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Contested Borderscapes – Violence at Europe’s external and internal borders The dehumanization of migrants in border-control operations and its effects on people and policies

Violence at Europe’s external and internal borders – The dehumanization of migrants in border-control operations and its effects on people and policies
Andrea Panico and Elena Prestt
Progetto Melting Pot Europa
within the publication “Contested Borderscapes Transnational Geographies vis-à-vis Fortress Europe”
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The most visible result of the absence of an adequate governance of migration flows is the never-ending tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea.
As EU member states have not been able to ensure an efficient program of safe passage for people fleeing from conflict, prosecution and extreme starvation [1], for them the only way to reach Europe is crossing the Mediterranean on extremely over- crowded vessels and inflatable boats. In numerical terms, the death toll in Mediter- ranean Sea in the last fifteen years is over 34,361 [2], of which 17,180 between 2014 and 2018 [3]. In the last three years, the highest number of dead and missing migrants has been recorded along the central Mediterranean route (4,578 in 2016/ 2,873 in 2017 and 938 in 2018) with a peak in the month of May of 2016 of 1,141 dead [4].
Even though the “block” of the central Mediterranean route has lead to a general decrease in the number of arrivals, the deaths rate in proportion to the number of arrivals between January and July 2018, increased proportionally: 1 dead on 18 mi- grants rescued, compared to 1 dead on 42 migrants rescued during the same period of 2017 [5].
Furthermore, to the decrease of deaths rate on the Aegean (441 in 2016, 54 in 2017 and 48 in 2018) and central Mediterranean routes, corresponds the vertiginous rise of the deaths toll on the western Mediterranean route, as the block of the Italian harbours and the Libyan corridor triggered a stronger migratory pressure on the Moroccan and Algerian routes (from 77 in 2016 to 212 in 2017 and 302 in 2018) [6].



The response to the growing migratory pressure has been characterized from the be- ginning by the militarization of both external and internal borders, accompanied by the conclusion of bilateral agreements with the main countries of origin and transit, aimed to block the migration haemorrhage outside the doors of Europe. It is in this context that have been signed the political agreements between Italy and Libya, in 2017 and in 2018, and the agreement between the EU and Turkey, in 2016.


2.1 Libya

Although direct or indirect financement of Libyan detention centres and military in order to prevent arrivals by sea was already used by the Italian government before 2011 under Gheddafi’s regime [7], such instruments of externalization of the borders have been reinforced in 2017, with the support of the European Union [8]. This new strategic plan has seen Italy as the main politic and economic sponsor of the Libyan government [9].
Alongside economic support to ensure administrative detention of irregular mi- grants in libya prisons and the patrolling of southern and sea borders through the reinforcement of the military and the Coast Guard, the Italian authorities completed the scheme of militarization of the Mediterranean through a political and judicial campaign aimed to exclude NGOs and civil society from rescue operation, in order to prevent organization to collect data and evidences about the illegal pushbacks at sea operated by the Libyan Coast Guard and military ships. First of all the Italian govern- ment financed the reconstruction and training of the Libyan coast guards and sent a representation of the italian navy to coordinate rescue operations from Tripoli, then imposed a code of conduct [10] on NGOs involved in rescue operations and finally put political pressure for the formal recognition of the Libyan SAR zone [11]. Such measures combined, have fortressed the central Mediterranean and lead to a sudden decrease of arrivals: from 119,369 in 2017 to 23,055 in 2018 [12].
In 2017, Amnesty International reported that 20,000 migrants were intercepted and pulled back from Libyan Coast guard and transferred in detention centres in Libya [13]. F., a 16 years-old girl from Eritrea, rescued at the end of June 2017, during a massive rescuing operation, said “the first time my brother and I were pulled back. We were on a small inflatable boat when the Libyans stopped it not far from the coast. They used a cable to beat our heads and pushed us back on their ship. I was scared as the inflatable was sinking while we were transferred on their ship. I started to cry loud and a soldier slapped me and when he saw that I had a necklace with a coptic cross he tear it off with force and hit my head on the floor. I’ll never forget it. Now I always keep a cross around my neck”.
M. and his family were saved from Aquarius, MSF’s and SOS Mediterranee dur- ing one of its last rescuing operations in May 2018. He said, looking at the video of their rescuing operation published on Facebook, “We tried to leave Libya for three times before succeeding. for two times we were taken back by Libyan Coast Guard: we were lucky cause we had libyan stay permit and we were not taken to jail but I was beaten hardly, my son started to cry and we thought we’d have never reached Italy. We were rescued after three days at sea from Aquarius, they were very good people. I thank Allah they saved us”.
Arbitrary violence committed against migrants. Today, Libya is a country where chaos reigns. Migrants coming from all over Africa hoping to be able to embark on their way to the Italian shores, have to wait for months and years in unbearable liv- ing conditions, be enslaved and be tortured by traffickers for the purpose of extort money from their families [14]. The picture that comes out from migrant’s testimonies and available press reports resembles a lagher where murders, torture and rape that are perpetrated daily against migrants [15].
“I was imprisoned in Gargheresh (Tripoli) for more than 8 months. My family did not have enough money to pay for my release and the policemen beated me every day. They used sticks on foots, electric betons and used to die out their cigarette on my arms. One day they came and said ad they shot at my right knee. The other detainees tried to cure me from infection, but it was really painful. I still feel the pain” said Y., 17-years -old unaccompanied minor from Chad.
Rape, in particular, is an instrument of retaliation and fear used both against wom- en and against young boys and children [16]. “My wife and my children had just joined me in Libya coming from Sudan. A few days later my five-year-old daughter was kidnapped, they gave she back to me after more than a week and a half, during which they repeatedly abused her”, said F. a Sudanese father, crying in the courtyard of St.Anthony’s Church, in Ventimiglia, two months after their arrival in Italy.
M., a lone mother travelling with her two children after she was forced to flee religious persecution and sexual slavery in Borno State, Nigeria, said that she tried to protect herself and her daughter from sexual abuse by jailers in Libya. “I kept B., my 4-years-old son on my lap all the time and I gave F., my 7-years-old daughter in cus- tody of another lonely and helpless Nigerian girl who was detained with us. When it was time to leave Libya, the trafficker told me that I could not take both children with me and that I had to choose only one. I was exhausted, my heart was going to break again: Ι had already been forced to leave behind, my first 9-years-old son B. under the protection of another woman when i escaped from Borno and I couldn’t leave F. So I sent her ahead with the nigerian girl. When I arrived in Italy, two months after, it was really hard to find her but in the end we managed to reunite”.

2.2 The Turkish cork
2.2.1 The direct effects of the agreement: deaths, arrests and arbitrary refoulement

The EU-Turkey agreement – which had a major negative impact on the migratory flow of refugees arriving in Europe through the Balkans – represents an emblematic example of the externalization of borders. After the agreement, the EU was accused to have defeated his human rights obligation, delegating to a strongly anti-democratic Turkish government, the management of the flow of asylum seekers coming from the Middle East. Indeed, the EU has promised to invest 6 billion euros in the area, in exchange for Erdogan’s commitment to prevent asylum seekers to arrive in Greece, blocking them in Turkey.
In order to minimize the migratory flow, first of all Turkey has reinforced the already militarized border-lines of the south east through the construction of a wall along the Syrian border, a three meters high fence that extends for 800 km, whose construction ended in 2017 [17] [18]. Along the few kilometres not protected from the wall, the border is today defended by ditches and fences patrolled twenty-four hours a day with the aid of cameras and drones [19]. “The area farther east is full of mines, from there you can pass only with a mule. […] we followed the mule to be sure not to hit the mines [20], from where it passed, we passed” said Khaled who fled from Syria with his brother at the end of 2016.
The desperates who nevertheless try to entry in Turkey are brutally killed at the border. In the last years, under the silence of the international medias, hundreds of Syrian asylum seekers have been massacred by the Turkish Army while attempting to cross the border “illegally” [21]. Such practice has been recorded and documented by international observers since August 2015, and so far is esteemed to have caused more than 400 killings, 20% of which involving minors [22].
“Now it is difficult to enter into this country. We can not enter from this side […] [23] . The border is controlled day and night and the wall does the rest. You need to have good knowledge among the Turkish military who control the border, and enough money to be able to pay for their silence”, Fadi explains as he bends under the sun to pick vegetables in the fields near Nizip.
The treatment reserved to those ones who managed to jump the fence isn’t more soft: the data from the Turkish Ministry of Interior show that thousands of migrants have been arrested for illegal entry or stay, with a steady increase in the last four years (+ 211% from 2014 to 2018 [24]), which involves mainly the Syrian population, fol- lowed by the Afghan , Pakistani and Iraqi. Furthermore, a recent study indicates more than 250,000 cases of direct and illegal pushing back, carried out close the Syrian bor- der only during the year of 2017 [25]. “My family is Kurdish. We come from Iraq “said I. “ One evening, while we were sleeping close the bus station [26], the police asked us for the documents, they asked us to follow them at a police station, the Turkish police held me, my wife and my two sons (a three months baby and a one- year-and-half-old in prison for more than 3 weeks”.
This militarization of the turkish borders is also taking place thanks to the economic aid, mentioned earlier, promised by the EU. In fact, a recent investigation [27] showed that Turkey has benefited from over 80 million euro from the EU for the purchase of weapons and surveillance and defence systems for border patrolling, aimed to fight the irregular migration flows coming from the middle east and directed to the Europe. Specifically, the first 35.6 million euros were transferred from Brussels to the Turkish company Otokar for the purchase of 82 armored military vehicles that are now used in the Syrian border patrol activities. The purchase of an additional 50 heavily armored vehicles was financed to patrol the Turkish-Greek border [28]. Finally, for the control of the Aegean Sea, the financ- ing of an additional 17.9 million euros allowed the World Organization for Migration (I.O.M.) to purchase six SAR coastguards to donate them to the Turkish Coast Guard [29].

2.2.2 Some of the indirect effects of the agreement

Survival outside governmental fields. In March 2018 [30], of the more than three and a half million registered Syrians, only 6% of them, 225,557 , lived in the 21 tempo- rary shelters (TACs) located in the Turkish provinces close to the Syrian border [31]. The absence of a governance of the emergency raises serious problems regarding the pos- sibility of using the most essential services, such as health care or school education.
The asylum seekers are forced to survive by gimmicks, plunging into the vortex of black work to get enough money to rent a house to live in. Many of them get sick due to the unhealthy conditions of the environments in which they are forced to live or to work.
Child labour. Today in Turkey, thousands of minors refugees are working in the facto- ries in the southeast of the country or in those in the suburbs of the big cities, some in the fields as pickers.
This happens on the one hand because the majority of families, escaping from Syr- ia and residing today on the turkish territory still do not receive adequate assistance from the government. On the other hand, because the syrian families who do not have enough money to pay the traffickers to grant a passage for the whole family, often send first their younger children, so that they can work in Turkey and to send them back enough money to enable the entire family to flee. “See, they are all small chil- dren because we do not take them older than 10/12 years old. The little ones do not make problems, they work, they do not answer and they are easier to manage” said N., the responsible of the irregular factory just outside the Gaziantep city center [32].
Access to education. During the 2015-2016 school year, data provided by the Turk- ish government reported that not more than 320,000 Syrian children were registered in the turkish schools [33]. AFAD [34] wrote that the percentages of children schooling be- tween the ages of 6 and 11, who lived outside camps, did not exceed 15% [35].
The following year (2016-2017), compared to almost 1,300,000 school-age minors reg- istered by UNHCR, the number of children behind the desks was just under 490,000 [36]. They are a ghost army, at least two generations lost. “We can not go to school, we have to work so that our families have the chance to survive”, said A. a 9-years-old boy in Gaziantep.
Access to healthcare. For those who do not have access to medical care because they are not registered, or those who could not overcome linguistic barriers in the hospitals because of the absence of cultural mediators, the last hope is to be cured in the “invisible clinics”. These clinics, financed exclusively with private money, are of particular importance especially in frontier cities: volunteers (most of them are Syrians) welcome those who escaped from the war, who were shot at the border and who do not know where to go to be cured.


The road that runs from the Aegean coasts to the heart of the Balkans through the borders of Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary is marked by walls and barbed-wires [37], and is today one of the most violent routes to Europe.
Abuses committed by police forces. It is along these borders that most of the viola- tions of human rights occur by the police and military forces [38].
“I tried to leave Turkey crossing the Bulgarian border for five times walking through the woods. For four times we were caught by the bulgarian police beat us badly and used dogs against us. One of us was seriously injured because of dogs bites. The police stole all our money and then took off our clothes and shoes. We had to go back to Istanbul dressed only with underwear for two times, it was really cold. Road to freedom is like hell”, told A. from Afghanistan in the barracks near Belgrade railway station in February 2017.
The same violations occurred since the closure of the borders of the Balkan coun- tries since December 2015. In April 2016, in Idomeni Refugee Camp K., a father who wandered in despair over the field, looking for food for his little daughter, told “We were sleeping in an emergency camp in Macedonia. We were surprised for the second time an attempt to enter Serbia. After that Serbian police discovered, beat some of us and rejected us in Macedonia, we came back to the refugee camp. Macedonian army men was really angry with us, they woke us up during the night, they slapped the chil- dren and stole the money, at last they broke our cell phones. They forced us to return to Greece passing under the metal net that separates Idomeni from Macedonia”.
It does not matter if who is trying to cross the border is underage. “We tried at night to leave Greece and enter Bulgaria. First they made us approach and shot at us with their rubber bullets” says limping M. with his glasses repaired with a piece of scotch tape.
J. had the same destiny. He also still bears the signs of the violence suffered by the Hungarian army men who repeatedly kicked his mouth, seized his shoes, stripped and forced to return from Subotica to Belgrade, aching and frozen.
Even in R., a young Afghan has a similar fate while he was entering in Croatia from Bosnia, “Croatian police immediately used the batons after stopping and taking my phone”.
The expedients to survive. The closure of the borders has caused the dilatation of the travel times of the asylum seekers’ march to reach their destination in northern Europe. Since there is no longer a fast transit from one state to another, asylum seek- ers are almost always forced to stop before finding an expedient -more frequently the contact of a smuggler- to enter the next country. This means that in the border areas, in the neighboring cities and in the large metropolises of the countries affected by the migratory routes, there has generally been an increase in the prices of rents and food.
To survive and raise enough money to continue the journey, almost all migrants are therefore forced to work, without being registered and an equal pay, “I worked for 8€ a day, and during the break I was not allowed to sit with my friends at the same table” said M., 17-years-old, referring to when he was staying in the Kerso camp near Idomeni.
Others, as has been recorded in Athens, remain trapped in the “survival sex” that pushes them to prostitute themselves in exchange for a few tens of euro, “I have nothing to eat, nor where to sleep, I just want to reach Germany, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done but I have no other choice if I want to survive” said A. with a still teeny voice.

Psychological disorders. “He made these cuts during the journey, the pain pushes us to do this” explains […] crouched along the Roja river in Ventimiglia pointing to his brother’s harm.
A recent report wrote by MSF about the difficult work on the Greek islands, where those who arrive are prevented from continuing their journey to the mainland, has highlighted that suicide attempts and cases of self-harm among asylum seekers have increased dramatically, among adolescents. MSF registered that between February and June of 2018 “nearly a quarter of children had self-harmed, attempted suicide or had thought about committing suicide. Other child patients suffer from elective mut- ism, panic attacks, anxiety, aggressive outbursts and constant nightmares [39].

Serbia, Belgrade. The violence of the Hungarian border guards on UASCs trying to leave Serbia


For some refugees Italy represents just a bridge, a country to cross in order to reach the final destination of their migratory path in northern Europe. Others instead, decide to leave Italy only at a later stage, pushed by despair for the impossibility to see a concrete prospect of integration in the country because of the inadequate reception conditions, the difficulties in obtaining documents and legal family reunification, the difficult access to the job market.
Throughout their journey along the peninsula, from when they enter the country till they reach the alps, refugees who try to move up have to face direct or indirect violence: episodes of arbitrary deprivation of personal freedom, physical and psycho- logical violence and inhuman treatments have been reported both following disembarkation as well as during internal borders’ control operations.
Identification procedures. Since 2015, Italy [40], in order to ensure prompt registration and identification of incoming migrants according to the European Agenda on Migration [41], implemented the s.c Hotspot approach through the provision of a mechanism of pre-identification and registration to be conducted directly at disembarkment points and inside Hotspots, closed identification centres organized to provide first aid and divide asylum seekers from “irregular economic migrants”. In few years Italy has reached the goal of 100% identification of migrants rescued at sea, but what is the human price of such efficiency?
Most of the migrants interviewed in the last three years complained that at the time of registration and identification they were not aware of their obligation to seek interna- tional protection in the first country of arrival, of the possibility to refuse fingerprinting and of the consequence of such refusal. Many of those who refused to be fingerprinted reported that they were forcibly identified through violence or intimidation.
It is June 2016 when A., a 18-year-old boy from Darfur, under the hot sun that hits the parking lot in front of the church of Sant’Antonio in Ventimiglia, tells us “I arrived in Calabria and I was taken to the First reception centre of Isola di Capo Rizzuto to be identified. I opposed to identification and I was confined with other six boys in a container. It was all dark, there was no window and no bathroom. It was re- ally hot, I thought I was dying. They left us there with no food and just few bottles of water for three days. Every day two policemen stepped in. They told us: . On the fourth day they took me for identification again. I tried to resist but they beat me with an electric beat on my legs, hurt my back and pressed with force my hands on the machine. they asked: and I said <No, I want to go in England>. Afterwards, they gave me some papers (an expulsion decree written in Italian) and they took me on a bus with both hands and ankles tied. The journey was long and we couldn’t eat. I was taken to the Centre for Identification and Expulsion of Caltanissetta (Sicily). After few days I was released and I run away to reach Ventimiglia. Italy is so bad, I want to go to the UK.”
Violation of human rights at the internal borders. Episodes of violence have been reported also by migrants who tried to cross the northern internal borders in the at- tempt to reach Switzerland, from Como-Chiasso and France, from Ventimiglia-Men- ton.
In Como, in the spring of 2017, M., 18-years-old, still deeply shocked, said “I reached Como and tried cross on train to reach Switzerland. The Swiss border guards stopped me in Chiasso station. They lead me in a close room where I was forced to stand all naked and subjected to physical inspection. I felt so humiliated. Then they drove me to the Italian police office in Como with other migrants had just been subjected to the same treatment. One policeman found that I had Italian documents and said to his colleague and I replied . So, the other policeman took me from my back, told me <oh, do you like to joke?> and started to kick me and hurt my face until I fell down. Then the first policeman took my neck from the back, forcing me to stand and hurt my head badly on the wall. I lost consciousness”.
The border of Ventimiglia-Menton has always been the main crossing point and since 2015 became the laboratory where the French and Italian governments could develop their repressive policies of border management, policies characterized on both sides by the systematic violation of migrants’ fundamental rights. On the French side, migrants are deprived of personal freedom and pushed back every day without any assessment of their vulnerability and without the possibility to apply for protection, even if they are unaccompanied minors. Lately, the French Controleur General des lieux de privation de liberté [42] and the French Commission National Consultative des Droits des Hommes issued two important decisions that confirm the denounces of NGOs and civil society [43].
“We tried to cross the border on foot. We were on the path when French soldiers stopped us. They pushed us down, we fell on the ground and they kicked us badly. Then we were taken to the police office at the border. We were kept in a closed room with no water and no foot for one day, with a really high freezing air conditioned. Only one day after they released us forcing us to take the train to Italy”, told us in September 2017, N. e O. 17-years-old.
Smuggling, sex and money. The suspension of Schengen agreement by France since 2015 has encouraged the development of a well-organized network of traffickers and forced, once again, migrants to endanger their lives to cross the border along impervi- ous unmarked mountain paths, hiding in trains or walking the tunnels of the highway that runs above the coast.
The human cost of the trip often does not end in the danger that they are forced to face, but also in what they are forced to suffer to pay back the traffickers. The cost of the passage for France varies depending on the comfort of the trip and duration of the passage: for 100-150 € migrants are crammed into overhead vans or cars, closed in the trunk, in the trucks or closed by the traffickers inside the doors of the train that contain the electric cables.
To the children alone and to the women who can not pay in euros their passage, the package offered by traffickers provides the opportunity to pay back the offer with sexual favours.
B. a 15-years-old Eritrean girl who was traveling alone with her 6-years-old brother and another Eritrean lady, said “A Nigerian smugglers asked us for sex twice in change of a passage. We refused but he asked to other girls who were in the train station”.
Bad government assistance to the migrants. In addition to the dangers related to illegal border-crossing migrants, waiting in the limbo of the city had to face for long time inhumane reception conditions in which: in the last years 5 migrants died drowned in the river or near the beach while they were trying to wash themselves, due to the absence of public baths and water sources. Other two migrants died hit by cars as they walked the stretch of high-distance road that divides the city from the govern- ment centre Camp Roya, which stands in an isolated area.
The game of the goose. On the Italian side, with the intention to “decompress the migration pressure on the border”, since 2016 the Italian Ministry of Intern put in place a new strategy to forcibly remove from the town of Ventimiglia the migrants pushed back from France. Forced deportation of migrants to the Hotspot of Taranto or to other closed identification centres in southern Italy are organized weekly by the Italian police. Since all the migrants have already been identified upon arrival in the emergency governmental Camp Parco Roya or at the border after being pushed back from France, the only objective of such measures is to arbitrary deprive migrants of their personal freedom. “After being released from the gendarmerie, I was taken to the Italian border-guards office. They took again my fingerprint, and gave me a paper with my name and a number. There was no interpreter. I was then taken to a room with other guys and we waited for some hours until they forced us to get on a bus. The journey took 17 hours. The bus was followed by another one full of policemen, and other two cars of the army. We stopped 3 times, but we could get off only one time. We had to go to toilet in open air when the bus stop in the middle of nowhere on the highway. We were 22 and there were 18 cops surveilling us.” said H., 23- years-old, from Sudan.


1. Even though special programs to transfer asylum seekers from third countries have been developed, as the “human corridors” organized by the italian NGOs Comunità di Sant’Egidio (https:// and Mediterranean Hope (, the number of refugees who could benefit of an humanitarian visa is still insufficient (Italy accorded 1000 humanitarian visa for 2016-2017 and another 1000 for 2018-2019).
2. This is the number of deaths that have been ascertained until May 5th, 2018.
Data from United for Intercultural Action (  https://uploads.guim.
3. Data IOM from:
4. Data UNHCR from:
5. UNHCR. (September 2018). Desperate journeys. Refugees and migrants arriving in Europe and at Europe’s borders. JANUARY – AUGUST 2018. From
Cf. also: Amnesty International (2018), L’europa è responsabile dell’aumento delle vittime nel mar mediterraneo centrale, published on 18 august 2018, on:
6. UNHCR. (2018, July 10). Europe. Dead and missing at sea.
7. Melting Pot Europa. (2008, October 28). Diffuso il testo dell’accordo Italia-Libia. Pubbliche violazioni dei diritti umani. From: lia-Libia.html#.XBZY7GRKhhA
Vassallo Paleologo F. (2008, September 1). Nuove intese tra Italia e Libia: ancora sulla pelle dei migranti. Melting pot Europa. From: Libia-Ancora-sulla-pelle-dei.html#.XBZZPWRKhhA
8. Prestigiacomo D. (2018, July 6). Centri per migranti in Libia l’UE sblocca altri 29 milioni. Europa Today. From:
9. For a brief description of the agreement and its impact: Genoviva F. R. (2017, April 24). Tutto quello che c’è da sapere sull’accordo Italia-Libia. Open Migration. From: https://openmigration. org/analisi/tutto-quello-che-ce-da-sapere-sullaccordo-italia-libia/
The text of the agreement can be read here: migranti_accordo_italia-libia_ecco_cosa_contiene_in_memorandum-157464439/
10. The text of the code of conduct can be read here: content/uploads/2017/07/2017070516-EU-Code-of-Conduct.pdf
11. Vassallo Paleologo F. (2018, June 28). Una zona SAR per la “Libia” che non esiste. Si perfeziona la politica dell’annientamento. ADIF-Associazione diritti e frontiere. From https:// dellannientamento/
12. Data UNHCR from:
13. Amnesty International Italia. (2018, February 1). Italia- Libia, un anno fa l’accordo sull’immigrazione. From:
14. Porsia N. (2017). L’industria libica delle migrazioni, in Limes, Rivista italiana di geopolitica, vol. 6/2017. From:
15. Al Jazeera. (2017, November 26). Migrants for sale: slave trade in Libya, 26 November 2017. From: trade-libya-171126063748575.html
16. Cf. Not a weapon of war: . “En Libye, le viol de guerre a été massivement utilisé par le régime de Kadhafi lors du soulève- ment de 2011. C’était un moyen de répression politique, de terreur, visant à casser l’opposition. Il a aussi bien ciblé les femmes que les hommes. Depuis la mort du raïs en octobre 2011, le viol est devenu un outil de vengeance courant. Les milices libyennes qui recouvrent tout le territoire, les katiba, l’utilisent et réaniment les rivalités entre tribus.”
17. At the same time, the construction of another wall, whose end of the works is scheduled for the spring of 2019, will “defend” 144 of the 499 km of the border with Iran. Cf Coskun O., Gumrukcu T. (January 10, 2018). “Turkey to complete wall on Iranian border by spring 2019” from: wall-on-iranian-border-by-spring-2019-idUKKBN1EZ179
18. Aldroubi, M. (2018, June 10). Syria-Turkey border wall completed. The National. From:
19. Pamuk H. (2017, March 3). Walls, drones and mines: Turkey tightens border as Syria in- cursion deepens. Reuters. From: border-idUSKBN16A1VP
20. Mine Action Review. (2017). Clearing the mines 2017. From:
According to the report, at the end of 2016 the Syrian border affected by the problem of mines was over 144 square kilometers, with a contamination exceeding 413,000 anti-personnel mines and 194.00 anti-tank mines.
21. Yeung P. (2016, June 19). Turkish border guards ‘kill 11 Syrian refugees’ in indiscriminate shooting. Independent. From: crisis-turkish-border-guards-kill-syrian-refugees-shooting-asylum-seekers-migrants-a7090371.html
Malm S. (May 10, 2016). Shocking footage shows wounds of Syrian migrants shot or beaten to death by Turkey’s border police. Daily Mail. From: border-police.html
The video of the violences is available at:
22. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (2018, April 23). “More casualties raise to about 70, the number of children victims of the Turkish Jandarma’s shooting out of 361 civilians”, from
The Syrian Human Rights Observatory documented 361 cases of murders of Syrian civilians, committed by Turkish border guards between August 2015 and April 2018, including 69 children and 34 women.
Cf also:
23. Border area of the province of Kilis.
24. From 01.01.2014 to 21.09.2018.
25. NRC, StC, Action Against Hunger, Care International, Drc, Rescue. (2018). Dangerous ground. Syria’s refugees face an uncertain future. From:—syrias-refugees-face-an-uncertain-future/dangerous-ground—syrian- refugees-face-an-uncertain-future.pdf
26. Beginning of 2017, city of Sanlurfa.
27. Cf. the investigation Billions for Borders (2018) carried out by Politiken and Dainwatch, in collaboration with European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). Look at:
28. The tender, worth about 29.6 million euros, was won by the Aselsan company (owned by 84% of the Turkish army) that supplied technology and electronics while the vehicles were from HIZIR, the whose owner is a former member of the AKP party of Erdogan.
29. IOM. (2017, June 16). EUR 20 Million EU Project in Support of Turkish Coast Guard Seeks to Save More Migrant Lives. From: port-turkish-coast-guard-seeks-save-more-migrant-lives (July 7, 2017). Turkish Coast Guard Command takes delivery of first two (of six) Damen Search and Rescue Vessels. From: IOM. (March 2018). MPM Turkey overview of the situation with migrants. Migrant presence monitoring. From: Q1_2018.pdf
31. Near the ten cities of Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Osmaniye, Adana, Mardin, Adiya- man, Malatya and Kahramanmaraş
32. Panico A. (2017). I don’t have dreams – Childhood Lost An investigation on the effects of the EU-Turkey deal: child labour. Progetto Meltingpot Europa. From: don-t-have-dreams-Childhood-Lost.html#.XBQ9Iy5Ki00
33. Hayata Destex. (2016). Child Labour in Turkey: Situation for Syrian Refugees and the Search for Solutions’ Conference Report.
34. Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency,
35. OECD. (July 2016). Economic Surveys.Turkey July 2016 Overview. From:
36. UNICEF. (December 2016). 2016 Year-end situation report in numbers. From:
According to the report, on 6 January 2017, out of 2,814,631 migrants registered by UNHCR there were 1,258,140 minors under 18 and 385.604 under 5 years.
37. Bulgaria completed the construction of a wall along the Turkish border in August 2015. Hungary completed the construction of a barrier along the Serbian border and portions of the Croatian one in 2015. Also Slovenia and Macedonia built a fence along the border respectively with Croatia and Greece.
38. Cf. MSF. (2017). Serbia: games of violence. Unaccompanied children and young people repeatedly abused EU member state authorities. From: repeatedly-abused-border-authorities
MSF. (2018). Push-backs, violence and inadequate conditions at the Balkan routes new frontier. From: frontier
39. MSF. (2018, September 17). Greece: Increase in suicide attempts among child refugees on Lesvos. From: refugees-lesvos
According to the report, the health officers of MSF observed during the mental health activities of the team, that 18 children of 74 (between 6-18 years) of the group suffered of these pathologies. 40. Italian Ministry of intern, Italian Roadmap, 28 September 2015, available (only italian) at:
41. European Commission, communication of the 13th May 2015, COM (2015), 240, A european agenda on migration, available at: we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information/docs/communication_on_ the_european_agenda_on_migration_en.pdf
See also European Commission, press release 23 September 2015, Managing the refugee crisis: Immediate operational, budgetary and legal measures under the European Agenda on Migration, available at:
42. Report of the first visit of the Défenseur des droits at the border: content/uploads/2018/06/Rapport-de-la-deuxi%C3%A8me-visite-des-services-de-la-police-aux- fronti%C3%A8res-de-Menton-Alpes-Maritimes_web.pdf ;
Decision of the Défenseur des droits about the situation of unaccompanied minors at the bor- der Ventimiglia/Menton issued on 25.4.2018 php?lvl=notice_display&id=25002
Reply of the Ministry of Intern of the French Republic: loads/2018/06/Observations-du-minist%C3%A8re-de-lint%C3%A9rieur-Services-de-la-police- aux-fronti%C3%A8res-de-Mention-2e-visite.pdf
43. Full report of the CNCDH: 


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