18. Februar 2015 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Forschung: „Aspiration“ von Boat-people – Abschreckung wirkungslos · Kategorien: Alarm Phone, Italien, Lesehinweise, Libyen, Malta · Tags: , ,

Im Rahmen des „Prozesses von Khartoum“ hat die EU wissenschaftliche Institute damit beauftragt, die Abschreckungswirkung des EU-Grenzregimes auf die Motivation von Boat-people vor allem im Mittelmeer zu untersuchen. Erste Studienergebnisse zeigen, dass die „Aspirationen“ auch nicht durch massenhaften Tod an den EU-Grenzen zu brechen sind. Ab Frühjahr 2015 – mit der Besserung des Wetters im zentralen Mittelmeer und der dann steigenden Zahl von Boat-people – ergebe sich daher für die EU ein Dilemma, das nicht mehr mit den hergebrachten Mitteln gelöst werden könne.

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„Die afrikanischen Migranten kennen die Risiken und gehen trotzdem

Der erwartete Nutzen einer erfolgreichen Ankunft in Europa und kulturelle Eigenheiten wiegen stärker als die Furcht vor dem Ertrinkungstod

Dieses Jahr wagen Tausende von Migranten bereits im Winter die Fahrt über das Mittelmeer. Das Wissen um die Gefahren schreckt sie nicht ab.

Markus M. Haefliger, Nairobi

[…] Der im Herbst erfolgte Wechsel zu dem in humanitärer Hinsicht weniger ambitionierten EU-Grenzschutz wird vom Meinungsstreit begleitet, ob die Aussicht auf Rettung auf hoher See auf Migranten als Anreiz oder ihr Ausbleiben umgekehrt abschreckend wirken kann.

Es gibt keine glaubwürdigen Befragungen von betroffenen Migranten, die die Frage beantworten könnten. Hinweise kann jedoch ein letztes Jahr veröffentlichter Bericht des Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat für das Horn von Afrika (RMMS) in Nairobi liefern. Die Meinungsforscher des kleinen, von der EU und der Schweiz finanzierten Think-Tanks kommen zu überraschenden Schlüssen. So ist der Wille, die Armut zu überwinden, zwar ein typisches, aber kein hinreichendes Motiv der Auswanderung. Entscheidend ist die Verantwortung gegenüber der Familie sowie eine Kultur und Tradition der Emigration in den Herkunftsländern und eine starke Diaspora in den Zielländern.

Laut RMMS-Direktor Chris Horwood herrscht in Ländern wie Kenya oder Djibouti ebenfalls Armut, aber keine Kultur der Migration. «Deshalb finden wir unter den Bootsflüchtlingen keine Kenyaner oder Djiboutier», sagt der Migrationsexperte. Für die genannte Studie wurden rund 400 äthiopische Migranten sowohl in der Heimat als auch in der Diaspora über Motive, Informationsbeschaffung, Erfahrung und Risikoabwägung befragt. Im Fokus der Untersuchung steht die Emigration nach Jemen und Saudiarabien, aber die gewonnenen Aussagen sind auch für die Migration über Sahara und Mittelmeer gültig, eine von ostafrikanischen Migranten ebenso häufig gewählte Route.

Warnungen bringen nichts

Nach der Untersuchung treffen Migranten eine aus europäischer Sicht hanebüchene Risikoabwägung. So sind sich 80 Prozent im Klaren, dass sie Schutzgelderpressungen, Misshandlungen, Hunger, Durst und Schiffbruch gewärtigen müssen, sogar 92 Prozent wissen, dass sie Gefangennahme und Deportation riskieren. Aber die Gefahren werden in Kauf genommen, weil der Nutzen einer erfolgreichen Migration so hoch gewichtet wird. Auf die Mittelmeer-Migration bezogen heisst das aus Sicht von Auswanderungswilligen, dass den möglicherweise mehreren hundert ertrunkenen Bootsflüchtlingen seit Anfang Jahr allein im Januar 3528 in Italien gelandete Migranten gegenüberstehen.

Migranten in der Diaspora und Rückkehrer schätzen die Risiken realistischer ein als erstmalige Emigranten vor der Reise, was sie aber nicht daran hindert, auf gleichem Weg erneut auszuwandern. Dies zeige, sagt Horwood, dass Kampagnen, welche die Risiken der irregulären Migration nach Europa hervorheben, ins Leere laufen.“


RMMS

Mediterranean crossings: tackling the challenge of protection at sea

Melissa Phillips / RMMS

Providing protection at sea remains high on the humanitarian’s community agenda for 2015. Last year saw a sustained focus on irregular migration and deaths at sea culminating in a high-level dialogue, hosted by the UNHCR High Commissioner Antonio Guterres, on Protection at Sea in mid-December 2014. This dialogue brought together a unique combination of actors including ship-owners, private rescue groups and naval forces. Participants in sessions on saving lives, providing safer options to address drivers of sea journeys and making international cooperation work, grappled with a complex set of issues centred on ensuring access to asylum, tackling growing smuggling and trafficking networks, and developing strong evidence-based policies.

Permeating the Dialogue was a concern about what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called a “mean-spiritedness that marks the general attitude in some countries” – referring to the harder line policies emerging in many global north and European countries in relation to asylum seekers and refugees.  He reinforced that migrants possess human rights too, irrespective of their administrative status, and noted that “rich countries must not become gated communities, their people averting their eyes from the bloodstains in the driveway”.

On efforts to avoid further loss of life, at the close of the event the Italian Naval Force was given long applause for its life-saving Mare Nostrum operation which ended in 2014. This search and rescue (SAR) initiative which Italy funded to the tune of 9.5 million euro per month, ‘saved’ around 150,000 people in the Mediterranean who may have otherwise have faced the risk of drowning. Notably this crossing is now the most-deadly sea route for irregular migration in the world, with IOM reporting 3072 known deaths in 2014. The Italians and others dismissed arguments from critics that suggested the presence of the SAR ships created an incentive to migrants and smugglers to launch un-seaworthy and over-crowded boats that gave rise to the unprecedented number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean in 2014.

EC-countries have shown themselves to be less enthusiastic for Operation Triton, the new SAR venture launched in the Mediterranean in November 2014. It is funded to a much-lower level of 2.5million euro per month and countries like the UK have decided not to take part in it. A private rescue operation, Migrant Offshore Aid Station, also operates in the Mediterranean.

European countries are instead demonstrating a clear preference for a securitised and deterrence-based approach. Take for instance the Europe-wide joint police and border guard operation, ‘Mos Maioroum’ which involved all EU Member States except Croatia, Greece and Ireland along with Norway, Switzerland and EU-border agency Frontex. During October 2014 it apprehended 19, 234 irregular migrants and facilitators at external and internal borders. In comparison, over 270,00 people entered Europe without authorisation in 2014. As the High Commissioner for UNHCR stated at the outset of the Protection at Sea dialogue, “States‘ responses to this complex and growing challenge have been mixed. But one thing is clear: focusing only on border control and deterrence will not solve the problem”.

A new trend emerging in the Mediterranean is also the growing use of larger vessels, primarily departing from Turkey. Two boats carrying several hundred people each, mostly Syrians, were intercepted between December 2014 and January 2015. In one instance a ‘ghost ship’ was abandoned by its crew. Frontex reports that this route is being used by Syrians who have greater access to funds, want to bypass conflict-ravaged Libya and avoid dying in the smaller vessels used by smugglers off the coast of Tripoli.

Interestingly with the large majority of irregular migrants entering Europe originating from Syria and Eritrea, traditional refugee-producing countries, agencies like UNHCR are starting to think ‘outside of the box’ for policy solutions. These ‘new tools of protection’, as High Commissioner Antonio Guterres called them, include temporary protection mechanisms, labour arrangements, and even in extreme situations, the possibility for countries of destination to do refugee status determination in countries of transit. Regular migration has also featured in comments to the EU Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative – a dialogue evolving out of the Khartoum Process on Trafficking. Solutions including improved family reunion initiatives, academic scholarships, labour mobility schemes and private sponsorship have been posited as measures to ensure greater responsibility sharing with regards to refugee protection.

On broader efforts to address irregular migration, as a recent paper by Marie-Laurence Flahaux and Hein de Haas has shown that more people continue to move internally within Africa than those who migrate externally to regions such as Europe. They confirm, as was highlighted in a recent RMMS Discussion Paper, that regular migration and free-movement within the East Africa Community remains to be realised. Thus irregular migration continues to be the main pathway to achieve so-called ‘aspirational migration’ or to fulfil what is being increasingly understood in the Horn of Africa as a ‘culture of migration.

A sea route that traditionally has had less public attention is the Gulf of Aden/Red Sea, despite that fact that in the past four years (2011-2014) it has recorded more irregular migrant crossings – 364,000 – than the Mediterranean (which by comparison had 260,000 crossings in the same period). UNHCR’s Protection at Sea Dialogue had a regional session that brought focus on the issues affecting this route including abduction and abuse, as was outlined in a recent RMMS report. No SAR operation is in place along this route, despite the increasing number of deaths counted in 2014 with 246 persons reported to have drowned, died or been lost in 11 separate incidents. This sharp increase from 6 deaths the previous year (2013) can be attributed, according to IOM, to increased revenue being made in the migrant smuggling networks, and a proliferation of actors trying to profit from this criminal industry. Yemen is also struggling to cope with the influx of arrivals given its economic and security situation.

With the traditional migration season from Libya expected to start again in April- May 2015, there is no time to delay in turning agreed recommendations on technical cooperation, driving innovative solutions at local, regional and global levels and the requisite financial resources they will require, into action.

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