African migrants in their dormitory at a detention center, in Zawiya, 50 km west Tripoli, Libya.PHOTO/ARCHIVE/EPA/SABRI ELMHEDWI
African migrants in their dormitory at a detention center, in Zawiya, 50 km west Tripoli, Libya.PHOTO/ARCHIVE/EPA/SABRI ELMHEDWI

Non-profit organization ARCI has denounced that the cooperation between the EU and Africa on migration policies focuses on controls and repatriations rather than protection.

The non-profit organization ARCI has said in a newly released document that cooperation between the EU and Africa on migration policies focuses more on ''controls and forcible and 'voluntary' repatriations rather than the protection and the opening of legal and safe pathways to access European territory''. 


The study, called 'The dangerous relation between migration, development and security for the externalization of borders in Africa', focuses on the situation in Sudan, Niger and Tunisia, as well as in Europe and Italy. 

Anti-immigrant slogans trample on international conventions 

According to the document, political slogans against immigration such as ''zero landings'' or ''let's help them at home'' have ''trampled on international conventions'' signed by the country ''as well as on fundamental rights such as the right to life''. ARCI in particular condemned policies leaving to Libya ''our duty'' to rescue migrants together with a ''very dangerous campaign to denigrate NGOs that rescue lives at sea''. 

Over 25,000 people taken back to Libya and 600 dead in May, ARCI 

Under the situation, ARCI denounced, ''25,000 people were taken back to the Libyan hell from which they were trying to flee with a procedure of 'rejection by proxy' and 600 died in the month of May 2018 alone''. The organization also criticized EU efforts to start a process of externalization of borders, which would take place mainly with authoritarian regimes, ''known for violating human rights and with poor human development indicators''. ARCI said ''many of these countries'' used the opportunity of being armed to become Europe's police ''as an excuse to strengthen their national arsenal at the expense of their citizens''. 

The study stressed that the process to externalize borders has increased military expenses including the acquisition of tanks, helicopters, biometric and satellite systems. Externalizing borders thus ''means pushing juridical and political responsibilities of our countries further south in the world, in the search for total impunity or in an attempt to give it to other countries''. 

The analysis also warned that the African populations involved in the process ''only have something to lose in the strengthening of authoritarian regimes coming from relations between their governments and the EU for the control of migration flows''. 
 

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