Auteursarchief: admin

Legitimatie van ontruimingen in het hedendaagse Europa en Zuid-Afrika onder Apartheid (2018)

Marlene Dumas: Moshekwa (2006)

Onder het Zuid-Afrikaanse Apartheidsregime werd, net als nu in Europa, een situatie geschapen waarin grote aantallen mensen als illegale vreemdelingen werden aangemerkt. Dit artikel brengt in kaart hoe, op basis van de status van illegale vreemdeling, mensen uit hun huizen konden en kunnen worden gezet omdat ze niet mogen wonen waar ze wonen. De hiervoor gegeven rechtvaardigingen worden gegroepeerd in enerzijds binnenlands ruimtelijk beleid (ruimtelijke ordening in het geval van Zuid-Afrika, openbare orde in het hedendaagse Europa), en anderzijds buitenlands ruimtelijk beleid, dat will zeggen migratierecht. Een laatste deel bespreekt waar de vergelijking tussen Zuid-Afrika onder Apartheid en het hedendaagse Europa zinvol is, en waar de parallel haar grenzen bereikt.

Legitimatie van ontruimingen in het hedendaagse Europa en Zuid-Afrika onder Apartheid, Nederlands Juristenblad 2018, p. 856-864

Statement by 29 international law academics on Italy seizing the rescue boat Open Arms (2018)

On 29 March, 2018, a group of leading international law academics called for Italy to cease its policy of promoting, directing and enforcing returns to Libya with immediate effect after Italian authorities recently seized the Spanish NGO rescue boat ‘Open Arms’. The academics also called on Italy to cease prosecuting actors who deliver people rescued at sea to a place of safety. They argue that Italy is acting in violation of international law.

On March 18, 2018, the ‘Open Arms’ refused to hand over to the Libyan coast guard 218 people it had rescued in international waters. The Italian authorities initiated criminal investigations against the NGO coordinator and the captain of the boat. And Italy claims that they were obliged to do so, on the basis of the Italian NGO Code of Conduct. Instead, the ‘Open Arms’ brought two rescued persons to Malta (where a mother and child were hospitalized in critical condition), and the remaining to Italy. The NGO people face prosecution on account of taking part in human smuggling (Le Monde, 22 March 2018).

Under international law, shipmasters are under the obligation to assist people in distress at sea, and to bring them to a place of safety. The captain of the ‘Open Arms’ has complied with this requirement by rescuing the 218 people and subsequently refusing to hand them over to the Libyan coast guard. On the basis of well documented human rights reports, the captain knew that handing them to the Libyan coast guard would imply the real risk that the 218 people would be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, slavery, or forced or compulsory labour, which constitute grave human rights violations or even crimes against humanity. Libya is not a place of safety as required under international law.

The full text of the statement is avaialble here.

The EU Court of Justice refuses to address refugee exclusion (2018)

El Anatsui: Bleeding Takari II, 2007 (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Last year the Court of Justice of the European Union issued two judgments on the Syrian refugee crisis. Both cases concerned Europe’s externalization of migration policy – i.e. the legal and practical measures taken to enforce refugee exclusion outside or at the borders of the territories of EU member states. These policies have been labeled as the politics of non-entrée by Hathaway & Gammeltoft-Hansen. In the judgments, the Court decided that it was not competent to rule on the cases because it had no jurisdiction. As I have argued more extensively in an article published open access in the Journal of Refugee Studies, the result of this is that law is not only an instrument for excluding people from European territory. The exclusion now runs through law itself. Although European fundamental human rights law is still formally neutral, the exclusion of non-Europeans is becoming a core element of European law.

The full blogpost was published on Forced Migration Forum, 19 January 2018.

Legitimizing Evictions in Contemporary Europe and Apartheid South Africa (2017)

Calais 2016 (photo Getty)

This paper undertakes to investigate parallels between evictions of irregularized persons in Apartheid South Africa and contemporary Europe. In both cases, people were denied the right to a home (or at least: to the home they were occupying at that moment) because they were considered to be illegal aliens. But how did this situation come about? How did these people become illegal aliens? And while it seems obvious that illegal aliens can be deported from the territory, how did their alien status come to justify the destruction of their homes? Pursuing the association means we will not only identify similarities, but also try to establish where the association meets it limits. The aim of pursuing a visual association across time and space is not primarily to draw exact parallels. In contemporary Europe, the use of violence of a “white” state in order to destroy the housing of “non-whites” is accepted as a normal element in the regulation of “non-white” populations. The association with Apartheid seeks to problematize this normality by pointing to the uneasy pedigree of such practices.

Legitimizing Evictions in Contemporary Europe and Apartheid South Africa , 14 Ameriquests (2017) 1, p. 6-22

Bifurcation of Mobility, Bifurcation of Law. Externalization of migration policy before the EU Court of Justice (2018)

Barnett Newman: Catehdra (1951), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

The externalization of European migration policy has resulted in a bifurcation of global human mobility, which is divided along a North/South axis. In two judgments, the EU Court of Justice was confronted with cases challenging the exclusion of Syrian refugees from Europe. These cases concern core elements of externalization, being third country agreements (the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016) and visa requirements for refugees. This article seeks to analyze these judgments in the context of the broader developments in European migration law and policy. The core argument developed here is that the bifurcation of human mobility is reflected in a bifurcation of law. Excluded people are not merely to be excluded from European territory, but also from European law.

Bifurcation of people, bifurcation of law. Externalization of migration policy before the EU Court of Justice, Journal of Refugee Studies 31 (2018), p. 216-239

A Fresh Start, or Old Wine in New Bottles? The European Commission’s Proposals for Legal Migration (2017)

Curtis Talwst Santiago: Deluge, 2014 (Jewel box, mixed media; Dr. Kenneth Montague/The Wedge Collection, Toronto)

On 26 September, the European Commission presented proposals for legal migration to the European Union. The Commission wants to resettle 50,000 refugees. A first analysis.

The full text was posted on on Border Crominologies on 29 September 2017.

A Dutch version was published in Verblijfblog, 27 September 2017

Gender, sexuality, asylum and European human rights (2018)

Asylum law functions through a dichotomy between an idealized notion of Europe as a site characterized by human rights, and non-European countries as sites of oppression. In most social sciences and humanities literature, this dichotomy is seen as legitimizing European dominance and exclusion of non-Europeans. However, it is the same dichotomy which is used by asylum seekers to claim inclusion through the grant of asylum. Focusing on the inclusive potential of this exclusive dichotomy allows us to explore the ambiguities inherent in the dichotomy. In asylum claims based on persecution on account of gender and sexuality, it becomes evident that not all human rights are considered equally fundamental. In many cases, asylum seekers are required to renounce human rights in order to prevent persecution, for example by complying with patriarchal family norms. Even where this requirement is rejected, asylum law illustrates the ambiguous relation between Europe and human rights.

Gender, Sexuality, Asylum and European Human Rights, Law and Critique 29 (2018), p. 221-239

Taner Ceylan: 1553, Istanbul Modern


It’s neoliberalism, stupid (2017)

Oliffe Richmond: Striding man II (1960-1961), Museum Kröller-Müller

Het huidige migratiebeleid is een ramp. Daarom is het niet gek dat de afgelopen tijd van een aantal kanten is gepleit voor vrije migratie. Maar het is een misvatting te denken dat er gekozen moet worden tussen óf het huidige beleid grosso modo voort te zetten, óf het migratiebeleid op neoliberale grondslag te vestigen (“vrije” migratie). Het neoliberalisme is onderdeel van het probleem, niet van de oplossing.

Het volledige essay werd gepubliceerd in de Groene Amsterdammer van 13 april 2017.

Wasted Lives. Borders and the Right to Life of People Crossing Them (2017)

Eric Fischl: A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island (1983), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

States are obliged to protect the right to life by law. This paper analyses the way in which states do this in the field of aviation law, maritime law, and the law on migrant smuggling. A comparative description of these fields of law shows that states differentiate in protecting the right to life. Regular travelers benefit from extensive positive obligations to safeguard their right to life, whereas the lives of irregularized travelers are protected first and foremost by combating irregularized migration and, if the worst comes to pass, by search and rescue. The right of states to exclude aliens from the their territories leads to exclusion of irregularized travelers from their main positive obligations under the right to life. This situation is analyzed through Zygmunt Bauman’s notion of ‘wasted lives’. The contrast with aviation and maritime law makes clear that this situation is the outcome of human choice, which can be changed.

Wasted Lives. Borders and the Right to Life of People Crossing Them, Nordic Journal of International Law 2017(1), p. 1-29