The Observatory of Migration launches 3 working groups 2 February 2021

The Observatory of Migration and Human Rights of SEA-EU has launched three working groups where severan experts from the 6 universities will work on topics regarding migration, international law, and human rights.

During the morning, the meetings of these groups have taken place consecutively, with breaks between them, in order to focus the task on specific topics.

The experts decided to divide the topics, giving a result of the following themes:

– Working group 1: International EU Policy impacting migration
– Working group 2: Migrants and human rights, changes in the protection of migrant’s rights in the 21st century European Union
– Working group 3 : EU governance crisis in migration matters

In the first working group, the main topics discussed were:

  • to clarify the working definition of migrant, adopting a critical approach – this is also linked to use of terms such as  ‘illegal crossing”’ and ‘illegal immigration’ and engaging on broader issues of safe and legal travel.
  • the militarisation and externalisation of the EU national borders
  • to critically analyze the new pact on migration and asylum
  • two key axis to initial document, namely maritime and relationships with third countries
  • the conversation needs to be couched within human rights obligations and EU  values
  • to what degree is a nationalistic approach (by individual MS) impacting EU international policy and the lives and experiences of migrants?
  • sociological analysis of different migrants moving for different reasons at different times, and using different routes (for example, migrants moving as a result of covid and loss of employment)
  • how are migrant arrivals perceived by the local population at the EU border?
  • Effectiveness of the solidarity mechanism of EU against the massive arrival of migrants

In the second working group, the main topics discussed were:

  • -Rescue operations at the maritime borders (from a human rights perspective/ access to asylum/ principle of non-refoulement) How mismanagement of rescue affects human rights?
  • -Actors at sea : Civil society vs nation states / Impact of the criminalisation of NGOs on human rights / link with the new pact
  • -Human rights implications of the EU policy of Externalization of the migration management/ Frontex and HR, operations at sea/extra-territorialisation on human rights
  • -Human rights from an anthropological perspective (complementary to the legal perspective)
  • -Covid effects on human rights
  • -Gender equality and migrant women empowerment: transit from less gender egalitarian countries to more gender egalitarian countries – how local city and regional strategies foster/diminish women’s empowerment?
  • – Prevention of sexual abuse

In the third working group, the main topics targeted were:

  • – How to make a good governance in migration ? We have to offer solutions, ideas, concepts that can help to solve.
  • – How to build a governance that enables to achieve solidarity among member states?
  • – Consequences of the covid pandemic on the internal border within Schengen and its consequences on migration?
  • – The soft law effect : the use of soft law mechanisms and non-legally binding agreements for cooperation with third countries (Italy and Libya MOU ; EU-Turkey Agreement…)
  • -Migration policy and european values / Impact of the violation of the rule of law by some state on european values (solidarity crisis)

An online scientific event will be organized on the 25/05 open to SEA-EU universities lecturers. This event is meant to be the first event of the Observatory, and will also enable a better understanding of the observatory members fields of expertise.