Past Event

The ‘Permanent Crisis’ of Migration by Sea: Maritime Border Control as a Form of Persecution

February 21, 2019
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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114 Avery Hall

The ‘permanent crisis’ narrative employed by destination countries in Europe, North America, and Australia, has allowed them to structuralise ‘exceptional’ measures as part of their domestic apparatuses of border control in their war against irregular migration. (…) These initiatives have a well-documented negative impact on the rights of ‘boat migrants’ and fail to address the root causes of displacement. Instead, as several studies corroborate, they divert flows towards ever more perilous routes and contribute to the raise of death tolls. They entrench insecurity, fuelling not only the original causes of flight but creating new dangers impeding access to protection – if not denying plain survival. The question hence arises as for whether ‘policies based on deterrence, militarization and extraterritoriality’, denounced by UN Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard and others, ‘which implicitly or explicitly tolerate [and perpetuate] the risk of migrant deaths as part of an effective control of entry’ are compatible with international law.

The event will be held on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 114 Avery Hall.

Dr. Violeta Moreno-Lax is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Law, founder of the Immigration Law programme, and inaugural co-Director of the Centre for European and International Legal Affairs (CEILA) at Queen Mary University of London. She is also Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Bruges), Legal Advisor to the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), Coordinator of the Search and Rescue Observatory for the Mediterranean (SAROBMED), Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London, Co-Chair of The Refugee Law Observatory, and a member of the Steering Committee of the EU-wide Migration Law Network. She has published widely in the areas of international and European refugee and migration law, including her recent monograph: Accessing Asylum in Europe (Oxford University Press, 2017), and regularly consults for the EU institutions and other organisations active in the field.

This lecture is organized as part of the course Mapping Maritime Frontiers in the Eastern Mediterranean at Columbia University, taught by Nora Akawi and Naor Ben-Yehoyada. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Studio-X Amman at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Columbia Global Centers | Amman, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the European Institute, and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University.