On the basis of globalization theories, as well as on the basis of developments in European migration policies, we hypothesize that since 1990 migration law has witnessed a shift from migration control (reactive, focus on concrete individuals) to migration management (pro-active, focus on potential migrant populations). A second hypothesis is that the increased number of ‘irregular’ migrants dying on their way to Europe is an unintended side-effect of this shift. Thirdly, we propose that as a consequence of the shift to border management, the human rights protection previously available regarding migrant fatalities under border control, has become considerably less effective.
The research will:
- examine the hypothesis that a shift from migration control to migration management has occurred;
- examine the hypothesis that an increased number of migrants have died on their way to Europe, and that this can be linked to changes in border policies;
- and develop an alternative human rights law approach. This alternative approach will be based on the presumption that innovations in the exercise of sovereignty should be matched by innovations in human rights law.
This research project (for the text, see below) is funded by NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research by means of a grant for Thomas Spijkerboer.
A major research output is the Deaths at the Borders of Southern Europe database, published 12 May 2015, made by Tamara Last with the assistance of 11 other researchers.
- Wasted Lives. Borders and the Right to Life of People Crossing Them (2017)
- Deaths at the borders database: evidence of deceased migrants’ bodies found along the southern external borders of the European Union (2017, with Tamara Last and 13 others)
- Fact Check: Did the EU-Turkey Deal Bring Down the Number of Migrants and of Border Deaths? (2016)
- Book review: Nicola Perugini & Neve Gordon: The Human Right to Dominate
- Deaths at the Borders: Evidence from the Southern External Borders of the EU (2016, with Tamara Last and Orcun Ulusoy)
- Research project 2013-2018: Border Policies and Sovereignty. Human rights and the right to life of irregular migrants
- Tracking Deaths in the Mediterranean (2014, with Tamara Last)
- On The Morality and Legality of Borders: Border Policies and Asylum Seekers (2013, with Tally Kritzman-Amir)
- Moving Migrants, States and Rights. Human Rights and Border Deaths (2013)
- Are European States Accountable for Border Deaths? (2013)
- Turkije-deal kan nieuw ‘Srebrenica’ worden
- Meer doden en smokkel van mensen (met Tamara Last, 2015)
- Grensbewaking heeft illegale migratie aangejaagd (2015)
- Bedoelt u opvang of dumpen in de regio? (2015)
- Interview met Chris de Stoop in Knac (2015)
- Spectral Vessels (2015, with Theodore Baird and Paolo Cuttitta)
- Ze stikken, verdrinken en verbranden en wij halen achteloos de schouders op (2005)
- Interview Financieel Dagblad (2014)
- Counting. The Human Costs of Border Control (Documentary by Pieter Boeles, 2014)
- De zee wordt een onneembare grens (2014, met Theodore Baird)