[Brief 31]

Hello from Glasgow, Scotland;

Here's your brief covering this week's migration-related developments and stories in and around Turkey. (Brief 31)

By Y. Emre Küçükkaya, Visiting Research Fellow, Glasgow Caledonian University

203 People Drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2019 While Most Survivors Are Not in A Better Place

Two boats sank on Saturday while trying to cross the Mediterranean, leaving 117 dead. The total number of deaths have reached 203 so far, the UN's IOM says.

Matteo Salvini, Italy's Interior Minister reports that 393 survivors have been sent back to Libya, insisting it is the right way to fight human traffickers as it discourages people to try this dangerous journey. However, the UN warns that sending the refugees back to Libya is against the international law due to inhuman treatments and torture incidents awaiting them in the country. Judith Sunderland from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) agrees:
"...What EU governments are doing perpetuates detention instead of getting people out of these abusive conditions. Fig-leaf efforts to improve conditions and get some people out of detention do not absolve the EU of responsibility for enabling the barbaric detention system in the first place,"

The HRW's recent report, "No Escape from Hell, EU Policies Contribute to Abuse of Migrants in Libya" reveals how the European Union outsources the "migration control":

"EU institutions and member states have poured millions of euros into programs to beef up the capacity of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord—one of two competing authorities in Libya, and one whose power rests largely on fungible alliances with militias and no real control over territory—to intercept boats leaving Libya and detain those intercepted in detention centers where they face appalling conditions
Italy—the EU country where the majority of migrants departing Libya arrive—has taken the lead in providing material and technical assistance to the Libyan Coast Guard and abdicated virtually all responsibility for coordination of rescue operations at sea in a bid to limit the number of people arriving on its shores"


This briefing has been brought to you by AIMS Turkey (the Ankara Initiative for Migration Studies). AIMS Turkey is a boutique research project exploring the refugee phenomenon in Turkey from a critical standpoint to support practitioners and academics who deal with the subject.
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