The UK has adopted the Marrakesh Compact and agreed to implement the objectives which it sets out (see paragraph 41 of the Marrakesh Compact). The UK Government has repeatedly claimed that national policy is not in conflict with the Marrakesh Compact. Alistair Burt’s, Minister for the Middle East, written statement to Parliament on 10 December 2018 acknowledges that the UK is bound by existing human rights obligations, that these rights are owed specifically to migrants and that UK polices are in line with them. More recently, the UK’s 2020 report to the European Regional Review of the Marrakesh Compact, outlined that ‘the GCM is fully integrated into the UK policy architecture… GCM principles are reflected in wider UK migration policy and maintains senior official/ministerial focus on the GCM.’ The UK government consistently claims that UK policy is in line with the obligations in the Marrakesh Compact and that these are in accordance with international legal obligations owed to migrants. (more…)
By Prof Elspeth Guild, Queen Mary University of London and Kathryn Allinson, Research Assistant, Queen Mary University of London and Teaching Associate, University of Bristol.
The spectre of the Covid19 pandemic has stalked political leaders, at local, regional, national and European levels since mid-January 2020. In amongst the myriad responses that States have taken to combat the spread of the virus those relating to refugee protection make grim viewing. The scenes at the Turkish Greek land border where the President of the Commission, the President of the European Council, the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs were present to witness, and applaud, the violent actions of the Greek border guards and military in preventing people seeking to cross from Turkey to the EU to seek protection is exemplary of the approach of many States. And it did not help the image of the EU in these exceptional times, as a place where refugees are welcome and provide protection in accordance with international law.
This unedifying political spectacle addressed towards the Turkish President and intended as a response to his responsibilities came at a most problematic time. EU states were within a week of closing internal and external borders to movement of persons with little regard to the needs of refugees. In this blog we will examine the subsequent efforts of the EU (and associated countries including the UK) to comply with their obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention, in particular, as regards the processing of asylum applications. (more…)
Although much of my research focuses on legal aspects of undocumented migration, I’d never visited a detention centre for irregular migrants. So when the opportunity arose in May this year to see inside the Otay Mesa detention facility near San Diego (where a Russian citizen had died just days before), I couldn’t pass it by.
The first thing that strikes the observer is how far the facility is located from downtown San Diego. Indeed, it’s very close to the Mexican border. Having finally arrived after more than an hour’s drive, and after going through a double electrified fence and registration, we are conducted into a room where we are given a presentation by CCA personnel. CCA — the Correction Corporation of America — is a private company making huge profits on running such centres ($227 million in 2015). With some notable exceptions, scholars have neglected the business aspects of the migration industry, perhaps due to the opaque nature of some of the arrangements between governments and companies working in the sector. Yet these aspects raise innumerable questions as to whether one can reconcile the profit-seeking interests of shareholders in such companies with human rights, as well as to what extent legislation might be influenced by powerful lobbies interested in perpetuating the detention cycle. (more…)