University of Twente Student Theses


Governance of irregular migration along the Greek-Turkish border : discrepancies between law and reality

Klinker, S. (2013) Governance of irregular migration along the Greek-Turkish border : discrepancies between law and reality.

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Abstract:This research looks at the legal framework concerning the governance of irregular migration in the European Union and specifically in Greece, and investigates how the practice concerning the governance of irregular migration governance involves human rights violations along the Greek- Turkish border. The main stance of the research is to have a clear picture of the human rights violations in accordance with the obligations to respect human rights which are set out in different legal acts. The Evros border that constitutes a part of the external EU border (the border between Greece and Turkey) has been subject to hundreds of irregular crossings since 2010. This alarming development has led to a request for help by Greece. This has been answered by Frontex through the deployment of the Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) to the Greek- Turkish border. Three different operations have been conducted in Greece: Operation RABIT 2010, Operation Poseidon and Operation Attica. Frontex has been assisting the Greek police in the field and states that the practice still is the responsibility of the specific member state. There have been raised concerns on human rights compliance in Greece by several organizations such as the Fundamental Rights Agency, the UNHCR and Human Rights Watch. Regardless of their efforts to improve the situation, it seems that human rights violations still occur at the Evros border. This study therefore looks at the legal framework concerning the governance of irregular migration whereby different EU legislation is discussed: the Asylum Procedures Directive, the Asylum Qualifications Directive, the Schengen Borders Code, the Dublin II Regulation and the Return Directive. The conclusion that is drawn on the basis of the analysis of this legislation is that the doctrine of securitization seems to be apparent in EU legislation, meaning that immigrants are criminalized and the Union does not provide enough legal safeguards against the principle of non- refoulement. The ambiguous role of Frontex is discussed whereby the lack of responsibility is criticized and its criminalization of irregular immigrants. After having provided for the theoretical framework, practice comes into play. By assessing different reports from organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the UNHCR, Pro Asyl and others, transparency is provided on how irregular migration is managed in Greece. These reports picture a very harsh situation for asylum- seekers in Greece where they are subject to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and they are subject to a highly dysfunctional system. Eventually, the legal framework and the practice will be taken together in order to examine how it can be that human rights in practice are still violated when a legal framework provides obligations to respect human rights. Recommendations will be given on how to cope with this problem. A critical look will be taken at Frontex, without denying the responsibility of Greece. It is argued that the fear of scholars concerning the lack of legal safeguards has become reality and that not only Frontex officials should be responsible during operations but Frontex as an agency should be responsible for its actions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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