[by Transnational Migrants Coordination] 5 November 2021 – We, migrant men and women of the Transnational Migrants’ Coordination (TMC) express our support for the struggle of refugees in Libya. During the past month, almost 3.000 refugees in Tripoli – tired of torture, rape, arbitrary detention, exploitation, threats, and violence – have been self-organising and have set up a permanent assembly called ‘Refugees in Libya‘ in front of the UNHCR headquarters, with a coordination group to take decisions and make their voices heard with institutions and the media. At least 300 of them are women, and some of them are pregnant. They are the migrants who escaped what the Libyan Ministry of Interior called “operation security”, an indiscriminate round-up which had taken place on October 2nd in Gargadesh, one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Tripoli, and which had led to the detention of more than 5.000 people, accused of violating immigration law, drug trafficking and prostitution, in the Ghout al-Shaal centre. During the raid, six people were killed and others disappeared.
Read further on the website of Transnational Migrants Coordination (also in French and Italian)
[Blog by the LasciateCIEntrare campaign] 5 November 2021 – In July 2021, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard agency, and the Italian consortium composed by Associazione Ithaca, DIST (Dipartimento Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del Territorio) of Turin Polytechnic and Ithaca Srl (a company controlled by the homonymous association) signed “an important cartographic production contract” to support European border surveillance activities. The contract lasts for 24 months, with a total budget of four million euros, and may be renewed for a maximum of a further 24 months.
The non-profit ITHACA association based in Turin is part of the consortium. It was born as an applied research centre with the goal of cooperating with the World Food Programme (WFP) – the UN’s branch to provide food assistance – to distribute products and services linked to IT, “to improve the capacity of the international humanitarian community regarding early warning, swift impact assessment and other areas connected to risk management”.
Read further on the website of LasciateCIEntrare
[by Michele Lancione, Full Professor of Political-Economic Geography, DIST, Turin – Italian version published in Altreconomia]
24 October 2021 – I am an academic from the Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST) of the Politecnico and the University of Turin. I am writing this text to publicly dissociate myself from the agreement signed between my Department, the Politecnico di Torino, Ithaca Srl and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
As an article published by the magazine Antreconomia points out, the agreement, which involves the production of cartography at my Department’s laboratories on behalf of Frontex, was announced on July 14, 2021, by press release. In the communiqué, it is stated that DIST and Ithaca will be involved in the “production of digital cartography, infographic maps and map books useful for the Agency’s work“. On an intellectual and human level, I am not represented by the position of the institution I work for, which has chosen to define the agreement with Frontex as a project that “fits perfectly into the strategic objective of the Department”. The issue, however, is not only personal but political. Continue reading “My University works with Frontex: not in my name”
[blog by Henrike Behrens-Scholvin and Anna Schliewen] Analyzing the Frontex annual reports of 2006 and 2019, to Frontex’ framing of people on the move and therefore a part of Frontex self-representation of the agency, are an important topic. As a joint term paper, we wanted to take a comparative look at the changing rhetoric of the Border Patrol Agency.
Frontex frames people on the move in categories that emphasize attribution and assignment, not naming their subject status and thus their lives as people and the vulnerability of those lives. Thus, in the 2006 report, people on the move are recorded as “nationalities” with their sole nationality or simply titled as “entries”. This assignment serves as a substitute for a designation of their identity. Continue reading “Frontex dehumanizing constitution of people on the move”
To: EU Commission, EU Parliament, EU Member States
15 October 2021 – Abolish Frontex supports the demands of more than 3000 refugees and migrants in Libya who have been protesting outside the UNHCR Community Day Centre since the beginning of October (Twitter: @RefugeesinLibya). They are demanding their immediate evacuation to safe countries following the recent raids and murders of migrants and refugees at the hands of detention centre guards and the Department for Combating Illegal Immigration (DCIM, part of the Libyan Ministry of Interior).
We received this statement from people in Libya:
Continue reading “Call for evacuation of people from Libya”
11 October 2021 – The Abolish Frontex network has written an open letter to the Italian government in solidarity with Mimmo Lucano, the mayor who was recently convicted to 13 years in prison for his support for people on the move. The letter was signed by 172 civil society groups and organisations.
ENGLISH | ITALIANO | عربي | DEUTSCH | FRANÇAIS | NEDERLANDS |فارسی
Continue reading “Open letter in solidarity with Mimmo Lucano!”
[Jonathan Hempel, ROAR] By the end of 2020, a total of 82.4 million people worldwide had been forcibly displaced from their homes according to the UNHCR. The number of forcibly displaced persons globally has doubled since 1990 and is likely to increase significantly in the coming decades due to a convergence of factors, including armed conflict and other forms of violence, as well as climate breakdown, which will compound pressures to migrate.
Displacement occurs in the context of a capitalist economic system in which profits are made both through the sale of arms that are instrumental in causing conflicts and wars, and through the militarization of migrant routes and borders. Alongside the steady increase in the value of the arms trade and the spiraling number of forcibly displaced persons, the market for border security is growing with an expected worth of US$65-68 billion by 2025. War is highly profitable and the war on migrants is becoming increasingly so too.
Read the whole article on the ROAR website
[Blog from FragDenStaat] In April, the EU Parliament told Frontex to drop their demand against us for the payment of € 10,520 in legal fees. The EU border force has chosen to disregard EU Members of Parliament – again.
EU border police force Frontex has reinstated its demand we pay € 10,520.76 in legal fees, setting Monday 4 October 2021 as a final deadline and threatening forceful recovery in case of non-payment.
By doing so, Frontex is choosing to disregard the European Parliament, which twice this year (in April and again in June) called on Frontex to drop its demand for legal fees. The Parliament had warned Frontex legal threats like these create a chilling effect on civil society, and had instructed the border agency to refrain from seeking payment, in our case and ever again in the future.
The Parliament’s instructions, however, seem of little importance to Frontex, who has decided to push for the payment of the legal fees regardless. Frontex is demanding from us the payment of € 10,520.76 in legal fees after we lost our lawsuit against the agency, in which we seeked disclosure of the vessels Frontex deployed in the Central Mediterranean in the summer of 2017.
Read the whole blog at the website of FragDenStaat and this Twitter thread to see how an attempt to pay the money in cash to Frontex in Brussels resulted in an evacuation of their offices.
Sunday 3 October 2021 marks the anniversary of the death of over 360 people on the move, during a shipwreck off Lampedusa in 2013, and as such is a day of commemoration. Also on this day, in 2005, the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex started operating in the Polish capital Warsaw. This is not reason for celebration or festivities: Frontex has left a track record of death and destructed lives in its sixteen years of existence.
Frontex started as a small agency, supporting and coordinating border security between EU member states. Now it is the EU agency with the largest budget, dominating EU border operations, building its own 10,000 person strong armed border police force (Standing Border Guard Corps) and increasing cooperation with non-EU-countries, including many authoritarian regimes. The first batches of its new Standing Corps have been deployed to assist with border security and control work in Italy, Greece, Spain, the Western Balkans, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as at several airports. This signals a new more active field role for the agency, next to its own main operations. Those have concentrated on stopping migrants from crossing the Mediterranean, essentially pushing people on the move to more dangerous routes and into the hands of unscrupulous smugglers. With its growing role and mandate, Frontex has increasingly become involved in pushbacks, violence and other human rights against people on the move.
Continue reading “Frontex: 16 years of a humanitarian and political disaster”