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Realising the Right to Leave during Externalised Migration Control

States, predominantly those in the Global North, routinely engage in externalised migration control to obstruct and control the movement of asylum seekers and other migrants. Broadly speaking, externalised migration control involves the implementation of migration control practices and deterrence policies beyond a state’s territory or having extraterritorial effects. Externalisation is often viewed and understood in the jurisprudence and literature as preventing migrants entering a state’s territory, violating obligations of non-refoulement and collective expulsion in international law. However, many externalisation practices utilised by destination states are also clearly directed at containing migrants in states of origin and transit, obstructing their right to leave the country they are in, including to seek asylum. This post argues that the international right to leave any country is of great relevance to externalised migration control and taking steps towards its actual realisation is critical to protecting people on the move. The Right to Leave The right to leave is enshrined in almost all major universal and regional human right…

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The Nationality and Borders Bill: Closing Space for Humanitarian Assistance at Sea

On 6 July 2021, the UK Government published the Nationality and Borders Bill, Bill 14 of 2021-22. Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel, who sponsors the Bill, described its motivation as follows: The British people have had enough of open borders and uncontrolled immigration; enough of a failed asylum system…

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The First Parliamentary Debate on Human Rights at Sea: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

On Tuesday, 22 June 2021, the House of Lords debated for the first time the steps the UK has taken to protect human rights at sea. The debate was initiated by an oral question raised by Lord Teverson of Tregony who has been acting as Patron of the UK-based charity Human Rights…

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The New Palestinian Refugees

According to numbers The Guardian published on May 17, 2021, the current Israeli attack on Gaza has killed 200 Palestinians, including 59 children. 34,000 have been displaced from their homes. It is hard to assess the accuracy of these numbers. Very likely, the death toll will be higher: the violence has not ebbed, and bodies…

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Drowning Migrants in the Mediterranean and the ICCPR, Again

Last week 130 migrants perished off the coast of Libya, as their rubber boat capsized in the stormy Mediterranean. Some 750 migrants have died this year in trying to make the crossing. (See here for the IOM report, and here and here for the recent posts we had on this topic…

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