Migration

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Why it is so Hard to Hold Frontex Accountable: On Blame-Shifting and an Outdated Remedies System

On Friday 23 October, a joint investigation conducted by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD, and TV Asahi revealed that the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has been complicit in human rights violations at the Greek maritime border. Videos and satellite photos show how arriving migrant boats are forced to turn back towards Turkey with Frontex vessels and planes watching or participating in the manoeuvre. Initially refusing to launch an investigation into the matter entirely, on Tuesday 27 October, Frontex confidently tweeted that their internal inquiry into the matter showed all was perfectly fine. After pressure from the Commission, the Frontex Management Board held an extraordinary meeting on 10 November in which it decided to set up an internal sub-group to look into the matter. While the mandate is still to be fleshed out later this month, the current focus is on clarifying some legal questions regarding surveillance at sea and ‘hybrid threats’, rather than on investigating the alleged human rights violations and Frontex’s role…

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The Nave Andromeda and the seven stowaways

On 25 October 2020, an incident involving seven stowaways occurred on the Nave Andromeda (IMO: 9580405), a crude oil tanker flying the flag of Liberia. The vessel was on its way from Lagos, Nigeria (having left the port of Lagos on 6 October 2020) to Southampton, United Kingdom (UK). This blog post describes the incident in more…

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We need to talk about citizenship, and race

Citizens and unauthorized migrants seemingly stand at opposite ends of the rights spectrum. While citizenship denotes the “fullest” bundle of rights, the legal status of unauthorized migrant generally entails deprivation of most fundamental rights. Most legal and political theorists conceive this relation as a conceptual dichotomy in which the former functions as rhetorical domain of inclusion, of…

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Reflections on the Maersk Etienne Standoff and its Ramifications for the Duty to Render Assistance at Sea

The duty to render assistance at sea is a long-established rule of international law. The genesis of this obligation lies in the overwhelming need to protect life at sea. In recent years, the duty has had to respond to challenges posed by the phenomenon of irregular mass migration by sea. The sheer magnitude of the problem has placed…

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Shelter from the Storm? The International Legality of Granting Migratory Rights to Hong Kongers

Introduction This post analyses the international legality of States granting migratory rights to Hong Kongers.  The post mainly focuses on the United Kingdom’s proposal to grant persons with British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status the right to live and work in the UK for up to five years, but also considers the legality of similar proposals from…

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