Migration

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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 that costs the taxpayer more than £1 billion a year; enough of dinghies arriving illegally on our shores, directed by organised crime gangs; enough of people drowning on these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys […]. The Bill has gone through 1st and 2nd readings in the House of Commons and, at the time of writing, is with the Public Bill Committee, which is due to report to the House of Common by 4 November 2021. The Bill has elicited sharp criticisms from international organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and professional bodies like the Law Society of England and Wales, which express concerns about its operability…

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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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Drowning in the Mediterranean: Time to think and act regionally

Europe, that is, the EU and its institutions, currently asserts the right to manage the movement of people across the Mediterranean, and with that comes responsibility, for special protection is owed to those whom it would manage. ‘Responsibility’ is multi-dimensional. Fault, in the sense of wilful or negligent conduct, may be relevant; or responsibility may follow from the…

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