demander l’asile au Royaume-Uni. Le ministère de l’intérieur utilise les informations issues de cet entretien pour expulser les personnes qui traversent la Manche vers la France et l’Allemagne en vertu du règlement Dublin III. Il s’agit d’une législation de l’Union Européenne (UE) qui permet aux gouvernements de transférer la responsabilité de l’évaluation de la demande d’asile d’une personne vers un autre État. Autrement dit, le Royaume-Uni ne commence même pas à examiner les demandes d’asile des personnes.

      D’après ce que nous avons vu, beaucoup de ces évaluations de Dublin III ont été faites de manière précipitée et irrégulière. Elles se sont souvent appuyées sur de faibles preuves circonstancielles. Peu de personnes ont eu la possibilité d’obtenir des conseils juridiques, ou même des interprètes pour expliquer le processus.

      Nous abordons Dublin III et les questions soulevées ci-dessous dans la section “Cadre juridique”.
      Au Royaume-Uni : les pires hôtels britanniques

      De Yarl’s Wood, les personnes à qui nous avons parlé ont été libérées sous caution (elles devaient respecter des conditions spécifiques aux personnes immigrées) dans des hébergement pour demandeurs d’asile. Dans un premier temps, cet hébergement signifie un hôtel à bas prix. En raison de l’épidémie du COVID-19, le Home Office a ordonné aux entreprises sous-traitantes (Mears, Serco) qui administrent habituellement les centres d’accueil pour demandeurs d’asile de fermer leurs places d’hébergement et d’envoyer les personnes à l’hôtel. Cette décision est loin d’être claire, du fait que de nombreux indicateurs suggèrent que les hôtels sont bien pires en ce qui concerne la propagation du COVID. Le résultat de cette politique s’est déjà avéré fatal – voir la mort d’Adnan Olbeh à l’hôtel Glasgow en avril.

      Peut-être le gouvernement essaie de soutenir des chaînes telles que Britannia Hotels, classée depuis sept ans à la suite comme la “pire chaîne d’hôtel britannique” par le magazine des consommateurs Which ?. Plusieurs personnes envoyées par charter avaient été placées dans des hôtels Britannia. Le principal propriétaire de cette chaîne, le multi-millionnaire Alex Langsam, a été surnommé « le roi de l’asile » par les médias britanniques après avoir remporté précédemment à l’aide de ses taudis d’autres contrats pour l’hébergement des demandeurs d’asile.

      Certaines des personnes déportées à qui nous avons parlé sont restées dans ce genre d’hôtels plusieurs semaines avant d’être envoyées dans des lieux de “dispersion des demandeurs d’asile” – des logements partagés situés dans les quartiers les plus pauvres de villes très éloignées de Londres. D’autres ont été mises dans l’avion directement depuis les hôtels.

      Dans les deux cas, la procédure habituelle est le raid matinal : Des équipes de mise-en-œuvre de l’immigration (Immigration Enforcement squads) arrachent les gens de leur lit à l’aube. Comme les personnes sont dans des hôtels qui collaborent ou assignées à des maisons, il est facile de les trouver et de les arrêter quand elles sont les prochains sur la liste des déportations.

      Après l’arrestation, les personnes ont été amenées aux principaux centres de détention près de Heathrow (Colnbrook et Harmondsworth) ou Gatwick (particulièrement Brook House). Quelques-unes ont d’abord été gardées au commissariat ou en détention pour des séjours de court terme pendant quelques heures ou quelques jours.

      Tous ceux à qui nous avons parlé ont finalement terminé à Brook House, un des deux centres de détention de Gatwick.
      « ils sont venus avec les boucliers »

      Une nuit, à Brook House, après que quelqu’un se soit mutilé, ils ont enfermé tout le monde. Un homme a paniqué et a commencé à crier en demandant aux gardes « S’il vous plaît, ouvrez la porte ». Mais il ne parlait pas bien anglais et criait en arabe. Il a dit : « Si vous n’ouvrez pas la porte je vais faire bouillir de l’eau dans ma bouilloire et me la verser sur le visage ». Mais ils ne l’ont pas compris, ils pensaient qu’il était en train de les menacer et qu’il était en train de dire qu’il allait jeter l’eau bouillante sur eux. Alors ils sont arrivés avec leurs boucliers, ils l’ont jeté hors de sa cellule et ils l’ont mis en isolement. Quand ils l’ont mis là-bas, ils lui ont donné des coups et ils l’ont battu, ils ont dit : « Ne nous menace plus jamais ». (Témoignage d’une personne déportée)

      Brook House

      Brook House reste tristement célèbre après les révélations d’un lanceur d’alerte sur les brutalités quotidiennes et les humiliations commises par les gardes qui travaillent pour G4S. Leur contrat a depuis été repris par la branche emprisonnement de Mitie – dont la devise est « Care and Custody, a Mitie company » (traduction : « Soins et détention, une entreprise Mitie »). Probablement que beaucoup des mêmes gardes sont simplement passés d’une entreprise à l’autre.

      Dans tous les cas, d’après ce que les personnes déportées nous ont dit, pas grand chose n’a changé à Brook House – le vice et la violence des gardes restent la norme. Les histoires rapportées ici en donnent juste quelques exemples. Vous pouvez lire davantage dans les récents témoignages de personnes détenues sur le blog Detained Voices.
      « ils s’assurent juste que tu ne meures pas devant eux »

      J’étais dans ma cellule à Brook House seul depuis 12 jours, je ne pouvais ni manger ni boire, juste penser, penser à ma situation. J’ai demandé un docteur peut-être dix fois. Ils sont venus plusieurs fois, ils ont pris mon sang, mais ils n’ont rien fait d’autre. Ils s’en foutent de ta santé ou de ta santé mentale. Ils ont juste peur que tu meures là. Ils s’en foutent de ce qui t’arrive du moment que tu ne meures pas devant leurs yeux. Et ça n’a pas d’importance pour eux si tu meurs ailleurs.
      Témoignage d’une personne déportée.

      Préparation des vols

      Le Home Office délivre des papiers appelés « Instructions d’expulsion » (« Removal Directions » – Rds) aux personnes qu’ils ont l’intention de déporter. Y sont stipulés la destination et le jour du vol. Les personnes qui sont déjà en détention doivent recevoir ce papier au moins 72 heures à l’avance, incluant deux jours ouvrés, afin de leur permettre de faire un ultime appel de la décision.

      Voir Right to Remain toolkit pour des informations détaillés sur les délais légaux et sur les procédures d’appel.

      Tous les vols de déportation du Royaume Uni, les tickets qu’ils soient pour un avion de ligne régulier ou un vol charter sont réservés via une agence de voyage privée appelée Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). La principale compagnie aérienne utilisée par le Home Office pour les vols charter est la compagnie de charter qui s’appelle Titan Airways.

      Voir 2018 Corporate Watch report pour les informations détaillées sur les procédures de vols charter et les compagnies impliquées. Et la mise-à-jour de 2020 sur les déportations en général.

      Concernant le vol du 12 août, des recours légaux ont réussi à faire sortir 19 personnes de l’avion qui avaient des Instructions d’expulsion ( Rds ). Cependant, le Home Office les a remplacées par 14 autres personnes qui étaient sur la « liste d’attente ». Les avocats suspectent que ces 14 personnes n’ont pas eu suffisamment accès à leur droit à être représentés par un-e avocat-e avant le vol, ce qui a permis qu’elles soient expulsés.

      Parmi les 19 personnes dont les avocat.es ont réussi à empêcher l’expulsion prévue, 12 ont finalement été déportées par le vol charter du 26 août : 6 personnes envoyées à Dusseldorf en Allemagne et 6 autres à Clermont-Ferrand en France.

      Un autre vol a été programmé le 27 août pour l’Espagne. Cependant les avocat-es ont réussi à faire retirer tout le monde, et le Home Office a annulé le vol. L’administration anglaise (Whitehall) a dit dans les médias : “le taux d’attrition juridique a été de 100 % pour ce vol en raison des obstacles sans précédent et organisés que trois cabinets d’avocats ont imposés au gouvernement.” Il y a donc de fortes chances que Home Office mettra tous ses moyens à disposition pour continuer à expulser ces personnes lors de prochains vols charters.

      Qui a été expulsé ?

      L’ensemble des personnes expulsées par avion sont des personnes réfugiées qui ont déposé leur demande d’asile au Royaume-Uni immédiatement après leur arrivée à Dover. La une des médias expose les personnes expulsées comme « de dangereux criminels », mais aucune d’entre elles n’a fait l’objet de poursuites.

      Ils viennent de différents pays dont l’Irak, le Yemen, le Soudan, la Syrie, l’Afghanistan et le Koweit. (Dix autres Yéménis devaient être expulsés par le vol annulé pour l’Espagne. Au mois de juin, le gouvernement du Royaume-Uni a annoncé la reprise des accords commerciaux de vente d’armes avec l’Arabie Saoudite qui les utilise dans des bombardements au Yemen qui ont déjà coûté la vie à des dizaines de milliers de personnes).

      Toutes ces personnes craignent à raison des persécution dans leurs pays d’origine – où les abus des Droits de l’Homme sont nombreux et ont été largement documentés. Au moins plusieurs des personnes expulsées ont survécu à la torture, ce qui a été documenté par le Home Office lui-même lors d’entretiens.

      Parmi eux, un mineur âgé de moins de 18 ans a été enregistré par le Home Office comme ayant 25 ans – alors même qu’ils étaient en possession de son passeport prouvant son âge réel. Les mineurs isolés ne devraient légalement pas être traités avec la procédure Dublin III, et encore moins être placés en détention et être expulsés.

      Beaucoup de ces personnes, si ce ne sont toutes, ont des ami-es et de la famille au Royaume-Uni.

      Aucune de leurs demandes d’asile n’a été évaluée – toutes ont été refusées dans le cadre de la procédure Dublin III (cf. Cadre Légal plus bas).

      Chronologie du vol du 26 août

      Nuit du 25 août : Huit des personnes en attente de leur expulsion se mutilent ou tentent de se suicider. D’autres personnes font une grève de la faim depuis plus d’une semaine. Trois d’entre elles sont amenées à l’hôpital, hâtivement prises en charge pour qu’elles puissent être placées dans l’avion. Cinq autres se sont simplement vus délivrer quelques compresses au service des soins du centre de détention de Brook House. (cf. le témoignage ci-dessus)

      26 août, vers 4 heure du matin : Les gardiens récupèrent les personnes expulsables dans leurs cellules. Il y a de nombreux témoignages de violence : trois ou quatre gardiens en tenue anti-émeute avec casques et boucliers s’introduisent dans les cellules et tabassent les détenus à la moindre résistance.

      vers 4 heure du matin : Les détenus blessés sont amenés par les gardiens pour être examinés par un médecin dans un couloir, face aux fonctionnaires, et sont jugés « apte à prendre l’avion ».

      vers 5 heure du matin : Les détenus sont amenés un par un dans les fourgons. Chacun est placé dans un fourgon séparé, entouré de quatre gardiens. Les fourgons portent le logo de l’entreprise Mitie « Care and Custody ». Les détenus sont gardés dans les fourgons le temps de faire monter tout le monde, ce qui prend une à deux heures.

      vers 6 heure du matin : Les fourgons vont du centre de détention de Brook House (près de l’Aéroport Gatwick) à l’Aéroport Stansted et entrent directement dans la zone réservée aux vols charters. Les détenus sont sortis un par un des fourgons vers l’avion de la compagnie aérienne Titan. Il s’agit d’un avion Airbus A321-211, avec le numéro d’enregistrement G-POWU, au caractère anonyme, qui ne porte aucun signe distinctif de la compagnie aérienne. Les détenus sont escortés en haut des escaliers avec un gardien de chaque côté.

      Dans l’avion quatre gardiens sont assignés à chaque personne : deux de part et d’autre sur les sièges mitoyens, un sur le siège devant et un sur le siège derrière. Les détenus sont maintenus avec une ceinture de restriction au niveau de leur taille à laquelle sont également attachées leurs mains par des menottes. En plus des 12 détenus et 48 gardiens, il y a des fonctionnaires du Home Office, des managers de Mitie, et deux personnels paramédicaux dans l’avion.

      7h58 (BST) : L’avion de la compagnie Titan (dont le numéro de vol est ZT311) décolle de l’Aéroport Stansted.

      9h44 (CEST) : Le vol atterrit à Dusseldorf. Six personnes sont sorties de l’avion, laissées aux mains des autorités allemandes.

      10h46 (CEST) : L’avion Titan décolle de Dusseldorf pour rejoindre Clermont-Ferrand avec le reste des détenus.

      11h59 (CEST) : L’avion (dont le numéro de vol est maintenant ZT312) atterrit à l’Aéroport de Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne et les six autres détenus sont débarqués et amenés aux douanes de la Police Aux Frontières (PAF).

      12h46 (CEST) : L’avion quitte Clermont-Ferrand pour retourner au Royaume-Uni. Il atterrit d’abord à l’Aéroport Gatwick, probablement pour déposer les gardiens et les fonctionnaires, avant de finir sa route à l’Aéroport Stansted où les pilotes achèvent leur journée.

      Larguées à destination : l’Allemagne

      Ce qu’il est arrivé aux personnes expulsées en Allemagne n’est pas connu, même s’il semblerait qu’il n’y ait pas eu de procédure claire engagée par la police allemande. Un des expulsés nous a rapporté qu’à son arrivée à Dusseldorf, la police allemande lui a donné un billet de train en lui disant de se rendre au bureau de la demande d’asile à Berlin. Une fois là-bas, on lui a dit de retourner dans son pays. Ce à quoi il a répondu qu’il ne pouvait pas y retourner et qu’il n’avait pas non plus d’argent pour rester à Berlin ou voyager dans un autre pays. Le bureau de la demande d’asile a répondu qu’il pouvait dormir dans les rues de Berlin.

      Un seul homme a été arrêté à son arrivée. Il s’agit d’une personne qui avait tenté de se suicider la veille en se mutilant à la tête et au coup au rasoir, et qui avait saigné tout au long du vol.
      Larguées à destination : la France

      Les expulsés ont été transportés à Clermont-Ferrand, une ville située au milieu de la France, à des centaines de kilomètres des centres métropolitains. Dès leur arrivée ils ont été testés pour le COVID par voie nasale et retenus par la PAF pendant que les autorités françaises décidaient de leur sort.

      Deux d’entre eux ont été libérés à peu près une heure et demi après, une fois donnés des rendez-vous au cours de la semaine suivante pour faire des demandes d’asile dans des Préfectures de région eloignées de Clermont-Ferrand. Il ne leur a été proposé aucun logement, ni information légale, ni moyen pour se déplacer jusqu’à leurs rendez-vous.

      La personne suivante a été libérée environ une heure et demi après eux. Il ne lui a pas été donné de rendez-vous pour demander l’asile, mais il lui a juste été proposé une chambre d’hotel pour quatre nuits.

      Pendant le reste de la journée, les trois autres détenus ont été emmenés de l’aéroport au commisariat pour prendre leurs empreintes. On a commencé à les libérer à partir de 18h. Le dernier a été libéré sept heures après que le vol de déportation soit arrivé. La police a attendu que la Préfecture décide de les transférer ou non au Centre de Rétention Administrative (CRA). On ne sait pas si la raison à cela était que le centre le plus proche, à Lyon, était plein.

      Cependant, ces personnes n’ont pas été simplement laissées libres. Il leur a été donné des ordres d’expulsion (OQTF : Obligation de quitter le territoire francais) et des interdictions de retour sur le territoire francais (IRTF). Ces document ne leur donnent que48h pour faire appel. Le gouverment britannique a dit que les personnes déportées par avion en France avaient la possibilité de demander l’asile en France. C’est clairement faux.

      Pour aller plus loin dans les contradictions bureaucratique, avec les ordres d’expulsion leurs ont été donnés l’ordre de devoir se présenter à la station de police de Clermont-Ferrand tous les jours à dix heures du matin dans les 45 prochains jours (pour potentiellement y être arrêtés et detenus à ces occasions). Ils leur a été dit que si ils ne s’y présentaient pas la police
      les considèrerait comme en fuite.

      La police a aussi réservé une place dans un hotel à plusieurs kilomètre de l’aéroport pour quatres nuits, mais sans aucune autre information ni aide pour se procurer de quoi s’alimenter. Il ne leur a été fourni aucun moyen de se rendre à cet hôtel et la police a refusé de les aider – disant que leur mission s’arretait à la délivrance de leurs documents d’expulsion.

      Après m’avoir donné les papiers d’expulsion, le policier francais a dit
      ‘Maintenant tu peux aller en Angleterre’.
      Temoignage de la personne expulsée

      La police aux frontières (PAF) a ignoré la question de la santé et du
      bien-être des personnes expulsées qui étaient gardées toute la journée.
      Une des personnes était en chaise roulante toute la journée et était
      incapable de marcher du fait des blessures profondes à son pied, qu’il
      s’était lui même infligées. Il n’a jamais été emmené à l’hôpital malgré les
      recommendations du médecin, ni durant la période de détention, ni après
      sa libération. En fait, la seule raison à la visite du médecin était initialement d’évaluer s’il était en mesure d’être detenu au cas où la Préfecture le déciderait. La police l’a laissé dans ses vêtements souillés de sang toute la journée et quand ils l’ont libéré il n’avait pas eu de chaussures et pouvait à peine marcher. Ni béquilles, ni aide pour rejoindre l’hotel ne lui ont été donnés par la police. Il a été laissé dans la rue, devant porter toutes ses
      affaires dans un sac en plastique du Home Office.
      “La nuit la plus dure de ma vie”

      Ce fut la nuit la plus dure de ma vie. Mon coeur était brisé si fort que j’ai sérieusement pensé au suicide. J’ai mis le rasoir dans ma bouche pour l’avaler ; j’ai vu ma vie entière passer rapidement jusqu’aux premières heures du jour. Le traitement en détention était très mauvais, humiliant et dégradant. Je me suis haï et je sentais que ma vie était détruite mais au même temps elle était trop précieuse pour la perdre si facilement. J’ai recraché le razoir de ma bouche avant d’être sorti de la chambre où quatre personnes à l’allure impossante, portant la même tenue de CRS et des boucliers de protéction, m’ont violemment emmené dans le grand hall au rez-de-chaussée du centre de détention. J’étais épuisé puisque j’avais fait une grève de la faim depuis plusieurs jours. Dans la chambre à côte de moi un des déportés a essayé de resister et a été battu si sévèrement que du sang a coulé de son nez. Dans le grand hall ils m’ont fouillé avec soin et m’ont escorté jusqu’à la voiture comme un dangerux criminel, deux personnes à ma gauche et à ma droite. Ils ont conduit environ deux heures jusqu’à l’aéroport, il y avait un grand avion sur la piste de décollage. […] A ce moment, j’ai vu mes rêves, mes espoirs, brisés devant moi en entrant dans l’avion.
      Temoignage d’une personne déportée (de Detained Voices)

      Le cade légal : Dublin III

      Ces expulsions se déroulent dans le cadre du règlement Dublin III. Il s’agit de la législation déterminant quel pays européen doit évaluer la demande d’asile d’une personne réfugiée. Cette décision implique un certain nombre de critères, l’un des principaux étant le regroupement familial et l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant. Un autre critère, dans le cas des personnes franchissant la frontières sans papiers, est le premier pays dans lequel ils entrent « irrégulièrement ». Dans cette loi, ce critère est supposé être moins important que les attaches familiales. Mais il est communément employé par les gouvernements cherchant à rediriger les demandes d’asile à d’autres Etats. Toutes les personnes que nous connaissions sur ces vols étaient « dublinés » car le Royaume-Uni prétendait qu’ils avaient été en France, en Allemagne ou en Espagne.

      (Voir : briefing à l’introduction du House of Commons ; Home Office staff handbook (manuel du personnel du ministère de l’intérieur ; section Dublin Right to remain .)

      En se référant au règlement Dublin, le Royaume-Uni évite d’examiner les cas de demande d’asile. Ces personnes ne sont pas expulsées parce que leur demande d’asile a été refusée. Leurs demandes ne sont simplement jamais examinées. La décision d’appliquer le règlement Dublin est prise après la premier entretien filmé ( à ce jour, au centre de détention de Yarl’s Wood). Comme nous l’avons vu plus haut, peu de personnes sont dans la capacité d’avoir accès à une assistance juridique avant ces entretiens, quelquefois menés par téléphone et sans traduction adéquate.

      Avec le Dublin III, le Royaume-Uni doit faire la demande formelle au gouvernement qu’il croit responsable d’examiner la demande d’asile, de reprendre le demandeur et de lui présenter la preuve à savoir pourquoi ce gouvernement devrait en accepter la responsabilité. Généralement, la preuve produite est le fichier des empreintes enregistrées par un autre pays sur la base de données EURODAC, à travers toute l’Europe.

      Cependant, lors des récents cas d’expulsion, le Home Office n’a pas toujours produit les empreintes, mais a choisi de se reposer sur de fragiles preuves circonstantielles. Certains pays ont refusé ce type de preuve, d’autres en revanche l’ont accepté, notamment la France.

      Il semble y avoir un mode de fonctionnement récurrent dans ces affaires où la France accepte les retours de Dublin III, quand bien même d’autres pays l’ont refusé. Le gouvernement français pourrait avoir été encouragé à accepter les « reprises/retours » fondés sur des preuves fragiles, dans le cadre des récentes négociations américano-britanniques sur la traversée de la Manche (La France aurait apparemment demandé 30 millions de livres pour aider la Grande-Bretagne à rendre la route non viable.)

      En théorie, accepter une demande Dublin III signifie que la France (ou tout autre pays) a pris la responsabilité de prendre en charge la demande d’asile d’un individu. Dans la pratique, la plupart des individus arrivés à Clermont-Ferrand le 26 août n’ont pas eu l’opportunité de demander l’asile. A la place, des arrêtés d’expulsion leur ont été adressés, leur ordonnant de quitter la France et l’Europe. On ne leur donne que 48h pour faire appel de l’ordre d’expulsion, sans plus d’information sur le dispositif légal. Ce qui apparaît souvent comme quasi impossible pour une personne venant d’endurer une expulsion forcée et qui pourrait nécessiter des soins médicaux urgents.

      Suite au Brexit, le Royaume-Uni ne participera pas plus au Dublin III à partir du 31 décembre 2020. Puisqu’il y a des signataires de cet accord hors Union-Européenne, comme la Suisse et la Norvège, le devenir de ces arrangements est encore flou (comme tout ce qui concerne le Brexit). S’il n’y a d’accord global, le Royaume-Uni devra négocier plusieurs accords bilatéraux avec les pays européens. Le schéma d’expulsion accéléré établi par la France sans processus d’évaluation adéquat de la demande d’asile pourrait être un avant-goût des choses à venir.
      Conclusion : expéditif – et illégal ?

      Évidemment, les expulsions par charter sont l’un des outils les plus manifestement brutaux employés par le régime frontalier du Royaume Uni. Elles impliquent l’emploi d’une violence moralement dévastatrice par le Home Office et ses entrepreneurs ((Mitie, Titan Airways, Britannia Hotels, et les autres) contre des personnes ayant déjà traversé des histoires traumatiques.

      Car les récentes expulsions de ceux qui ont traversé la Manche semblent particulièrement expéditives. Des personnes qui ont risqué le vie dans la Manche sont récupérées par une machine destinée à nier leur droit d’asile et à les expulser aussi vite que possible, pour satisfaire le besoin d’une réaction rapide à la dernière panique médiatique. De nouvelles procédures semblent avoir mises en place spontanément par des officiels du Ministère de l’Intérieur ainsi que des accords officieux avec leurs homologues français.

      En résultat de ce travail bâclé, il semble y avoir un certain nombre d’irrégularités dans la procédure. Certaines ont déjà été signalées dans des recours juridiques efficaces contre le vol vers l’Espagne du 27 août. La détention et l’expulsion des personnes qui ont traversé la Manche en bateau peut avoir été largement illégale et est susceptible d’être remise en cause plus profondément des deux côtés de la Manche.

      Ici, nous résumerons quelques enjeux spécifiques.

      La nature profondément politique du processus d’expulsion pour ces personnes qui ont fait la traversée sur de petits bateaux, ce qui signifie qu’on leur refuse l’accès à une procédure de demande d’asile évaluée par le Home Office.
      Les personnes réfugiées incluent des personnes victimes de torture, de trafic humain, aussi bien que des mineurs.
      Des individus sont détenus, précipités d’entretiens en entretiens, et « dublinés » sans la possibilité d’avoir accès à une assistance juridique et aux informations nécessaires.
      Afin d’éviter d’avoir à considérer des demandes d’asile, la Grande-Bretagne applique le règlement Dublin III, souvent en employant de faibles preuves circonstancielles – et la France accepte ces demandes, peut-être en conséquence des récentes négociations et arrangements financiers.
      De nombreuses personnes expulsées ont des attaches familiales au Royaume-Uni, mais le critère primordial du rapprochement familial du rêglement Dublin III est ignoré
      En acceptant les demandes Dublin, la France prend la responsabilité légale des demandes d’asile. Mais en réalité, elle prive ces personnes de la possibilité de demander l’asile, en leur assignant des papiers d’expulsion.
      Ces papiers d’expulsions (« Obligation de quitter le territoire français » and « Interdiction de retour sur le territoire français » ou OQTF et IRTF) sont assignées et il n’est possible de faire appel que dans les 48 heures qui suivent. C’est inadéquat pour assurer une procédure correcte, à plus forte raison pour des personnes traumatisées, passées par la détention, l’expulsion, larguées au milieu de nulle part, dans un pays où elles n’ont aucun contact et dont elles ne parlent pas la langue.
      Tout cela invalide complètement les arguments du Home Office qui soutient que les personnes qu’il expulse peuvent avoir accès à une procédure de demande d’asile équitable en France.

      https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2020/08/31/sen-debarrasser-le-royaume-uni-se-precipite-pour-

  • Ruling allowing Serco to evict asylum seekers sets ‘dangerous precedent’

    Campaigners are warning that a “dangerous precedent” has been set by a “brutal” ruling from Scotland’s highest court that evicting asylum seekers by changing their locks is lawful.

    The judgement means an estimated 150 people in Glasgow can now be evicted. The Inner House of the Court of Session rejected an appeal by Govan Law Centre and upheld an earlier court verdict in favour of the multinational housing provider, Serco.

    Most of those affected have had their pleas for asylum refused and have no right to public funds. They now face street homelessness even though they may working on appeals to Home Office decisions to deport them. Serco claimed it could now evict up to 20 people per week.

    Lawyers, including those from the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said they had “serious” concerns that the judgement meant the rights of vulnerable people living in Scotland would be breached.

    The court found that because Serco is a private organisation, it does not have to meet human rights obligations. The company lost its Home Office contract to house asylum seekers in Glasgow to the Mears Group in September.

    If the court had found in Govan Law Centre’s favour, Serco would have been forced to get a court order before making each eviction, giving asylum seekers greater protection. The company has previously sought court orders in some cases.

    At a press conference held by Govan Law Centre, which was representing clients in the case, those living in Serco accommodation and facing eviction spoke about their fears of ending up on the streets in the depths of winter.

    Campaigners said they had deep concerns for clients and were frustrated that many of those facing eviction are still fighting appeals. People can spend years in the asylum system, falling in and out of destitution and their right to accommodation, before their right to protection is recognised.

    Lorna Walker, instructing solicitor for Govan Law Centre, said: “To lose your home and become street homeless, especially when you have no right to public funds, is one of the worst things that could happen to a human being.

    “It is our position that without a court of law the outcome can be catastrophic. We are deeply concerned that it is held that the human rights act does not extend far enough to protect this most vulnerable group of people from being evicted.”

    Khadija Anwar, from Kenya, spoke of her shock and confusion following the decision. She and her husband, Muhammad, from Pakistan, are facing eviction from their Serco flat after having their case refused. Now in their seventies, they have been destitute for five months, relying on support from Positive Action in Housing, food banks and other charities.

    “Both of us are very tired,” she said. “I am struggling with arthritis and vertigo and my husband has heart problems, dementia problems. It’s very difficult.”

    She added: “Already I can’t bear this cold, even inside the house. How can they do this? Do they think we can stay out on the street in this cold? I’m so worried about my husband, my loving husband. This is not the stage where we can leave [the UK] without each other.”

    Robina Qureshi, chief executive of Positive Action on Housing, said: “What the court has done is legally institute a form of housing apartheid in Glasgow where one section of our community have their housing and human rights upheld, yet another can be dragged from their homes and on to the streets without recourse to public funds, to work or any form of support.

    “What does an eviction without due process look like? Where are the police, where are the sheriffs officers? Serco and other private housing companies now have carte blanche. They have the freedom to do this. What we have seen that people are enduring destitution for years and finally getting leave to remain.

    “But the fight does not stop here. And we are ready for it.”

    Positive Action on Housing is hoping to find additional capacity in its rooms for refugees programme, where volunteer hosts offer someone a bed. But Qureshi acknowledged it was not a perfect set-up, claiming people should be able to build their lives without the support of charity.

    Currently the only other option is the Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum Seekers, which has space for about 20 men but is often full. The Glasgow Winter Shelter will not open until December.

    Govan Law Centre is currently consulting with clients. But it may appeal to the UK Supreme Court, while the Scottish Human Rights Commission, which intervened in the case, confirmed it is also considering further legal action.

    Judith Robertson, chair of the commission, said: “We have serious concerns about the implications of this ruling, both for the people directly affected and for the protection of human rights more broadly.

    “The court’s finding that Serco is not acting as a public authority in this context, and therefore is not bound by human rights legal obligations, has profound consequences for how people’s rights are protected when public services are delivered by private providers.

    “Governments should not be able to divest themselves of their human rights obligations by outsourcing the provision of public services.”

    Fiona McPhail, Shelter Scotland’s principle solicitor, agreed the decision was “deeply concerning”. She added: “It’s the state that has the statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers. If by privatising those services, the state can avoid its obligations under human rights law, this sets a dangerous precedent.”

    Glasgow City Council has recently made cuts of over £3m to existing homeless services. Shelter Scotland is taking the council to court for failing to meet its duty to accommodate homeless people.

    https://theferret.scot/serco-judgement-evictions-glasgow-lock-change
    #SDF #sans-abrisme #sans-abri #Ecosse #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UK #privatisation #serco #hébergement #logement

    • Lock change evictions ruled lawful

      Refugee Survival Trust fears a humanitarian crisis on Glasgow’s streets, as lock change evictions of asylum seekers approved by Court of Session.

      A humanitarian catastrophe created by the UK Home Office and Serco, its former housing contractor, will force hundreds of vulnerable asylum seekers onto the streets of #Glasgow, warns the Refugee Survival Trust.

      This follows a ruling by the Court of Session, which found Serco’s controversial ‘lock change’ eviction policy to be lawful. This ruling will see people who are fleeing war and persecution evicted from their homes and forced onto the city’s streets into destitution.

      Cath McGee, Destitute Asylum Seeker Service Manager at the Refugee Survival Trust said, “We’ve been hearing from asylum seekers living under enormous stress who have told us that they are terrified of losing the roof over their head in the harsh winter months. We now fear a humanitarian crisis on Glasgow’s streets involving hundreds of already vulnerable people who have no other means to support themselves as they cannot work or claim benefits.”

      “These people have nowhere else to go. They are not permitted to access homeless services so throwing them out of their homes onto the streets will place them at enormous risk. They have fled war and persecution and are seeking asylum in Scotland. Now they will be forced to fight for their daily survival.”

      “With their basic right to shelter taken from them they won’t have a postal address to collect important letters related to their asylum case. Nor will they be in a position to seek legal advice or gather new evidence to support a fresh asylum claim to help them stay in the UK.”

      Scots housing law prevents Scottish families from being evicted without a court order. The Refugee Survival Trust, a charity that leads the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service in Glasgow and provides practical support including small emergency cash grants to asylum seekers facing destitution, says this should apply to everyone in Scotland, regardless of their immigration status.
      “Vulnerable people seeking asylum should be afforded the same housing rights as Scottish families. We should not tolerate a system that treats people seeking international protection in this brutal way,” said Ms McGee.

      In September 2019, the #Mears_Group took over the contract to provide housing to asylum seekers in Glasgow. The Group is yet to give a formal undertaking that it won’t force asylum seekers into homelessness and destitution.

      “We’re calling on the Mears Group to make a public commitment that they won’t pursue lock change evictions to forcibly remove vulnerable people seeking asylum here in Scotland from their homes,” added Ms McGee.

      https://www.rst.org.uk/archives/3232

    • Disappointing decision on Serco lock changes

      Today the Court of Session found in favour of Serco in a test case for asylum seeker lock changes.

      Our Principal Solicitor Fiona McPhail commented:

      “This decision is deeply disappointing news for all those directly affected.

      “We now face a situation where around 300 people will be at risk of summary eviction, with no right to homeless assistance or no right to work to earn their own income to cover rent, meaning there is a high risk they will end up on the streets of Glasgow.

      “Our clients are continuing to progress their asylum claims and cannot return to their country of origin.

      “The finding that Serco is not a public authority and therefore does not need to comply with the Human Rights Act or the Equality Act is deeply concerning. It’s the state that has the statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers - if by privatising those services, the state can avoid its obligations under human rights and equalities law, this sets a dangerous precedent.

      Gordon MacRae, Assistant Director for Communications and Policy, Shelter Scotland said:

      “At Shelter Scotland we think there are both moral and legal cases to be heard. It is morally repugnant to force anyone out of their home with nowhere for them to go. Public bodies must not stand by while people face winter on the streets.

      “Shelter Scotland exist to protect everyone’s housing rights no matter their circumstances. We will continue to do what we can protect those whose rights are denied. “

      Fiona McPhail added:

      “The Court appears to have placed some emphasis on the type of case it was- and the fact that it was not a judicial review. Hopefully the solicitors in this case will reflect on these observations, as judicial review proceedings were raised by another party and have been put on hold whilst this case has been taken as the lead case.”

      https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/news/november_2019/disappointing_decision_on_serco_lock_changes

    • #Glasgow faces homeless crisis with asylum seeker evictions

      With temperatures plunging, night shelters scramble to deal with fallout after court ruled to allow ‘lock-change evictions’.

      Asylum seekers in Glasgow are facing the prospect of sleeping on the streets in freezing conditions when the wave of “lock-change evictions” – held off for nearly 18 months by public protests and legal challenges – finally begins in earnest over the next fortnight, with the only available night shelter already full to capacity and frontline workers desperately scrambling to secure more emergency accommodation.

      Earlier this month, Scotland’s highest court upheld a ruling that Serco, which claims it has been “demonised” over its controversial policy of changing the locks on the homes of refused asylum seekers, did not contravene Scottish housing law or human rights legislation. The private housing provider now plans to evict 20 people a week.
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      Annika Joy, who manages the Glasgow night shelter for destitute asylum seekers, is blunt about the prospects of avoiding a homelessness crisis across the city, where temperatures plummeted to below zero last week. “We don’t have any slack,” she says. “We have 24 beds here, booked to capacity every night. We believe there are already 150 asylum seekers at any time who are making survival decisions, perhaps being forced to sell sex or labour for accommodation, or sofa surfing. Now we estimate that another 150 people will be evicted by Serco over the winter.”

      Joy is painfully aware of how basic the shelter’s provisions are. There are no showers in the building, nor sufficient secure space where guests can store possessions. Without enough power for a catering cooker, the hot breakfasts and dinners provided with donated food are made on a minimal four-ring hob. In the bunk room itself, colourful blankets and sheets are draped around beds. It looks like a children’s sleepover party, but these are adult males desperately trying to create privacy among strangers, many of whom suffer from insomnia or night terrors.

      Refused asylum seekers in the UK find themselves in an almost uniquely unsupported position, with no right to homeless assistance or to work to provide for themselves.

      Graham O’Neill of the Scottish Refugee Council says many of those initially refused have their claims accepted on appeal – 55% according to most recent figures. A quarter of those Serco planned to evict when it first announced its lock-change policy in July 2018 have since returned to Section Four homelessness support.

      For O’Neill, there is a deep frustration that many of those still facing eviction are waiting weeks for decisions that should be made within days, or have fresh asylum claims ready but aren’t allowed to lodge them because of Home Office bureaucracy. “They are facing street homelessness, when actually in law they have an entitlement to support.”

      Joy says that a longer-term solution is needed across the city: “These are not people who will need a bed for a few nights until they have their lives sorted out, and we won’t end homelessness in Glasgow without a proper plan for asylum seekers.”

      The city is already facing a winter crisis, with demands for the council night shelter to open early because of freezing temperatures, while last month Shelter Scotland launched a judicial review that claims Glasgow city council has illegally denied temporary accommodation to homeless applicants.

      With this in mind, campaigners are working together with local housing associations and charities who have spare rooms, and in discussion with Glasgow’s city council and the Scottish government – who are limited because they are not legally allowed to directly fund accommodation for over-stayers - to put together a critical mass of long-term accommodation.

      The plan is to offer accommodation along with wraparound legal and health support, which can also serve the women who make up one in five of those facing eviction and who currently have nowhere to go.

      Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, which has been supporting a number of those anticipating eviction, emphasises the long-term psychological toll of the lock-change policy, saying: “People are very frightened about the prospect of being turfed onto the street at any time.”

      Joy emphasises how much living circumstances impact on people’s capacity to access support. “It’s striking how many rights our guests who have been refused by the Home Office have. When people are less anxious about where they are going to spend the night, when they have the encouragement to open up about their experiences, we often discover new information that can help their claims.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/27/glasgow-faces-homeless-crisis-with-asylum-seeker-evictions-set-to-begin

  • The business of building walls

    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Booming budgets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Pour télécharger le #rapport :


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

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

    ping @daphne @marty @isskein @karine4

    • La costruzione di muri: un business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • How the arms industry drives Fortress Europe’s expansion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      –—

      Pour @etraces :

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

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

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

      This report is set in a wider context in which more than 70.8 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, according to the 2018 figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (UNHCR, 2019). Some of these have reached the borders of the European Union (EU), seeking protection and asylum, but instead have encountered policy responses that mostly aim to halt and intercept migration flows, against the background of securitisation policies in which the governments of EU Member States see migration as a threat. One of the responses to address migration flows is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex), established in 2004 as the EU body in charge of guarding what many have called ‘Fortress Europe’, and whose practices have helped to consolidate the criminalisation of migrants and the securitisation of their movements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

      #rapport #TNI #Transnational_institute

    • #Frontex aircraft : Below the radar against international law

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

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

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

      Air service to be supplemented with #drones

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

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

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

      Real-time tracking with FlightAware

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

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

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

      „Push-backs“ become „pull-backs“

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

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

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

      Frontex watches refugees drown

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

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

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

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

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

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

      #conférence #webinar

    • Le business meurtrier des frontières

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Sur le blog :

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

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

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

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

    • How Private Security Firms Profit Off the Refugee Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Executive summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Financing the industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Key findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • #Serco slammed over profits drive at arms trade show while trying to evict asylum seekers fleeing war

    The firm evicting hundreds of asylum seekers from their homes has been condemned over plans to exhibit at a controversial arms trade show.

    Serco, which holds the Home Office contract to house about 300 people in Glasgow, has dozens of defence contracts around the world.

    The private multinational will be touting for business at DSEI 2019 next month in London’s ExCeL arena.

    Serco sparked controversy over plans to change locks on the homes of unsuccessful asylum seekers, with hundreds facing homelessness in the coming weeks.

    Many tenants fled conflict to seek sanctuary in Scotland. But despite protests and live legal challenges, Serco has started evictions.

    DSEI is a bi-annual event that brings together hundreds of firms with military delegations.

    Serco is a major partner of the Ministry of Defence and provides services for Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets, among other contracts.

    Both aircraft have been used by a Saudi-led coalition accused of scores of war crimes in the civil war by proxy in Yemen.

    Serco’s website says the firm has 70 defence contracts in the UK and Europe alone, including with the Belgian armed forces.

    It also has contracts with the Australian navy and Australian defence force, and last year won an £18million training contract with the US army.

    The website claims Serco has “breadth and depth of expertise across all military environments, including space, maritime, land, and air”.

    Last year its operating profit rose 40 per cent to £80.5million.

    The Scottish Human Rights Commission was last month given leave to intervene in a legal challenge against evicting asylum seekers denied the right to stay in the United Kingdom.

    The case – Ali v Serco and the Home Secretary – opposes Serco’s Glasgow lock change programme and argues that eviction would be unlawful without a court order.

    It was dismissed in April but is now being appealed.

    Graham O’Neill of the Scottish Refugee Council said: “In Glasgow, Serco are contracted to provide housing to thousands of highly vulnerable people who have fled war and terror across the world, in countries such as Syria, Iran and Eritrea.

    “That they are attending the arms fair while actively evicting this marginalised group, despite live legal proceedings, indicates that they value defence and immigration contracts and profit over people.”

    Labour MP Paul Sweeney said: “That Serco seeks to profit from conflict while earning income from the refugees displaced by those very conflicts throws into sharp focus the mercenary exploitation of unscrupulous capitalism.

    “It’s a crass move that will stick in the throats of the thousands of Glaswegians who stand shoulder to shoulder with the asylum seekers Serco is throwing out on the street.”

    Campaign Against the Arms Trade in Scotland added: “This exposes the ruthless business model of Serco. We will be at DSEI protesting this gross hypocrisy.”

    At least 38 companies with bases in Scotland are also attending DSEI 2019.

    They include arms firms Chemring, Leonardo MW and Raytheon, whose smart bombs made in Fife have been linked to alleged war crimes in Yemen.

    A Serco spokesman said it would have “a small stand” at the event, to promote its “civil space business”.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/asylum-seeker-eviction-firm-serco-18955574
    #privatisation #asile #migrations #armes #armement #commerce_d'armes #DSEI #salon_de_l'armement #Londres

    ping @visionscarto @daphne @albertocampiphoto @marty

  • Dans le #business de l’#humanitaire : doit-on tirer #profit des #réfugiés ?

    Depuis la crise économique de 2008 et la multiplication des conflits dans le monde, l’insuffisance des fonds alloués au secteur humanitaire n’a jamais été aussi importante. En effet seulement 59 % des besoins en la matière ont été financés en 2018.

    Pour l’une des crises humanitaires les plus médiatisées, celle des réfugiés, les chiffres sont plus alarmants encore. Le Haut-commissariat pour les Réfugiés (HCR) estime que pour l’année 2019 tout juste 14 % de l’aide nécessaire a été financée pour venir en aide aux 68,5 millions de réfugiés, demandeurs d’asile, personnes déplacées et apatrides.
    L’échec du système d’asile

    Bien que garanti par le droit international l’accueil de ces populations vulnérables reste globalement infime. En moyenne, seulement 1 % des réfugiés sont référés par le HCR pour être réinstallés dans des pays d’accueil chaque année. Le cantonnement en camps ou les installations plus ou moins précaires dans les pays limitrophes des zones de conflits deviennent les seules alternatives pour la grande majorité des réfugiés, pour qui la durée moyenne d’exil est d’environ 26 ans.

    Victimes des politiques d’asile de plus en plus restrictives des pays occidentaux plus de 85 % vivent dans des pays « en développement », dont les services élémentaires sont déjà sous pression.

    Le privé à la rescousse

    Pour pallier ces tensions, les capacités financières et innovatrices du secteur privé semblent aujourd’hui s’imposer comme une solution. Le HCR reconnaît en effet que le monde commercial joue un rôle central pour fournir des opportunités aux réfugiés et les soutenir.

    Le Pacte mondial sur les réfugiés adopté par 181 membres de l’ONU en décembre 2018 a lui aussi souligné le rôle primordial du secteur privé pour contrer les failles du système humanitaire.

    Que ce soit en termes d’emploi, d’opportunités commerciales ou de fourniture de biens et de services essentiels par l’intermédiaire de partenariats public-privé, ou encore en aidant les agences non gouvernementales ou gouvernementales à innover pour améliorer la qualité et la provision de l’aide, le monde du business semble désormais indissociable du monde humanitaire.

    Mais normaliser la condition du réfugié dans la logique économique de marché, n’est pas un artifice idéologique servant de plus en plus les intérêts corporatifs ? Et ces derniers ne passeront-ils pas avant ceux des réfugiés dans ce business désormais très rentable – fort de ses 20 milliards de dollars par an- qu’est devenu l’humanitaire ?
    De nombreuses plates-formes impliquées

    Le secteur commercial est impliqué à de nombreux niveaux du système d’asile. Par exemple, via des forums consultatifs comme la branche UNHCR Innovation du HCR créée en 2012 et financée par la fondation IKEA. Ce forum cherche à développer des moyens créatifs d’engager les entreprises et leurs ressources technologiques.

    D’autres plates-formes comme l’initiative #Connecting_Business ou encore #The_Solutions_Alliance tendent à impliquer le secteur privé dans les solutions en déplacement et en mesurer l’impact.

    Ou encore des organismes comme #Talent_beyond_boundaries ou la plate-forme française #Action_emploi_réfugiés élaborent des #bases_de_données regroupant des réfugiés et leurs #compétences techniques et académiques afin de les connecter à des employeurs potentiels dans les pays les autorisant à travailler.

    Afin de coordonner et de conseiller les actions et réponses du monde du profit, d’autres acteurs comme les consultants #Philanthropy_Advisors ont vu le jour pour promouvoir le développement de la collaboration philanthropique stratégique entre les #entreprises et le monde humanitaire, et les aider à projeter leur retour sur #investissement.

    Les marchés prospèrent

    Ainsi les partenariats public-privé avec le HCR et les ONG se multiplient, tant pour les prestations de service que l’expertise du secteur privé dans l’innovation.

    De gigantesques salons commerciaux réunissent régulièrement les grandes agences onusiennes, des ONG et des sociétés privées de toute taille afin d’essayer de prendre les marchés de l’humanitaire. Au salon DIHAD de Dubai par exemple, des stands de vendeurs de drones, de lampes photovoltaïques ou encore de kits alimentaires côtoient ceux des sociétés de services financiers comme MasterCard Worldwide ou des grands cabinets d’audit et de réduction des coûts en entreprise, comme Accenture et Deloitte.

    Cette concurrence grandissante des marchés de l’humanitaire semble suggérer que le système d’asile s’inscrit lui aussi progressivement dans un modèle néolibéral, appliquant la logique économique de marché jusque dans la sphère humanitaire.
    Abus et philanthropie des bailleurs de fonds

    Ce monde humanitaire qui pratique une logique propre à celle du monde des affaires soulève de multiples questions éthiques et pragmatiques.

    Au niveau philanthropique par exemple, les partenaires majeurs du HCR incluent des multinationales comme #Nike, #Merck, #BP, #Nestlé, #IKEA ou encore #Microsoft.

    Or, bien que l’apport financier de ces corporations soit essentiel pour contrer le manque de fonds du système d’asile, la crédibilité et la légitimité de certains partenaires a été contestée.

    Pour cause, les exploitations et abus déjà recensés à l’encontre de ces corporations. Nestlé a récemment été accusé d’esclavagisme en Thaïlande ; Nike et BP ont eux aussi été régulièrement critiqués pour leur modèle économique peu regardant des droits du travail ; ou encore Microsoft, récemment accusé d’exploitation d’enfants dans les mines de cobalt en République Démocratique du Congo. L’entreprise IKEA, bailleur majeur du HCR à quant à elle été inculpée dans un scandale d’évasion fiscale, accusée d’échapper ainsi aux taxes dans les états qui entre autres, financent le HCR.
    Des employeurs douteux

    En tant qu’employeur, le secteur privé embauche et rémunère des réfugiés dans des contextes légaux comme clandestins.

    Par exemple, 20 % de la main d’œuvre de la compagnie #Chobani, spécialiste du yaourt à la grecque implantée aux États-Unis est réfugiée. Son PDG estime que dans le monde actuel le secteur privé est l ‘agent de changement le plus efficace et a ainsi créé la fondation #Partenariat_Tent, afin de sensibiliser le monde commercial à l’importance du secteur privé dans la cause réfugiée.

    Par l’intermédiaire de cette plate-forme, plus de 20 entreprises dont #Microsoft, #Ikea, #H&M et #Hilton ont annoncé des initiatives d’#emploi destinées à contrer la crise des déplacements.

    Cependant, puisque souvent sans droit de travail dans les pays d’accueil de la majorité des réfugiés, ceux-ci sont souvent prêts à accepter n’importe quelle opportunité, et s’exposent à toute sorte de mécanisme d’exploitation, des multinationales aux petites entreprises, légalement ou dans l’économie informelle.

    Des enfants réfugiés Rohingya au Bangladesh aux Syriens en Turquie, Irak, Jordanie ou au Liban exploités dans diverses industries, les exemples d’abus par des entreprises de toutes tailles sont souvent recensés et vaguement relayés dans la presse. Parfois, les entreprises inculpées ne sont autres que des géants comme #Zara, #Mango, #Marks_and_Spencer, qui ne sont pas légalement réprimandés car il n’existe ni mécanisme de coercition ni cadre de sanction pour les multinationales.

    L’ambiguïté des sous-traitants

    Par ailleurs, les gouvernements, le #HCR et les #ONG sous-traitent progressivement l’assistance et la protection des réfugiés à divers partenaires commerciaux afin d’améliorer les conditions de vie dans des secteurs aussi divers que la finance, la provision de service, le conseil, la construction, la santé, la technologie ou encore l’éducation.

    Si de tels projets sont souvent très positifs, d’autres se font complices ou tirent profit de politiques publiques allant à l’encontre de la protection des droits humains. La multinationale espagnole #Ferrovial, un entrepreneur indépendant contracté par l’état australien pour gérer son système carcéral des demandeurs d’asile offshore, a été accusée de mauvais traitements chroniques envers les réfugiés dans des centres de détention extraterritoriaux administrés par l’Australie. Cette dernière est elle-même accusée de crimes contre l’humanité pour son traitement des demandeurs d’asile arrivés par bateau.

    Amnesty International a aussi dénoncé des actes de torture par la compagnie Australienne #Wilson_Security, sous-traitant de la filiale australienne de Ferrovial, #Broadspectrum.

    La compagnie britannique de sécurité #G4S a elle aussi fait l’objet d’une multitude d’allégations concernant des violences physiques perpétrées par ses employés dans des camps contre des réfugiés, par exemple à Daddab au Kenya, et sans conséquence pour G4S.

    Des compagnies comme #European_Homecare ou #ORS spécialisées dans la provision de service aux migrants et réfugiés ont été accusées de #maltraitance dans les milieux carcéraux envers les gardes et les réfugiés.

    Ainsi, selon un rapport de L’Internationale des services publics, la privatisation des services aux réfugiés et aux demandeurs d’asile a un impact direct sur leur qualité et aboutit à des services inappropriés, caractérisés par un manque d’empathie, et ne respectant souvent pas les droits humains.

    Le business de la catastrophe

    Par soucis d’efficacité, en privatisant de plus en plus leurs services et en laissant le monde du profit infiltrer celui de l’humanitaire, le HCR et les ONG prennent le risque de créer des conditions d’exploitation échappant aux mécanismes légaux de responsabilité.

    Aux vues de nombreuses questions éthiques, le monde commercial peut-il réellement contrer les failles étatiques et organisationnelles du monde humanitaire ? L’intégration du secteur privé dans le système de protection et d’assistance aux réfugiés, est-ce aussi en soi justifier le désengagement des États de leurs obligations en matière de protection des personnes les plus vulnérables ?

    Comment ainsi éviter que cette source d’opportunité commerciale pour les entreprises, et les opportunités d’émancipation que cela engendre pour les réfugiés, n’entraîne leur marchandisation et exploitation, dans un contexte où les cadres juridiques en matière de business et droits humains ne sont visiblement pas assez strictes ?

    https://theconversation.com/dans-le-business-de-lhumanitaire-doit-on-tirer-profit-des-refugies-
    #privatisation #partenariats_public-privé #PPP #asile #migrations #philanthropie #travail #salons_commerciaux #salons #DIHAD #néolibéralisme #sous-traitance

  • #Expanding_the_fortress

    La politique d’#externalisation_des_frontières de l’UE, ses bénéficiaires et ses conséquences pour les #droits_humains.

    Résumé du rapport

    La situation désespérée des 66 millions de personnes déplacées dans le monde ne semble troubler la conscience européenne que lorsqu’un drame a lieu à ses frontières et se retrouve sous le feu des projecteurs médiatiques. Un seul État européen – l’Allemagne – se place dans les dix premiers pays au monde en termes d’accueil des réfugiés : la grande majorité des personnes contraintes de migrer est accueillie par des États se classant parmi les plus pauvres au monde. Les migrations ne deviennent visibles aux yeux de l’Union européenne (UE) que lorsque les médias s’intéressent aux communautés frontalières de Calais, Lampedusa ou Lesbos et exposent le sort de personnes désespérées, fuyant la violence et qui finissent par mourir, être mises en détention ou se retrouver bloquées.

    Ces tragédies ne sont pas seulement une conséquence malheureuse des conflits et des guerres en cours dans différents endroits du monde. Elles sont aussi le résultat des politiques migratoires européennes mises en œuvre depuis les accords de Schengen de 1985. Ces politiques se sont concentrées sur le renforcement des frontières, le développement de méthodes sophistiquées de surveillance et de traque des personnes, ainsi que l’augmentation des déportations, tout en réduisant les possibilités de résidence légale malgré des besoins accrus. Cette approche a conduit un grand nombre de personnes fuyant la violence et les conflits et incapables d’entrer en Europe de manière légale à emprunter des routes toujours plus dangereuses.

    Ce qui est moins connu, c’est que les tragédies causées par cette politique européenne se jouent également bien au-delà de nos frontières, dans des pays aussi éloignés que le Sénégal ou l’Azerbaïdjan. Il s’agit d’un autre pilier de la gestion européenne des flux migratoires : l’externalisation des frontières. Depuis 1992, et plus encore depuis 2005, l’UE a mis en œuvre des politiques visant à externaliser les frontières du continent et empêcher les populations déplacées de parvenir à ses portes. Cela implique la conclusion d’accords avec les pays voisins de l’UE afin qu’ils reprennent les réfugiés déportés et adoptent, comme l’Europe, des mesures de contrôle des frontières, de surveillance accrue des personnes et de renforcement de leurs frontières. En d’autres termes, ces accords ont fait des pays voisins de l’UE ses nouveaux garde-frontières. Et parce qu’ils sont loin des frontières européennes et de l’attention médiatique, les impacts de ces politiques restent relativement invisibles aux yeux des citoyens européens.

    Ce rapport cherche à mettre en lumière les politiques qui fondent l’externalisation des frontières européennes et les accords conclus, mais aussi les multinationales et sociétés privées qui en bénéficient, et les conséquences pour les personnes déplacées ainsi que pour les pays et les populations qui les accueillent. Il est le troisième de la série Border Wars, qui vise à examiner les politiques frontalières européennes et à montrer comment les industries des secteurs de l’armement et de la sécurité ont contribué à façonner les politiques de sécurisation des frontières de l’Europe, puis en ont tiré les bénéfices en obtenant un nombre croissant de contrats dans le secteur.

    Ce rapport étudie l’augmentation significative du nombre de mesures et d’accords d’externalisation des frontières depuis 2005, le phénomène s’accélérant massivement depuis le sommet Europe-Afrique de La Valette en novembre 2015. Via une série de nouveaux instruments, tels que le Fonds fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique (EUTF), le Cadre pour les partenariats avec les pays tiers en matière de gestion des migrations et la Facilité en faveur des réfugiés en Turquie, l’UE et les États membres injectent des millions d’euros dans un ensemble de projets visant à prévenir la migration de certaines populations vers le territoire européen.

    Cela implique la collaboration avec des pays tiers en matière d’accueil des personnes déportées, de formation des forces de police et des garde-frontières ou le développement de systèmes biométriques complets, ainsi que des donations d’équipements incluant hélicoptères, bateaux et véhicules, mais aussi des équipements de surveillance et de contrôle. Si de nombreux projets sont coordonnés par la Commission européenne, un certain nombre d’États membres, tels que l’Espagne, l’Italie et l’Allemagne, prennent également des initiatives individuelles plus poussées en finançant et en soutenant les efforts d’externalisation des frontières par le biais d’accords bilatéraux.

    Ce qui rend cette collaboration particulièrement problématique est le fait que de nombreux gouvernements qui en bénéficient sont profondément autoritaires, et que les financements sont souvent destinés aux organes de l’État les plus responsables des actes de répression et de violations des droits humains. L’UE fait valoir, à travers l’ensemble de ses politiques, une rhétorique consensuelle autour de l’importance des droits humains, de la démocratie et de l’état de droit ; il semble cependant qu’aucune limite ne soit posée lorsque l’Europe soutient des régimes dictatoriaux pour que ces derniers s’engagent à empêcher « l’immigration irrégulière » vers le sol européen. Le résultat concret se traduit par des accords et des financements conclus entre l’UE et des régimes aussi tristement célèbres que ceux du Tchad, du Niger, de Biélorussie, de Libye ou du Soudan.

    Les politiques européennes dans ce domaine ont des conséquences considérables pour les personnes déplacées, que le statut « illégal » rend déjà vulnérables et plus susceptibles de subir des violations de droits humains. Nombre d’entre elles finissent exploitées, avec des conditions de travail inacceptables, ou encore sont mises en détention ou directement déportées dans le pays qu’elles ont fui. Les femmes réfugiées sont particulièrement menacées par les violences basées sur le genre, les agressions et l’exploitation sexuelles.

    La violence et la répression que subissent les déplacés favorisent également l’immigration clandestine, reconfigurant les activités des passeurs et renforçant le pouvoir des réseaux criminels. De fait, les personnes déplacées sont souvent forcées de se lancer sur des routes alternatives, plus dangereuses, et de s’en remettre à des trafiquants de moins en moins scrupuleux. En conséquence, le nombre de morts sur les routes migratoires s’élève de jour en jour.

    En outre, le renforcement des organes de sécurité de l’Etat dans l’ensemble des pays du MENA (Moyen Orient Afrique du Nord), du Maghreb, du Sahel et de la Corne de l’Afrique constitue une menace directe contre les droits humains et la responsabilité démocratique dans ces zones, notamment en détournant des ressources essentielles qui pourraient suppress être destinées à des mesures économiques ou sociales. En effet, ce rapport montre que l’obsession européenne à prévenir les flux migratoires réduit non seulement les ressources disponibles, mais dénature également les échanges, l’aide et les relations internationales entre l’Europe et ces régions. Comme l’ont signalé de nombreux experts, ce phénomène crée un terreau favorable à toujours plus d’instabilité et d’insécurité, et a pour conséquence de pousser toujours plus de personnes à prendre la route de l’exil.

    Un secteur économique a cependant grandement tiré parti des programmes d’externalisation des frontières de l’UE. En effet, comme l’ont montré les premiers rapports Border Wars, les secteurs de l’industrie militaire et de sécurité ont été les principaux bénéficiaires des contrats de fourniture d’équipements et de services pour la sécurité frontalière. Les entreprises de ces secteurs travaillent en partenariat avec un certain nombre d’institutions intergouvernementales et (semi) publiques qui ont connu une croissance significative ces dernières années, à mesure qu’étaient mise en oeuvre des dizaines de projets portant sur la sécurité et le contrôle des frontières dans des pays tiers.
    Le rapport révèle que :

    La grande majorité des 35 pays considérés comme prioritaires par l’UE pour l’externalisation de ses frontières sont gouvernés par des régimes autoritaires, connus pour leurs violation des droits humains et avec des indicateurs de développement humain faibles.
    48% d’entre eux (17) ont un gouvernement autoritaire, et seulement quatre d’entre eux sont considérés comme démocratiques (mais toujours imparfaits)
    448% d’entre eux (17) sont listés comme « non-libres », et seulement trois sont listés comme « libres » ; 34% d’entre eux (12) présentent des risques extrêmes en matière de droits humains et les 23 autres présentent des risques élevés.
    51% d’entre eux (18) sont caractérisés par un « faible développement humain », seulement huit ont un haut niveau de développement humain.
    Plus de 70% d’entre eux (25) se situent dans le dernier tiers des pays du monde en termes de bien-être des femmes (inclusion, justice et sécurité)

    Les États européens continuent à vendre des armes à ces pays, et cela en dépit du fait que ces ventes alimentent les conflits, les actes de violence et de répression, et de ce fait contribuent à l’augmentation du nombre de réfugiés. La valeur totale des licences d’exportations d’armes délivrées par les États membres de l’UE à ces 35 pays sur la décennie 2007-2016 dépasse les 122 milliards d’euros. Parmi eux, 20% (7) sont sous le joug d’un embargo sur les ventes d’armes demandé par l’UE et/ou les Nations Unies, mais la plupart reçoivent toujours des armes de certains États membres, ainsi qu’un soutien à leurs forces armées et de sécurité dans le cadre des efforts liés aux politiques migratoires.

    Les dépenses de l’UE en matière de sécurité des frontières dans les pays tiers ont considérablement augmenté. Bien qu’il soit difficile de trouver des chiffres globaux, il existe de plus en plus d’instruments de financement pour les projets liés aux migrations, la sécurité et les migrations provient de plus en plus d’instruments, la sécurité et les migrations irrégulières étant les principales priorités. Ces fonds proviennent aussi de l’aide au développement. Plus de 80% du budget de l’EUTF vient du Fonds européen de développement et d’autres fonds d’aide au développement et d’aide humanitaire.

    L’augmentation des dépenses en matière de sécurité des frontières a bénéficié à un large éventail d’entreprises, en particulier des fabricants d’armes et des sociétés de sécurité biométrique. Le géant de l’armement français Thales, qui est également un exportateur incontournable d’armes dans la région, est par exemple un fournisseur reconnu de matériel militaire et de sécurité pour la sécurisation des frontières et de systèmes et équipements biométriques. D’autres fournisseurs importants de systèmes biométriques incluent Véridos, OT Morpho et Gemalto (qui sera bientôt racheté par Thales). L’Allemagne et l’Italie financent également leurs propres groupes d’armement – Hensoldt, Airbus et Rheinmetall pour l’Allemagne et Leonardo et Intermarine pour l’Italie – afin de soutenir des programmes de sécurisation des frontières dans un certain nombre de pays du MENA, en particulier l’Égypte, la Tunisie et la Libye. En Turquie, d’importants contrats de sécurisation des frontières ont été remportés par les groupes de défense turcs, notamment Aselsan et Otokar, qui utilisent les ressources pour subventionner leurs propres efforts de défense, également à l’origine des attaques controversées de la Turquie contre les communautés kurdes.

    Un certain nombre d’entreprises semi-publiques et d’organisations internationales ont également conclu des contrats de conseil, de formation et de gestion de projets en matière de sécurité des frontières. On y trouve la société para-gouvernementale française Civipol, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) et le Centre international pour le développement des politiques migratoires (ICMPD). Les groupes Thales, Airbus et Safran sont présents au capital de Civipol, qui a rédigé en 2003, à titre de consultant pour la Commission Européenne, un document très influent établissant les fondations pour les mesures actuelles d’externalisation des frontières, dont elle bénéficie aujourd’hui.

    Les financements et les dons en matière d’équipements militaires et de sécurité ainsi que la pression accrue sur les pays tiers pour qu’ils renforcent leurs capacités de sécurité aux frontières ont fait croître le marché de la sécurité en Afrique. Le groupe de lobbying Association européenne des industries aérospatiales et défense (ASD) a récemment concentré ses efforts sur l’externalisation des frontières de l’UE. De grands groupes d’armement tels qu’Airbus et Thales lorgnent également sur les marchés africains et du Moyen-Orient, en croissance.

    Les décisions et la mise en œuvre de l’externalisation des frontières au niveau de l’Union européenne ont été caractérisées par une rapidité d’exécution inhabituelle, hors du contrôle démocratique exercé par le Parlement européen. De nombreux accords importants avec des pays tiers, parmi lesquels les pactes « Migration Compact » signés dans le Cadre pour les partenariats et l’Accord UE- Turquie, ont été conclus sans ou à l’écart de tout contrôle parlementaire.

    Le renforcement et la militarisation de la sécurité des frontières ont conduit à une augmentation du nombre de morts parmi les personnes déplacées. En général, les mesures visant à bloquer une route particulière de migration poussent les personnes vers des routes plus dangereuses. En 2017, on a dénombré 1 mort pour 57 migrants traversant la Méditerranée ; en 2015, ce chiffre était de 1 pour 267. Cette statistique reflète le fait qu’en 2017, les personnes déplacées (pourtant moins nombreuses qu’en 2015), principalement originaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest et de pays subsahariens, ont préféré la route plus longue et plus dangereuse de la Méditerranée Centrale plutôt que la route entre la Turquie et la Grèce empruntée en 2015 par des migrants (principalement Syriens). On estime que le nombre de migrants morts dans le désert est au moins le double de ceux qui ont péri en Méditerranée, bien qu’aucun chiffre officiel ne soit conservé ou disponible.

    On assiste à une augmentation des forces militaires et de sécurité européennes dans les pays tiers pour la sécurité aux frontières. L’arrêt des flux migratoires est devenu une priorité des missions de Politique de sécurité et de défense commune (PSDC) au Mali et au Niger, tandis que des États membres tels que la France ou l’Italie ont également décidé de déployer des troupes au Niger ou en Libye.

    Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et garde-côtes, collabore de plus en plus avec les pays tiers. Elle a entamé des négociations avec des pays voisins de l’UE pour mener des opérations conjointes sur leurs territoires. La coopération en matière de déportation est déjà largement implantée. De 2010 à 2016, Frontex a coordonné 400 vols de retours conjoints avec des pays tiers, dont 153 en 2016. Depuis 2014, certains de ces vols ont été appelés « opérations de retour conjoint », l’avion et les escortes navigantes provenant des pays de destination. Les États membres invitent de plus en plus fréquemment des délégations de pays tiers à identifier les personnes « déportables » sur la base de l’évaluation de nationalité. Dans plusieurs cas, ces identifications ont conduit à l’arrestation et à la torture des personnes déportées.

    Ce rapport examine ces impacts en cherchant à établir comment ces politiques ont été mises en œuvre en Turquie, en Libye, en Égypte, au Soudan, au Niger, en Mauritanie et au Mali. Dans tous ces pays, pour parvenir à la conclusion de ces accords, l’UE a dû fermer les yeux ou limiter ses critiques sur les violations des droits humains.

    En Turquie, l’UE a adopté un modèle proche de celui de l’Australie, externalisant l’ensemble du traitement des personnes déplacées en dehors de ses frontières, et manquant ainsi à des obligations fondamentales établies par le droit international, telles que le principe de non-refoulement, le principe de non-discrimination (l’accord concerne exclusivement les populations syriennes) et le principe d’accès à l’asile.

    En Libye, la guerre civile et l’instabilité du pays n’ont pas empêché l’UE ni certains de ses États membres, comme l’Italie, de verser des fonds destinés aux équipements et aux systèmes de gestion des frontières, à la formation des garde-côtes et au financement des centres de détention – et ce bien qu’il ait été rapporté que des garde-côtes avaient ouvert le feu sur des bateaux de migrants ou que des centres de détentions étaient gérés par des milices comme des camps de prisonniers.

    En Égypte, la coopération frontalière avec le gouvernement allemand s’est intensifiée malgré la croissante consolidation du pouvoir militaire dans le pays. L’Allemagne finance les équipements et la formation régulière de la police aux frontières égyptienne. Les personnes déplacées se trouvent régulièrement piégées dans le pays, dans l’impossibilité de se rendre en Libye du fait de l’insécurité qui y règne, et subissent les tirs des gardes-côtes égyptiens s’ils décident de prendre la route maritime.

    Au Soudan, le soutien à la gestion des frontières fourni par l’UE n’a pas seulement conduit à suppress sortir un régime dictatorial de son isolement sur la scène internationale, mais a également renforcé les Forces de soutien rapide, constituées de combattants de la milice Janjawid, considérée comme responsables de violations de droits humains au Darfour.

    La situation au Niger, un des pays les plus pauvres au monde, montre bien le coût de la politique de contrôle des migrations subi par les économies locales. La répression en cours à Agadez a considérablement affaibli l’économie locale et poussé la migration dans la clandestinité, rendant la route plus dangereuse pour les migrants et renforçant le pouvoir des gangs de passeurs armés. De même au Mali, l’imposition des mesures d’externalisation des frontières par l’UE dans un pays tout juste sorti d’une guerre civile menace de raviver les tensions et de réveiller le conflit.

    L’ensemble des cas étudiés met en lumière une politique de l’UE via-à-vis de ses voisins obsessionnellement focalisée sur les contrôles migratoires, quel que soit le coût pour les pays concernés ou les populations déplacées. C’est une vision étroite et finalement vouée à l’échec de la sécurité, car elle ne s’attaque pas aux causes profondes qui poussent les gens à migrer : les conflits, la violence, le sous-développement économique et l’incapacité des États à gérer correctement ces situations. Au lieu de cela, en renforçant les forces militaires et de sécurité dans la région, ces politiques prennent le risque d’exacerber la répression, de limiter la responsabilité démocratique et d’attiser des conflits qui pousseront plus de personnes à quitter leurs pays. Il est temps de changer de cap. Plutôt que d’externaliser les frontières et les murs, nous devrions externaliser la vraie solidarité et le respect des droits de l’homme.


    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #UE #EU #Europe #rapport #infographie #visualisation #invisibilité #politiques_migratoires #surveillance #traque #renvois #expulsions #déportations #Sénégal #Azerbaïdjan #accords_de_réadmission #privatisation #multinationales #sécurisation_des_frontières #business #La_Vallette #Fonds_fiduciaire_d’urgence_pour_l’Afrique #fonds_fiduciaire #Turquie #partenariats #Tchad #Niger #Biélorussie #Libye #Soudan #violence #répression #mourir_aux_frontières #morts #décès #Maghreb #Sahel #Corne_de_l'Afrique #industrie_militaro-sécuritaire #armes #commerce_d'armes #Fonds_européen_de_développement #développement #coopération_au_développement #aide_au_développement #aide_humanitaire #Thales #Véridos #biométrie #OT_Morpho #Gemalto #Hensoldt #Airbus #Rheinmetall #Leonardo #Intermarine #Égypte #Tunisie #Aselsan #Otokar #Civipol #OIM #IOM #Centre_international_pour_le_développement_des_politiques_migratoires #ICMPD #Airbus #Safran #Association_européenne_des_industries_aérospatiales_et_défense #ASD #Migration_Compact #accord_UE-Turquie #Politique_de_sécurité_et_de_défense_commune #PSDC #Mali #Frontex #Mauritanie #militarisation_des_frontières

    pour télécharger le #rapport :
    https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/expanding_the_fortress_-_1.6_may_11.pdf

    cc @reka @albertocampiphoto @daphne @marty

    • Esternalizzare le frontiere europee significa militarizzare

      Come dimostra il recente rapporto del Transnational Institut, «Espandendo la Fortezza», la crescita della spesa per il controllo delle frontiere esterne avvantaggia produttori di armi e società di sicurezza biometrica. Molte delle loro proposte sono poi apparse nell’Agenda europea sotto forma di decisioni politiche. Sara Prestianni analizza le conseguenze militari dell’esternalizzazione delle frontiere europee.

      http://openmigration.org/analisi/esternalizzare-le-frontiere-europee-significa-militarizzare

    • 3 liens vers des articles/reportages de #Gabriele_Del_Grande, un des premiers journalistes à avoir visité les centres en Libye.

      C’était 2008-2009
      Libia: siamo entrati a #Misratah. Ecco la verità sui 600 detenuti eritrei

      Di notte, quando cessano il vociare dei prigionieri e gli strilli della polizia, dal cortile del carcere si sente il rumore del mare. Sono le onde del Mediterraneo, che schiumano sulla spiaggia, a un centinaio di metri dal muro di cinta del campo di detenzione. Siamo a Misratah, 210 km a est di Tripoli, in Libia. E i detenuti sono tutti richiedenti asilo politico eritrei, arrestati al largo di Lampedusa o nei quartieri degli immigrati a Tripoli. Vittime collaterali della cooperazione italo libica contro l’immigrazione. Sono più di 600 persone, tra cui 58 donne e diversi bambini e neonati. Sono in carcere da più di due anni, ma nessuno di loro è stato processato. Dormono in camere senza finestre di 4 metri per 5, fino a 20 persone, buttati per terra su stuoini e materassini di gommapiuma. Di giorno si riuniscono nel cortile di 20 metri per 20 su cui si affacciano le camere, sotto lo sguardo vigile della polizia. Sono ragazzi tra i 20 e i 30 anni. La loro colpa? Aver tentato di raggiungere l’Europa per chiedere asilo.

      Da anni la diaspora eritrea passa da Lampedusa. Dall’aprile del 2005 almeno 6.000 profughi della ex colonia italiana sono approdati sulle coste siciliane, in fuga dalla dittatura di Isaias Afewerki. La situazione a Asmara continua a essere critica. Amnesty International denuncia continui arresti e vessazioni di oppositori e giornalisti. E la tensione con l’Etiopia resta alta, cosicché almeno 320.000 ragazzi e ragazze sono costretti al servizio militare, a tempo indeterminato, in un paese che conta solo 4,7 milioni di abitanti. Molti disertano e scappano per rifarsi una vita. La maggior parte dei profughi si ferma in Sudan: oltre 130.000 persone. Tuttavia ogni anno migliaia di uomini e donne attraversano il deserto del Sahara per raggiungere la Libia e da lì imbarcarsi clandestinamente per l’Italia.

      La prima volta che sentii parlare di Misratah fu nella primavera del 2007, durante un incontro a Roma con il direttore dell’Alto commissariato dei rifugiati a Tripoli, Mohamed al Wash. Pochi mesi dopo, nel luglio del 2007, insieme alla associazione eritrea Agenzia Habeshia, riuscimmo a stabilire un contatto telefonico con un gruppo di prigionieri eritrei che erano riusciti a introdurre un telefono cellulare nel campo. Si lamentavano delle condizioni di sovraffollamento, della scarsa igiene dei bagni, e delle precarie condizioni di salute, specie di donne incinte e neonati. E accusavano gli agenti di polizia di avere molestato sessualmente alcune donne durante le prime settimane di detenzione. Amnesty International si espresse più volte per bloccare il loro rimpatrio. E il 18 settembre 2007 la diaspora eritrea organizzò manifestazioni nelle principali capitali europee.

      Il direttore del centro, colonnello ‘Ali Abu ‘Ud, conosce i report internazionali su Misratah, ma respinge le accuse al mittente: “Tutto quello che dicono è falso” dice sicuro di sé seduto alla scrivania, in giacca e cravatta, dietro un mazzo di fiori finti, nel suo ufficio al primo piano. Dalla finestra si vede il cortile dove sono radunati oltre 200 detenuti. Abu ‘Ud ha visitato nel luglio 2008 alcuni centri di prima accoglienza italiani, insieme a una delegazione libica. Parla di Misratah come di un albergo a cinque stelle comparato agli altri centri libici. E probabilmente ha ragione. Il che è tutto un dire. Dopo una lunga insistenza, insieme a un collega della radio tedesca, Roman Herzog, siamo autorizzati a parlare con i rifugiati eritrei. Scendiamo nel cortile. Ci dividiamo. Intervisto F., 28 anni, da 24 mesi chiuso qua dentro. Mentre lui parla mi accorgo che non lo sto ascoltando, in verità provo a mettermi nei suoi panni. Abbiamo grossomodo la stessa età, ma lui i migliori anni della vita li sta buttando via in un carcere, senza un motivo apparente.

      Dall’altro lato del cortile, Roman è riuscito a parlare per qualche minuto con un rifugiato sottraendosi al controllo degli agenti della sicurezza che vigilano sul nostro lavoro e riprendono con una telecamera le nostre attività. Si chiama S.. Parla liberamente: “Fratello, siamo in una pessima situazione, siamo torturati, mentalmente e fisicamente. Siamo qui da due anni e non conosciamo quale sarà il nostro futuro. Puoi vederlo da solo, guarda!” Intanto l’interprete li ha raggiunti e traduce tutto al direttore del campo, che interrompe l’intervista e chiede a S. se per caso non vuole ritornare in Eritrea. Lui risponde di no, intanto Roman lo invita ad allontanarsi a passo svelto e a dire tutto quello che può prima che il direttore li interrompa di nuovo. “Siamo qui da più di due anni, senza nessuna speranza. Siamo tutti eritrei. Io sono venuto in Libia nel 2005. Cerchiamo asilo politico, a causa della situazione nel nostro paese. Ma il mondo non si interessa a noi. Non è facile stare due anni in prigione, senza nessuna comodità. Siamo in prigione, non vediamo mai l’esterno. Tutti noi abbiamo bisogno della libertà, ecco di cosa abbiamo bisogno”.

      La polizia si avvicina nuovamente, Roman chiede a S. di mostrargli la sua stanza. Zigzagando tra la folla nel cortile entrano nel corridoio su cui danno la vista quattro stanze. All’interno, 18 ragazzi siedono su coperte e materassini di gommapiuma stesi sul pavimento. La stanza misura quattro metri per cinque. Al centro, una pentola gorgoglia sopra un fornellino da campeggio. Non ci sono finestre. “Siamo in troppi qui, è sovraffollato – dice S. – non vediamo la luce del sole e non c’è ricambio d’aria. Con il caldo d’estate la gente si ammala. E anche di inverno, fa molto freddo di notte, la gente si ammala”. Siamo a fine novembre, e i ragazzi indossano ciabatte da mare e leggeri pullover. La stanza accanto è più grande, ci sono solo donne e bambini, ma sono almeno il doppio.

      A quel punto gli uomini della sicurezza interrompono l’intervista e portano Roman fuori dal cortile, dove gli presentano un rifugiato scelto dal direttore... “Sono anche io un prigioniero” gli dice. Ma lui preferisce parlare con J.. Ha 34 anni e dice di essere stato in 13 prigioni diverse in Libia: “Alcuni di noi sono qui da quattro anni. Personalmente sono a Misratah da tre anni. Siamo nella peggiore delle situazioni. Non abbiamo commesso reati, stiamo solo chiedendo asilo politico. E non ci viene concesso. Diteci almeno perchè? Visto che nessuno ci informa. Che cosa sta succedendo là fuori? Diteci che cosa sarà di noi! Nemmeno l’Acnur. Non ci dicono mai niente. Non ho più speranza, quando ci vado a parlare nemmeno mi ascoltano. Pesavo 60 kg quando sono entrato, adesso ne peso 48, immagina perchè..”

      Il colonnello Abu ‘Ud segue la conversazione grazie alla traduzione in arabo dell’interprete, finché non riesce più a trattenersi. “Vuoi ritornare in Eritrea?” chiede a J. interrompendo bruscamente l’intervista. “Preferisco morire – gli risponde – tutti preferirebbero morire. “Se vuoi andare in Eritrea ti rimpatriamo in un solo giorno” minaccia il direttore. “Ci vietano di parlare con te” dice J. a Roman. Il direttore diventa furioso. Gli grida in faccia “Dite loro che li rimpatrieremo tutti!”. Poi si avvicina a Roman e con un urlo secco ordina: “Finito!”. Roman cerca di protestare, “abbiamo finito” gli ripette Abu ‘Ud mentre gli agenti lo tirano per le braccia verso l’uscita. Intanto il colonnello sale sui gradini e si rivolge a gran voce a tutti i rifugiati che nel frattempo si sono avvicinati per vedere cosa stia accadendo. “Se vi sentite maltrattati qui, organizzeremo il vostro rimpatrio immediatamente. Avete già rifiutato di ritornare nel vostro paese, ecco perchè siete in questo posto. Ma ognuno di voi è libero di ritornare in Eritrea! Chi vuole andare in Eritrea?” chiede alla folla. “Nessuno!” gli fanno eco i presenti. Scende e grida al mio collega “Hai visto! Adesso abbiamo veramente finito”.

      Saliamo di nuovo nell’ufficio del colonnello, che con toni molto nervosi cerca di convincerci del suo impegno. Per ben due volte l’ambasciata eritrea ha inviato dei funzionari per identificare i prigionieri. Ma i rifugiati hanno sempre rifiutato di incontrarli. Hanno addirittura organizzato uno sciopero della fame. Comprensibile, visto che rischiano di essere perseguitati in patria. La Libia dovrebbe averlo capito da un pezzo, visto che il 27 agosto 2004 uno dei voli di rimpatrio per l’Eritrea partiti da Tripoli venne addirittura dirottato in Sudan dagli stessi passeggeri. Ma il concetto di asilo politico sfugge alle autorità libiche. Eritrei o nigeriani, vogliono tutti andare in Europa. E visto che l’Europa chiede di controllare la frontiera, l’unica soluzione sono le deportazioni. E per chi non collabora con le ambasciate – come i rifugiati eritrei - la detenzione diventa a tempo indeterminato. Così per tornare in libertà non rimangono che due possibilità. Avere la fortuna di rientrare nei programmi di reinsediamento all’estero dell’Alto commissariato dei rifugiati (Acnur), oppure provare a scappare.

      Haron ha 36 anni. A casa ha lasciato una moglie e due bambini. Dall’Eritrea è scappato dopo 12 anni di servizio militare non retribuito. Dopo due anni di detenzione a Misratah, la Svezia ha accettato la sua richiesta di reinsediamento. E’ partito tre giorni dopo la nostra visita, il 27 novembre 2008, con un gruppo di altri 26 rifugiati eritrei del campo di Misratah, tra cui molte donne. I posti lasciati vuoti saranno presto riempiti con i nuovi arrestati. Già la settimana scorsa sono arrivate otto donne. I reinsediamenti sono le uniche carte che l’Acnur riesce a giocare, da un anno a questa parte, in Libia. Le prime 34 donne eritree lasciarono il campo di Misratah nel novembre del 2007 e furono accolte dall’Italia, a Cantalice, un piccolo comune nella campagna di Rieti. Per l’Italia fu il primo reinsediamento ufficiale di rifugiati dai tempi della crisi cilena del 1973. Ma l’operazione venne censurata dagli uffici stampa del Ministero dell’Interno, per non sollevare polemiche tra i leghisti. Insieme alle donne arrivarono 5 uomini e una bambina nata pochi giorni prima.

      Da allora, circa 200 rifugiati sono stati trasferiti da Misratah in vari paesi. Oltre all’Italia (70), anche in Romania (39), Svezia (27), Canada (17), Norvegia (9) e Svizzera (5). A snocciolarmi i dati è Osama Sadiq. E’ il coordinatore dei progetti della International organisation for peace care and relief (Iopcr). Una importante ong libica, che si dichiara non governativa, ma che tanto indipendente non deve essere, visto che ha al suo interno ex funzionari del ministero dell’interno e della sicurezza. E che è talmente influente, che l’Acnur riesce a entrare a Misratah soltanto sotto la sua copertura. Proprio così. In un paese dove transitano ogni anno migliaia di rifugiati eritrei, ma anche sudanesi, somali ed etiopi, l’Acnur conta meno di una ong. Non ha nemmeno un accordo di sede. E non riesce a spendere una parola a livello internazionale per la liberazione dei 600 prigionieri di Misratah. Probabilmente a dettare la linea politica dell’Acnur in Libia sono fragili equilibri diplomatici da non rompere per non rischiare di farsi cacciare da un Paese che non ha nemmeno mai firmato la Convenzione di Ginevra. Eppure la Libia sta conoscendo una importante fase di apertura. E il governo lavora a una nuova legge sull’immigrazione che però – secondo chi ha letto la bozza - non contiene nessun riferimento alla protezione dei rifugiati.

      Per quelli che non rientrano nei progetti di reinsediamento dell’Acnur, non rimane che l’ennesima fuga. Koubros è uno di loro. Lo incontriamo sulle scale della chiesa di San Francesco, nel quartiere Dhahra di Tripoli, dopo la messa del venerdì mattina. Un gruppo di eritrei è in fila per lo sportello sociale della Caritas, dove lavora l’infaticabile suor Sherly. A Misratah ha passato un anno. Era stato arrestato a Tripoli durante una retata nel quartiere di Abu Selim. E’ scappato durante un ricovero in ospedale. Poi però è stato di nuovo arrestato e portato al carcere di Tuaisha, vicino all’aeroporto di Tripoli. Dove è riuscito a corrompere un poliziotto facendosi inviare 300 dollari dagli amici eritrei in città. Siede vicino a Tadrous. Anche lui eritreo, anche lui disertore in fuga dal suo paese. E’ uscito due settimane fa dal carcere di Surman. Era stato condannato a cinque mesi di galera dopo essere stato trovato in mare con altri 90 passeggeri, a Zuwarah. In carcere si è preso la scabbia. Gli chiediamo di accompagnarci nel quartiere di Gurgi, dove vivono gli eritrei pronti a partire per l’Italia. Dice che è pericoloso. Gli eritrei vivono nascosti. La nostra presenza potrebbe allertare la polizia e provocare una retata. Y. però la pensa diversamente, vive in una zona diversa. Lo seguiamo.

      Scendiamo in una traversa sterrata di Shar‘a Ahad ‘Ashara, l’undicesima strada, a Gurgi. Qui vivono molti immigrati africani. L’appartamento è di proprietà di una famiglia chadiana, che ha affittato a sette eritrei le due piccole stanze sul terrazzo. Ci togliamo le scarpe per entrare. I pavimenti sono coperti di tappeti e coperte. Ci dormono in cinque ragazzi. La televisione, collegata alla grande parabola montata sul terrazzo, manda in onda videoclip in tigrigno di cantanti eritrei. E’ un posto sicuro, dicono, perchè l’ingresso della casa passa dall’appartamento della famiglia chadiana, che è a posto coi documenti. Si sono trasferiti qui da poco, dopo le ultime retate a Shar‘a ‘Ashara. Adesso quando sentono la sirena della polizia non ci fanno più caso. Prima si correvano a nascondere. Ci offrono cioccolata, una salsa di patate e pomodoro con del pane, 7-Up e succo di pera.

      Continuiamo a parlare delle loro esperienze nelle carceri libiche. Ognuno di loro è stato arrestato almeno una volta. E tutti sono usciti grazie alla corruzione. Basta pagare la polizia, da 200 a 500 dollari, per scappare o per non essere arrestati. I soldi arrivano con Western Union, grazie a una rete di solidarietà tra gli eritrei della diaspora, in Europa e in America.

      Anche Robel è stato a Misratah. C’ha passato un anno. Ci mostra il certificato di richiedente asilo rilasciato dall’Acnur. Scade l’11 maggio 2009. Ma con quello non si sente al sicuro. “Un mio amico è stato arrestato lo stesso, glielo hanno strappato sotto gli occhi”. Durante la detenzione, ha scritto un appello alla comunità internazionale, con un gruppo di sei studenti eritrei.

      Sul muro, accanto al poster di Gesù, c’è una foto in bianco e nero di una bambina di pochi anni, con su scritto il suo nome, Delina, con il pennarello. L’ho riconosciuta. E’ la stessa bambina che giocava sulle scale della chiesa con Tadrous. Anche lei dovrà rischiare la vita in mare. “L’importante è arrivare nelle acque internazionali”, dice Y.. Gli intermediari eritrei (dallala) che organizzano i viaggi, hanno diverse reputazioni. Ci sono intermediari spregiudicati e altri di cui ci si può fidare. Ma il rischio rimane. Non posso non pensarci, mentre sull’aereo di ritorno per Malta, comodamente seduto e un po’ annoiato, sfoglio la mia agenda con i numeri di telefono e le email dei ragazzi eritrei conosciuti a Tripoli. Prima della mia partenza per la Libia, un amico etiope mi aveva dato il numero di telefono di un suo compagno di viaggio, ancora a Tripoli, un certo Gibril. Ho provato a chiamarlo per tutto il tempo, ma il numero era spento. Nell’orecchio mi risuona ancora l’incomprensibile messaggio vocale in arabo. Speriamo che sia arrivato in Italia, o piuttosto a Misratah. E non in fondo al mare.


      https://fortresseurope.blogspot.com/2006/01/libia-siamo-entrati-misratah-ecco-la.html

      –---------------------------------

      Frontiera Sahara. I campi di detenzione nel deserto libico
      SEBHA - “Con noi c’era un bambino di quattro anni con la madre, durante tutto il viaggio mi sono domandato: come si può mandare una madre con un bambino di quattro anni insieme ad altre cento persone stipate come animali in un camion come quelli per la frutta, dove non c’è aria e dove stavamo stretti stretti, senza spazio per muoversi, per 21 ore di viaggio, dove le persone urinavano e defecavano davanti a tutti perché non c’era altra possibilità? Abbiamo viaggiato dalle 16:00 alle 13:00 del giorno dopo. Durante il giorno ogni volta che l’autista faceva una sosta per mangiare noi rimanevamo chiusi dentro il rimorchio sotto il sole. Mancava l’aria e tutti si alzavano in preda al panico perché non si respirava e volevamo scendere. Guardare il bambino ci faceva coraggio. Quando il camion si fermava lo prendevamo e lo mettevamo vicino al finestrino. Si chiamava Adam. Il camion si è fermato almeno tre volte nel deserto per far mangiare gli autisti e per la preghiera... Verso l’una siamo arrivati a Kufrah… Quando sono sceso ho rubato il burro con il pane che tenevano appeso fuori dal container. Non avevamo mangiato per tutto il viaggio, eravamo 110 persone, compreso Adam di quattro anni e sua madre”. [1]

      Menghistu non è l’unico a essere stato chiuso dentro un container e deportato. In Libia è la prassi. I container servono a smistare nei vari campi di detenzione i migranti arrestati sulle rotte per Lampedusa. Ne esistono di tre tipi. Il più piccolo è un pick-up furgonato. Quello medio è l’equivalente di un camioncino. E quello più grande è un vero e proprio container, blu, con tre feritoie per lato, trainato da un auto rimorchio. Quando un rifugiato eritreo, nella primavera del 2006, me ne parlò per la prima volta, stentai a crederlo. L’immagine di centinaia di uomini, donne e bambini rinchiusi dentro una scatola di ferro per essere concentrati in dei campi di detenzione e da lì deportati, mi rievocava i fantasmi della seconda guerra mondiale. Mi sembrava troppo. Ma la figura del container ritornava, come un marchio di autenticità, in tutte le storie di rifugiati transitati dalla Libia che avevo intervistato dopo di lui. Finché quei camion ho avuto modo di vederli con i miei occhi.

      A Sebha ce n’è uno per ogni tipo. Siamo alle porte del grande deserto libico, nella capitale della storica regione del Fezzan. Da qui, fino al secolo scorso passavano le carovane che attraversavano il Sahara. Oggi alle carovane si sono sostituiti gli immigrati. Il colonnello Zarruq è il direttore del nuovo centro di detenzione della città. È stato inaugurato lo scorso 20 agosto. I tre capannoni si intravedono oltre il muro di cinta. Ognuno ha quattro camerate, in tutto il centro possono essere detenute fino a 1.000 persone. Nel parcheggio sterrato, è parcheggiato un camion con uno dei container utilizzati per lo smistamento degli immigrati detenuti. Con una pacca sulle spalle, il direttore mi invita a salire sulla motrice. Un Iveco Trakker 420, a sei ruote. Mi indica il tachimetro: 41.377 km. Nuovo di pacca. È rientrato ieri sera da Qatrun, a quattro ore di deserto da qui. A bordo c’erano 100 prigionieri, arrestati alla frontiera con il Niger. Entriamo nel container, dalle scale posteriori. L’ambiente è claustrofobico anche senza nessuno. Difficile immaginarsi cosa possa diventare con 100 o 200 persone ammassate una sull’altra in questa scatola di ferro. I raggi del sole filtrati dalla polvere illuminano le taniche di plastica vuote, a terra, sotto le panche di ferro. Su una c’è scritto Gambia.

      L’acqua è il bagaglio essenziale per i migranti che attraversano il deserto. Ognuno prima di partire si porta dietro una o due taniche. Le riveste di juta per proteggerle dal sole e ci scrive su il proprio nome per riconoscerle una volta appese ai lati dei camion. Nelle traversate del Sahara la vita è appesa a un filo. Se il motore va in panne, se il camion si insabbia, o l’autista decide di abbandonare i passeggeri, è finita. Nel raggio di centinaia di chilometri non c’è altro che sabbia. Muoiono a decine ogni mese, ma le notizie filtrano difficilmente. Sulla stampa internazionale abbiamo censito almeno 1.621 vittime in tutto il Sahara. Ma stando alle testimonianze dei sopravvissuti, ogni viaggio conta i suoi morti. E ogni viaggio conta i suoi attacchi da parte di bande armate in Niger e Algeria.

      Tra i cento migranti arrivati a Sebha nel container di ieri c’è anche una famiglia di Sikasso, in Mali. Padre, madre e bambino. Arrestati tre giorni prima, a Ghat, alla frontiera con l’Algeria. Li incontriamo nell’ufficio del direttore. Il piccolino ha otto anni, faceva la terza elementare. Il padre lo stringe affettuosamente tra le forti braccia, mentre racconta in arabo, al nostro interprete, che lui in Europa non ci voleva andare. Che era venuto a Sebha perché aveva già lavorato qui nel 2002, con una compagnia tedesca. Hanno con sé i passaporti, ma senza il visto libico. Nel campo sono chiusi in celle separate. Il bimbo sta con la madre. I loro nomi compaiono sulle liste dei prossimi aerei pronti a partire. Nei primi undici mesi dell’anno, soltanto da Sebha, hanno deportato più di 9.000 persone, soprattutto nigeriani, maliani, nigerini, ghanesi, senegalesi e burkinabé. Solo a novembre i rimpatri sono stati 1.120. Zarruq mi mostra l’elenco dei voli: 467 nigeriani deportati il 2 settembre, 420 maliani a metà novembre. Le ambasciate mandano qui i loro funzionari per identificare i propri cittadini, e poi si provvede al rimpatrio. Kabbiun e Ajouas hanno già incontrato l’ambasciata nigeriana. I piedi di Kabbiun sono scalzi. Lo hanno arrestato a Ghat, le scarpe le ha lasciate in mezzo al deserto. Ajouas invece viveva a Tripoli da sei anni. Nessuno di loro ha visto un giudice o un avvocato. Avviene tutto senza convalida e senza nessuna possibilità di presentare ricorso e tantomeno di chiedere asilo politico.

      È il caso di Patrick. Viene dalla Repubblica democratica del Congo, recentemente tornata alle cronache per la crisi nella regione del Kivu. È stato arrestato un mese fa a Tripoli, mentre cercava lavoro alla giornata sotto i cavalcavia di Suq Thalatha. Possiamo parlare liberamente in francese, perché l’interprete non lo conosce. Mi porge un foglio spiegazzato dalla tasca. È il suo certificato di richiedente asilo politico. Rilasciato dall’Alto commissariato delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati (Acnur) a Tripoli, il nove ottobre 2007. Qua dentro è carta straccia. Come gli altri detenuti, Patrick non ha diritto di telefonare a nessuno, nemmeno all’Acnur. Se non trova prima i soldi per corrompere qualche poliziotto, anche lui, prima o poi, sarà deportato. E come lui i suoi compagni di cella. Sono camerate di otto metri per otto. I detenuti sono buttati per terra su stuoini e cartoni. La luce entra dalle vetrate in cima alle alte pareti. Ogni camerata è riempita con 60-70 persone. Stanno chiusi tutto il giorno, escono solo per i pasti, in un locale adibito a mensa, accanto a un piccolo chiosco dove i detenuti possono comprare bibite, dolci o medicine, sempre all’interno del muro di cinta.

      Le compagnie aeree che si occupano delle deportazioni sono libiche: Ifriqiya e Buraq Air. I soldi pure, garantisce il direttore. Ma è difficile credergli. Dopotutto il rapporto della Commissione europea del dicembre 2004 parlava già allora di 47 voli di rimpatrio finanziati dall’Italia. Zarruq scuote il capo. Dice che da Roma hanno avuto soltanto due fuoristrada per il pattugliamento, con il progetto Across Sahara. E il nuovo centro di detenzione? Ha finanziato tutto la Libia, insiste. Ammette però che l’Italia si era impegnata a costruire un nuovo centro, e che la a sha‘abiyah, la municipalità, aveva anche predisposto un terreno. Ma poi non se ne è fatto niente. Intanto però il vecchio campo è stato restaurato e ampliato, grazie anche ai lavori forzati degli immigrati detenuti. Questo Zarruq non me lo può dire, ma sono voci che corrono tra i rimpatriati, dall’altro lato della frontiera, a Agadez, in Niger. Ad ogni modo, insiste, oggi tutti i rimpatri avvengono in aereo, anche quelli verso il Niger: Sono passati i tempi dei cosiddetti “rimpatri volontari”, quando, nel 2004, oltre 18.000 nigerini e non solo vennero caricati sui camion e abbandonati alla frontiera in pieno deserto, con le decine di vittime che ne seguirono a causa degli incidenti.

      Ma Zarruq non ha intenzione di parlare di questo. E nemmeno il luogo tenente Ghrera. È lui il responsabile delle pattuglie nel Sahara. L’Italia e l’Europa si sono impegnate a finanziare alla Libia un sistema di controllo elettronico delle frontiere terrestri, firmato FinMeccanica. Lui alla sola idea sorride. Lavora nel deserto da 35 anni. Conosce bene il terreno. Per darci un’idea ci accompagna a Zellaf, 20 km a sud di Sebha. Ancora non siamo nel grande Sahara. Eppure davanti a noi non si vede che sabbia. I due fuoristrada, dopo una corsa a cento km all’ora sulle dune, fermano i motori. Ghrera e l’altro autista, ‘Ali, si lavano le mani nella sabbia. E si inginocchiano verso est. Dopo la preghiera, si riavvicinano. Controllare le rotte nel Sahara è impossibile, dice. Sono 5.000 km di deserto. Un’area troppo vasta e un terreno troppo accidentato Gli 89 autisti – quasi tutti libici – arrestati nei primi undici mesi del 2008 sono un’inezia rispetto alle migliaia di persone che attraversano il Sahara ogni anno. Alle missioni di pattugliamento partecipano gruppi di 10 fuoristrada. Stanno fuori per cinque giorni, ci spiega. Poi sorride. Ha trovato una bottiglia vuota di Gin, per terra. L’alcol in Libia è illegale. E infatti sulla bottiglia c’è scritto fabriqué au Niger, prodotto in Niger. Ghrera lancia la bottiglia nella sabbia, poco lontano. Non dice niente. I traffici non riguardano solo gli immigrati. Ci sono l’alcol, le sigarette, la droga, le armi. Prima di riaccendere il motore ribadisce il concetto: anche con il doppio delle pattuglie, il deserto rimane una porta aperta.

      Il centro di detenzione di Sebha non è l’unico campo di detenzione al sud. Ce ne sono almeno altri cinque. Quelli di Shati, Qatrun, Ghat e Brak, nel sud ovest del paese, fanno capo a Sebha, nel senso che gli immigrati arrestati in queste località vengono poi smistati a Sebha dentro i container. L’altro campo si trova 800 km a sud est, a Kufrah, e lì vengono detenuti i rifugiati eritrei e etiopi in arrivo dal Sudan. È il carcere che gode della peggiore fama, tra gli stessi libici.

      Mohamed Tarnish è il presidente dell’Organizzazione per i diritti umani, una ong libica finanziata dalla Fondazione di Saif al Islam Gheddafi, il primogenito del colonnello. Ci incontriamo al Caffè Sarayah, a due passi dalla Piazza Verde, a Tripoli. La sua organizzazione, sotto la guida del suo predecessore, Jum‘a Atigha, ha ottenuto il rilascio di circa 1.000 prigionieri politici e si è battuta per il miglioramento delle condizioni delle carceri libiche. Da un paio d’anni hanno accesso anche ai centri di detenzione degli immigrati. Ne hanno visitati sette. Ha la bocca cucita, davanti a noi c’è un funzionario dell’agenzia per la stampa estera del governo libico. Ma riesce comunque a farci capire che il centro di Kufrah è il peggiore. Le condizioni del vecchio fabbricato, il sovraffollamento, la scadenza del cibo e l’assenza di assistenza sanitaria.

      Per capire il significato delle allusioni di Tarnish, rileggo le interviste fatte ai rifugiati eritrei ed etiopi nel 2007.“Dormivamo in 78 in una cella di sei metri per otto” - “Dormivamo per terra, la testa accanto ai piedi dei vicini” - “Ci tenevano alla fame. Un piatto di riso lo potevamo dividere anche in otto persone” - “Di notte mi portavano in cortile. Mi chiedevano di fare le flessioni. Quando non ce la facevo più mi riempivano di calci e maledivano me e la mia religione cristiana” – “Usavamo un solo bagno in 60, nella cella c’era un odore perenne di scarico. Era impossibile lavarsi” - “C’erano pidocchi e pulci dappertutto, nel materasso, nei vestiti, nei capelli” - “I poliziotti entravano nella stanza, prendevano una donna e la violentavano in gruppo davanti a tutti”. È il ritratto di un girone infernale. Ma anche di un luogo di affari. Sì perché da un paio d’anni la polizia è solita vendere i detenuti agli stessi intermediari che poi li porteranno sul Mediterraneo. Il prezzo di un uomo si aggira sui 30 dinari, circa 18 euro.

      Non sono stato autorizzato a visitare il centro di Kufrah e non ho potuto verificare di persona. Tuttavia il fatto che le versioni dei tanti rifugiati con cui ho parlato coincidano nel disegnare un luogo di abusi, violenze e torture, mi fa pensare che sia tutto vero. Nel 2004 la Commissione europea riferiva che l’Italia stava finanziando il centro di detenzione di Kufrah. Nel 2007 il governo Prodi smentiva la notizia, dicendo che si trattava di un centro di assistenza sanitaria. Poco importa. Dal 2003, Italia e Unione Europea finanziano operazioni di contrasto dell’immigrazione in Libia. La domanda è la seguente: perché fingono tutti di non sapere?

      Nel 2005, il prefetto Mario Mori, ex direttore del Sisde, informava il Copaco: “I clandestini [in Libia, ndr.] vengono accalappiati come cani... e liberati in centri... dove i sorveglianti per entrare devono mettere i fazzoletti intorno alla bocca per gli odori nauseabondi”. Ma i funzionari della polizia italiana sapevano già tutto. Già perché dal 2004 alcuni agenti fanno attività di formazione in Libia. E alcuni funzionari del ministero dell’Interno, hanno visitato in più occasioni i centri di detenzione libici, Kufrah compreso, limitandosi a non rilasciare dichiarazioni. E l’ipocrita Unione Europea? Il rapporto della Commissione europea del 2004, definisce le condizioni dei campi di detenzione libici “difficili” ma in fin dei conti “accettabili alla luce del contesto generale”. Tre anni dopo, nel maggio 2007, una delegazione di Frontex visitò il sud della Libia, compreso il carcere di Kufrah, per gettare le basi di una futura cooperazione. Indovinate cosa scrisse? “Abbiamo apprezzato tanto la diversità quanto la vastità del deserto”. Sulle condizioni del centro di detenzione però preferì sorvolare. Una dimenticanza?

      [1] Testimonianza raccolta dalla scuola di italiano Asinitas, Roma, 2007


      https://fortresseurope.blogspot.com/2006/01/frontiera-sahara-i-campi-di-detenzione.html

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      Guantanamo Libia. Il nuovo gendarme delle frontiere italiane

      La porta di ferro è chiusa a doppia mandata. Dalla piccola feritoia si affacciano i volti di due ragazzi africani e un di egiziano. L’odore acre che esce dalla cella mi brucia le narici. Chiedo ai tre di spostarsi. La vista si apre su due stanze di tre metri per quattro. Incrocio gli sguardi di una trentina di persone. Ammassati uno sull’altro. A terra vedo degli stuoini e qualche lercio materassino in gommapiuma. Sui muri qualcuno ha scritto Guantanamo. Ma non siamo nella base americana. Siamo a Zlitan, in Libia. E i detenuti non sono presunti terroristi, ma immigrati arrestati a sud di Lampedusa e lasciati marcire in carceri fatiscenti finanziate in parte dall’Italia e dall’Unione europea.

      I prigionieri si accalcano contro la porta della cella. Non ricevono visite da mesi. Alcuni alzano la voce: “Aiutateci!”. Un ragazzo allunga la mano oltre quelli della prima fila e mi porge un pezzettino di cartone. C’è scritto sopra un numero di telefono, a penna. Il prefisso è quello del Gambia. Lo metto in tasca prima che la polizia se ne accorga. Il ragazzo si chiama Outhman. Mi chiede di dire a sua madre che è ancora vivo. È in carcere da cinque mesi. Fabrice invece non esce da questa cella da nove mesi. Entrambi sono stati arrestati durante le retate nei quartieri degli immigrati a Tripoli. Da anni la polizia libica è impegnata in simili operazioni. Da quando nel 2003 l’Italia siglò con Gheddafi un accordo di collaborazione per il contrasto dell’immigrazione, e spedì oltremare motovedette, fuoristrada e sacchi da morto, insieme ai soldi necessari a pagare voli di rimpatrio e tre campi di detenzione. Da allora decine di migliaia di immigrati e rifugiati ogni anno sono arrestati dalla polizia libica e detenuti nei circa 20 centri fatiscenti sparsi per il paese, in attesa del rimpatrio. Insieme a un collega tedesco, siamo i primi giornalisti autorizzati a visitare questi centri.

      “La gente soffre! Il cibo è pessimo, l’acqua è sporca. Ci sono donne malate e altre incinte”. Gift ha 29 anni. Viene dalla Nigeria. Indossa ancora il vestito che aveva quando l’arrestarono tre mesi fa, ormai ridotto a uno straccio sporco e consumato. Stava passeggiando con il marito. Non avevano documenti e furono arrestati. Non lo vede da allora, lui nel frattempo è stato rimpatriato. Dice di avere lasciato i due figli a Tripoli. Di loro non ha più notizie. Viveva in Libia da tre anni. Lavorava come parrucchiera e non aveva nessuna intenzione di attraversare il Canale di Sicilia. Come molti degli immigrati detenuti dai nuovi gendarmi della frontiera italiana.

      All’Europa invece aveva pensato Y.. C’aveva pensato e come. Disertore dell’esercito eritreo, per chiedere asilo politico, si era imbarcato due mesi fa per Lampedusa. Ma è stato fermato in mare. Dai libici. Da quel giorno è rinchiuso a Zlitan. Anche lui senza nessuna convalida dello stato d’arresto. Prima di farlo entrare nello studio del direttore, un poliziotto gli sussurra qualcosa all’orecchio. Lui fa cenno di sì col capo. Quando gli chiediamo delle condizioni del centro, risponde “Everything is good”. Va tutto bene. È spaventato a morte. Sa che ogni risposta sbagliata gli può costare un pestaggio. Il direttore del campo, Ahmed Salim, sorride compiaciuto delle risposte e ci assicura che non sarà deportato. Nel giro di qualche settimana sarà trasferito al centro di detenzione di Misratah, 210 km a est di Tripoli, dove sono concentrati i prigionieri di nazionalità eritrea.

      Nella provincia esistono altri tre centri di detenzione per stranieri, a Khums, Garabulli e Bin Ulid. Ma sono strutture più piccole e i detenuti vengono poi tradotti nel campo di Zlitan, che può rinchiudere fino a 325 persone, in attesa del loro rimpatrio. Ma quanti sono i centri di detenzione in tutta la Libia? Sulla base delle testimonianze raccolte in questi anni, ne abbiamo contati 28, perlopiù concentrati sulla costa. Ne esistono di tre tipi. Ci sono dei veri e propri centri di raccolta, come quelli di Sebha, Zlitan, Zawiyah, Kufrah e Misratah, dove vengono concentrati i migranti e i rifugiati arrestati durante le retate o alla frontiera. Poi ci sono strutture più piccole, come quelle di Qatrun, Brak, Shati, Ghat, Khums… dove gli stranieri sono detenuti per un breve periodo prima di essere inviati nei centri di raccolta. E poi ci sono le prigioni: Jadida, Fellah, Twaisha, Ain Zarah… Prigioni comuni, nelle quali intere sezioni sono dedicate alla detenzione degli stranieri senza documenti. Anche nelle prigioni, le condizioni di detenzione sono pessime. Scabbia, parassiti e infezioni sono il minimo che ci si possa prendere. Molte donne sono colpite da infezioni vaginali. E non mancano i decessi, dovuti perlopiù all’assenza di assistenza sanitaria o a ricoveri ospedalieri troppo tardivi. Il nome più ricorrente nei racconti dei migranti è quello del carcere di Fellah, a Tripoli, che però è stato recentemente demolito per far spazio a un grande cantiere edilizio, in linea con il restyling di tutta la città. La sua funzione è stata sostituita dal Twaisha, un’altra prigione vicino all’aeroporto.

      Koubros è riuscito a scappare da Twaisha poche settimane fa. È un rifugiato eritreo di 27 anni. Viveva in Sudan, ma dopo che un amico eritreo è stato rimpatriato da Khartoum, non si è più sentito al sicuro e ha pensato all’Europa. Da Twaisha è uscito sulle stampelle. Non poteva pagare la cifra che gli aveva chiesto un poliziotto ubriaco. Allora l’hanno portato fuori dalla cella e preso a manganellate. È uscito grazie a una colletta tra i prigionieri eritrei. Per corrompere una delle guardie carcerarie sono bastati 300 dollari. Lo incontro davanti alla chiesa di San Francesco, a Tripoli. Come ogni venerdì, una cinquantina di migranti africani aspetta l’apertura dello sportello sociale della Caritas. Tadrous è uno di loro. È stato rilasciato lo scorso sei ottobre dal carcere di Surman. È uno dei pochi ad essere stato giudicato da una corte. La sua storia mi interessa. Era il giugno del 2008. Si erano imbarcati da Zuwarah, in 90. Ma dopo poche ore decisero di invertire la rotta, perché il mare era in tempesta. E tornarono indietro. Appena toccata terra furono arrestati e portati nella prigione di Surman. Il giudice li condannò a 5 mesi di carcere per emigrazione illegale. Finiti i quali è stato rilasciato. Gli chiedo se gli fu dato un avvocato d’ufficio. Sorride scuotendo la testa. La risposta è negativa.

      Niente di strano, sostiene l’avvocato Abdussalam Edgaimish. La legge libica non prevede il gratuito patrocinio per reati passibili di pene inferiori a tre anni. Edgaimish è il direttore dell’ordine degli avvocati di Tripoli. Ci riceve nel suo studio in via primo settembre. Ci spiega che tutte le pratiche di arresto e detenzione sono svolte come procedure amministrative, senza nessuna convalida del giudice. Senza nessuna base legale dunque, ma solo sull’onda dell’emergenza. Anche in Libia una persona non potrebbe essere privata della libertà senza un mandato d’arresto. Ma questa è la teoria. La pratica invece è quella delle retate casa per casa nei sobborghi di Tripoli.

      “I migranti sono vittime di una cospirazione tra le due rive del Mediterraneo. L’Europa vede soltanto un problema di sicurezza, nessuno vuole parlare dei loro diritti”. Anche Jumaa Atigha è un avvocato di Tripoli. Nella parete del suo ufficio è appesa una Laurea in Diritto penale dell’Università La Sapienza, di Roma, conferita nel 1983. Dal 1999 ha presieduto l’Organizzazione per i diritti umani della Fondazione guidata dal primogenito di Gheddafi, Saif al Islam. Lo scorso anno si è dimesso. Dal 2003 ha condotto una campagna che ha portato alla liberazione di 1.000 prigionieri politici. Ci descrive un paese in rapido cambiamento, ma ancora lontano da una situazione ideale sul fronte delle libertà individuali e politiche. In Libia non c’è nessuna legge sull’asilo, ci conferma, ma in compenso una commissione si sta occupando di scrivere un nuova legge sull’immigrazione.

      Atigha conosce personalmente le condizioni di detenzione in Libia. Dal 1991 al 1998 è stato incarcerato, senza processo, come prigioniero politico. Ci dice che la tortura è comunemente praticata dalla polizia libica. “Dal 2003 abbiamo fatto una campagna contro la tortura nelle carceri. Abbiamo organizzato conferenze, visitato le prigioni, fatto dei corsi agli ufficiali di polizia. La mancanza di consapevolezza fa sì che la polizia pratichi la tortura pensando così di servire la giustizia”.

      Mustafa O. Attir la pensa allo stesso modo. Insegna sociologia all’Università El Fatah di Tripoli. “Non è un problema di razzismo. I libici sono gentili con gli stranieri. È un problema di polizia”. Attir sa quello che dice. È entrato nelle carceri libiche come ricercatore nel 1972, nel 1984 e nel 1986. Gli agenti di polizia non hanno istruzione - sostiene -, e sono educati al concetto di punizione.

      Le sue parole mi fanno ripensare ai parrucchieri ghanesi nella medina, ai sarti chadiani, ai negozianti sudanesi, ai camerieri egiziani, alle donne delle pulizie marocchine e agli spazzini africani che armati di scope di bambù ogni notte ripuliscono le vie dei mercati della capitale. Mentre gli eritrei si nascondono nei sobborghi di Gurji e Krimia, migliaia di immigrati africani vivono e lavorano, in condizioni di sfruttamento, ma con relativa tranquillità. Sicuramente per sudanesi e chadiani è tutto più facile. Parlano arabo e sono musulmani. La loro presenza in Libia è decennale e quindi tollerata. Lo stesso per egiziani e marocchini. Al contrario eritrei ed etiopi sono qui esclusivamente per il passaggio in Europa. Spesso non parlano arabo. Spesso sono cristiani. E i loro nonni combattevano contro i libici a fianco delle truppe coloniali italiane. E poi si sa che hanno spesso in tasca i soldi per la traversata. Per cui diventano facile mira di piccoli delinquenti e poliziotti corrotti. Per i nigeriani, e più in generale i sub-sahariani anglofoni, è ancora diverso. Che siano diretti in Europa oppure no, il loro destino in Libia si scontra sistematicamente contro il pregiudizio che si è venuto a creare contro i nigeriani, sulla scia di qualche fatto di cronaca nera. Sono accusati di portare droga, alcol e prostituzione, di essere autori di rapine e omicidi, e di diffondere il virus dell’Hiv.

      Il professor Attir, nel 2007, ha organizzato tre seminari sul tema dell’immigrazione nei paesi arabi. In Libia è uno dei massimi esperti. Ed è pronto a smentire la cifre che circolano in Europa. “Due milioni di immigrati in Libia pronti a partire per l’Italia? Non è vero”. In realtà non esistono statistiche di nessun tipo. Ma solo stime. Che però – secondo Attir – non sono attendibili. Basta dare un occhio in giro. La popolazione libica è di cinque milioni e mezzo di persone. Gli stranieri non possono ragionevolmente essere più di un milione, compresi gli immigrati arabi egiziani, tunisini, algerini e marocchini. La maggior parte di loro non ha mai pensato all’Europa. E la Libia ha bisogno di loro, perché è un paese sottopopolato e perché i libici non vogliono più fare lavori pesanti e mal retribuiti. Attir è consapevole delle pressioni che l’Europa sta facendo sulla Libia perché sigilli le sue frontiere. Ma sa che “non c’è modo per farlo”.

      La Libia ha circa 1.800 km di costa, in buona parte disabitati. Il colonnello Khaled Musa, capo delle pattuglie anti immigrazione a Zuwarah, non sa che farsene delle sei motovedette promesse dall’Italia. Potrebbero servire a pattugliare meglio il tratto di mare tra la frontiera tunisina, Ras Jdayr, e Sabratah, ammette. Ma sono solo 100 km. Il 6% della costa libica. E le partenze si sono già spostate sul litorale a est di Tripoli, tra Khums e Zlitan, a più di 200 km da Zuwarah. Il dipartimento anti immigrazione di Zuwarah è nato nel 2005. Il numero di migranti arrestati è sceso da 5.963 nel 2005 a soli 1.132 nel 2007. Per il capo del dipartimento investigazioni, Sala el Ahrali, i dati indicano il successo delle misure repressive. Molti degli organizzatori dei viaggi sono stati arrestati, questo sarebbe il motivo per cui le partenze si sono ridotte. E la costa è più controllata. Ogni dieci chilometri è installata una tenda, in mezzo alla spiaggia. Serve da appoggio ai fuoristrada della polizia, che da due anni pattugliano la litoranea, appoggiati da quattro motovedette della marina. Il tratto di costa attualmente pattugliato è di una cinquantina di chilometri. Parte da Farwah, a una decina di chilometri dalla frontiera tunisina, e finisce 15 km a est di Zuwarah, a Mellitah, nei pressi dell’imponente impianto di trattamento del gas di proprietà dell’Eni e della libica National Oil Company.

      E proprio da Mellitah parte il #Greenstream, il gasdotto sottomarino più lungo del Mediterraneo. Collega la Libia a Gela, in Sicilia. Ironia della sorte, corre lungo la stessa rotta che porta i migranti a Lampedusa. Come dire che mentre sulla superficie del mare l’Europa dispiega le sue forze militari per bloccare il transito degli esseri umani, otto miliardi di metri cubi di gas ogni anno scorrono silenziosi nei 520 km di condotta posata sui fondali di quello stesso mare, in mezzo alle ossa delle migliaia di uomini e donne morti nella traversata del Canale di Sicilia. Un’immagine che sintetizza perfettamente le relazioni degli ultimi cinque anni tra Roma e Tripoli, condotte all’insegna dello slogan “più petrolio e meno immigrati”.

      https://fortresseurope.blogspot.com/2006/01/guantanamo-libia-il-nuovo-gendarme.html
      #gazoduc

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      Liens qu’il a mis aujourd’hui sur FB pour accompagner ce message:

      Non conosco nessuno dell’equipaggio di #Lifeline, la nave della ONG accusata dal ministro Salvini di aver agito fuorilegge soccorrendo 239 passeggeri in difficoltà in acque libiche. Purtroppo però conosco bene le carceri libiche. Fui il primo giornalista italiano a visitarle nel 2008 insieme al collega e amico Roman Herzog. Abusi, pestaggi, violenze sulle donne erano la norma già allora. Gli unici che si salvavano erano quelli che riuscivano a farsi mandare abbastanza soldi dai familiari in Europa con cui corrompevano facilmente le guardie colluse con le mafie del contrabbando per farsi rilasciare e tentare di nuovo la traversata. Gli altri, dopo mesi di prigione in condizioni inumane venivano rimpatriati sui voli dell’OIM oppure, molto più spesso, stipati come vuoti a rendere dentro i container dei camion che prendevano la via del deserto, per decine di ore, mentre sotto il sole le lamiere di ferro diventavano un forno, per essere infine abbandonati alla frontiera sud con il Niger e il Sudan, in una terra di nessuno. E quanti ne sono morti anche lì, in mezzo al Sahara. Con molti giornalisti e documentaristi abbiamo denunciato questa situazione fin dal 2007. Da quando Prodi e Amato negoziarono gli accordi di respingimento con Gheddafi a quando Berlusconi e Maroni li misero in pratica nel 2009. Da allora sembra non essere cambiato molto. E allora, pur non conoscendoli, mi azzardo a pensare che l’equipaggio della #Lifeline abbia disobbedito all’ordine di consegnare i passeggeri alla guardia costiera libica temendo per il destino di quegli uomini, di quelle donne e di quei bambini, immaginando il triste destino che li attendeva nelle prigioni oltremare.

      Dopodiché se il comportamento della #Lifeline costituisca un reato lo deciderà un giudice anche alla luce di queste considerazioni. Perché quello che il ministro Salvini si dimentica di ricordare è che la Libia non è Malta, non è la Spagna, non è la Francia. La Libia di oggi non è un paese sicuro.

      Ciononostante, attenzione, gli sbarchi devono cessare. Ma come si fa?

      Si aprono vie legali. Perché, ministro, da contribuenti italiani non vogliamo finanziare altre prigioni in Libia. Vogliamo finanziare asili nido, scuole, parchi, ospedali. Non vogliamo continuare a finanziare le milizie colluse con le stesse mafie del contrabbando che dite di voler combattere.

      Per sconfiggere quelle mafie, azzerare gli sbarchi e porre fine alle tragedie delle traversate c’è un unico modo: legalizzare l’emigrazione Africa-Europa. Perché fin quando quell’emigrazione sarà illegale, ci sarà qualche mafia pronta a lucrarci. Oggi i libici, domani gli egiziani o i tunisini. Il mare è grande e incontrollabile.

      La soluzione sarebbe così semplice che è incredibile credere che i vostri consiglieri non ve l’abbiano prospettata. Andate in Europa e chiedete a gran voce che le ambasciate UE in Africa riaprano i canali legali dei visti che hanno progressivamente chiuso in questi ultimi vent’anni, spingendo centinaia di migliaia di giovani nelle mani del contrabbando libico a cui abbiamo concesso il monopolio della mobilità sud-nord in questo mare.

      Calcolate quante persone ogni anno attraversano il mare per rimanere bloccati in Italia, senza documenti e senza lavoro. Calcolate quanti sono e rilasciate lo stesso numero di visti per ricerca di lavoro. Affinché quelle stesse persone possano comodamente imbarcarsi in aereo, con in tasca un passaporto e un visto europeo liberi di circolare in tutta Europa, ricongiungersi con i propri familiari e cercare lavoro là dove il lavoro c’è, in quel centro e nord Europa che in questi anni ha importato milioni di lavoratori dall’est mentre noi a sud predicavamo il blocco navale e continuavamo a contare i morti.

      In caso contrario, signor ministro, siate più chiari. Dite semplicemente che di negri in Europa non volete vederne. Né per le vie legali né per quelle illegali.

      https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2121309374549318&id=100000108285082

    • La zona SAR libica non esiste. Il grande inganno nel rimbalzo dei soccorsi

      "Una zona SAR libica ad oggi non esiste”, spiega Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, avvocato, esperto di immigrazione, membro del direttivo di Osservatorio Solidarietà. “E non esiste in quanto il governo di Tripoli non ha soddisfatto i requisiti imposti dall’IMO (Organizzazione marittima internazionale) per il riconoscimento delle zone SAR”, aggiunge l’avvocato.

      I requisiti consistono nell’accordo tra lo Stato che si pone come responsabile delle operazioni di salvataggio in una propria area di mare l’Organizzazione marittima internazionale (IMO). A quel punto i dati della zona SAR devono essere inseriti in un database ufficiale e pubblico, il GISIS. A marzo, in seguito al caso Open Arms, Famiglia Cristiana aveva fatto una verifica con l’IMO e la risposta ricevuta era stata: “La Libia non ha inviato le sue informazioni”.

      “Quasi tutte le operazioni di soccorso in acque internazionali nelle ultime settimane sono state coordinate dal Comando della Guardia costiera italiana proprio perché la Libia non esiste come paese unitario e non ha un Comando centrale unificato”, aggiunge Vassallo Paleologo.

      “Ma tutto è cambiato dal caso Aquarius”. Infatti da alcuni giorni anche sul sito dell’IMO compare il riferimento alla zona SAR libica “ma continua a non esistere uno stato unitario e anche le guardie costiere delle diverse città rispondono a milizie diverse“, avverte l’avvocato. “Alla fine il risultato è che il trasferimento di competenze ai libici e l’allontanamento delle Ong produce un ritardo nei soccorsi, un amento delle vittime e delle persone riportate nei centri di detenzione in Libia dove continuano gli abusi”.

      Esiste invece una zona SAR maltese. Ma Malta ha dichiarato unilateralmente la sua zona di ricerca e soccorso, un’area molto ampia che però non è riconosciuta dalle autorità marittime internazionali poiché il Governo de la Valletta non ha mai sottoscritto alcune modifiche della convenzione di Amburgo del 1979 e della convenzione #Solas introdotte nel 2004. Queste norme prevedono che lo sbarco avvenga nel paese che ha coordinato i soccorsi, e da sempre in quel tratto di mare i soccorsi sono stati coordinati dall’Italia. Quindi, in base al diritto internazionale e alla prassi i soccorsi coordinati dall’Italia hanno sempre indicato un porto di sbarco italiano.

      http://osservatoriosolidarieta.org/la-zona-sar-libica-non-esiste-il-grande-inganno-nel-rimbalz
      #Malte #SAR

    • Conséquences pour les droits de l’homme de la « dimension extérieure » de la politique d’asile et de migration de l’Union européenne : loin des yeux, loin des droits ?

      Les objectifs de la délégation des procédures de migration aux pays en dehors des frontières de l’Union européenne sont, entre autres, d’alléger la pression migratoire des États membres aux frontières de l’UE et de réduire le besoin des migrants d’entreprendre des voyages terrestres et maritimes potentiellement mortels. La réinstallation dans toute l’Europe devrait ensuite faciliter un afflux plus régulier sur le continent. Cependant, le transfert des responsabilités et l’engagement de pays tiers dans le renforcement de contrôles aux frontières de l’UE comportent de sérieux risques pour les droits de l’homme. Il augmente le risque que les migrants soient « bloqués » dans les pays de transit par la réadmission et le recours accru à des mesures punitives et restrictives telles que le refoulement, la rétention arbitraire et les mauvais traitements. C’est également un moyen pour de nombreux États membres de l’Union européenne de prendre leurs distances par rapport à la question de l’assistance et de l’intégration des réfugiés, qui est source de divisions politiques.

      Ce #rapport exhorte les États membres à œuvrer ensemble pour que le recours accru à des politiques de dissuasion ne porte pas atteinte au devoir des États européens de respecter et de défendre les droits de l’homme à l’échelle mondiale et à s’abstenir d’externaliser le contrôle des migrations vers les pays où la législation, les politiques et les pratiques ne respectent pas les normes de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme et de la Convention des Nations Unies relative au statut des réfugiés.

      http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-fr.asp?fileid=24808&lang=fr

    • Sahel, la France en guerre ?

      Au Mali, alors que la campagne pour les élections présidentielles du 29 juillet bat son plein, l’insécurité liée au terrorisme grandit. La France a-t-elle encore un rôle a jouer ? Elle a depuis 2013 une forte présence militaire entre le Sahel et le Sahara, mais quelle place tient-elle dans la guerre contre le terrorisme ?

      Sahel, la France en guerre ? Par David Dominé-Cohn ntoine de Saint-Exupéry dans Terre des hommes (1939) dresse le portrait des officiers français des compagnies méharistes au Sahara. Développées à partir de 1897 par le commandant Laperrine, ces unités d’infanterie, relevant pour partie de la Légion étrangère, apparentées aussi aux spahis, ont effectué un travail de police et de contrôle des populations des oasis. Chez l’écrivain, le capitaine Bonnafous exerce son autorité, fascinante pour l’observateur occidental, dans un mélange d’héroïsme, d’humanité et d’extrême violence : « À cause de Bonnafous chaque pas vers le sud devient un pas riche de gloire »… et d’insurrections des populations locales.

      Les grandes formes historiques semblent se reproduire dans le désert. Depuis 2013, la France entretient une présence militaire entre le Sahel et le Sahara : 4500 hommes au printemps 2018. Avec 500 opérations en trois ans et demi, l’objectif affiché est d’abord de maintenir la pression sur les groupes terroristes et d’apporter un soutien à la population locale. Les attaques terroristes sur place sont l’occasion de s’interroger sur l’espace du Sahara et du Sahel comme étant redevenu un espace majeur d’action militaire de la France. Témoignant dans le livre de David Revault d’Allones, Les guerres du président (2015), Sacha Mandel, plume de Jean-Yves Le Drian, revendique le terme de guerre pour ce qui a causé, pour la France 22 morts et des dizaines de blessés et des centaines morts et de blessés pour les adversaires. Or peut-on faire la guerre au terrorisme ?

      Faire la « guerre au #Mali » puis faire la guerre au #terrorisme

      L’intervention française au Mali avec l’opération Serval commence le 11 janvier 2013 pour soutenir l’État malien dans la reprise des villes du pays contrôlées par une alliance entre le MNLA (Mouvement national de libération de l’Azawad) touareg, qui réclame le développement et l’indépendance du Nord du pays, l’Azawad, et des mouvements islamistes comme Ansar Dine et le MUJAO (Mouvement pour l’unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest) et d’autres issus de la guerre civile algérienne des années 1990 comme AQMI. Les opérations militaires françaises, appuyées par les forces des États voisins, visent d’abord à sécuriser Bamako, comme l’affirme le président Hollande le 15 janvier aux Émirats Arabes Unis. La boucle du fleuve Niger est reprise entre le 22 et le 28 janvier, la ville de Gao le 25. Le 27 janvier par une opération aéroportée de la Légion, Tombouctou est contrôlée, puis Kidal le 30. En février et mars les forces avancent vers le nord, vers Tesslit et Tigharghâr, pendant que Gao connaît un regain de violence et d’actes terroristes kamikazes comme dans la nuit du 9 au 10 février. Un effort important est fait pour séparer les mouvements de l’Azawad des islamistes. Ainsi, le général tchadien Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno déclare le 11 janvier à RFI que ses troupes, qui occupent la ville, entretiennent de bonnes relations avec le MNLA. Le 2 février, dans un discours à Bamako, François Hollande considère l’action française comme inachevée et se donne comme objectif l’éradication du terrorisme. Les opérations antiterroristes scandent toute la seconde moitié de l’année 2013 et le début de 2014. Le 1er août 2014, l’opération Serval et l’opération Épervier au Tchad sont regroupées dans l’opération Barkhane qui porte sur l’ensemble de la bande sahélo-saharienne. Michel Galy (La guerre au Mali. Comprendre la crise au Sahel et au Sahara. Enjeux et zones d’ombre, 2013) rappelle que l’intervention française s’inscrit à la fois dans une forme de tradition française et dans un contexte général de transformation de la région. Au-delà de la remise en cause du mode de gouvernement du président Amadou Toumani Touré, les différents mouvements indépendantistes ou djihadistes s’inscrivent dans des enjeux régionaux où pèsent certains voisins du Maghreb, les puissances d’Afrique de l’Ouest et de toutes les grandes puissances mondiales occidentales ou orientales. Elles sont attentives au développement des mouvements terroristes se revendiquant de l’islam mais aussi à une région de plus en plus stratégique, jeune, au sous-sol très riche et qui sera un foyer de peuplement du XXI siècle.

      De la ligne de front à une ligne de postes

      Barkhane est devenue une opération de surveillance anti-terroriste d’un territoire immense à partir de postes avancés en liaison avec les forces locales. Le 18 avril 2018, Michel Cambon, président de la commission sénatoriale des affaires étrangères, de la défense et des forces armées souligne que dans ce cadre, la stratégie française est celle de « coups de poing » menées par des forces spéciales basées à Ouagadougou grâce au dispositif Sabre. Celui-ci est ancien, plus ancien que Barkhane et Serval. Dans le livre blanc de défense et de sécurité nationale en 2008, la désignation de l’arc de crises, allant de l’Océan atlantique à l’Océan indien entraîne la mise en place d’un plan Sahel qui comporte un large volet anti-terroriste. Comme le souligne Jean- Christophe Notin (La guerre de la France au Mali, 2014), la composante essentielle de ce volet est le prépositionnement d’unités dites Sabre de forces spéciales. Elles ont joué un rôle au début de Serval dans la protection des sites nucléaires du Niger et ont participé aux opérations Serval et Barkhane. Le soutien à la lutte anti-terroriste est un moyen majeur d’influence des grandes puissances en Afrique. Les États-Unis sont ainsi très présents depuis 2007 via leur commandement pour l’Afrique (Africom) ; la qualification de terroriste permet à chacun de se trouver un ennemi commun. Le passage d’une logique d’action militaire de reprise d’un territoire à une action de surveillance, de police et de contre-terrorisme se traduit par de nouveaux besoins en matériel, comme le souligne le sénateur Cambon : « les hélicoptères lourds, les véhicules de type quad/pickup pour la mobilité, les ISMI catcher pour l’écoute des GSM, la biométrie, la capacité « drones » ». Il conclue son rapport par « un message assez clair et assez pessimiste » : une opération militaire ne réglera pas un problème politique.

      Le terrorisme persiste largement dans la région. Le Groupement de Soutien à l’Islam et aux Musulmans, qui fédère plusieurs groupes djihadistes, dont Ansar Dine, des katibats d’al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique et d’al-Mourabitoune, lance régulièrement des attaques contre les forces dans la région. Le 2 mars 2018, deux attaques à Ouagadougou au Burkina Faso ont fait 8 morts et une soixantaine de blessés. Le 14 avril, le GSIM a lancé une attaque « complexe » avec une quinzaine d’attaquants à Tombouctou contre la force Barkhane et la Mission des Nations unies au Mali. Le groupe a revendiqué son action comme une réponse à des raids aériens. Le 5 juillet, Emmanuel Macron évoque un redéploiement du dispositif français. Le bureau pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel de l’ONU soulignait dans un rapport du 29 juin la montée en capacité des mouvements terroristes autant que le possible resserrement des liens entre les différents mouvements djihadistes violents avec une extension de leurs zones d’activité. La réduction des adversaires à des mouvements avant tout terroristes mais mobiles et circulant dans un large territoire a conduit à un renouvellement des logiques d’action : le droit de poursuite au-delà de la frontière est nécessaire. Créé en février 2014, le G5 regroupe le Mali, le Niger, le Burkina Faso et le Tchad. Il vise le développement régional et la lutte contre le terrorisme. Cependant l’objectif d’une force commune actée en novembre 2015 peine à se réaliser et il a fallu attendre juin 2017 pour que l’ONU salue sa mise en place. Les financements sont aujourd’hui très insuffisants par rapport aux immenses besoins nés des contraintes du territoire. La France occupe donc de fait un rôle central dans la réalisation d’opérations de contreterrorisme par sa capacité très supérieure dans les domaines du renseignement, de la mobilité et de la frappe. Dans un milieu désertique, un espace que l’on traverse, l’action militaire est une action de contrôle de flux qui entraîne soit l’enlisement, soit des reconfigurations politiques, militaires et institutionnelles profondes. La criminalisation des personnes circulant dans de tels espaces est une stratégie classique de contrôle. Pour Hélène Claudot-Hawad (Galy, La guerre au Mali, 2013), la question Touareg a été construite tout au long de la colonisation : à partir des années 1910, l’administration française déploie un projet de tribalisation dans le but de contrôler des groupes et des circulations dans la bande sahélo-saharienne. La question des Touaregs est restée problématique pour les pouvoirs issus de la décolonisation. A l’aube de la décennie 2000 les tensions sont fortes d’autant plus que les organisations régionales de contrebande rejoignent une partie des mouvements islamistes.

      L’envers de la lutte contre les pirates du désert

      Le G5 Sahel se veut l’instrument d’une action régionale centrée sur la lutte anti-terroriste. Le terroriste y est celui qui circule impunément et qui devient ce que Daniel Heller-Roazen a vu dans la figure ancienne du pirate : l’ennemi de tous (L’ennemi de tous. Le pirate contre les nations, 2010, édition originale anglaise 2009). Le pirate brouille la limite entre criminalité et politique : « la piraterie entraine une transformation du concept de guerre. » C’est dans cette perspective qu’on peut lire le rapport du Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Droits de l’Homme qui dénombre au Mali 1200 violations entre janvier 2016 et juin 2017 faisant 2700 victimes dont 441 morts. Si plus de 70% des violations sont le fait d’acteurs non étatiques on peut, par exemple, s’interroger sur le statut des 150 arrestations administratives faites par les forces de Barkhane. Les « neutralisations » des terroristes, leur mort pendant des combats ou suite à des frappes aériennes, posent également question. Le respect des Droits de l’Homme est en jeu, mais aussi le cadre juridique dans lequel interviennent les troupes françaises. En arrière plan, le rapport de l’ONU pointe que 20% des violations sont le fait des forces de sécurité maliennes. A l’horizon de ce rapport qui suit plusieurs autres avant lui, par exemple celui en mai 2017 de la FIDH « Mali : Terrorisme et impunité font chanceler un accord de paix fragile » souligne les impasses d’une approche centrée sur l’anti-terrorisme et qui ne vise pas un processus politique global dans la région. De ce fait, interroger l’action française au Sahel c’est aussi nous interroger sur le rapport au territoire des autres, particulièrement des pays en développement, le rapport aux flux dans un contexte d’urgence migratoire. Cela questionne les actions militaires futures. Ces engagements sont usants pour les hommes et les matériels et constituent un poids considérable sur notre appareil militaire. Les opérations de lutte contre le terrorisme sont légitimes dans la mesure où la terreur et les actes criminels ne sauraient être tolérés. Il faut mesurer le dilemme moral qui pèse sur tout gouvernant à la tête d’une puissance militaire capable d’une opération pour faire cesser ce qui constitue à un moment donné un scandale moral. Mais il faut admettre que ce qui constitue un scandale moral aujourd’hui s’inscrit dans des problématiques plus vastes et plus anciennes. Oublier que le terrorisme et les terroristes sont les manifestations de problèmes plus larges qu’eux-mêmes, c’est accepter de croire qu’il est possible aujourd’hui, en démocratie de faire la guerre à un mode d’action et à des idées et de gagner. L’aveuglement de certaines grandes puissances face à ces enjeux tient souvent du refoulement de problèmes qui leurs sont propres. Dans un coin du parc Montsouris à Paris, un obélisque commémore le colonel Flatters et ses compagnons tués par des Touaregs en 1881 à Bir el-Garama en tentant de rejoindre le Soudan français par le Sahara. Son expédition était l’aboutissement d’un projet porté depuis 1879 par la commission supérieure du Transsaharien visant à la création d’un chemin de fer allant de l’Algérie à Dakar via le Mali dans une double perspective de contrôle des circulations sahélo-sahariennes et donc des populations y vivant mais aussi des ressources présentes dans la région et pouvant présenter un intérêt colonial. L’échec de la mission Flatters n’a pas limité ces entreprises puisque le contrôle de ces espaces de désert a été un axe politique majeur des autorités coloniales de l’Algérie comme de l’Afrique occidentale française.

      https://aoc.media/analyse/2018/07/11/sahel-france-guerre

      signalé par @isskein via la mailing-list Migreurop

    • États africains, portiers de l’Europe

      À coups de milliards versés par l’Union européenne, les États africains deviennent les nouveaux gardes-frontières du Vieux Continent. Cette vaste enquête menée dans douze pays explore les rouages et les conséquences humaines de cette politique européenne controversée, dont les exilés paient le prix fort.

      L’Espagne a été la première à franchir le pas : face à l’afflux de migrants sur les côtes des #Canaries, le pays a décidé de subventionner plusieurs pays d’#Afrique_de_l’Ouest afin qu’ils se chargent d’arrêter à leurs frontières les candidats à l’exil. L’#Union_européenne a emboîté le pas à l’Espagne, en conditionnant l’#aide_au_développement à destination d’une vingtaine de pays africains à un renforcement de ces contrôles. Policiers et militaires européens sont parallèlement envoyés sur place pour aider à briser les routes migratoires. L’UE n’hésite d’ailleurs pas à faire de dictatures comme l’#Érythrée et le #Soudan ses « partenaires » dans la chasse aux migrants. Les véritables gagnants de ces interventions à grande échelle sont les entreprises d’armement et de sécurité européennes, dans lesquelles sont réinvesties les subventions versées. Au fil d’une vaste enquête dans douze pays, Jan M. Schäfer explore les rouages et les conséquences humaines de cette politique européenne controversée, dont les exilés paient le prix fort.

      https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/078195-000-A/etats-africains-portiers-de-l-europe
      #film #documentaire
      #business #armes #armement

      Le documentaire n’est plus disponible sur arte, mais peut être visionné sur Youtube, voici quelques liens actuellement valides :
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUSIi-qP2pY


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0nf5c4FOPo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu7VvY5fs7Y

    • La relation dangereuse entre migration, développement et #sécurité pour externaliser les frontières en Afrique

      L’ARCI, dans le cadre du projet de monitorat de l’externalisation des politiques européennes et italiennes sur les migrations – parallèlement à son travail de communication constant sur l’évolution des accords multilatéraux et bilatéraux avec les pays d’origine et de transit, a produit ce document d’analyse pour alerter la société civile et les gouvernements sur les dérives possibles de ces stratégies qui conduisent à des violations systématiques des droits fondamentaux et des Conventions internationales


      https://www.arci.it/documento/la-relation-dangereuse-entre-migration-developpement-et-securite-pour-externali
      #rapport #Soudan #Niger #Tunisie

      In English :
      https://www.arci.it/documento/the-dangerous-link-between-migration-development-and-security-for-the-externali

    • Giochi pericolosi: delocalizzare in Africa le frontiere Ue

      Più di 25mila persone riportate nell’inferno e 600 morti nel solo mese di maggio 2018. L’esternalizzazione delle frontiere – ovvero la collaborazione con i Paesi di origine e transito per espellere facilmente i migranti o bloccarli prima dell’arrivo – nuoce gravemente alle vite dei migranti ma anche ai diritti dei cittadini dei Paesi in cui sono state delocalizzate le frontiere della Fortezza Europa e non fa certo bene alle “democrazie” che vogliono rendere invisibili i profughi messi in fuga dalle loro stesse politiche commerciali. «Esternalizzare significa spingere le responsabilità giuridiche e politiche dei nostri Paesi più a sud nella cartina del mondo, alla ricerca di una totale impunità o nel tentativo di farla ricadere su altri Paesi». A tre anni dal vertice della Valletta dove furono sancite le linee guida dell’esternalizzazione, l’Arci fa un bilancio dell’impressionante subappalto europeo a regimi come quelli nigerino, sudanese, tunisino (sono più famosi gli accordi con Libia, Egitto e Turchia) per richiamare l’attenzione di società civile e governi sugli effetti negativi di queste strategie e le loro implicazioni in merito alle violazioni sistematiche dei diritti fondamentali di migranti e popolazioni interessate. Si tratta di “La pericolosa relazione tra migrazione, sviluppo e sicurezza per esternalizzare le frontiere in Africa“, un documento d’analisi curato da Sara Prestianni dell’ufficio Immigrazione dell’Arci nell’ambito del progetto di monitoraggio Externalisation Policies Watch che ha previsto missioni sul campo tra il dicembre 2016 e luglio 2018.

      Tanto è devastante per i diritti umani, quanto fa bene ai bilanci dell’industria militare del Nord del mondo e al destino politico dei governi populisti e xenofobi che, «con la guerra ai migranti, alimentano l’immaginario di un nemico da combattere alle nostre porte, e che con la loro presenza nel continente africano si giocano la partita dell’influenza territoriale». “Aiutarli a casa loro” significa fornire carri armati ed elicotteri, sistemi biometrici e satellitari, eserciti e truppe: il rapporto segnala come il processo di esternalizzazione del controllo della frontiera europea in Africa sembra evolversi verso una predominanza della dimensione militare e della sicurezza. EucapSahel, missione “civile” per “modernizzare” le forze dell’ordine di Niger e Mali, da forza antiterrorismo è diventata centrale nella politica di gestione delle frontiere – poi ci sono le missioni militari italiane in Libia e Niger, quindi la forza congiunta G5 Sahel che – oltre ad un contributo di 100 milioni di euro – si è vista attribuire ulteriori 500 milioni di euro nel summit del marzo 2018. Si tratta di cifre ingenti che potrebbero essere usate per una reale politica di cooperazione allo sviluppo o di integrazione, come ha detto proprio a Left Selly Kane, responsabile Immigrazione della Cgil nazionale.

      La militarizzazione dell’esternalizzazione, però, non solo serve a bloccare gli arrivi in Europa ma coincide con gli interessi dell’industria italiana della sicurezza e con la concorrenza interna all’Ue per una presenza geostrategica in quelle aree. La trasformazione di Frontex nell’European Border and Coastguard Agency è solo una delle tante proposte “suggerite” dalle lobby militar-industriali alla Commissione europea. Avverte il rapporto Arci (dal quale attingiamo con ampi stralci): «L’attuazione del processo di esternalizzazione deve essere osservato anche come esempio di riduzione dello spazio democratico all’interno dell’Europa stessa e degli Stati membri. Per molte delle attività e dei fondi attribuiti per l’attuazione di tali politiche è stato aggirato il controllo democratico del Parlamento europeo cosi come, a livello italiano, si è evitata la ratificazione degli Accordi Bilaterali da parte delle Camere, in flagrante violazione dell’Art 80 della Costituzione».

      Che poi «le procedure di selezione e monitoraggio dei progetti finanziati dal Trust Fund risultino «non trasparenti e i processi di valutazione privi di coerenza» (come denunciato nel rapporto Concord) non sembra scuotere la coscienza dei governi europei avvezzi a scandali di vario tipo. Per questo il rapporto sottolinea «il compito fondamentale delle associazioni della società civile di analizzare queste politiche, riportando le responsabilità giuridiche e politiche ai diretti responsabili».

      L’analisi dell’uso dei fondi europei e italiani per attività di controllo delle frontiere – anche grazie alla retorica “aiutiamoli a casa loro” – evidenzia una parte dei progetti finanziati con l’Eutf (Centro operativo Regionale di supporto al processo di Khartoum e all’Iniziativa nel Corno d’Africa) prevede la formazione di forze di polizia e guardie di frontiera, la diffusione del sistema biometrico per la tracciabilità delle persone e la “donazione” di elicotteri, veicoli e navi di pattuglia, apparecchiature di sorveglianza e monitoraggio, «aprendo cosi alla relazione sempre più strutturata tra migrazione, sviluppo e sicurezza». L’obiettivo dell’istituzione del Fondo fiduciario era quello di ottenere maggior collaborazione da parte dei governi locali nel controllo dei flussi attraverso il finanziamento di programmi di sviluppo (sia nei Paesi di origine che di transito) e mediante il rafforzamento delle forze di polizia lungo le rotte. Una strategia europea «drammaticamente efficace»: nel 2017 il numero di ingressi irregolari in Europa è diminuito del 67%. Una diminuzione che si accompagna ad una pesante riduzione del rispetto dei diritti sia dei migranti, in mare e in terra, che della popolazione di molti dei Paesi africani coinvolti. Italia e Ue hanno calpestato tanto le Convenzioni internazionali di cui sono firmatarie che i diritti fondamentali, tra cui il diritto alla vita. La chiusura della rotta del Mediterraneo ha portato l’Italia, grazie al contributo europeo, a subappaltare le operazioni di salvataggio alla Guardia costiera libica, pur cosciente, come evidenziato dalla decisione del Consiglio di sicurezza dell’Onu, del profondo legame di questo corpo con le milizie, nonché delle violenze perpetrate sia in mare che sulla terraferma. La campagna denigratoria delle Ong che salvano vite in mare è funzionale alle politiche di esternalizzazione delle frontiere.

      Se i migranti vengono esposti a rischi sempre maggiori non se la passano meglio i cittadini dei Paesi di transito contro i quali vengono adoperati gli “aiuti a casa loro” gentilmente forniti dall’Europa. Una dinamica visibile sia nel Mediterraneo orientale, fra Turchia e Siria (l’Ue è particolarmente affabile di fronte alla deriva dittatoriale di Erdogan suo partner nel blocco di profughi afgani e siriani), sia sulla rotta del Mediterraneo Centrale. Armarsi per diventare il gendarme d’Europa è una scusa per rafforzare l’arsenale nazionale, spesso a discapito dei loro stessi cittadini. Un accordo tra Italia ed Egitto del settembre 2017, nell’ambito del progetto Itepa, prevede l’istituzione di un centro di formazione per alti funzionari di polizia incaricati della gestione delle frontiere e dell’immigrazione dai Paesi africani presso l’Accademia di polizia egiziana. Con buona pace della battaglia per verità e giustizia per Giulio Regeni.

      Ricapitolando: i governi Ue hanno firmato accordi per legittimare i governi di tali Paesi chiudendo un occhio sulle violazioni dei diritti umani e finanziando e formando aguzzini già abbondantemente specializzati nella repressione e negli abusi dei diritti umani.

      Il Sudan è al centro dello scacchiere delle rotte migratorie, luogo di transito obbligato per i migliaia di rifugiati del Corno d’Africa ma anche paese di origine. La collaborazione della Fortezza Europa con Al Bashir «è uno strumento di repressione dei rifugiati obbligati a transitare da quel paese per fuggire, ma anche per i cittadini sudanesi in Europa, a rischio di sistematica e delle popolazioni rimaste nel paese che, con il ruolo rafforzato del dittatore sudanese, rischiano un ulteriore aumento della repressione». Un attivista incontrato durante la missione effettuata da Arci a Khartoum nel dicembre del 2016 spiega: «Non ci sarà mai giustizia per il Darfour fino a quando i vostri Stati considereranno Al Bashir un interlocutore credibile per il controllo dei migranti invece di chiudere ogni dialogo con lui. Per Al Bashir l’esternalizzazione delle frontiere è un modo per far vacillare l’embargo economico e politico imposto dopo i molteplici mandati di arresto emessi dalla Corte penale internazionale per crimini di guerra e contro l’umanità.

      Nel 2016 il dittatore sudanese ha dispiegato una nuova forza paramilitare – i Rapid support forces (Rsf) – alla frontiera nord con la Libia per il controllo dei migranti in uscita. Tra le fila dei RSF ci sono molti capi della milizia Jan Jaweed, tra le forze che più si sono sporcate le mani di sangue per l’eccidio nel Darfour e ora riciclati dallo stesso Al Bashir. Dalla fine del 2017 è stato annunciato il dispiegamento dei RSF anche nella regione di Kassala, nella zona di confine con l’Eritrea. «Di fatto la presenza di questi miliziani non fa altro che aumentare il numero d’interlocutori a cui i migranti sono obbligati a pagare tangenti e le violenze che sono costretti a subire». Refugees Deeply denuncia come personaggi chiave del regime sono i principali complici del traffico di migranti. Coloro che fingono davanti ai funzionari europei di controllare le frontiere sono di fatto coloro che gestiscono il passaggio. Una formula che l’Europa già conosceva all’epoca di Gheddafi che chiudeva e apriva le frontiere libiche «lucrando sulla vita di chi cercava di trovare rifugio, in nome della collaborazione con la UE». A Khartoum il clima di terrore che vivono i rifugiati eritrei è palpabile, vivono nascosti per evitare di essere arrestatie sanzionati o dalla polizia “dell’ordine pubblico” (di matrice islamica) che in tribunali speciali giudica comportamenti considerati illegali, o per aver violato il Sudan’s Passport and Immigration Act per cui incombono multe fino a360$. Il contributo europeo in Sudan per il controllo della migrazione ammonta a 200 milioni di euro. Nei campi avvengono continue incursioni da parte di sicari del regime di Afewerky o di trafficanti che rapiscono gli eritrei obbligandoli poi a telefonare alla famiglia in Europa, promettendola liberazione solo in cambio di soldi e progetti (come BMM e ROCK) consentono al regime sudanese di aggirare l’embargo di armi.

      Il report è un pozzo di informazioni. Per esempio quella dell’accordo di polizia firmato il 3 agosto del 2016 dal capo della nostra Polizia Gabrielli con il suo omologo sudanese che ha permesso di attuare il charter Torino-Khartoum del 24 agosto carico di sudanesi, molti provenienti dal Darfour, arrestati in retate a Ventimiglia. Le autorità italiane sarebbero rimaste totalmente impunite per questa violazione dei diritti umani se non fosse per l’importante azione di Asgi e Arci che, in collaborazione con i parlamentari europei della GUE, hanno incontrato alcuni dei sudanesi espulsi da Torino portando il loro caso davanti alla Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo. Le polizie di Francia e Belgio si comportano proprio come quella italiana.

      Il Niger è il principale beneficiario del Fondo Fiduciario Europeo per l’Africa – quasi 200 milioni di progetti finanziati ad oggi a cui si aggiunge la recente promessa di ulteriori 500 milioni nella regione del Sahel – e del nostrano Fondo Africa – 50 milioni di euro in cambio dei quali il Niger si impegna a creare nuove unità specializzare necessarie al controllo dei confini e nuovi posti di frontiera – così come dei fondi allo sviluppo: è ormai la frontiera sud dell’Europa, «il laboratorio più avanzato della politica di esternalizzazione». La criminalizzazione del “traffico illecito dei migranti” sancito nel 2015 obbliga a nascondersi chi tenta di andare verso l’Algeria o la Libia e in alcuni casi di imbarcarsi poi verso Italia e Spagna. I ghetti si spostano sempre più alla periferia della città, le partenze si fanno di notte e alla spicciolata. I costi del viaggio aumentano. Un ex passeur, citato nello studio, dice: «Se prima andare in Libia costava 150mila FCFA e in Algeria 75mila, ora, con l’aumento dei controlli ed il rischio i farsi arrestare, i prezzi sono saliti: 400mila per la Libia e 150mila per l’Algeria». L’Algeria ha risposto con sistematiche e violentissime retate di migranti ed il loro abbandono alla sua frontiera sud senza distinzioni in base allo status dei migranti. Il Teneré, come il Mediterraneo, si sta trasformando in un deserto di morte. Ma come spiega in un’inchiesta Giacomo Zandonini, in Libia, nonostante la criminalizzazione, si è continuato a entrare.

      L’Ue, con il Fondo Fiduciario, ha cercato di proporre delle alternative di riconversione per spingere i passeurs a lasciare l’attività, ma a una cifra che risulta ridicola a fronte dei milioni di FCFA che un passeur poteva guadagnare trasportando uomini e donne nel deserto.

      In Niger, uno dei Paesi più poveri al mondo seppure ricco di materie prime qualiuranio, oro e petrolio, si fronteggiano anche gli interessi italiani contro quelli francesi. Bazoum, ministro dell’interno nigerino sta negando all’Italia l’accesso dei suoi militari nel nord del paese. Annunciata prima come operazione Deserto Rosso, poi rinnegata, la missione militare italiana in Niger è stata infine ripresentata al voto al Parlamento a Camere sciolte nel febbraio 2018, con un budget di 30 milioni di euro per 9 mesi di presenza di 400 uomini nel nord del paese. Riproposta dalla neo ministra Trenta con riferimento ad un eventuale appoggio agli americani che proprio ad Agadez stanno costruendo un enorme base per i droni armati. Lo stop alla presenza armata italiana è probabilmente legata ad una opposizione francese che non cede tanto facilmente la roccaforte di Madama, al confine con la Libia.

      Infine la Tunisia, collaboratore dell’Ue nel ruolo di intercettazione dei migranti partiti dalle coste della vicina Libia e perciò rifornita di mezzi navali. Un contributo del Fondo Africa, istituito nel 2017, per un totale di 12 milioni di euro, è transitato dal MAECI al Dipartimento di Sicurezza del Ministero degli Interni alla voce “Migliorare la gestione delle frontiere e dell’immigrazione, inclusi la lotta al traffico di migranti e le attività di ricerca e soccorso”. La Commissione ha annunciato lo stanziamento di ulteriori 55 milioni di euro in Marocco e Tunisia in un programma che sarà gestito dal Ministero degli Interni Italiano e ICMPD (InternationalCentre for Migration Policy Development). Se la Tunisia dimostra un alto grado di collaborazione nelle attività di monitoraggio delle proprie coste e di identificazione dei suoi cittadini in vista dell’espulsione, sembra però rigettare l’idea di costruzione di punti di sbarco dei migranti partiti dalla Libia sul suo territorio. Asgi, Arci e l’associazione tunisina FTDES, nel maggio 2018, hanno monitorato le procedure di espulsione dei cittadini tunisini dall’aeroporto di Palermo. Numerose le violazioni dei diritti di cui sono stati vittime durante la loro permanenza in Italia, ed in particolare detenzione illegale senza convalida del giudice all’interno di una struttura – l’hotspot – che manca di base giuridica nella legislazione italiana, nonché spesso vittime di trattamenti degradanti. I tunisini lamentano la presenza di sonniferi nel cibo e l’inganno usato per l’espulsione, facendo credere loro che dopo il trasferimento a Palermo sarebbero stati poi liberati. Lo stesso Garante Nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, a seguito del monitoraggio effettuato sulle operazioni di rimpatrio, esprime viva preoccupazione per la «pratica di non avvisare gli interessati per tempo dell’imminente rimpatrio, e cioè con un anticipo utile a verificare eventuali aggiornamenti della propria posizione giuridica, prepararsi non solo materialmente ma anche psicologicamente alla partenza e avvisare i familiari del proprio ritorno in patria». A nessuno è stato permesso difare richiesta d’asilo in una logica assurda per cui l’Italia considera i tunisini provenienti da un paese sicuro, in contrasto con la convenzione di Ginevra per cui lo studio di ogni caso deve essere fatto sulla base della singola storia personale e non sulla base del paese di origine. Con i polsi bloccati da fascette di plastica, i tunisini sono scortati da due poliziotti ciascuno fino all’aeroporto di Enfidha, più discreto di quello di Tunisi. Spesso picchiati e insultati, vengono poi rilasciati, senza neanche un centesimo in tasca. Molti sono al secondo, terzo viaggio.

      https://left.it/2018/08/07/giochi-pericolosi-delocalizzare-in-africa-le-frontiere-ue

    • Europe Is Making Its Migration Problem Worse. The Dangers of Aiding Autocrats

      Three years after the apex of the European refugee crisis, the European Union’s immigration and refugee policy is still in utter disarray. In July, Greek officials warned that they were unable to cope with the tens of thousands of migrants held on islands in the Aegean Sea. Italy’s new right-wing government has taken to turning rescue ships with hundreds of refugees away from its ports, leaving them adrift in the Mediterranean in search of a friendly harbor. Spain offered to take in one of the ships stuck in limbo, but soon thereafter turned away a second one.

      Behind the scenes, however, European leaders have been working in concert to prevent a new upsurge in arrivals, especially from sub-Saharan Africa. Their strategy: helping would-be migrants before they ever set out for Europe by pumping money and technical aid into the states along Africa’s main migrant corridors. The idea, as an agreement hashed out at a summit in Brussels this June put it, is to generate “substantial socio-economic transformation” so people no longer want to leave for a better life. Yet the EU’s plans ignore the fact that economic development in low-income countries does not reduce migration; it encourages it. Faced with this reality, the EU will increasingly have to rely on payoffs to smugglers, autocratic regimes, and militias to curb the flow of migrants—worsening the instability that has pushed many to leave in the first place.

      https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/africa/2018-09-05/europe-making-its-migration-problem-worse?cid=soc-tw-rdr

    • À QUI VA LA FORTUNE DÉPENSÉE POUR LUTTER CONTRE L’IMMIGRATION ?

      La politique migratoire européenne, de plus en plus restrictive, est une aubaine pour de nombreuses sociétés privées. En effet, les Etats européens sous-traitent des pans entiers de la gestion des migrations : surveillance des frontières, construction, entretien, surveillance et gestion de murs et de centres de rétention, délivrance des visas, livraison de repas, etc. Tous les éléments de cette politique coûteuse, inefficace et criminelle, profitent à de grandes entreprises, comme #Bouygues ou #Sodexo, pour ne citer que deux exemples français.

      Les migrations font partie de l’histoire de l’humanité mais les frontières n’ont jamais été aussi fermées qu’aujourd’hui. Les conventions issues des politiques migratoires actuelles ont divisé les migrants en différentes catégories (politiques, économiques, climatiques...) en fonction de la supposée légitimité ou non d’avoir accès au droit d’asile ou à séjourner sur un territoire étranger. « Le migrant économique », qui se déplace pour fuir la misère engendrée par les politiques liées au remboursement de la dette, est la catégorie qui bénéficie du moins de droits et son accès aux territoires extérieurs varie en fonction des besoins de main-d’œuvre ou des politiques de fermetures aux frontières.

      Ainsi, parmi les millions de personnes qui fuient leurs conditions de vie indécentes, celles qui migrent pour des raisons économiques seraient des migrants illégitimes ? Tout comme celles à qui on n’accorde pas le statut de réfugié politique mettant leur vie en péril ? Confrontés à une crise migratoire ou une crise de l’accueil ? Ces flux migratoires liés aux situations économiques sont en grande partie le résultat des politiques d’austérité et d’endettement insoutenables imposés par les Institutions financières internationales et les pays industrialisés du Nord aux pays appauvris du Sud, et par les pays du centre – dont ceux de l’Europe – aux pays de la périphérie. Ces politiques ont eu comme effet d’amplifier le phénomène de la pauvreté, de généraliser la précarité et, par conséquent, des situations d’exils. Les situations qui encouragent l’exode de populations pauvres sont la conséquence d’enjeux géostratégiques liés aux ressources et donc aux richesses, ou sont provoqués par l’hémorragie de capitaux pour honorer le service d’une dette bien souvent entachée d’illégitimité.

      Malmenés par la guerre ou la misère, les candidats à l’exil se retrouvent sur des routes rendues de plus en plus périlleuses par les politiques de gestion de l’immigration irrégulière. En plus d’être extrêmement coûteuses pour les populations qui en supportent les coûts, ces politiques criminalisent les migrants et les forcent à emprunter des voies de plus en plus dangereuses, comme les traversées en mer sur de frêles embarcations et à devoir s’adresser à la mafia des passeurs. Elles sont criminelles, coûteuses et inefficaces. Les murs n’ont jamais résolu de conflits et ne bénéficient qu’aux firmes qui les conçoivent, les construisent et les contrôlent.

      Loin d’adopter une politique d’accueil aux réfugiés conformément au droit international tel que stipulé par la Convention de Genève, les États adoptent des politiques sécuritaires qui bafouent le droit fondamental de liberté de circulation inscrit dans l’article 13 de la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme |1|. Alors que de nouveaux traités de libre-commerce ne cessent de prôner la libre-circulation des marchandises et des capitaux, les candidats à l’exil font face à des « agences de sécurité » lourdement armées et équipées par les grands industriels qui enfreignent le droit de circulation des laissés-pour-compte. Le fond de la Méditerranée est transformé en véritable fosse commune |2|, les frontières se referment et des murs sont érigés un peu partout sur la planète. Une fois passée la frontière, s’ils ne sont pas déportés vers leur pays d’origine, les migrants s’entassent dans des camps inhumains ou sont enfermés dans des centres de détention |3| qui leur sont dédiés, tels les 260 que l’on compte au sein de l’UE en 2015 |4|. Seule une faible proportion d’entre eux, suivant un fastidieux parcours bureaucratique, parvient à obtenir un droit à l’asile distribué avec parcimonie.

      A quel point les politiques migratoires européennes sont-elles dictées par l’activité de lobbying des entreprises privées de l’armement et de la sécurité ? Avec ces politiques sécuritaires, les migrants sont considérés non plus comme des personnes mais comme des numéros remplissant des quotas arbitraires pour honorer des courbes statistiques irrationnelles satisfaisant bien plus les cours de la Bourse que le bien-être collectif et les valeurs de partage et de solidarité.

      Qu’importent les conditions de travail des employés et les conditions d’accueil des migrants au mépris de leurs droits et de la dignité humaine, de plus en plus d’entreprises privées nationales ou multinationales profitent d’un business en pleine expansion aux dépens de la justice sociale et des budgets de nos États.

      Frontex, une agence européenne coûteuse, puissante, opaque et sans contrôle démocratique

      L’Europe a créé l’espace Schengen en 1985, elle l’a communautarisé en 1997 avec le traité d’Amsterdam. L’objectif annoncé était de créer un espace de « liberté, de sécurité et de justice » au sein de l’Union européenne (UE). Dans les faits, la liberté de circulation au sein de l’Europe a avancé à deux vitesses en fonction des pays et a principalement concerné les marchandises. Au fur-et-à-mesure, l’UE s’est coordonnée pour contrôler ses frontières extérieures en tentant d’appliquer une politique commune et un « soutien » aux pays ayant une frontière extérieure propice à l’entrée de migrants comme la Grèce, l’Espagne ou encore l’Italie. Depuis 2005, L’UE s’est dotée d’un arsenal militaire, l’agence Frontex, pour la gestion de la coopération aux frontières extérieures des États membres de l’Union européenne. Cette agence est la plus financée des agences de l’UE à l’heure où des efforts budgétaires sont imposés dans tous les secteurs.

      Cette agence possède des avions, des hélicoptères, des navires, des unités de radars, des détecteurs de vision nocturne mobiles, des outils aériens, des détecteurs de battement cardiaque... Frontex organise des vols de déportations, des opérations conjointes aux frontières terrestres, maritimes et aériennes |5|, la formation des gardes-frontières, le partage d’informations et de systèmes d’informations notamment via son système EUROSUR, qui a pour objectif la mise en commun de tous les systèmes de surveillance et de détections des pays membres de l’UE, etc. Son budget annuel n’a cessé d’augmenter jusqu’à ce jour : de 19 millions d’euros en 2006, il est passé à 238,7 millions en 2016 ! Les moyens militaires qui lui sont dévolus et son autonomie par rapport aux États membres ne cessent de croître.

      Depuis fin 2015, la tendance vers une ingérence de la Commission européenne dans les États membres s’accentue : La Commission européenne élargit le mandat de Frontex, elle devient « le corps européen de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes ». Cette nouvelle agence peut dorénavant agir dans le processus d’acquisition d’équipement des États membres. Elle a notamment la possibilité d’intervention directe dans un État membre sans son consentement par simple décision de la Commission européenne. Elle a par exemple la possibilité de faire des « opérations de retour conjoint » de sa propre initiative |6|, l’objectif étant de sous-traiter à l’agence le renvoi forcé des personnes indésirables, à moindre coût mais au détriment du respect des droits humains.

      Migreurop et Statewatch, deux ONG qui défendent les droits des migrants, ont dénoncé une zone de flou entourant l’agence Frontex qui ne permet pas de faire respecter les droits humains fondamentaux : une responsabilité diluée entre l’agence et les États, une violation du droit d’asile et un risque de traitement inhumains et dégradants. La priorité du sauvetage en mer, normalement reconnue à Frontex, passe en second plan face au contrôle militarisé. En novembre 2014, l’Italie illustre dramatiquement cette situation en mettant fin à Mare Nostrum, opération de sauvetage de la marine italienne qui a sauvé des dizaines de milliers de vies en mer. L’opération Triton mise en place par Frontex l’a remplacée avec un budget trois fois moindre, une portée géographique plus limitée et surtout avec un changement de perspective orienté sur le renforcement des frontières plutôt que les missions de recherche et sauvetage en mer |7|.

      Plus Frontex est subventionnée, plus elle délègue à des entreprises privées. Via l’argent public qu’elle perçoit, l’agence s’adresse à des entreprises privées pour la surveillance aériennes mais aussi pour la technologie de pointe (drones, appareils de visions nocturnes…). De nombreuses multinationales se retrouvent à assumer les « services » qui étaient auparavant assumés par les États et pour des questions de rentabilité propre au secteur privé, les coûts augmentent. Le contrôle aux frontières est devenu un business florissant.

      Le complexe militaro-industriel de l’immigration irrégulière un business florissant qui grève les caisses des États

      La dangerosité accrue des parcours profite aux passeurs et aux réseaux criminels auxquels les migrants sont obligés de faire appel, alors que ces mêmes politiques de gestion des flux migratoires disent les combattre. Mais, d’autres secteurs d’activité moins médiatisés tirent un avantage financier bien plus important de l’immigration irrégulière, tellement important qu’on peut se demander s’ils ne font pas tout pour l’encourager ! Pour les gestionnaires des centres de détentions pour migrants ; les sociétés qui y assurent la livraison des repas, la sécurité ou le nettoyage ; les entreprises qui fournissent gardes et escortes de celles et ceux que l’on expulse ; les fabricants d’armes et l’industrie aéronautique ; la technologie de pointe pour la surveillance des frontières ou les sous-traitants pour la délivrance des visas, la crise des migrants constitue une véritable aubaine, voire un filon en or.

      Cette proportion non négligeable de services autrefois du ressort exclusif de l’État est maintenant gérée par de grands groupes privés qui – pour des raisons d’image notamment – s’abritent derrière une kyrielle de sous-traitants. Cette privatisation rampante grève encore plus les caisses des pouvoirs publics, favorise l’opacité et dilue les responsabilités en cas d’incident au cours des interventions, mettant les États à l’abri de violations de la loi, pourtant fréquentes |8|.

      Instrumentalisation de l’aide publique au développement

      L’Union européenne utilise les financements de l’#Aide_publique_au_développement (#APD) pour contrôler les flux migratoires, comme avec le #Centre_d’Information_et_de_Gestion_des_Migrations (#CIGEM) inauguré en octobre 2008 à Bamako au Mali par exemple4. Ainsi, le 10e #Fonds_européen_de_développement (#FED) finance, en #Mauritanie, la formation de la police aux frontières. Pour atteindre les objectifs qu’ils se sont eux mêmes fixés (allouer 0,7 % du revenu national brut à l’APD), certains États membres de l’UE comptabilisent dans l’APD des dépenses qui n’en sont clairement pas. Malgré les réticences des États membres à harmoniser leurs politiques migratoires internes, ils arrivent à se coordonner pour leur gestion extérieure.

      « Crise migratoire » ou « crise de l’accueil » ? L’Europe externalise ses frontières

      À la croisée des chemins entre l’Europe et l’Asie, la Turquie et la Grèce sont des pays de transit pour de nombreux migrants et réfugiés faisant face aux conflits chroniques et à l’instabilité politique et économique du Moyen-Orient. Après avoir ouvert ses frontières en 2015, dans un contexte de crise, l’UE se rétracte, dépourvue d’une réflexion à long terme sur sa politique d’accueil.

      Ainsi, sans grande opposition du gouvernement Tsipras, l’UE signe avec le gouvernement turc un accord visant à contrôler et filtrer l’immigration. L’accord qui entre en vigueur le 20 mars 2016, prévoit de renvoyer en Turquie tout nouveau migrant, réfugiés syriens compris, arrivé en Grèce. Et pour chaque Syrien renvoyé, l’UE réinstallera en Europe, un autre Syrien séjournant en territoire turc. On pourrait croire à un vulgaire arrangement comptable, il n’en est rien. Le rapport est clairement déséquilibré. L’UE a spécifié un quota maximum de 72 000 syriens réinstallés alors que plus d’1 millions ont été refoulés du territoire européen. Par ces échanges déshumanisés, l’UE se donne la liberté de choisir ses immigrés en fonction de ses intérêts économiques. En échange, l’UE promet 6 milliards d’euros à la Turquie, dit vouloir relancer les négociations d’adhésion du pays à l’Union et accélère le processus de libéralisation des visas pour les citoyens turcs. De plus, Ankara s’engage à enrayer le flux migratoire vers l’Europe. En conséquence de quoi, l’argent donné sert bien plus à ériger des murs qu’à accueillir. Déjà, béton, barbelés et militaires s’installent à la frontière turco-syrienne pour consolider l’Europe forteresse.

      D’autres accords ont déjà été conclus en ce sens mais aucun n’avait atteint de tels montants, ni ne comportait de tels enjeux. Le fait qu’il soit conclu directement par l’UE marque également le début d’une nouvelle ère. L’institution eurocrate négocie maintenant au nom et en amont de ses États membres, se substituant aux politiques nationales en termes d’affaires étrangères.Avec cet accord, l’UE se targue de respecter le droit international. Mais autant la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme que la Convention de Genève sur les réfugiées stipulent qu’une expulsion ne peut se faire que vers un pays considéré comme sûr. Or, on ne peut décemment pas, à la signature de l’accord, considérer la Turquie comme une terre sûre et accueillante pour les migrants. Le président Erdoğan a en effet entamé une purge sans précédent et se révèle encore plus répressif envers ses opposants politiques, depuis qu’il sait l’Europe dépendante et conciliante. Et il ne suffit pas de fustiger le gouvernement turc. Au cœur même de l’Europe, les murs s’érigent et les politiques autoritaires et xénophobes refont surface.
      Privatisation de la « gestion » des migrations

      Une telle gestion de l’immigration grève les recettes des États pour, in fine, bénéficier aux sociétés privées et leurs actionnaires aux dépens de la satisfaction des services publics essentiels aux populations concernées. Le lobbying de ces sociétés s’inscrit dans une surenchère militariste qui profite aux grandes entreprises du secteur. Au lieu d’investir dans des infrastructures d’accueil dignes et dans la gestion des conflits dont les pays industrialisés sont en grande partie responsables, l’orientation politique de nos dirigeants va dans le sens d’un accroissement des budgets liés à la sécurité et aux polices aux frontières.

      Les flux migratoires constituent non seulement une source de revenus pour les passeurs, mais également, dans des proportions bien plus importantes, un juteux business pour les grandes entreprises, qui rappelons-le, s’arrangent pour payer le moins d’impôt sur leurs bénéfices et accroître les dividendes de leurs actionnaires. Le marché de la sécurisation des frontières, estimé à quelques 15 milliards d’euros en 2015, est en pleine croissance et devrait augmenter à plus de 29 milliards d’euros par an en 2022 |9|.

      Dans un contexte de crise migratoire aiguë, de contrôles exacerbés, de détentions et déportations en forte augmentation, une multitude de sociétés privées se sont trouvé un juteux créneau pour amasser des profits.

      Concrètement, de plus en plus de sociétés privées bénéficient de la sous-traitance de la délivrance des visas (un marché entre autres dominé par les entreprises #VFS et #TLS_Contact), et facturent aux administrations publiques la saisie des données personnelles, la prise des empreintes digitales, des photos numérisées... Comme on pouvait s’y attendre, le recours au privé a fait monter les prix des visas et le coût supplémentaire est supporté par les requérants. Mais les demandes introduites pour obtenir visas ou permis de séjour ne sont pas à la portée de tout le monde et beaucoup se retrouvent apatrides ou sans-papiers, indésirables au regard de la loi.

      La gestion des centres de détention pour migrants où sont placés les sans-papiers en attente d’expulsion est, elle aussi, sous-traitée à des entreprises privées. Ce transfert vers la sphère privée renforce le monopole des trois ou quatre multinationales qui, à l’échelle mondiale, se partagent le marché de la détention. Ainsi, près de la moitié des 11 centres de détention pour migrants du Royaume-Uni sont gérés par des groupes privés. Ces entreprises ont tout intérêt à augmenter la durée d’incarcération et font du lobbying en ce sens, non sans résultats. Ainsi, les sociétés de sécurité privées prospèrent à mesure que le nombre de migrants augmente |10|. En outre, l’hébergement d’urgence est devenu un secteur lucratif pour les sociétés privées qui perçoivent des fonds de certains États comme l’Italie, aux dépens d’associations humanitaires qui traditionnellement prennent en charge les réfugiés.

      En Belgique, entre 2008 et 2012, le budget consacré aux rapatriements forcés - frais de renvois, sans même compter les séjours en centre fermé des quelque 8 000 détenus chaque année - est passé de 5,8 millions d’euros à 8,07 millions d’euros |11|.

      La société française Sodexo a vu les détentions de migrants comme une opportunité d’extension de ses activités dans les prisons. L’empire du béton et des médias français Bouygues est chargé de la construction des centres de détention pour migrants dans le cadre de contrats de #partenariats_publics-privés (#PPP) |12| et l’entreprise de nettoyage #Onet y propose ses services. Au Royaume-Uni, des multinationales de la sécurité telles #G4S (anciennement Group 4 Securitor) |13|, Serco ou #Geo, ont pris leur essor grâce au boom des privatisations. Aux États-Unis, #CCA et GEO sont les principales entreprises qui conçoivent, construisent, financent et exploitent les centres de détention et #Sodexho_Marriott est le premier fournisseur de services alimentaire de ces établissements.

      Certaines sociétés en profitent même pour faire travailler leurs détenus en attente de leur expulsion. Ainsi, au centre de Yarl’s Wood géré par l’entreprise #Serco au Royaume-Uni, le service à la cantine ou le nettoyage des locaux est effectué par des femmes détenues contre une rémunération 23 fois moindre que le salaire pratiqué à l’extérieur pour ce type de tâche (50 pence de l’heure en 2011, soit 58 centimes d’euros). Le groupe GEO, qui en 2003 a obtenu la gestion du camp de Guantanamo « offre » à ses occupants aux centres de Harmondsworth près de l’aéroport d’Heathrow et de Dungavel en Écosse, des « opportunités de travail rémunéré » pour des services allant de la peinture au nettoyage |14|. Ces entreprises ne lésinent pas sur l’opportunité d’exploiter une main d’œuvre très bon marché et sans droits.

      L’immigration rapporte plus qu’elle ne coûte

      Les quelques migrants qui finalement parviennent à destination se mettent alors à la recherche d’un emploi et le pays d’accueil profite d’une main-d’œuvre bon marché dont il s’épargne les frais de formation payée par le pays d’origine |15|. Une telle main-d’œuvre, flexible et exploitable à merci, comble un besoin dont les économies des pays industrialisés ne peuvent se passer si facilement.

      Loin de constituer une menace et contrairement à une idée fausse, les migrations ont généralement un impact positif sur les économies des pays d’accueil. Sur un plan purement économique, d’après l’OCDE, un immigré rapporte en moyenne 3 500 euros de rentrées fiscales annuelles au pays qui l’accueille |16|. Les sans-papiers qui travaillent ont des fiches de paies, souvent au nom de tierce personne et cotisent à une couverture sociale dont ils ne peuvent bénéficier.

      En définitive, s’installe le doute quant aux résultats attendus d’une telle stratégie de gestion des flux de déplacements humains. La politique anti-migratoire mise en œuvre tue, l’Europe compte les morts mais continue à dresser ses barricades. Pourtant les migrations ne sont pas un problème, un fléau en tant que tel contre lequel il faut lutter. Les migrations sont la conséquence des conflits, des persécutions, des catastrophes environnementales, des injustices sociales et économiques dans le monde. Et c’est à ces causes-là qu’il faut s’attaquer, si l’on veut mener une politique migratoire réellement juste et humaine.

      https://www.lautrequotidien.fr/articles/lesprofiteurs
      #privatisation #Frontex

    • Border-induced displacement: The ethical and legal implications of distance-creation through externalization

      Introduction: The role of #distance

      The externalization of European border control can be defined as the range of processes whereby European actors and Member States complement policies to control migration across their territorial boundaries with initiatives that realize such control extra-territorially and through other countries and organs rather than their own. The phenomenon has multiple dimensions. The spatial dimension captures the remoteness of the geographical distance that is interposed between the locus of power and the locus of surveillance. But there is also a relational dimension, regarding the multiplicity of actors engaged in the venture through bilateral and multilateral interactions, usually through coercive dynamics of conditional reward, incentive, or penalization. And there are functional and instrumental dimensions too, concerning the cost-effectiveness of distance-creation (in both ethical and legal grounds) vis-à-vis the (unwanted) migrant, who, removed from sight, is no longer considered of concern to the supervising State,[1] and the range of externalizing policy devices at the service of externalising agents in terms of purpose, format, delivery, and ultimate control.[2] European borders thus (re-)emerge as ubiquitous, multi-modal and translational systems of coercion – as an interconnected network of ‘little Guantánamos’.[3] This, in turn, creates a distance, both physically and ethically, that is utilized to shift away concomitant responsibilities.[4]
      Distance, as the next sections will demonstrate, plays a crucial role as a mechanism not only of dispersion of legal duties, blurring the lines of causation and making attribution of wrongful conduct a difficult task, but also as an artefact of oppression and displacement in itself. It does not prevent (unwanted) migration but rather makes it unviable through legally sanctioned, safe channels, diverting it through ever more perilous routes. The immediate effect of this distance that externalization engenders is at least threefold. First, it leads to the disempowerment of migrants, who are left with no options for safe and legal escape, being instead coerced into dangerous courses operated by smugglers. Second, it legitimizes the actors enforcing externalized control on behalf, and for the benefit, of the European Union and its Member States. Repressive forces in third countries gain standing as valid interlocutors for cooperation, as a result; their democratic and human rights credentials becoming secondary, if at all relevant, as the Libyan case illustrates below. Third, legal alternatives, like the relaxation of controls or the creation of safe and regular pathways, are rejected; perceived as an illogical concession to the failure of the externalization project.
      The final outcome, and what constitutes the focus of this contribution, is the ‘border-induced displacement’ effect,[5] resulting from the combination of the processes of extraterritorialisation and externalization taken together. Border-induced displacement is not equivalent to the original reasons forcing people into exile, but rather functions as a second-order type of (re-)displacement, produced precisely via (the violence implicated in) border control. This then leads to forms of ‘engineered regionalism’, that is, politics re-producing displacement in certain areas closest to the origin of flows.[6] ‘Safe third country’ rules and practices are the main vehicle of this development, discernible also within the EU, where the Dublin System has ‘rulified’ an asymmetric allocation of responsibility for asylum claims to peripheral countries situated at the external common frontiers of the Union, like Spain, Italy and Greece.[7] In the case of externalization, border-induced displacement is then imposed upon already-displaced persons by non-European actors implementing the EU’s pre-emptive control agenda, reinforcing prevailing patterns of exploitation and existing hierarchies of exclusion and subordination.
      The ethical and legal consequences of ‘distance-creation’ are what we turn to analyse in the remainder of this article. Section 2 pays attention to the assumptions and ethical and political-economic dimensions behind this strategy, discussing exit control, coercion, and the democratic legitimization of unelected actors enforcing the EU border within third countries. Section 3 investigates the legal impact of externalization and extraterritorialization, centring on the apparent accountability gaps that it generates, contesting the legality of responsibility dispersion mechanisms. The overall conclusion we reach is that the ‘rulification’ of externalization at EU level does not render it ethically and legally tenable under international law. The ‘lawification’ at EU level of practices inconsistent with human rights is insufficient to render them compatible with international legal standards.
      2. Ethical distance-creation: Examining attempts to justify externalization and border-induced displacement

      Although immigration ethics has thrived as a discipline since its late arrival in the 1980s, debates on border control between cosmopolitanism and liberal nationalism have often remained at an ideational level and generally based on liberal democratic foundations,[8] thus overlooking the composite ways through which border control is realized and experienced on the ground. This includes practices of externalization and extra-territorialization. Often, the assumptions guiding ethical debates on border control have reproduced a territorially trapped gaze, circumscribed by methodological nationalism,[9] which, through a set of idealized premises, reduces the complex and transnational dynamics of displacement and border control to a phenomenon of mis-placement between territorially bordered societies.[10] Such reduction is marred by what can be called reactive and regionalist postulations. These view border control, first, as a manifestation of State agency, and, second, as only a response to migration flows. Third, they naturalize the containment of displacement within certain regions, perceiving the phenomenon as geographically and morally distant from Europe.
      But immigration ethics is far from alone in reproducing methodological nationalism and reactive and regionalist conjectures, as these mirror prevailing paradigms about the relationship between displacement and borders.[11] However, it is instructive, nonetheless, to examine European externalization by applying existing ethical debates about the democratic legitimacy, coercion, and rights of border control to the issue of externalization.[12]
      2.1. The democratic legitimacy question

      One fundamental debate has concerned the democratic legitimacy of border control as such. Assuming that freedom and democracy are instrumentally valuable for securing individual autonomy, a principled concern is that the coercive aspects of border control amount to violations of autonomy when they happen without the consent of those exposed to them. In order for border control to be legitimate from a liberal democratic perspective, it would have to be justifiable to non-members – however the demos may initially be defined – through a deliberative process.[13] Yet, proponents of border control might argue that access to asylum procedures can resolve this concern, if asylum applications are seen as granting such deliberative voice to them. Although this debate has only concerned an undifferentiated notion of border control, we can extend it to the politics of externalization, if we imagine proponents to argue that, if externalized control is able to respect individual autonomy, it might also be deemed democratically legitimate.[14] The strength of such an argument will then depend on the meaning and function of externalization.
      European externalization processes occur when European Member States, through bi-, multi- or supranational venues, complement policies of controlling cross-border migration into their territories with pre-emptive initiatives realizing such control extra-territorially and/or through sub-contracting to actors and agencies other than their own.[15] Externalization has been discussed in terms of policy transfer, issue-linkages, and ripple effects,[16] but, crucially, its dynamics apply also to intra-European relations. For many years, the Dublin system has served to transfer the border control burdens of North-Western Member States to South-Eastern ones, causing heated discussions about lacking solidarity,[17] similar to those between European and non-European countries.[18]
      Justifications offered for externalization oscillate between grammars of securitized control and humanitarian care.[19] For instance, the June 2018 proposal by the EU ministers about ‘controlled centres’ and ‘regional disembarkation platforms’, whereto ‘boat migrants’ can be deported, is framed as an innovative idea allowing Member States both to ‘stem illegal migration’ and simultaneously save vulnerable migrants by breaking the ‘business model’ of smugglers and traffickers purportedly in accordance with human rights and the rule of law.[20]
      Yet, the 2018 externalization proposal is not as innovative as it may seem. Between the 1980s and mid-2000s, five very similar – and similarly controversial – externalization proposals were put forth by the British, Danish, Dutch, and German governments and by the European Commission. And they all revolved around externalized centres in Eastern Europe and North Africa whereto EU Member States would send asylum seekers or interdicted ‘boat migrants’. The terminologies varied from ‘regional protection areas’ by the British, ‘processing centres’ by the Danes, ‘reception centres’ by the Dutch, ‘EU reception centres’ by the German, and ‘Regional Protection Programmes’ (RPPs) by the European Commission.[21] All but the RPP proposal focused on administrative deportation from European territory, so that, as put by the Blair government, ‘refoulement should be possible and the notion of an asylum seeker in[land] should die’.[22] By 2005, the German proposal had dropped any talk of extraterritorial asylum processing and moved on to identifying Libya as a promising collaborator for pre-emptive containment.[23] In light of the concurrent dysfunctional intra-European dynamics of the Dublin system, the proposals between 1986 and 2018 illustrate how the externalization logic has long been invoked as a magic remedy to the Dublin ills, always couched in crisis-laden and emergency-driven rhetoric, while also holding out vague promises of protection.
      Externalization can be criticized for co-opting protection in favour of methods of ‘consensual containment’ that re-produce displacement in regions neighbouring the EU.[24] For instance, especially since 2017, Italy and the EU have pursued a policy of transferring search and rescue to the so-called Libyan Coast Guard (LYCG), thereby effectively turning missions into operations of exit control. It is due to their material contribution and close involvement in the internal command-and-control structure of the Libyan forces that the LYCG performed 19,452 pull-backs in 2017.[25] Political discourses on externalization can, however, be seen as arguing that this kind of regionalist engineering creates ‘protection elsewhere’ based on three claims, popular in ethical discussions on border control within liberal national regimes. In the following, we analyse them through standing ethical debates about coercion and prevention, peoples’ rights to enter and exit territories, and democratic legitimacy.
      2.2. Coercion: From ‘protection elsewhere’ to ‘protection nowhere’

      First comes the claim that border control, and thus also its externalized manifestations, is not illegitimately coercive, because it is only preventive. Here, coercion has been referred to as when individuals are forced to do a specific thing, while prevention is taken to mean when they are forced not to do a specific thing.[26] Second comes the aforementioned argument that border control can be legitimate when agreed upon democratically.[27] Third follows the statement of an entry/exit-asymmetry signifying that people’s rights against one State not to prevent them from exiting its territory is held to be morally paramount, but that it does not entail an equally forceful obligation on any other State to let them enter their territory.[28]
      Combining these claims, we then arrive at a ‘protection elsewhere’ argument maintaining that externalization is legitimate, since agreed to by all governments involved, and because it preserves displaced persons’ rights through extraterritorial asylum processing. Even if the policy may block their movement, this argument goes, it only prevents them from entering European territory, while still allowing them to find protection elsewhere, after having exited their own country. The zero-sum game effect that the generalisation of this policy would generate goes unaverted – if all countries did the same there would be ‘protection nowhere’.[29]
      But this argument is categorically flawed. Its definitions of coercion and prevention are problematic and rest upon a disconnect between abstract assumptions about border control guiding liberal nationalistic immigration ethics and the actual reality of displacement and European border surveillance, discounting its concrete effects on the ground. EU externalization practices yield extremely coercive checks amounting to violent regimes of exit control, also contravening the legally-sanctioned right – assumed in debates on immigration ethics – to leave one’s own country.[30] That is, even if one, for the sake of argument, assumes the right to exit to hold more value than that of entry – since at international law one is universally applicable while the other is only opposable to one’s own country[31] – actual externalization practices still violate not just the latter, but also the former.[32] The containment of migrants in Libyan detention structures, for instance, reveals an abusive regime that bars access to asylum. Amnesty International has counted twenty reports from reliable monitors, including UN and EU sources, attesting to this reality.[33] The abject brutality facing displaced persons, contained and circulated through externalization, can only be labelled non-coercive prevention from a Eurocentric, and extremely abstract vantage point. In truth, they cause suffering on such a scale that they may amount to atrocity crimes, according to the ICC Prosecutor,[34] and, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has put it, they constitute ‘an outrage to the conscience of humanity’ – at least as far as the situation in Libya is concerned.[35] Collaborative border infrastructures are endowed with the power to coerce at a distance, with externalization leading to practices of ‘remote control’ that extraterritorially negate access to the European asylum systems to those (theoretically) entitled to international protection,[36] literally ‘trapping’ migrants in a constant ‘cycle of abuse’.[37]
      Nevertheless, even if the ethical ‘protection elsewhere’ argument must be rejected as an invalid justification for current European externalization policies the reasons for it are instructive. Seeing how externalization produces highly coercive collaborative regimes of exit control makes clear the problematic ramifications of the reactive and regionalist assumptions on which it rests. Conventional views on international relations and forced migration see the displacement to which borders respond as induced by conflicts or developmental or environmental factors.[38] Yet, while attention to the causes of displacement is important, this model embraces borders as only reactive to – rather than also constitutive of – displacement. But this is wrong. A range of border practices and infrastructures, performed at or beyond the physical frontiers of the EU, such as interdiction, detention, and deportation, do not just react to, but also in themselves cause displacement, by diverting flows towards increasingly dangerous routes and by multiplying death ratios at sea and at border zones.[39] This ‘border-induced displacement’, therefore, challenges the regionalist and reactive premise that the production of forced migration is primarily a problem created outside European territory and agency and contests the structural incorporation of (foreseeably lethal) coercion as a legitimate mechanism of border control.
      EU-Libyan relations, since the 2000s, illustrate how externalization has built the infrastructures enabling this kind of coercive re-displacement. This problematizes prevailing assumptions still dominating immigration ethics and politics, namely that the agency of border control consists of States’ discretion over movement across their territorial borders. Externalization underscores the need to consider more composite notions of agency – and thus responsibility – decoupled from national territories, and spanning several governments, organisations as well as non-state actors.
      The decades-long European-Libyan collaboration on border control is a case in point. After the European Commission decided to lift its arms embargo against Libya in 2004, two ‘technical missions’ followed. The first, in 2004, was meant to ‘identify concrete measures for possible balanced EU-Libyan cooperation particularly on illegal immigration’ and the second, in 2007, to develop ‘an operational and technical partnership’ for extraterritorial border control.[40] The case of Libya is but one example of how European externalization policies have facilitated the transformation of European border control into a flourishing market of violent deterrence and containment,[41] with little to do with a rights-based protection paradigm, and also how third countries’ control apparatuses have become a lucrative export venture for the arms-, security-, and IT-industries of the EU Member States.[42]
      2.3. Trading in rights for border control

      Companies like Spanish Indra, British BAE Systems, Italian Leonardo, French Thales and Ocea, Dutch Damen, German Rheinmetall and Airbus all compete for contracts to expand the capacity for surveillance and control of not just Libya, but also other Eastern European, North African and Middle Eastern countries collaborating on EU externalization. In 2012, an industrial consulting actor valued the global border industry at €25.8 billion, projecting an increase to €56 billion by 2022.[43] And European sales of patrol boats, jeeps, planes, drones, satellites, helicopters, radar systems and whole surveillance mechanisms for border control purposes were part of the EU export licenses worth €82 billion to the Middle East and North Africa between 2005–2014.[44] This political economy of externalization also applies to the industries of EU partner countries. For instance, in 2016, the EU channelled more than €83 million to contracts with Turkish Aselsan and Otokar to provide heavily armoured vehicles placed, respectively, at the Greek-Turkish border and the newly constructed 911 kilometre border-wall between Turkey and Syria.[45]
      The dynamics reshaping third-country border infrastructures elucidate how borders can function as engines of, rather than just responses to, displacement. This means that arguments for externalization appealing to democratic legitimacy face more problems than merely the barring of access to asylum procedures: First, because when EU Member States use their political-economic leverage to make externalization deals with non-EU countries, they are effectively asking them to replace their own public interest with the EU preference of avoiding asylum seeker flows towards the Member States. Second, because several examples, like the EU collaboration with Libyan actors, including militias and former traffickers, as further discussed in the next section, illustrate how the EU’s externalization partners very often lack democratic legitimacy.[46] EU border externalization entrenches forms of undemocratic governance in third countries, empowering undemocratic actors, transforming their relative weight within domestic structures, and weakening democratic channels of scrutiny, accountability, and power control. Externalization thereby risks creating a vicious cycle, where the influx of arms and funds to those actors willing to enact the European containment agenda grants them political validity, which is then used to undermine not only migrant rights, but also to repress domestic opposition and dissidence and thus destabilize internal democratisation processes. The short-term European goal of preventing asylum seeker flows thereby risks compromising the stated long-term goal of tackling the root causes of displacement,[47] which is sacrificed in the altar of externalised ‘integrated border management’.[48]
      3. Legal distance-creation: The juridical implications of externalization and border-induced displacement

      Externalization has not only been encapsulated in political and policy arguments and practices, but has also been embedded in law through the ‘protection elsewhere’ model. The ‘protection elsewhere’ model ultimately rests on the assumption that refugees and migrants are best served ‘at home’, whether it be in their countries of origin or in the neighbouring region (but away from the EU at any rate). ‘Onward movements’ defy this logic and are thus seriously penalized. Responsibility for reception and asylum has accordingly been delegated (or redirected) to countries proximate to the source of flows, via targeted rules on ‘safe third countries’ and readmission agreements that legalise the practice. But, as stated above, this (re-)allocation of protection duties to peripheral States is also part and parcel of the Common European Asylum System within the EU. The Dublin Regulation enshrines and ‘rulifies’ this vision for the Member States, allowing non-external border countries to deflect responsibility in a legal manner.
      Against this background, EU countries feel legitimized to claim their own irresponsibility vis-à-vis non-Member States,[49] projecting the model onto their external relations and imposing compliance with EU control rules as a matter of course. Fatalities at sea and elsewhere are then presented as the result of disorder and illegality; something avoidable if only (EU) rules were observed and effectively enforced by non-EU partners. The structural conditions imposed by the externalization apparatus, and the injustice that ensues, are usually disregarded or downplayed as unintended collateral damage. The fact that illegality is the only way out of a situation of want or persecution, and that smuggling is the only remaining vehicle to reach safety, is routinely silenced. It is the smugglers who profit of the precarious situation of ‘boat migrants’ – the argument goes. So, the eradication of smuggling and a return to (EU) law and order is portrayed as the solution. The option to relax border control rules and adapt them to the imperatives of human dignity, decriminalising the irregular movement of forced migrants, is not even contemplated. That would be perceived as an illogical concession; a descent into chaos and the negation of the rule of (EU) law. This EU-centric conception of the law is what sustains the externalization edifice and nurtures the collaboration with third countries.
      At the legal-strategic level, externalization politics are accompanied by at least two degrees of ‘irresponsibilitization’, enshrined in, and sanctioned by, EU law: responsibility diffusion and responsibility denial. ‘Diffusion’ refers to the relational dimension of externalization, to situations of multi-actor alliance where the causation chain and attribution operation become unclear, with different agents and organs of different States contributing to a particular (unlawful) result. By contrast, ‘denial’ captures scenarios of outright disclaiming of responsibility, where this is said to belong to a different actor altogether, according to the (usually EU-based) rules in place (or their self-serving interpretation).
      3.1. Responsibility diffusion

      The creation of physical distance, via exit control, disembarkation platforms, holding sites, or reception camps abroad, contributes to ‘irresponsibilitization’ through diffusion. None of the proposals put forth so far clarifies exactly who should be considered responsible for those intercepted in, and repatriated to, Libya or any alternative location hosting the centres. The overall supposition appears to be that EU Member States would ultimately escape the task.[50] But there is some residual notion that European countries could not completely ‘circumvent’ their obligations[51] – albeit without elaboration, even the Legal Service of the European Parliament concedes that migrants sent to disembarkation platforms located outside the territory of the Member States ‘should benefit from the guarantees provided for in the 1951 Geneva Convention […] and in the European Convention of Human Rights’, including the principle of non-refoulement.[52]
      Actually, under international law, ‘no State can avoid responsibility by outsourcing or contracting out its obligations’.[53] Cooperation with third countries does not exonerate EU Member States from their non-refoulement and related duties – both under general customary law and as per the relevant international Conventions.[54] According to the Strasbourg Court, ‘[w]here States establish […] international agreements to pursue cooperation in certain fields of activity’, whatever their legal nature, validity, and intent,[55] ‘there may be implications for the protection of fundamental rights’. With this in mind, it would be ‘incompatible with the purpose and object of the [European Convention of Human Rights][56] if Contracting States were thereby absolved from their responsibility under the Convention in relation to the field of activity covered by such [agreements]’.[57] As a result, ‘[i]n so far as any liability under the Convention is or may be incurred, it is liability incurred by the Contracting State […]’.[58] Despite its cooperation with Libya or any other third country, the independent responsibility of each EU Member State participating in the scheme of externalized migration controls subsists, ‘where the person[s] in question […] risk suffering a flagrant denial of the guarantees and rights secured to [them] under the Convention’.[59]
      Nor would Member States be able to evade responsibility by transferring functions to the UNHCR or the IOM – whatever their support and potential separate liability.[60] ‘Absolving Contracting States completely from their Convention responsibility in the areas covered by such a transfer would [again] be incompatible with the purpose and object of the Convention’, as Strasbourg clarifies. The final effect would be for ‘the guarantees of the Convention [to] be limited or excluded at will thereby depriving it of its peremptory character and undermining the practical and effective nature of its safeguards’,[61] negating the basic premise of the pacta sunt servanda principle.[62] And the same is true in regard to other instruments of international human rights law.
      Even though several actors combine to produce re-displacement, individual responsibility for its effects cannot be deflected. The principle is well established in international law. Article 47 of the ILC Articles on Responsibility of States for International Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA) contemplates precisely the scenario where several States participate in the same internationally wrongful act, stipulating that in such cases ‘the responsibility of each State may be invoked in relation to that act’.[63] Each State retains responsibility and, according to the ILC Commentary, ‘is separately responsible for the conduct attributable to it’. The fact that one or more additional States also contribute to the same act in no way reduces the responsibility of each single country.[64] So, any orders or transfers performed, or orchestrated by, EU Member States will engage their responsibility for any resulting breaches of their international commitments.
      Neither the ‘disembarkation platforms’ proposal, nor any other of the similar initiatives emerged since the 1980s explored above specifies where exactly those repatriated or ‘pulled back’, whether to Libya or other third countries, would be accommodated.[65] It is conceivable that proponents envisage offshore reception centres to be closed, since the ultimate aim is to contain and deter irregular movement.[66] This then entails large-scale, and potentially long-term, detention, in breach of Article 5 ECHR guarantees,[67] which have been recognised to apply extraterritorially, extending to cases of deprivation of liberty abroad.[68] Yet, the border-induced displacement effects of externalization practices, like involuntary retention in international waters, forcible transfer to warships, coercive escorting or imposing of a certain course, constitute restrictions of physical freedom and need to accommodate the legal safeguards of the Convention.[69]
      It is not known whether the ‘disembarkation platforms’ proposal foresees transfers to the country concerned to be automatic. Should that be the case, EU Member States risk incurring direct and indirect violations of the prohibition of collective expulsion and the (non-derogable/non-limitable) protection against refoulement. Regarding the latter, the Strasbourg Court attaches paramount importance to country information contained in reports from independent sources,[70] so that when reliable accounts of the circumstances prevailing in the receiving State make it ‘sufficiently real and probable’ that the general situation entails a ‘real risk’ of ill treatment in the sense of Article 3 ECHR, a refoulement presumption is activated and removal cannot be performed.[71] What is more, on account of the absolute character of Article 3, Contracting Parties must undertake the relevant investigation proprio motu and abstain from actions/omissions that put individuals at risk. As the Court asserted in Hirsi, ‘it [is] for the national authorities, faced with a situation in which human rights [are] systematically violated […] to find out about the treatment to which the applicants would be exposed after their return’.[72] So, the Member States concerned are to comply with their non-refoulement obligations proactively, regardless of whether the persons in question seek protection or specifically alert of the dangers faced upon return. The fact that potential applicants fail to request asylum or to formally oppose their removal does not absolve Contracting Parties of their Convention duties,[73] and especially their positive due diligence obligations.
      This includes the requirement to provide access to adequate procedures.[74] Member States must offer a real opportunity for individuals to submit and defend their claims,[75] including an ‘effective remedy’.[76] This requires that the remedy in question be able to ‘prevent the execution of measures that are contrary to the Convention and whose effects are potentially irreversible’. Therefore, ‘it is inconsistent with Article 13 [ECHR] for such measures to be executed before the national authorities [of the Member State concerned] have examined whether they are compatible with the Convention’.[77] In these cases, appeals must have ‘automatic suspensive effect’.[78] And screening on board interdicting vessels or somewhere else offshore cannot satisfy these requirements.[79] Procedural responsibilities, just like substantive guarantees, cannot be deflected, postponed, or negated. The ultimate guarantors of ECHR safeguards are the Contracting Parties, which must ‘secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in [the] Convention’.[80]
      Due diligence commands the dual duty to refrain from any conduct that may result in arbitrary violations as well as the obligation to enact laws and policies that effectively protect individuals against abuse. Following the Human Rights Committee’s recent General Comment on the Right to Life, by analogy, State Parties are required to ‘organise all State organs and governance structures through which public authority is exercised in a manner consistent with the need to respect and ensure [human rights]’. This includes a duty of ‘continuous supervision’ in order to ‘prevent, investigate, punish and remedy’ any harm.[81] As a result, actions such as the ‘sale […] of […] weapons’, and presumably other similar law enforcement and border control equipment, must be preceded by a conscientious examination of its foreseeable impact on human rights.[82] As members of the international community and as subjects of customary law, States must take into account
      ‘their responsibility […] to protect lives and to oppose widespread or systematic attacks on [human rights]’[83] – like those sustained by migrants in Libya.[84] And, in particular, States have an obligation under general international law ‘not to aid or assist activities undertaken by other States and non-State actors that violate [human rights]’.[85]

      All these reasons should lead to the rejection of ‘disembarkation platforms’ and similar initiatives as ‘externalization fantasyland’.[86] EU Member States should not invest in a formula that promotes cooperation with human rights perpetrators and impedes the fulfilment of their pre-contracted obligations – such a course would hardly qualify as a good faith implementation of their binding commitments.[87] Instead, domestic systems of territorial protection should be reinforced, including the necessary intra-EU solidarity and responsibility-sharing mechanisms to make them effective.[88] Physical distance-creation, through off-shoring and outsourcing, does not translate into an erasure or diminution of legal duties. EU rules on ‘safe third countries’ and readmission cannot (unilaterally) undo international standards.[89]
      3.2. Responsibility denial

      Besides tools of responsibility deflection, mechanisms of outright denial of obligations are equally challenging. Usually, the capacitation of third countries’ control infrastructures, mimicking the Schengen ‘integrated border management’ system,[90] is framed as unproblematic. The transfer of funds, know-how, and equipment, as in the cases referred to in the previous section, are considered to emanate from a spirit of solidarity with non-EU partners and to be fully in line with the relevant criteria. The ethical distance between the EU or Member State gifting assets, ceding resources, or providing training and any potential human rights violations that may ensue is taken to preclude liability. There is no intent – no dolus specialis – intervening in the operation. Thus, the denial of responsibility on the European side for the atrocities in Libya, the abuses in Turkey, or the fatalities at sea associated with border-induced displacement, commonly recurs.[91]
      Yet, international law paints a more complex picture.[92] If one considers that it is ‘thanks’[93] to Italy, for instance, that the LYCG continues to exist in any functional form in the post-Kaddafi period,[94] an outright denial of responsibility becomes difficult.[95]
      Especially since the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and the Libyan Government of National Accord in February 2017,[96] the delivery of training, equipment, and assets (including the four main patrol vessels employed by the LYCG) has intensified. Italy has created a dedicated ‘Africa Fund’, € 2.5 million of which has been allocated to the maintenance of LYCG boats and the training of their crews.[97] The EU, too, has committed € 46 million to prop up Libyan interdiction capacity.[98] It has been calculated that the total combined investment by Italy and the EU will be € 285 million by 2023,[99] with the EU alone providing € 282 million – most of which via programmes administered, coordinated, or supervised by Italy.[100] In addition, an extension of the Mare Sicuro Operation, named NAURAS,[101] was approved by the Italian Parliament in August 2017, consisting of four ships, four helicopters, and 600 servicemen, of which 70 per cent are deployed at sea, with the other 30 per cent stationed in Tripoli harbour. Their key mission, as declared by the Italian Navy itself, is to ‘establish [the] operational condition[s] for LN/LNCG [i.e. Libyan Navy and LYCG] assets and develop C2 [ie command-and-control] capabilities’. Meanwhile, an ‘ITN [ie Italian Navy] naval asset in Tripoli Harbour [is] acting as LNCC [ie Libyan Navy Communication Centre] and logistic assistance/support hub’, thus assuming the function of a floating maritime rescue coordination centre.[102]
      The nature of the LYCG as a proxy for Italian interdiction has furthermore been confirmed by the judge of Catania adjudicating on the related case concerning the rescue ship Open Arms of the NGO Proactiva. In his decision, the judge takes as proven the crucial role played by Italy in leading LYCG operations. The judge goes so far as to affirm that the interventions of Libyan patrol vessels happen ‘under the aegis of the Italian Navy’ and that the coordination of rescue missions is ‘essentially entrusted to the Italian Navy, with its own naval assets and with those provided to the Libyans’.[103] This corroborates the ‘high degree of integration’ between the two,[104] and the ‘effective control’ exercised by Italy over LYCG operations, making ensuing violations attributable to it.[105]
      The subsequent abuse of those pulled back to Tripoli happens despite Italy’s knowledge of the desperate situation facing migrants in Libya, including widespread and systematic torture, rape, inhuman and degrading treatment, and enslavement. The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs himself admitted that ‘taking [migrants] back to Libya, at this moment, means taking them back to hell’.[106] Nonetheless, the interdiction by proxy policy of Italy continues.[107] Amnesty International estimates that there are over 10,000 persons currently held in official detention centres in Libya – all of which funded through EU/Italian money. And, virtually all of them have been brought there as a result of their interdiction at sea by the EU/Italian-equipped and -trained LYCG.[108] Consequently, the combination of control exercised – though ‘contactless’[109] – and the knowledge of the circumstances migrants face should be understood to render Italy answerable for the resulting human rights violations, even if the LYCG is used as a surrogate.
      As per Article 8 ARSIWA, ‘[t]he conduct of a person or group of persons [such as the LYCG] shall be considered an act of a State [i.e. Italy in this case]’, when the group in question ‘is in fact acting on the instructions of, or under the direction or control of, that State in carrying out the conduct’. Taking the Italian Navy and the Judge of Catania’s assertions at face value, the LYCG are to be considered ‘auxiliaries’ of the Italian border machinery deployed extraterritorially, ‘instructed to carry out particular [interdiction] missions abroad’. The Italian Navy conducts the specific operations through its NAURAS effectives exercising coordination as well as command-and-control functions, meaning that the (wrongful) conduct of the LYCG shall be considered ‘an integral part of the operations’ aimed at impeding departures across the Central Mediterranean and thus be attributed to Italy.[110] It is the Italian authorities that locate targets, relay maritime coordinates, and equip and mandate the LYCG to proceed to the interdiction of migrant boats.[111] It is Italy that ‘directs’ the operations in a way that ‘does not encompass mere incitement or suggestion but rather connotes actual direction of an operative kind’.[112] Italian intervention is a sine qua non for the ‘pull-backs’ at sea to materialise, which could not be carried out autonomously by the LYCG.[113] Italy exercises ‘such a degree of control […] as to justify treating the [LYCG] as acting on its behalf’.[114]
      Italy’s involvement in Libyan search and rescue (or rather, interdiction) operations, in different ways and throughout time, rather than just an instance of complicity,[115] engaging indirect responsibility, can thus be characterised as a breach entailing direct responsibility, consisting of a ‘composite act’. Article 15 ARSIWA establishes that an international obligation (of non-refoulement, for instance, and of non-arbitrary interference with the right to leave) may indeed be violated via ‘a series of actions or omissions defined in aggregate as wrongful’. The financing or training of the LYCG alone may be harmless and perfectly licit, but, when taken together and alongside the infiltration of the command-and-control chain of the LYCG by the Italian Navy, the whole, in light of the final outcome of pull-backs, becomes an illicit under international law.
      Italian jurisdiction may indeed be engaged not only in relation to action occurring within its territory and in other areas subject to its ‘effective control’, but, as the Human Rights Committee has stated, also regarding conduct ‘having a direct and reasonably foreseeable impact on the right[s] […] of individuals [abroad]’.[116] The obligation to respect and protect human rights extends beyond territorial domain to all persons subject to its jurisdiction, that is, to ‘all persons over whose enjoyment of the right[s] [concerned] it exercises power’, including ‘persons located outside any territory effectively controlled by the State, whose [rights are] nonetheless impacted by its military and other activities’ – the transfer of money, equipment and enforcement capacity thus acquiring a significance of its own as a possible trigger of independent responsibility for wrongful conduct.[117] Not only the aiding and abetting of human rights violations is of relevance, whatever the form the assistance provided to the LYCG may take (whether commercial, financial, political, or logistical), but also actions (or omissions) that impede the effective enjoyment of human rights – counting the right to leave any country, to seek protection from harm, and to non-refoulement – matter too, from a legal perspective.[118] Following the Legal Service of the European Parliament in the context of its viability analysis of ‘disembarkation platforms’, engagement in any formal or informal arrangement with third countries – including Libya – to finance or contribute to the functioning of externalized structures of migration control ‘have to respect the prescriptions of the relevant provisions of international law’[119] – presumably including those under the ECHR, the ICCPR and general customary norms.[120] Failure to do so flouts the obligations concerned. Direct perpetration of an international wrong is not a pre-requisite for legal responsibility. Indirect contraventions – including via proxy – incur liability as well.[121]
      Distance-creation, through the ‘rulification’ of ‘irresponsibility’ in legal texts or self-seeking effectuations, does not do away with international obligations, nor does it legitimize the suffering it provokes. The EU and its Member States must come to recognise the predictable effect and implications of their externalization agenda. And, alongside the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, acknowledge that, as currently designed, their ‘migration policies can amount to ill-treatment’.[122] Actually, ‘[t]he primary cause for the massive abuse suffered by migrants […] is neither migration itself, nor organised crime […] but the growing tendency of States to base their official migration policies and practices on deterrence, criminalisation and discrimination’.[123] It is this distinct strategy that causes border-induced displacement, breaches human rights obligations and triggers international legal responsibility.[124]
      4. Conclusion: ‘Rulification’ as the co-option of protection

      ‘Rulification’ does not represent a paradigm shift in European politics, but rather an up-scaling of the logic observable also in proposals pursued from the 1980s and onwards and which have led to the integration of the concepts of ‘first country of arrival’, ‘safe third country’ and maritime interdiction within the legal architecture of the common borders and asylum acquis, the primary purpose of which has been the avoidance of asylum seekers on EU territory. It is the abuse and exploitation entrenched within externalization strategies that engenders border-induced displacement in Europe’s border-region. With EU Member States viewing the opening up of legal escape routes as an irrational concession, the side-effects of externalization are exacerbated as the systemic logic of asymmetric, diffused, and denied responsibility for displaced persons is reproduced further and further away from Europe, and closer and closer to the repressive regimes people attempt to escape from.
      The reactionary and regionalist assumptions underpinning externalization arguments and practices tell a securitized tale of displacements constantly generated and managed far removed from European territory and agency. However, distance-creation strategies, whether ethical, spatial, or legal, belong to the category of ‘policies based on deterrence, militarization and extraterritoriality’, denounced by UN Special Rapporteurs and others, ‘which implicitly or explicitly tolerate [and perpetuate] the risk of migrant deaths as part of an effective control of entry’.[125] As the previous sections demonstrate, the structural nature of externalization problematizes traditional assumptions and debates in immigration ethics and politics. It traps migrants in a ‘vicious circle’ of more control, more danger, and more displacement, where they must rely on facilitators to escape life-threatening perils.[126]
      But smuggling and trafficking is the consequence, rather than the cause, of suffering. Suffering is embedded in the externalization system by design through the vehicle of ‘rulification’, which serves to launder the pernicious (and perfectly foreseeable) impact of extra-territorialised/externalised coercion into ‘law-ified’ (and purportedly unintended) side effects. At the same time, the European transfer of equipment and capacity for control outwards also risks undermining processes of accountability and democratic legitimacy in regions bordering Europe. And the ‘rulification’ of border-induced displacement does not make these implications any more palatable. In the words of UN Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard, it is simply ‘not acceptable’ to deter entry by endangering life.[127] The fallacy of coercion-based protection needs to give way to an ethically grounded and legally sustainable rights-honouring paradigm. This is not to contest the legal existence of borders or their enforcement, but to challenge the legitimacy of mechanisms through which they are presently enacted in a manner incompatible with the most basic requirements of international law.

      http://www.qil-qdi.org/border-induced-displacement-the-ethical-and-legal-implications-of-distance-
      #responsabilité #déni_de_responsabilité #protection

  • #Bounty_hunters' hired to track down illegal immigrants

    More than 170,000 immigrants refused leave to stay in Britain are to be tracked down by private-sector “bounty hunters”.

    The support services firm #Capita will earn up to £40million if it finds all of the migrants identified by the UK Border Agency who may be living in the country illegally.

    Rob Whiteman, chief executive of UKBA, told the Home Affairs Select Committee: “The contract is on payment by results, where they will make contact with potential overstayers from our records.

    “The potential value of the contract, if they performed very well over a four-year period, would be around £40 million.”

    He went on: “Capita will be paid for the number of people who they make contact with and leave.

    The existence of the group of potential overstayers – known as the #Migrant_Refusal_Pool – was first disclosed by the immigration watchdog in July.

    Its new deal with Capita, to be signed in the next month, follows a pilot project with #Serco, another services provider, which found that 20 per cent of migrants contacted left the country within six months.

    Capita will contact the people named on the list by writing to them, phoning them, emailing them and even sending them text messages, but will not visit them in person. When it makes contact with them, it will try to help them get the correct travel documents and flights to return to their home countries.
    Capita, which provides services for Government including Criminal Records Bureau checks and TV Licensing, declined to comment as the contract has not yet been signed.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9551180/Bounty-hunters-hired-to-track-down-illegal-immigrants.html
    #Brexit #UK #Angleterre #overstayers #surveillance #migrations #privatisation #UKBA #it_has_begun (je ne sais pas quels autres tags utiliser pour cette barbarie) #renvois #expulsions

    @sinehebdo, un autre mot, très barbare cette fois-ci :
    #Migrant_Refusal_Pool

    #mots #vocabulaire #terminologie

    cc @isskein @reka

  • À qui profite la gestion des migrations ?

    Les migrations font partie de l’histoire de l’humanité mais les frontières n’ont jamais été aussi fermées qu’aujourd’hui. Les conventions issues des politiques migratoires actuelles ont divisé les migrants en différentes catégories (politiques, économiques, climatiques...) en fonction de la supposée légitimité ou non d’avoir accès au droit d’asile ou à séjourner sur un territoire étranger. « Le migrant économique », qui se déplace pour fuir la misère engendrée par les politiques liées au remboursement de la dette, est la catégorie qui bénéficie du moins de droits et son accès aux territoires extérieurs varie en fonction des besoins de main-d’œuvre ou des politiques de fermetures aux frontières.


    http://www.cadtm.org/A-qui-profite-la-gestion-des
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #contrôle_migratoire #business #Frontex #frontières #privatisation #externalisation #détention_administrative #rétention #VFS #visas #TLS_Contact #Sodexo #G4S #Geo #serco #Sodexho_Marriott

  • Asylum accommodation is a disgrace

    The Home Affairs Committee says the current contract system for asylum accommodation isn’t working and major reforms are needed. The Committee brands the state of some asylum accommodation provided by Government contractors a “disgrace” and says it is “shameful” that very vulnerable people have been placed in these conditions.

    https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/home-affairs-committee/news-parliament-2015/asylum-accommodation-report-published-16-17
    #hébergement #logement #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UK #Angleterre

    • The shame of asylum housing of child refugees in the UK

      The early months of the lives of hundreds of babies, toddlers and young child refugees have been blighted by life in privatised accommodation provided by #G4S, #Serco and #Clearsprings[1] and funded by taxpayers, since 2012. Now the government has extended their contracts for another two years.

      http://www.irr.org.uk/news/the-shame-of-asylum-housing-of-child-refugees-in-the-uk/?platform=hootsuite
      #enfants #enfance #mineurs #privatisation

    • Abusive practices in UK detention centres – G4S and Home Office under fire

      The critique of the UK detention system is hardening as a result of problematic incidents during the first week of September. The death of a former detainee in a hospital, after an apparently failed suicide attempt in Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) is being investigated and a report released the same week provides evidence of alarming abusive conduct by detention officers in Brook House IRC.


      https://www.ecre.org/abusive-practices-in-uk-detention-centres-g4s-and-home-office-under-fire

    • What I saw when I went undercover

      #Callum_Tulley was so shocked by the chaos, violence and abuse he saw as a detainee custody officer in an immigration removal centre, he decided to become a whistleblower.

      Putting on hidden cameras for a BBC Panorama investigation, the 21-year-old exposes a toxic, brutal and failing environment, where self-harm and drug abuse are commonplace.

      Ten staff and former staff have been suspended as a result of his allegations.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/g4s_brook_house_immigration_removal_centre_undercover

      #lanceur_d'alerte

    • A life costs £10,000: how G4S’ Brook House detention contract works

      In 2017, security company G4S was in the headlines again after the Panorama TV programme exposed new revelations of brutality in Brook House, one of two immigration detention centres the company runs for the Home Office. Two years later, the National Audit Office has published a report on G4S’ contract to run the centre.

      The report doesn’t contain many surprises for anyone familiar with the grim reality of life inside privately-run detention centres. But it makes public for the first time some information on just how companies like G4S rack up substantial detention profits.

      For example, it reveals G4S is fined just £10,000 when someone kills themselves in its “care”. And it confirms the money G4S makes from detaining migrants. It has made comfortably over £2 million a year for most of its time running Brook House, with a profit margin typically between 18 to 20%. Or more than 200 times the cost of a detainee’s life.

      But the report also shows that the company has made even more money in other detention centres. And these windfall profit rates look set to go even higher under the goverment’s plans for the new Brook House contract, which is due to start in May 2020.

      Here we summarise some key points from the report. The NAO report itself is quite clearly written and worth reading for the full detail.

      See also: our G4S Company Profile; Chapter 7 of The UK Border Regime for much more on the detention system. And for another example of lax state oversight of privately-run prisons, read our report last year on Carillion staff working without mandatory suicide prevention training.
      Brook House contract basics

      Brook House is one of two migrant detention centres run by G4S inside the perimeter of Gatwick airport – the other is Tinsley House. It has places for up to 508 detainees, all male.i It is the UK’s most secure detention centre, run to the same security standards as a Category B prison.

      Brook House opened in 2009, and its management was contracted out to G4S from the start. G4S’ contract was initially set for nine years. However, after the Panorama scandal broke in 2017, the government announced it was cancelling the process to re-tender the contract. Instead, it extended G4S’ current deal for another two years.

      The Home Office has since said that the current contract is “not fit for purpose”, and it is designing a new type of contract for the centre in future. The new deal is supposed to start in May 2020 and last until 2028. It is currently out for tender, and companies have until October 2019 to put in their bids.

      How the contract works

      The NAO report explains how G4S gets paid. G4S receives around £13 million per year for running Brook House. The payments involve:

      a basic monthly fee – a bit over £1 million per month;
      minus a deduction for under-occupation;
      minus deductions for “performance failures”.

      G4S has overall responsibility for managing, maintaining, and repairing the centre, but can sub-contract parts of the job. For example, catering and cleaning services are sub-contracted to Aramark.

      The contract sets minimum staffing levels. Brook House has four wings: each is supposed to have at least one manager and three guards (“detainee custody officers”) on duty at all times.
      Minimal deductions

      In reality, G4S gets almost all the maximum fee. On average, under-performance deductions have only been about 1.5% of the fee per month. The biggest penalties – £30,000 if someone escapes, or £10,000 if someone dies following “self-harm” – are still tiny amounts relative to G4S’ fees. Also, the Home Office has actually let G4S off almost half of all possible deductions, allowing it to claim “mitigating circumstances”.
      The price list: 30 performance measures

      The contract sets out 30 performance issues which can lead to a deduction. The NAO report lists all of these. The two biggest deductions are for:

      escapes: £10,000 to £30,000
      “self-harm resulting in death”: £10,000

      The other deductions are all in the order of a few hundred pounds per day. The most serious is understaffing, which can be charged at between £134 and £1,790. Other failures such as insufficient cleaning, not reporting problems to the Home Office, health and safety breaches, or inadequate cell standards, may cost anywhere between £18 and £857 a day.
      What’s not included

      The list of performance measures says something about the Home Office’s priorities. For example, an escape is worth up to £30,000, but “self harm resulting in death” only £10,000.

      But maybe even more revealing is what isn’t included in the list. Deaths only cost G4S if they are judged to result from “self harm”. There is no mention at all of deaths from abuse or neglect. Or of non-fatal assaults and abuse. If a detainee manages to bring a “serious substantiated complaint” of assault or racial abuse, G4S can lose just £537 – less than 2% of its daily fee.

      The NAO report raises this issue in relation to the Panorama scandal. It says clearly:

      Inappropriate use of force or verbal abuse of detainees are not counted as a performance failure under the contract.

      The Home Office and G4S counted 84 incidents in the Panorama footage. But it found that “most of these were either already reported or were not required to be reported under the contract”. Only eight incidents were judged to need new contract deductions. G4S’ penalty for these incidents of abuse came to a grand total of £2,768 – about a quarter of one per cent of its monthly fee.

      Brook House makes a tidy profit

      Brook House and other detention centres make their corporate managers a lot of money. In a July 2018 report, we concluded that profit levels of 20% and up are standard across the industry.

      Our analysis looked in detail at the accounts for Dungavel detention centre, as well as information available on G4S centres. The NAO report largely confirms this picture – although it seems that G4S’ profits on Brook House have gone down recently as it has brought in extra staff after the Panorama scandal. According to the report:

      G4S told us it made an annual gross profit on the contract of 18% to 20% until 2016, falling to 10% in 2017 and 14% in 2018.

      Between 2012 and 2018, G4S’ total gross profit from Brook House was £14.3 million – according to G4S’ own figures, which the NAO hasn’t audited itself. Between 2009 and 2016, the annual profit was between £2.1 and and £2.4 million. This only dropped in 2017 and 2018 when the company brought in extra managers and staff in response to its Panorama exposure.

      To clarify, “gross profit” means the money G4S makes from the Brook House contract itself. That is: the fees it gets from the Home Office (its revenue), minus the specific costs of running the centre – e.g., paying for guards, centre managers and maintenance staff, or for detainees’ food or cleaning products.

      This is not the final profit G4S books as a company in its accounts. Before that figure, it will also have to account for company-wide “administrative” costs such as running its head office and lobbying for new contracts.

      However, even looking at those final or “net” profits, the NAO report confirms that detention is a very profitable business. According to the report, “G4S’s net profit on the contract over 2012 to 2018, following the deduction of a share of regional and group overheads, was 6% to 15%.” That compares to an overall average net profit of 6% on G4S’ whole security division.

      In short: G4S makes substantially more money from government contracts to lock up migrants than it does on its other main business lines like providing security guards for banks. (See our previous analysis of this in our G4S company profile.)
      .. but other G4S detention centres make even more

      And yet Brook House is actually the least profitable of G4S’ detention centres. The company makes even higher profits on running Tinsley House. And it made more still on Cedars, the now closed family detention centre it ran together with Barnardo’s.

      According to the NAO report: “at Tinsley House immigration removal centre, G4S’s gross profit ranged between 26% and 43% in the period 2012 to 2016, and net profit between 19% and 28%.” Brook House is less profitable than Tinsley House because it has higher security costs, and also because the higher paid senior managers for the two centres are based there.

      As for Cedars, locking up families with children provided G4S with an incredible cash cow. The NAO report informs us that:

      Profits on the Cedars pre-departure accommodation, which closed in 2016 due to low use, ranged from 21% to 60% gross or 15% to 55% net between 2012 and 2016.

      G4S gets to keep any extra money it makes?

      One point that’s a bit technical but potentially important. According to the NAO report, there is no requirement for G4S to share any “extra” profit it makes from unexpected savings.

      This seems at odds with other information we have previously seen on detention centre contracts, and indeed on government outsourcing contracts in general. They often contain a clause stating that the company has to give back some of its extra gain if it makes over a certain figure.

      But, according to the NAO report, the Home Office didn’t bother to include any such clause in the Brook House deal:ii

      The Home Office is not entitled to a share of G4S’s profits under the contract. If G4S is able to substantially reduce its operating costs through new technologies or other investment then the Home Office and G4S agree how to share the savings, and G4S’s monthly fee is reduced accordingly. This has happened once with investment in a key vending technology. But this savings mechanism is unrelated to how much profit G4S makes.

      The new contract looks set to be even more profitable

      As mentioned, the Home Office has admitted that the Brook House contract is “not fit for purpose”. But what can we expect from the new deal it is currently tendering?

      Unfortunately, the NAO report doesn’t tell us anything on that. It suggests that the Home Office may include some performance measure related to “inappropriate use of force” in the new contract – but no detail is given.

      As for money-making, the tender announcement for the new contract gives a value of £260 million over ten years – or around £26 million per year. This will cover both Brook House and Tinsley House.

      The current value of the Brook House and Tinsley House contracts combined is only around £16 million (Tinsley House is smaller and has lower security). So it appears there will be a big jump in the fees the centres’ managers will get after 2020.

      In conclusion: scandals come and go, but it looks like detention will carry on being a very profitable business indeed.

      https://corporatewatch.org/a-life-costs-10000-how-g4s-brook-house-detention-contract-works

    • Message reçu via la mailing-list de Migreurop, le
      29.06.2018:

      Corporate Watch has just published updated company profiles of the UK’s four current detention profiteers.

      Each profile looks at the company’s business basics, history, key business areas, strategies, finances, bosses and shareholders, and ends with a “Scandal Sheet” listing some notable crimes and misdemeanours.

      G4S runs #Brook_House and #Tinsley_House. Mitie runs #Harmondsworth, #Colnbrook, #Campsfield, and recently took over the deportation “escorting” contract which includes running shorter term “holding facilities”. Serco runs #Yarl's_Wood. GEO Group, the second biggest US private prison company, runs #Dungavel.

      Please get in touch if you have any further information to add on any of these companies. You can contact us securely through out contact page: https://corporatewatch.org/contact

      #G4S

      https://corporatewatch.org/g4s-company-profile-2018

      G4S is one of the world’s biggest security companies, active in over 90 countries. And it’s one of the world’s biggest employers of any kind, with around 570,000 staff. Most of its business is in providing guards and security tech to business clients, as well as cash transport.

      Security is a global boom industry, and unlike other outsourcing giants G4S remains profitable and growing.

      G4S also runs prisons and immigration detention centres in the UK, Australia and South Africa under its “G4S Care and Justice” subsidiary. These are amongst its most profitable contracts.

      Although it recently sold most (but not all) of its controversial Israeli business, G4S works with Afghan warlords and in regimes like Syria or Sudan. It has a long record of scandals, failures and controversies – but keeps on winning new contracts.

      #Serco

      https://corporatewatch.org/serco-company-profile-2018

      Serco is an outsourcing company that specialises in public sector work. It runs services in five areas: defence, “justice and immigration”, health, transport, and “citizen services”. It works for 20 governments worldwide, but 40% of all its business remains in the UK, with another 19% in Australia as of 2017.

      One of its biggest contracts is running 11 Australian immigration detention centres. In the UK, it runs Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

      Serco has been hit by numerous scandals, most famously in 2013 when it was exposed along with G4S overcharging the government by millions on its electronic tagging contract.

      Serco was the first of the big-name outsourcers to hit financial trouble recently, with a run of profits warnings starting in 2013. Damage was done by numerous loss-making contracts taken on as the company raced to expand. As a result the company had to ask shareholders for £530m to keep the company going in 2015. Serco is struggling to get back on track, but hopes that its outsourcing model will prove profitable again long term: prisons and wars still seem a winning bet. They’d better be: shareholders haven’t received a dividend in three years.

      #Mitie

      https://corporatewatch.org/mitie-company-profile-2018

      Mitie is an outsourcing company providing a mixed bag of “facilities management” contract services to both corporations and government, from cleaning to consultancy. It is predominantly active in the UK.

      Mitie is having tough times: after a series of profit warnings the company has lost money in the last two years. Since 2016 it has gone through a major management reshuffle, large scale restructuring and the sale of the failing MiHomecare business. And its 2016 accounts are under official investigation for presenting a false picture of the company’s
      finances.

      The company’s “Security” division has always remained profitable, as has the “Care and Custody” division that locks up migrants. Mitie is currently the UK’s biggest detention profiteer: it runs the two Heathrow detention centres and Campsfield in Oxfordshire; and it recently won the £525 million deportation “escorting” contract.

      #GEO_Group

      https://corporatewatch.org/geo-company-profile-2018

      GEO is the second largest US private prisons company. It boasted of locking up 265,000 people in 2017.

      * It is profitable and stable: the US prison regime shows no sign of shrinking, and president Donald Trump (to whom GEO has donated) is a supporter of the private prison industry.

      *It has two UK contracts: #Dungavel immigration detention centre in Scotland; and prisoner transport for the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales, run by its UK joint venture #GEOAmey.

    • Detention centre profits: 20% and up for the migration prison bosses

      Just how much money do companies make from locking up people in the UK’s privately run immigration detention centres? Our analysis, the first to study the detention industry overall, suggests that profit rates of 20% or more are standard.

      The collapse of #Carillion has focused attention on the outsourcing corporations, who complain that government austerity is squeezing their once bountiful incomes. But immigration detention centres, along with prisons, remain very profitable. Of the UK’s eight long-term detention centres, seven are run by private contractors.

      Our analysis of recent accounts released by US prison profiteer #GEO_Group show it could be making as much as a 30% profit margin from running Scotland’s #Dungavel detention centre. This comes after internal #G4S documents revealed the company was making over 20% profit on its notorious #Brook_House deal – and over 40% on the neighbouring #Tinsley_House centre. (See below for full analysis of these figures.)
      Why is detention so profitable?

      It is certainly the case that some outsourcing contracts have been losing a lot of money. Obvious examples are the “COMPASS” contracts to run housing for asylum seekers not in detention.i G4S and #Serco each have two of these deals, for different regions, and complain bitterly about them. Transport and healthcare are other areas where many have struggled – Mitie, for example, sold off all its home care business at a loss last year. Mitie’s latest annual report also notes particularly tight margins in a number of other common outsourcing areas, including cleaning and engineering maintenance. These losses will of course hit businesses’ overall results.

      So why do detention contracts remain profitable? We can think of a number of reasons. One is the practice of using detainees, paid just £1 an hour, as effective slave labour. For example, GEO Group is reported to have saved over £727,000 in less than three years by paying Dungavel detainee labour below the minimum wage. Our 2014 report on detainee labour estimated the detention corporations between them could be saving £3 million a year by getting detainees to cook, clean, and maintain their own prisons.

      Another is that, as there is very little scrutiny of detention contracts, contractors can cut costs further by under-staffing and stripping facilities to a minimum. As we reported in 2015, detention outsourcers are allowed to “self audit” their own performance, with minimal checking by the Home Office. Meanwhile the voices of those in detention themselves, stigmatised as “illegals” and stripped of any rights, are rarely heard.

      Another reason is that these are relatively large deals with only a handful of specialist bidders (so forming an “oligopoly” who can keep prices high). There is not the same competitive pressure on margins as in, say, a general “facilities management” contract.

      Also, these companies know the business very well. The very-first purpose built immigration detention centre, Harmondsworth, was run by Securicor (now part of G4S) on opening in 1970. The rash of new PFI-funded detention centres opened during the Blair government were also handed straight into private management.

      Headline loss-making deals tend to be ones where outsourcing companies, seeking to keep growing their businesses in a tougher environment, push into new areas they haven’t tried before. For example, G4S and Serco came into the COMPASS deals with no experience as housing landlords. And in multi-million mega deals like COMPASS or a train line, a mistake can mean big losses indeed. Amongst the detention profiteers, Serco is particularly vulnerable as its whole £2 billion business is based on about 300 big government contracts.

      In general, while many other service contracts are being squeezed in today’s austerity conditions, locking people up remains good business. So does security more generally, in a world of increasing insecurity and inequality. This is ultimately why outsourcers who focus just on security and imprisonment like G4S and GEO Group are growing and turning a healthy profit. And this is why all the outsourcers keep bidding for detention contracts, alongside promoting the private prison industry.

      At a time where other government deals in sectors such as housing or transport are blowing up in corporations’ faces, locking people up is the outsourcing gift that keeps giving. Prison and immigration control industries are fuelled by insecurity, inequality, and xenophobia – and recent trends suggest the rush to lock up society’s unwanted is not going away. Or as Serco’s latest Annual Report puts it:

      “we can be very confident that the world will still need prisons, will still need to manage immigration … a prison custody officer can sleep soundly in the knowledge that his or her skills will be required for years to come.”

      Analysis: up to 30% profits at Dungavel

      Neither the Home Office nor the outsourcing companies publish the profits made on detention or other contracts. Such information is typically impervious to Freedom of Information requests: the public right to know is overruled by companies’ rights to “commercial confidentiality”. Last September, a senior G4S executive refused to disclose detention profits even when questioned by MPs in parliament. And accounting regulations do not require the companies – which mostly run a range of different businesses – to disclose details of individual contracts.

      However, there is one case where we can get a sense of the money involved: Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) near Glasgow. Since 2011, this has been run by the Florida-based GEO Group, the Trump-donating private prison empire which runs many of the infamous ICE detention facilities in the US. (See our full profile of GEO here).

      Dungavel is currently GEO’s only UK contract. The UK subsidiary that manages the contract, The GEO Group UK Ltd, files annual accounts with Companies House. Because all this company’s revenue appears to come from running Dungavel, these accounts give a unique insight into a detention profiteering contract.

      GEO told us that, while the details of its contract are commercially sensitive, the profit margin is “in the single digits”. However it is not clear if they are talking about the profit rate originally agreed with the Home Office in the contract, or the profits that they actually make – which could be much higher.

      The GEO Group UK Ltd’s revenue from “custody and offender management services” in 2017 was £5.2 million. The accounts tell us “cost of sales” – i.e. the costs incurred when delivering the contract, such as paying staff, maintaining the centre, feeding and monitoring those detained – came to £3.6m in 2017. That leaves a profit margin of 30%: very much in line with the sums G4S is reportedly making. The Dungavel profit margin is harder to discern in prior years as GEO held other contracts, including Harmondsworth detention centre until 2014. Even so, margins for all their operations have consistently been around 20% or above since 2011.

      GEO group told us this profit margin “isn’t solely related to the contract at Dungavel House, and therefore the contract is not our sole means of profitability”. However the accounts do not list any other source of revenue in 2017.ii

      We asked GEO to clarify but they did not respond. Published Home Office data show the contract is worth £45.2m over eight years: so it seems likely that the vast bulk, if not all, of the company’s money and operating costs are from running Dungavel. We also asked GEO what happens if their profit in fact exceeds the “single figure” rate specified in their contract. Do they pass cost savings on to the Home Office? Again, they did not respond.

      Besides “cost of sales”, GEO Group UK Ltd’s accounts also list “administrative expenses” of £0.7m in 2017. This takes the final “net” profit of the UK subsidiary as a whole down to a mere £1 million in 2017. And administrative expenses are significantly higher in previous years. The question is: how much of these are essential to running the detention centre? Or what part relate, for example, to moving money around a multi-national company, or shmoozing politicians and touting for new contracts?

      GEO told us these “cover the cost of operating the contract”, including “operations, utilities, repair and maintenance, programs, rent and lease expense and insurances”. However, accounting custom is usually to include all the costs directly incurred in the running of the contract in “cost of sales”, described above. And it is not clear which of GEO’s “administrative costs” here are necessary for the running of Dungavel or for their UK head office. There are also the costs involved in bidding for new contracts, which the company’s accounts repeatedly reference, plus, prior to 2017, significant foreign exchange losses on loans they have taken from their US-based parent.

      Again, we asked GEO for further clarification but did not hear back. It is impossible to say for sure without seeing their internal data. But the published accounts suggest the amounts GEO is making simply from running Dungavel are likely similar to those reported for G4S.

      20% profits at Brook House

      Internal G4S documents, which were reported on by the BBC and The Guardian last September, show similar high profit rates at that company’s Gatwick detention centres, Brook House and Tinsley House.

      As the Guardian reported, the Brook House contract made a profit rate of over 20.7% in 2016, and Tinsley House made over 41.5% – although this may be distorted because the centre was closed for part of the year. Profits in earlier years were slightly lower, but still typically around 20% or more.

      Like Dungavel, the original Brook and Tinsley House contracts signed in 2009 set official profit margins in the “single figures”. For Brook House, this is 6.8%. So G4S’ internal profit figures are well above what they are supposed to be making on the contracts.

      When questioned in parliament about these figures by the Home Affairs Select Committee, G4S’ regional director Peter Neden said that they based on “incomplete information”. But he refused to disclose any more “complete” figures. According to the BBC, Neden argued that doing so would “help competitors”, and said the reported profits “did not take account of costs, including human resources and IT. He said the company’s profits were not more than 20%, but he would not confirm what level they were.”

      Of course, without seeing the full G4S figures, there is no way to tell what these “human resources and IT” costs were. “Human resources” here, seems likely to refer to the company’s central management costs, as the wages of staff actually working in the centres are already included. But it seems highly unlikely that management costs and “IT” would be as high as 15% of all revenue – which is what would bring G4S’ profits down to their contractual levels.

      In fact G4S’ published accounts also support the picture of extreme profits, if we put a bit of work into analysing them. G4S’ detention centre business is run through a subsidiary with the Orwellian name “G4S Care and Justice Services (UK)”. Immigration detention is only a part of this subsidiary’s business. It also runs five prisons for the Ministry of Justice, and the loss-making COMPASS contract to house asylum-seekers outside of detention. (See our full G4S Company Profile for more detail.)

      G4S Care and Justice Services’ revenue was £335.41 million in 2016/17, the most recent reported year (£333.01 million in 2015). After operational costs of £290.2m, the profit rate directly from these contracts was £29.29 million, or 9% of revenue (in 2016, £30.13 million, or 9%).iii

      At first sight, this seems much lower than the internal figures. However, these figures are significantly impacted by major losses from non-detention contracts. Above all, this means the big COMPASS deal to house asylum seekers outside detention. G4S won the two COMPASS contracts for the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside; and the Midlands and East of England – and has been complaining ever since that it’s losing heavily on the deal.

      For example, in its 2016 accounts G4S Care and Justice adds £14.2 million to its costs to represent an “onerous contracts charge” – that is, money it expects to lose on the COMPASS deal. The year before it recorded a £20.7 million “onerous contracts charge”. It also makes other adjustments related to “commercial disputes” and old PFI contracts.

      To see what the figures look like without the impact of COMPASS and other “onerous” non-detention losses, we can first re-calculate gross profit using the company’s “cost of sales excluding specific items”. This starts to more accurately reflect what G4S made from running its detention centres and prisons. On this basis, gross profits were £45.25 million in 2016, 13.5% of revenue, and £50.83 million in 2015, or 15%.

      But in fact these are still under-estimates. This is because, to calculate profit rates with COMPASS stripped out, we also need to remove COMPASS’ contribution to revenue and costs. We do not know exactly what this is, but can estimate it from total contract values that the Home Office has disclosed. Combined, G4S’ two COMPASS contracts are valued at £765 million, over a total seven years (2012-19). So roughly £109 million per year, about one third of G4S “Care and Justice” total turnover.

      Take this off revenue and cost of sales and the profit rate was actually 20%.iv This is in the territory of the internal documents.

      As with GEO, additional costs such as “human resources and IT” referenced by Peter Neden to the MPs may well be included in “administrative expenses” section of the accounts, which would reduce this profit rate. Without seeing their full internal accounts there is no way of knowing the exact rate, and these calculations are unavoidably imprecise.v But as with GEO, the information we have available from published accounts appears to show the company is making very high returns indeed from its detention and prison business.

      Mitie and Serco

      The two other detention profiteers are Mitie, which runs the two Heathrow centres (Harmondsworth and Colnbrook), and Campsfield House in Oxfordshire; and Serco, which runs Yarl’s Wood. (See our full company profiles on Mitie and Serco for more information.)

      Unfortunately there is not the same available information on these two companies’ detention profits as for GEO and G4S. So far, no internal documents have come to light from Mitie or Serco. And their published accounts mix detention contracts alongside other business lines.

      What we do know is that both companies see detention as amongst their most profitable operations, and continue to actively bid for new detention contracts. We have no reason to believe that the detention centres they run aren’t just as profitable as Dungavel or Brook House.

      If you have any further information on these companies or their detention contracts please get in touch. You can contact us securely through our contact page.
      Conclusion: detention is good business

      Following the Carillion collapse, a chorus of outsourcing corporations have complained about how times are hard and profits meagre in the age of austerity. But there is a world of difference amongst outsourcing contracts. In some sectors, margins are undoubtedly tighter than in the boom days of Labour’s public-private giveaway. Elsewhere, though, the party continues.

      It is important here not to take the companies’ complaints at face value. For example, in 2015 the Financial Times cited unnamed “analysts” estimating sharp decline in detention centre profit margins “from 12 to 13 per cent 10 years ago to between 5 and 7 per cent now.” This was as Mitie explained how the terms of its new contract for the Heathrow centres pushed it to reduce staff and extend lock-up hours. In fact, after its first year of running the centres, Mitie Care & Custody’s profits were up six-fold. From the figures we’ve looked at above, if there has been some margin tightening this must mean that previous contracts were bounteous indeed.

      Annex: Detention contracts, size and value

      Please note these are necessarily rough estimates. Access to Home Office figures is sporadic and incomplete, to say the least, relying on occasional leaks or vague answers to Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests.

      Heathrow: Harmondsworth and Colnbrook

      contracted to Mitie, September 2014-22

      number of beds: 1,065

      total value at award: £240m

      value per year: £30 million – roughly £28,000 per bed

      Campsfield

      contracted to Mitie, May 2011-19

      number of beds: 282

      total value at award: £42 million

      value per year: £5.25 million – roughly £19,000 per bed

      Gatwick: Brook House

      contracted to G4S, May 2009-18; now extended to 2020

      current number of beds: 558 (after recent expansion)

      total value at award: £90.4 million

      value per year: £10m – or roughly £18,000 per bed

      Gatwick: Tinsley House

      contracted to G4S, May 2009-18; now extended to 2020

      current number of beds: 178

      total value at award: £43.6 million

      value per year: £4.8 million – or roughly £27,000 per bed

      Yarl’s Wood

      contracted to Serco, 2015-23

      number of beds: 349 (average occupancy)

      total value (calculated at award): £69.9 million

      value per year: £8.8 million – or roughly £25,000 per bed

      Dungavel

      contracted to GEO, 2011-19

      current number of beds: 249

      total value: £45.2 million

      value per year: £5.65 million – or roughly £23,000 per bed

      Morton Hall

      Run by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS).
      Notes

      i- COMPASS stands for “Commercial and Operational Managers Procuring Asylum Support Services”. The contracts were awarded in 2012, and are due to end in 2019. See our G4S company Profile for more detail.

      ii- GEO’s only other UK business is the 50/50 joint venture GEOAmey, which runs prisoner transport for the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales. But this income is treated separately, and does not feature on the GEO Group UK accounts.

      iii- Both years are knocked down by “administrative expenses” of £24.19 million (£21.51 million). Final pre-tax profits then become £10.25 million, or 3% (£12.07 million, or 3.6%, in 2015). After tax, Care and Justice booked £7.93 million, or 2.4% (£9.16 million, or 2.8% in 2015).

      iv- To calculate this we also subtracted the estimated COMPASS revenue of £109 million from the overall revenue of £335.4 million, to give an adjusted non-COMPASS revenue of £226.4 million. And we also subtracted it from the cost of sales (excluding non-specific items) of £290.2 million, to give adjusted cost of sales of £181.2 million. This leaves a £45.2 million gross profit.

      v- For example, we cannot be sure that G4S has receive the full value of the contracts in annual payments – it might be, e.g., that payments were reduced due to penalties for poor performance, although this has not been made public. This would make the actual profit rates lower than our estimates. However, they would still be very considerable. And no records of any such penalties have been published, to our knowledge.


      https://corporatewatch.org/detention-centre-profits-20-and-up-for-the-migration-prison-bosses
      #business

  • The Asylum Market

    The producers of this short, investigative documentary have taken the highly unusual step of releasing the entire film independently a) because crucial elements of the asylum accommodation issue are being overlooked by the mainstream media & parliamentary inquiries b) in direct recognition of those who had the courage to speak out, despite a culture of intimidation being created around the reporting of appalling conditions.

    https://vimeo.com/201062637


    #business #asile #migrations #réfugiés #film #G4S #UK #Angleterre #privatisation #logement #hébergement #Serco #Clearsprings
    cc @daphne @albertocampiphoto @marty @reka

    • Quelques citations tirées du film:

      Privatisation → 3 central providers of accomodation in the UK: G4S, Serco, Clearsprings.
      They often then sub-contract their contracts to private landlords, housing associations, etc.

      Jonathan DARLING, University of Manchester:
      “G4S and Serco have no real experience of providing this form of housing before the onset COMPASS (Commercial and Operating Managers Procuring Asylum Support). They had experience before, that came from deportation flights, detention centres and so on. Their experience engaged with asylum seekers was very different from the context of providing housing in a care context”

      Stuart CROSTHWAITE, Refugee Support Workers:
      “Peole have been moved because they complained although they explained what the significance of being moved is”.
      “There are moves, there are threats, there are arbitrary conditions imposed, curfews for no reasons, signs, hundred of signs – you are not allowed to have friends there, you are not allowed to have friends stay over, you are not allowed to leave the house”

      Jonathan DARLING:
      “The other contracts that G4S have, and Serco have: detention centres, deportation contracts, historically, what we are effectively saying is that the forms of social care that we are providing for people within the asylum system are being provided by the same people who he might also be deporting people from the country. This is quite a significant political and symbolic message”

  • #Texas officials vote against British firm’s plans for immigration detention center

    Billion-dollar company #Serco had lobbied the US for more than a year in a push for detention contracts as judge cites ‘red flags’ and ‘limited time frame’

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/15/texas-immigration-detention-center-serco-proposal-mexico-border
    #USA #Etats-Unis #détention_administrative #rétention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #privatisation

  • De #Ferrovial a G4S: empresas que se lucran con los centros de detención de inmigrantes

    En su libro El negocio de la xenofobia, la jurista y activista francesa Claire Rodier pone en cuestión la relación entre empresas privadas cuya actividad depende del control migratorio y el endurecimiento de las leyes y actuaciones policiales de cara a rentabilizar ese tipo de centros. Ahora, a las compañías veteranas en el sector acaba de unirse la española Ferrovial, que se suma al grupo de empresas que hacen negocio con los centros de detención de inmigrantes.

    http://www.eldiario.es/economia/Ferrovial-GS4-negocio-detencion-inmigrantes_0_515149505.html
    #Serco #GEO
    #business #asile #migrations #réfugiés #G4S #détention_administrative #rétention #privatisation

  • The damning case against private providers of housing for asylum seekers

    For four years, the Home Office has held a series of contracts with three private providers – #G4S, #Serco and #Clearel – to procure and operate housing for asylum seekers in the #UK. These contracts, known collectively as #COMPASS (Commercial and Operating Managers Procuring Asylum Support), replaced previous arrangements with local authorities, housing associations and private landlords that existed in the decade after powers over asylum housing were centralised in 1999. Today, the COMPASS project has been marred by reports of discord, inefficiency and questionable service practices.

    https://theconversation.com/the-damning-case-against-private-providers-of-housing-for-asylum-se
    #privatisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #hébergement #logement #Angleterre

  • IS YOUR SUPER INVESTED IN AUSTRALIA’S DETENTION OF CHILDREN?

    After a decade of campaigning by Australians who wish to see an end to the detention of asylum seeker children, neither of the two main political parties has renounced their support for the policy. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection continues to detain children on Nauru and in mainland Australian centres. According to recent statistics, there are 127 children in immigration detention facilities in Australia[1], and 88 on Nauru.

    As a result, refugee advocates are shifting their focus to the private service providers that enable and profit from the suffering of innocent children. Just as occurred with tobacco and fossil fuels, activists under the banner of the No Business in Abuse campaign are urging superannuation funds to abandon their stake in companies that support or profit from the detention of people seeking asylum.[2]

    Four companies in particular (three of which are ASX-listed[3]) are cashing in on the detention of children in Australia and on #Nauru#Serco, #Transfield Services, #Wilson_Security and #OTOC.

    http://www.asyluminsight.com/mark-evenhuis-2
    #détention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #enfants #enfance #privatisation #détention_administrative #Australie #business
    cc @reka

  • MPs to investigate #Serco over sex assault claim at #Yarl's_Wood centre

    #Serco, le géant privé (qui gère actuellement deux des plus grands centres de détention pour migrant-e-s au Royaume-Uni), va faire l’objet d’une enquête menée par des députés après avoir été contraint de divulguer un rapport interne révélant les preuves qu’il n’aurait pas enquêter correctement sur une plainte d’agressions sexuelles répétées par un de ses agents sur une détenue de l’Immigration Removal Centre de Yarl’s Wood. Le document qui avait été classé confidentiel a été rendu public la semaine dernière après une bataille juridique de quatres mois entre Serco et le Guardian. Le président du comité spécial des affaires intérieures a déclaré : « Il y a des révélations choquantes et elles démontrent qu’une enquête interne n’est pas suffisante. Il s’agit clairement de la pointe de l’iceberg en ce qui concerne ce type d’allégations et la façon dont Serco les traite. (...) Il convient de mettre en place un contrôle externe après ces révélations, qui examinera scrupuleusement tout l’historique des allégations mais aussi la façon dont Serco gère les autres établissements de ce type. »

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/17/mps-serco-yarls-wood-centre-sex-assault-claim
    #détention #rétention #détention_administrative #migration #asile #UK #Angleterre #réfugiés #privatisation

  • Who detains and deport migrants ?

    Immigration and asylum is one of the most contentious areas of British politics, as shown by the rise of UKIP and recent legislation. It is also at the cutting edge of privatisation. The Home Office outsources all asylum accommodation in the country to three multinational companies (#G4S, #Serco and #Capita), and over two thirds of the UK’s immigration detention centres are run by a handful of global corporations.


    http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/categories/migration

    #infographie #visualisation #migration #détention #détention_administrative #rétention #renvoi #expulsion #déportation #asile #réfugiés #business #UK #Angleterre #multinationales #sécurité