PICUM Bulletin — 30 October 2014


  • BULGARIA / Increased apprehensions of irregular migrants

    The District Attorney of the Bulgarian city Ruse demanded the introduction of special measures in October 2014 because of the increased flow of undocumented migrants crossing the Danube Bridge between Ruse and Giurgiu (Romania). These measures should include the establishment of additional arrest areas as detention centers in the city cannot accommodate more people apprehended at the border. For the past two months, the Bulgarian police has carried out country-wide raids and has been trying to uncover smuggling routes of people coming from Asia and Africa who are brought either to the capital Sofia or through Bulgaria to Romania and Serbia on their way to reach Western Europe. According to the country’s Minister for the Interior, Jordan Bakalow, more than 1,500 hotels, hostels and other shelters were searched during the raids. In these past two months, several groups of migrants were also arrested in Ruse. In early October 2014, the District court in Ruse sentenced a group of 46 Syrians, including seven children, who tried to cross the border hidden in a truck, to one year suspended sentence and a fine of 150 euros. The two Turkish truck drivers were sentenced to two years in prison and fined 500 euros. More than half of the irregularly entering migrants apprehended in Bulgaria are Syrians, 22% are from Afghanistan.
    Source: Sega, 10 October 2014; Die Welt, 24 October 2014

  • REPORT / US Border screening and returns of Central Americans to risk of serious harm

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) published its report ‘You Don’t Have Rights Here’ on 16 October 2014. The report provides information on US border policies and practices that place migrants of Central American origin at risk of serious harm in their countries of origin. Based on the accounts of people sent back to Honduras, people in detention, and an analysis of deportation data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the report details that US Customs and Border Protection deports the majority of irregular migrants coming from Central America via an accelerated process called ‘expedited removal’.
    To read the full report, click here.

  • SPAIN / Guardia Civil condemned for its violent treatment of migrants

    A group of 200 migrants scaled the border fence at the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla on 15 October 2014. The following day, the Spanish organisation PRODEIN released a video showing the Spanish Guardia Civil mistreating an African migrant until he fell unconscious, and was then carried back to the Moroccan side of the border fence. PRODEIN later stated that the migrant lost a kidney and one side of his body is paralysed after the incident. The Guardia Civil has denied this. According to European law, all migrants who reach Spanish territory have the right to access a procedure to seek protection, including the right to seek asylum, access to a lawyer and interpreter, and the right to appeal to a judge to contest a deportation order. Responding to the publication of the video, the European Parliamentary group European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) condemned the Spanish Guardia Civil in a statement. A group of 70 Spanish civil society organisations published a letter demanding the end of the practice of forcefully pushing-back migrants to Moroccan territory without due process, and demanding respect for international and European legislation. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, subsequently warned Spain on 20 October 2014 that force must not be used as a deterrent against irregular border crossings. Another group of about 60 migrants crossed the border in Melilla in the early morning of 20 October 2014. According to the Spanish Ministry of Interior, since 4 August 2014, 1,388 migrants from North Africa have arrived at the Spanish coast or have been rescued.  Meanwhile, the city of Madrid reported an increase, from 22 irregular migrants who arrived in Ceuta and Melilla and were transferred to Madrid in August, to 316 irregular migrants in September 2014. The detention centres (CIEs) in the area have exceeded their capacity.
    Sources: La Izquierda Diario, 16 October 2014 ; El Diario, 20 October 2014 ; The Local, 21 October 2014 ; El Mundo, 21 September 2014


  • UN / Working Group on Arbitrary Detention examines procedures on the right to challenge the lawfulness of detention before court

    UN / Working Group on Arbitrary Detention examines procedures on the right to challenge the lawfulness of detention before courtThe United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN WGAD) convened a global stakeholders consultation on 1 and 2 September 2014 in order to discuss the preparation of the first draft Principles and Guidelines on the right of anyone deprived of their liberty to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 20/16 of 6 July 2012. The draft Principles and Guidelines will aim at providing states with a tool to effectively implement their substantive and procedural obligations, to ensure the right to court review is applied to all persons in all situations of deprivation of liberty. The UN WGAD is scheduled to present the draft Principles and Guidelines to the Human Rights Council in September 2015. As part of the consultation, PICUM presented its submissions and key recommendations on ensuring access to justice and to the right to challenge the lawfulness of detention for undocumented migrants. PICUM’s submission is available here. More information is available here.


  • EU / EESC recommendations to improve protection of migrant children

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted a report entitled ‘International protection of unaccompanied minors’ on 15 October 2014. A number of the recommendations are also relevant for undocumented children, including that the best interests of the child should take precedence over all other national and international law; should be established according to the rules and standards of international human rights conventions; and should be determined by an independent body not connected to the immigration authorities. The EESC stresses that the ending of the detention of children should be addressed as an urgent priority, whether they are accompanied or not, and regardless of which procedure they are subject to. The EESC also suggests that a range of policy agendas relevant for the protection of undocumented children are reviewed, including regularisation as a migration policy tool, informing and supporting undocumented families, building a database of evidence, birth registration, and data protection, as well as the right to education and vocational training, health services and accommodation. A number of other recommendations concern unaccompanied children specifically, addressing issues such as age assessment and legal guardianship. The Opinion was requested in relation to the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 604/2013, as regards to determining the member state responsible for examining the application for international protection of unaccompanied minors with no family member, sibling or relative legally present in a member state. The opinion is available to download in several languages here.

  • EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS / Ruling in favour of undocumented mother

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued, on 3 October 2014, a ruling establishing the right to reside in the Netherlands of an undocumented mother of Dutch children, because of their right to family life and the best interests of the child. The case Jeunesse v. the Netherlands, application no. 12738/10 concerned the refusal by the authorities to allow a Surinamese woman married to a Netherlands national, with whom she had three children, to reside in the Netherlands on the basis of her family life in the country. The court took into consideration that, apart from Ms Jeunesse, all members of her family were Dutch nationals entitled to enjoy family life together in the Netherlands. They also considered that Ms Jeunesse had been living in the Netherlands for more than 16 years (of which the Netherlands’ authorities had been aware), that she had no criminal record, and that settling in Suriname would entail a degree of hardship for the family. The court further considered that the Netherlands’ authorities had not paid enough attention to how their decision to refuse her request for a residence permit impacted on Ms Jeunesse’s children. The authorities had failed to take into account and assess evidence on the practicality, feasibility and proportionality of the refusal, nor had they given sufficient weight to the effective protection and best interests of the children.
    Source: European Court of Human Rights Press Release, 3 October 2014

  • EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS / Ruling states that Italy violated rights of irregular migrants

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on 21 October 2014 that Italy put the lives of a group of irregular migrants at risk when returning them to Greece in 2009. The 32 Afghans, two Sudanese and one Eritrean had boarded boats in Patras, Greece and had then arrived in the Italian ports of Ancona, Bari and Venice, from where they were sent directly back to Greece without due process. The court found that in Greece, the migrants risked being sent back to their countries of origin and that this is a violation of several clauses of the European Convention on Human Rights, including a failure to provide access to the asylum procedure. Ten of the migrants had been given deportation orders and were placed in detention, before being released and given 30 days to leave Greece. Moreover, the court noted that Greece failed to provide an asylum procedure for people who risked deportation to Afghanistan, where they could face possible maltreatment. The court ordered Greece to pay a total of €5,000 to the four Afghan nationals who filed the case. Italy was not fined because the deadline to ask for compensation had passed.
    Sources: BBC, 21 October 2014 ; EU Observer, 21 October 2014

  • COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION / Ruling confirms that EU member states may not impose additional conditions for the admission of students

    In its judgment in the case of Mohamed Ali Ben Alaya v Germany (Case C-491/13) issued on 10 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that member states have the obligation to admit third-country nationals applying for a visa for study purposes, where they meet the conditions for admission listed by Directive 2004/114/EC. The case concerned the application for a student visa presented by a Mr Mohamed Ali Ben Alaya, a Tunisian national, to study at the University of Dortmund in Germany. The German authorities refused several applications for a student visa made by Mr Ben Alaya, expressing doubts as to the student’s motivation for wishing to study in Germany. The case was referred to the CJEU by the Administrative Court of Berlin (Verwaltungsgericht Berlin, Germany). In its ruling, the Court clarifies that member states may not exercise their discretion in considering an application for a student visa, where the applicant meets all the conditions laid down in the Directive and concludes that, subject to verification by the referring court, a residence permit ought to have been issued to Mr Ben Alaya.
    Source: Court of Justice of the European Union, Press Release no. 120/14, 10 September 2014

  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION / New report on trafficking in human beings

    On the occasion of EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October 2014, the European Commission presented a mid-term report of the EU’s strategy against trafficking in the period from 2012-2016 , accompanied by the statistical report on victims and traffickers for the years 2010-2012. The Commission is also reporting on the use of the Directive on residence permits to non-EU victims of human trafficking. Between 2010 and 2012, 30,146 victims of trafficking were registered in the 28 EU member states.  80% of registered victims were female and 16% were children. Over 70% of prosecuted traffickers were male. About 30% of victims were from outside the EU. The report on the use of the Directive on residence permits shows, however, that in the year 2012, only about half of the victims of trafficking who were non-EU citizens registered in 23 member states were granted residence permits (1,124 from 2,171). To view an infographic showing the major findings, click here.
    Sources: European Commission, 17 October 2014 ; EU Observer, 20 October 2014

  • COUNCIL OF EUROPE / Parliamentary Assembly urges member states to enforce laws banning the detention of migrant children

    The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly adopted, on 3 October 2014, its Recommendation 2056 (2014), urging member states to introduce and enforce laws banning the detention of children for immigration reasons. The Assembly stated that the detention of children for migration purposes constitutes “a clear and unequivocal child rights violation”. The Assembly particularly called on Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to enforce laws ending the immigration detention of children.
    Source: Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, 6 October 2014


  • GERMANY / Federal Office for Migration and Refugees criticises church asylum

    In response to an increasing number of church asylums in Germany, the President of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF), Manfred Schmidt, stated on 15 October 2014 that it is doubtful if the churches use the instrument of providing asylum to undocumented migrants and refugees in a responsible way. He argued that the provision of asylum in the church is no longer just about providing asylum to individuals in need but about generally questioning the Dublin system. Moreover, he noted that his authority would not ignore the increase of church asylums in the country. According to data of the German Ecumenical Federal Consortium of Asylum in the Church (Ökumenische Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Asyl in der Kirche e.V., BAG), about 245 persons found shelter in about 136 congregations across the country in September 2014 compared to 62 persons in 34 church asylums in January of 2014.  Church asylum has a long tradition in Germany of ensuring the right to shelter for asylum seekers and migrants and the BAG celebrated its 20th anniversary in September 2014. Meanwhile, city municipalities and local authorities have urged the state to provide more support to accommodate increasing numbers of migrants and asylum seekers in need of housing and shelter.
    Sources: Die Welt, 16 October 2014 ;  Deutschlandfunk, 23 October 2014


  • CANADA / Nearly 800 migrant farm workers fired and deported for health reasons over a decade

    A new study has found that 787 ‘medical repatriations’ occurred among 170,315 migrant farm workers arriving in Ontario through temporary foreign worker programmes between 2001 and 2011. Workers in these programmes that experience health conditions that prevent ongoing work are normally deported. Migrant farm workers in the study were most frequently fired and deported for medical or surgical reasons (41.3%), including back problems, upper and lower limb conditions, and digestive and gastroenterological issues, such as stomach pain, hernias or appendicitis. About a quarter of workers’ contracts were terminated for external injuries. Three medical repatriations were attributed to pregnancy, and only one in 50 workers was repatriated voluntarily. The medical repatriation data is not normally publicly available but was released as evidence when the family of a Jamaican farm worker, Ned Peart, who was crushed to death in a Brantford tobacco kiln, filed a complaint that no inquest was carried out. The findings indicate that occupational hazards and health risks for migrant farm workers frequently lead to the termination of their employment and deportation, at times before they receive the medical care they are entitled to. Read the study ‘Medical repatriation of migrant farm workers in Ontario: a descriptive analysis’.
    Sources: Canadian Medical Association Journal vol. 2 no. 3, 17 September 2014 ; The Star, 4 October 2014

  • SPAIN / Payments demanded for emergency treatment to undocumented migrants

    On 9 October 2014, an undocumented migrant woman in Spain was asked to pay 180 euros after receiving emergency care. The hospital, La Princesa, in Madrid, denied this version and claimed it was ”an isolated case” and that patients are treated without discrimination. According to the Spanish Royal Decree Act of 2012, undocumented migrants who have no health card have the right to free health assistance in the following cases only: pregnancy; if they are minors; or in cases of emergency. However, Spanish organisations reported that cases of denied access to health care are not isolated. In early September 2014, a group of NGOs sent a letter to the Spanish Minister of Health, Ms Ana Mato, asking her to reverse the legislation and reinstate publicly subsidized health care for undocumented migrants (See PICUM Bulletin, 16 September 2014 ).
    Source: La Marea, 9 October 2014


  • CAMPAIGN / ‘Used in Europe’: human trafficking and labour exploitation

    On the occasion of the EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October 2014, La Strada International, the European Network against Trafficking in Human Beings, and 30 partner organisations from across Europe launched the campaign ‘Used in Europe: human trafficking and labour exploitation on our continent’. The campaign reaches out to consumers, the private sector and state governments to address human trafficking, providing an interactive map and figures on trafficking in human beings and labour exploitation across the European continent. The campaigns calls on governments to ensure that international labour standards are enforced and to increase the investigation, detection and prosecution of human trafficking cases, including labour exploitation by businesses. To view the campaign page, click here.

  • DOCUMENTARY / New documentary exposes abuse of farmworkers in the US

    A new documentary addressing the realities of farmworkers in the United States, many of whom are undocumented, will be released on 21 November 2014. The film is called ‘Food Chains’ and denounces the abuses many farmworkers are subjected to, such as wage theft and physical and sexual abuse. The documentary shows how the sometimes slavery-like conditions these workers face benefit fast food and supermarket companies, increasing their margins of profit. The documentary focuses on a group of tomato pickers in South Florida – the Coalition of Immokalee Workers – who have been advocating for fair farm labour conditions in the US and have launched a new fair food programme label. You can find more information on the documentary and the trailer here.


  • USA / CAMPAIGN / Training for undocumented women in abusive relationships

    The city of Coachella in California launched a campaign in October 2014 in partnership with the organisation Shelter from the Storm and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to train undocumented migrant women about their rights. Shelter from the Storm provides assistance to women who experience domestic violence. Many undocumented women who work in the fields in the region also experience sexual abuse. Certain laws such as the U-Visa aim to protect all women, regardless of migration status. The campaign aims to inform the women about access to protection and assist them in the process.  The campaign was launched in the frame of Domestic Violence Awareness month.
    Sources: The Desert Sun, 26 October 2014


  • SPAIN / Ruling forbids medical tests to determine age of young migrants with documents stating their date of birth

    The Spanish Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) has issued two judgments that prohibit the undertaking of medical tests in order to determine the age of undocumented migrant children who are in possession of an officially-issued passport indicating their birth date. According to the ruling, the date of birth given on identification documents cannot be questioned without a reasonable justification. The two judgments resolved the cases of two children from Guinea and Ghana who, despite having passports issued in their country of origin certifying them as children, were declared of age after the completion of medical tests which left them without the protection and services provided to undocumented children by relevant authorities (Diputación Foral de Álava y Generalitat de Cataluña). The Supreme Court obliged the public services to include the two migrant children in their service provision.
    Source: La Vanguardia, 15 October 2014 ; Europa Press, 15 October 2014

  • USA / New York City Council and State of California provide legal funds to support migrant children in immigration courts

    The New York City Council and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have announced that they will provide legal representation and other services for the thousands of undocumented migrant children who have recently arrived in the US (see PICUM Bulletin, 25 August 2014). The New York City Council partnered with two philanthropic foundations, while the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will finance the legal aid programmes through public funds only. On 27 September 2014, the State of California passed a bill granting earmarked funds for NGOs who provide legal representation for unaccompanied child migrants. According to an analysis of cases by the Transnational Records Access Clearing house at Syracuse University, about 50% of children with legal representation are granted regular stay in the US, while only 10% of the children without an attorney are allowed to remain. Recently arrived and undocumented child migrants go through accelerated processes in the immigration courts and their lack of financial resources, as well as language barriers, represent significant obstacles for them during these proceedings. While the immigration lawyers association stated that about 800 immigration lawyers have volunteered to work on such cases, volunteer lawyers are still needed to take on cases and to be trained to face the needs of these children and the accelerated procedures of the immigration courts.
    Sources: The New-York Times, 22 September 2014 ; Fusion, 24 September 2014 ; Reuters, 27 September 2014 ; MacLean’s, 27 September 2014

  • CONFERENCE / International dialogue on migration and families

    An international dialogue on migration and families was held from 7-8 October in Geneva, Switzerland in the framework of the International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM) International Dialogue on Migration (IDM). Discussions considered the lack of attention to family migration in general, despite its importance for countries of origin, transit and destination, and highlighted a number of specific issues requiring further action. These included, the lack of data on migration of families and its impact on family members, their communities, and society overall; the persistent gaps in protection for migrants and their families, including violations such as restricted access to services and immigration detention for undocumented families and unaccompanied children; and specific risks facing young migrants. The event was attended by representatives from governments and civil society, including practitioners in the fields of law, health and social services, and development. For more information on the event, click here.


  • BELGIUM / Secretary of Asylum and Migration wants undocumented children and families to be detained

    Belgium’s new Asylum and Migration Secretary, Theo Francken, of the nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), announced plans to detain undocumented children and their families after taking office in October 2014. Moreover, he noted that the capacity of detention facilities needs to be substantially increased and criticised that many irregular migrants allegedly walk free due to limited detention capacities in Belgium. His announcement was criticised by civil society organisations and individuals who also gathered in front of the 127bis detention centre in Steenokkerzeel on 26 October 2014 to protest the plans and call attention to detention conditions and violations of human rights of migrants and refugees. The new Belgian government was sworn in on 11 October 2014 by Belgium’s King Philippe in October following general elections in May 2014. The Flemish nationalist party has three ministers and two secretaries of state in the new administration headed by Francophone liberal Charles Michel.
    Sources: RTBF, 13 October 2014 ; Flanders News 13 October 2014

  • GREECE / Study on the use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of migration policies in Greece

    The European Migration Network (EMN) issued, in August 2014, a factsheet on the use of administrative detention in the context of migration policies in Greece. Based on the transposition of EU legislation in Greece, the study aims at presenting a comparative analysis between the use of detention as a last resort measure of deprivation of liberty, and the use of less coercive measures as alternatives to detention of migrants in Greece. However, the study also highlights that, due to the serious lack of systematic and comparable data collection on migrants’ detention in Greece, the researchers were faced “with a serious lack of drawing safe conclusions” in relation to both the number of migrants detained and in relation to the ultimate efficacy of the system and the high cost of detention, compared to alternative measures. The study recommends the systematic application of alternatives to detention, “which would decongest detention areas and would make the work of the Greek authorities, particularly the Hellenic Police, much easier”. The study is available here.

  • INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS / Court argues that states may not resort to the detention of children as part of immigration proceedings

    When consulted on the interpretation of the “last resort” principle of detention as a preventative measure in the context of migration-related proceedings, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stated in an Advisory Opinion issued on 19 August 2014, that states may not resort to the deprivation of liberty of children as a precautionary measure to protect the objectives of immigration proceedings. The Court also specified that states may not detain a child on the basis of a failure to comply with entry and residence requirements and urged states to adopt other less harmful alternatives and, at the same time, to protect the rights of the child integrally and as a priority. For more information see: Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Advisory Opinion OC-21/14 of 19 August 2014, requested by the Argentine Republic, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Paraguay and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Rights and Guarantees of Children in the Context of Migration and/or in Need of International Protection.

  • ITALY / Italian Senate Human Rights Commission calls for alternatives to migrants’ detention

    In a report issued on 24 September 2014, the Human Rights Commission of the Italian Senate urged the Italian Government to ensure that the detention of migrants is only adopted as an exceptional measure of last resort and for expulsion purposes only. The Commission also called the Italian Government to ensure free access to the detention centres for NGOs and other organisations providing assistance to migrants. The report highlights that, in 2013, only 2,749 migrants, out of a total of 6,016 migrants (5,431 men and 585 women) detained in the Centres for Identification and Expulsion (CIE) in Italy, were deported. The Commission highlights that prolonging the maximum detention period to 18 months in 2011 has not significantly increased the return of migrants and that 45 days are usually sufficient to complete the identification process of a detained migrant. The report also highlights that migrants are deprived of their personal liberty for prolonged periods of time without a real prospect of being returned. The Commission finally announced that the Italian parliament is currently examining a draft law providing a reduction in the maximum detention period of 90 days and for the immediate interruption of detention in cases where there is no reasonable prospect that the expulsion will be carried out. The full report is available here.
    Source: Associazione Carta di Roma, 29 September 2014

  • MALTA / IOM and UNHCHR call for non-detention of unaccompanied children during age determination

    IOM and UNHCHR have released a report entitled “Unaccompanied Migrant and Refugee Children: Alternatives to Detention in Malta”. The report recommends the establishment of a primary reception centre for children to address the need for early identification, assessment, family tracing, family reunification and care of unaccompanied children. Although policy dictates that children should not be detained, and should be detained for the shortest possible time, both unaccompanied children and families with children are detained in practice, on arrival, pending relocation. Unaccompanied children are currently only released from detention when the age determination process and mandatory health checks have been completed. According to press reporting on the launch of the report on 13 October 2014, Maltese President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca welcomed the report, and Minister for Home Affairs Emmanuel Mallia stated that the recommendations will be taken on board but that health and public security issues would not be waived. The report does not address the continued detention of migrant children with their families. On 30 March 2014, the Prime Minister made a public statement committing his government to ending child detention in the country (see PICUM Bulletin 22 May 2014). Read the IOM-UNHCHR report here.
    Sources: Malta Today, 13 October 2014; Times of Malta, 14 October 2014  ; IOM Press release, 14 October 2014

  • PUBLICATION / Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention

    Released in September 2014, ‘Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention’ authored by Tings Chak, illustrates through drawings and photographs the role of architectural design in the control and management of migrants. Using the example of migrant detention in Canada, the realities of migrant conditions are depicted from an architectural point of view, offering a new way to look at the isolation and incarceration of undocumented migrants. The book provides a new perspective on migrant detention centres and aims to make visible the sites and stories of detention, to bring them into conversations about our built environment, and to highlight migrant detention as an architectural problem. The book is available in Northern America here and in Europe here. For more information on the book, click here.

  • PUBLICATION / Open Access Now releases booklet on detention of migrants

    The Open Access Now campaign, calling for more transparency and visibility of the realities of migrant detention, released a booklet entitled ‘The Hidden Side of Immigration Detention in Europe’ on 15 October 2014. With the view that immigration detention is being widely institutionalised and keeps criminalising those considered undesirable, the publication sheds light on the treatment and conditions of migrants in detention centres. The booklet also responds to the evaluation report of the ‘Return Directive’ published by the European Commission on 28 March 2014 and aims to underline the gaps between the realities of migrants’ lives in such centres and the principles that the Directive claims to defend regarding respect for human rights. The publication underlines that the lack of transparency and insufficient access to the centres makes it difficult to gather data and obtain reliable sources of information on the living conditions of migrants in detention centres. The booklet is available in English and in French . Open Access Now’s press release is available in English and in French.


  • BOOK / Ethnographic study of irregular migration towards Europe

    Anthropologist Ruben Andersson relates his investigation into migration routes from Senegal and Mali to the Spanish North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in his new book ‘Illegality, Inc’. Along his journey, the author met migrants from different backgrounds but always with the same goal: reaching Europe. While migrants are given a voice throughout the book, the focus of the investigation is not on the irregular migrants themselves but what the author describes as a vast industry that has been built up around their movements. Ruben Andersson explores how the increasingly strict European border regime impacts on the migrants and examines the general dynamics around the subterranean flows from Africa to Europe. For more information on the book, click here. The book can be purchased here.


  • FILM / Award-winning documentary on living conditions of migrants in the mountains of northern Morocco

    The documentary ‘The Land Between’ depicts the everyday lives of Sub-Saharan African migrants staying in the mountains of northern Morocco. It discusses their dream to enter Europe by crossing the border fences in the Spanish enclave Melilla and lets the migrants speak about how and why they are prepared to risk everything, including their life. Launched in 2014 by the independent filmmaker David Fedele, the documentary already won several awards such as ‘Best Documentary’ at the FIFE International Film Festival in Paris, France and, most recently, ‘Best Film’ at the Lampedusa In Festival in October 2014.
    For more information, go to the documentary’s page.


  • IRELAND / The impact of criminalisation and dehumanisation of irregular migrants

    The Irish Times published an opinion piece outlining negative impacts of criminalisation of irregular migrants and migrant supporters and arguing that the EU actually needs migrants. The article speaks in favour of using accurate terminology in reference to irregular migrants and refers to PICUM’s web documentary Undocumentary.
    Source: The Irish Times, 11 October 2014

  • ITALY / Abstract on limited access to health care of undocumented children

    The Italian Journal of Paediatrics published an abstract of PICUM’s input at the Congress of Paediatricians in Palermo on 11 August 2014. The abstract provides an overview of access to health care for children in law and practice and local responses.
    Source: Italian Journal of Paediatrics, 11 August 2014

  • UK / Limited access to housing for undocumented migrants

    The online magazine Inside Housing UK focusing on social housing issues covered the release of PICUM’s report on housing and homelessness of undocumented migrants in Europe. The article looks at the situation in the UK where undocumented migrants face barriers when trying to access housing.
    Source: Inside Housing UK, 7 October 2014

    This newsletter was compiled by PICUM, with contributions from Borislav Gerasimov.

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