marjan-blan-marjanblan-kVxhRBQUY2Q-unspl

                                                            SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Migration and Forced Migration during the COVID-19 Pandemic

More than a year since the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID-19 crisis keeps taking its toll, affecting every aspect of people’s lives. Given the pandemic’s social and economic consequences, refugees and migrants were, and still are, particularly and disproportionately affected.

 

States saw COVID-19 as an opportunity to tighten migratory policies resulting with: the closure of borders, the quarantining on boats for more than a month of persons rescued at sea, indefinite detentions in overcrowded immigration detention centres, the exclusion of migrants from health care systems, as well as countless other measures that infringe upon the rights of refugees and migrants. 

 

On the other hand, some States and organisations resorted to implementing new measures, such as using alternatives to immigration detention, the re-evaluation of the concept of vulnerability to adapt it to the COVID-19 pandemic, the relocation of vulnerable unaccompanied minors from one country to a safer one, amongst many other actions that, if implemented on a more regular basis, could result with a more human rights friendly and comprehensive system of asylum and migration.

 

Through this series we are hoping to shed some light on the impact this crisis has had on migrants’ and refugees’ lives and migratory issues overall. Each project of this Spotlight Series sets out to be investigative, provocative and (where appropriate) engage people’s creativity, with the aim of better understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as learn from it. 

 

We will platform different perspectives and experiences related to the pandemic, using new creative strands, such as vodcast episodes and social film montages, of course, still leaving space for writers to contribute through blog posts. This way, we’re hoping to cover the many issues of discussion that arose over the past year including, migratory policies, immigration detention, mental health and refugee camps.  

We will be posting content over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

 

If you are interested in sharing your thoughts or experiences, you’re more than welcome to contribute and join us for this series!

 

The creative parts of the series have been coordinated by Alice Tomlinson, whilst the academic side of the series was coordinated by Elisa Leys.

FLEEING LIBYA IN TIMES OF COVID: THE HEALTH EMERGENCY AND ITALY’S CLOSED HARBOURS

Procida

Eva is an Italian student, currently undertaking a Master’s in Global Refugee Studies at the University of Aalborg. Previously, Eva interned with Sos Mediterranee, one of the Search and Rescue NGOs operating in the Central Mediterranean. Through her studies and personal experience, she became very interested and critical of the current policies which have been adopted to ‘manage’ migration, especially in the Southern border and the Mediterranean.

 

In this article, Eva writes about the decision of the Italian government to declare Italy’s harbours unsafe according to the SAR Convention, because of the health emergency. She notes that this decision was a manoeuvre that uses the pretext of the pandemic to strengthen border control at the expense of migrants and refugees.

 
 

QUARANTINE SHIPS:
HOW MIGRANTS AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS ARE DETAINED IN THE NAME OF THE HEALTH EMERGENCY.

dicson-ENwDWdJD2RI-unsplash_edited.jpg

Eva is an Italian student, currently undertaking a Master’s in Global Refugee Studies at the University of Aalborg. Previously, Eva interned with Sos Mediterranee, one of the Search and Rescue NGOs operating in the Central Mediterranean. Through her studies and personal experience, she became very interested and critical of the current policies which have been adopted to ‘manage’ migration, especially in the Southern border and the Mediterranean.

 

Eva looks into the controversial Italian decree that led to the 14-day quarantine of asylum seekers and migrants, who were rescued at sea, onboard private ships rented out by the Italian government during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eva explores arguments surrounding the detention conditions onboard these ships, as well as the cost of the entire policy. Ultimately, Eva asks whether such policies are really necessary.

 

HOW COVID-19 STRUCK GREEK RECEPTION CENTRES: IT WAS NOT THE INFECTION RATE BUT THE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES THAT SKY-ROCKET

greece covid post.jpg

Kato Wouters is a political science and European studies graduate. She focuses on social rights, human rights and climate issues looking at them through an EU perspective and the EU enlargement policy. 

While Greece is positioning itself as a quarantine-free holiday destination for European citizens in desperate need of sun and sea, the situation for people in the infamous Greek camps couldn’t be more different. Mental health issues are at an all-time high, and the living conditions for many people in the islands’ reception centres feel hopeless.

 

BARRIERS TO ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR REFUGEES IN IRELAND IN PRE-PANDEMIC TIMES AND DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

moren-hsu-VLaKsTkmVhk-unsplash.jpg

Nina is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow at Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin, Ireland. Her doctoral research focussed on charity law and best practices in non-profit organisations. Her post-doctoral research interests include comparative charity law, the right to education, participation, and clinical legal education. She has worked at law faculties in Germany, England and Ireland, is a FHEA, and a solicitor.

 

This contribution demonstrates the barriers to higher education for international protection applicants at Irish universities. This qualitative study analyses interviews with 51 research participants between early spring and autumn 2020, and therefore illustrates both pre-pandemic and in-pandemic obstacles