Daily Archives: Friday, October 18, 2013

UNHCR Calls on Countries to Protect Syrian Refugees and Ensure Access to Territory; Syrians are Now Largest Nationality Using Sea Routes to Reach Italy


In a statement made earlier today, UNHCR noted the “growing numbers of Syrians seeking safety in Europe” and expressed its concern “about severe difficulties these displaced people face during their passage and at borders. This includes the risk of drowning at sea and incidents where Syrians have been dangerously hindered in their journeys.”

UNHCR estimates that 6,233 Syrians have arrived in Italy by boat since August compared with about 350 in all of 2012. Earlier this week the Italian Interior Ministry reported that Syrians are now the largest nationality arriving in Italy; so far in 2013, approximately 25,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by boat, of these 9,805 were Syrian, 8,843 Eritrean, 3,140 Somali, 1,058 from Mali, and 879 Afghan.  The Interior Ministry believes the majority departed from Libyan territory. (The Italian Ministry’s statistics vary from the UNHCR’s statistics but both sets of statistics confirm the increasing numbers of Syrians.)

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Lampedusa and ethics

Postcards from ...

[Caveat: A few unrefined thoughts likely to change over the next few hours]

Tonight I am an ‘expert witness’ on the BBC Radio 4’s programme Moral Maze, the topic is immigration and I have been invited to reflect on the moral issues raised by the tragic incident off the coast of Lampedusa. As a constructivist sociologist, questions around ethics (especially my own) are not often at the forefront of the work I do. They are of course in the background, inspiring the kind of questions I ask, the people I choose to interview, the methods I use. I tend to look at normative framings (including human rights) as a subject of investigation rather than as a given. My recent review essay on globalization, rights and the non-citizen is an example of the work I am doing in this direction. But now, I am facing with a philosophical question on…

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Details (and Document) Regarding EU Mediterranean States Opposition to Proposed Frontex Sea Borders Regulation


The document from the six states which oppose the Search and Rescue and Disembarkation provisions of the proposed Frontex Sea Borders Regulation is available via Statewatch.  (h/t to Neil Falzon and Aditus for pointing this out).  The document, a Note to the Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee, criticises the proposed Regulation stating that the six states, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus and Malta, “consider it essential to ensure that the international framework on search and rescue and disembarkation is not in any way undermined; that no confusion or diverging rules are adopted when considering the sensitive nature of these operations.”

It is difficult to see how the disembarkation provisions in the proposed Regulation “confuse” or “diverge” from the international framework.  The document implies that the six states are in agreement as to what the international framework requires in regard to disembarkation when in practice this is not the case.  It…

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EU Mediterranean States Oppose Provisions of Proposed Frontex Sea Borders Regulation Relating to Rescue and Disembarkation


[16 Oct. UPDATE: The document from the six states opposing the proposed Regulation is available here.]

One week ago Commissioner Cecilia Malmström called for an “extensive Frontex search and rescue operation that would cover the Mediterranean from Cyprus to Spain.” Yesterday the ANSA news service reported that all six EU Mediterranean states (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, France and Spain) have voiced opposition to the proposed Frontex Sea Borders Regulation (COM(2013) 197 final) and specifically to Articles 9 and 10 relating to “Search and Rescue Situations” and “Disembarkation.” ANSA reported that the six member states “expressed disapproval of the draft and called it ‘unacceptable for practical and legal reasons’.”  The six countries have reportedly taken the position that there is no need for further regulations pertaining to rescue at sea or post-rescue places of disembarkation since other international laws already “deal ‘amply’ with the matters.”


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Frontex FRAN Report for Q1 2013


In July of this year, Frontex released its first quarter (January – March) 2013 report. As in past quarters, the 70-page report provided in-depth information about irregular migration patterns at the EU external borders. The report is based on data provided by 30 Member State border-control authorities, and presents results of statistical analysis of quarterly variations in eight irregular migration indicators and one asylum  indicator (here is a link to our summary of the 2012 fourth quarter report).

In Q1 2013 all indicators of irregular migration were reduced in comparison with the final quarter of 2012. In most instances these declines were consistent with past documentation of seasonal variation; typically the first few months of each year are associated with reduced pressure at the border compared to other times of the year. Here are some highlights from the report focusing on the sea borders:

  • The Greek operation Aspida (see the

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Re-blo from MRN: Charity premiere of La Pirogue to kick off the “Our Day 2013 campaign”

re-blogged from Migrants’ Rights Network –  Charity premiere of La Pirogue to kick off the “Our Day 2013 campaign”

The dangers that confront migrants attempting the hazardous sea voyage from Africa to Europe have been brought home with tragic force in the news of the deaths of as many as 300 people off the Italian island of Lampedusa last week.

For a brief moment the conscience of many people in the destination countries has been stirred by the graphic imagery of television and newspaper accounts. What is needed to drive this encounter with the grim realities of migration even deeper, so that it becomes a permanent part of Europe’s reflection on the consequences of its laws and policies?

Migrants’ Rights Network, in association with Portland Green, is organising a charity premiere screening of La Pirogue (The Boat) at the Riverside Studios on the 17 November.

La Pirogue was acclaimed at the recent Cannes Film Festivals as one of the most important works to come out of Francophone African cinema during the last year.

Directed by a Senegal’s Moussa Toure, it tells the harrowing tale of an attempted boat journey from West Africa to the Spanish territory of the Canary Islands. This, and similar journeys from North Africa shores, is the route attempted by tens of thousands of men and women each year, often accompanied by children, intent on finding work in Europe’s industries and services.

They venture out on seas heavily patrolled by coast guards and naval vessels which aim to close down the safest of these routes, with the effect that the dangers are multiplied for those who feel compelled to take the risk.

The screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion led by prominent writers and commentators on contemporary migration, including Hsiao-Hung Pai, whose recent books include Scattered Sand: The story of China’s rural migrants and Dr Hein de Haas, the Oxford University authority on African migration. Other contributors will be there to talk about the role of cinema and film in telling the story of migration in the world today.

This film screening will be opening event in the 2013 Our Day campaign. Our Day unites supporters of migrants and their fight for rights in four weeks of activity which culminates on 18 December, the United Nations International Migrants Day.

Full article – –  Charity premiere of La Pirogue to kick off the “Our Day 2013 campaign”

For more information about the screening, and to book your ticket, go to Riverside Studios Booking.



Seminar Invitation: MIGRATION AND ECONOMIC CRISIS – Seminar 2: Graduate and professional mobility

You are invited to the 2nd Seminar in the series:


A White Rose Consortium Funded Research Collaboration

Co-ordinated by Majella Kilkey (University of Sheffield), Neil Lunt (University of York) & Louise Waite (University of Leeds)

Seminar 2: Graduate and professional mobility

Thursday 28th November 11:00 – 16:30

Tree House, Berrick Saul Building, University of York


11.00 – 11:30              Registration

11:30 – 11:35              Introducing the White Rose research collaboration – Migration and Economic Crisis (Dr Neil Lunt, University of York)

11:35 – 12:15              Emigration of graduates: what does the HESA data show? (Denise Jones, Head of Information Services, Higher Education Statistics Agency).

12:15 – 13:00              The experiences of finding work for highly skilled British migrants in Vancouver, Canada (Dr William Harvey, Senior Lecturer University of Exeter)

13:00 –                        Lunch and exhibition

13:15 – 14:00              Overview of the Brits Abroad Photography Project (Charlie Clift, Portrait Photographer) (Venue Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building).

14:10 – 14:50              Harnessing brain gain:  creating a professional space for transnational migrant professionals (Dr Christa Fouché, Associate Professor, University of Auckland)

14:50 – 15:20              Tea & Coffee

15:20 – 16:00              A typology of Euro-commuters: Lifestyle migration, social mobility, and livelihood strategies among cross-border commuters between the Republic of Ireland and Europe (Dr David Ralph Marie Curie Research Fellow, Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century (ISS21) University College Cork)

16:00 – 16:30              Final Discussion – Economic crisis, austerity and Brits abroad: graduates and professionals – what are the new questions for social scientists?

(Introduced by Dr Majella Kilkey, University of Sheffield)

To book your place or for further information, please contact:

Dr Roxana Barbulescu r.barbulescu@sheffield.ac.uk

Visit our website at: http://british-migration-research.group.shef.ac.uk/