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Mixed Migration Expert Roundtables: 10-Point Plan Expert Roundtable No.1: Controlling Borders while Ensuring Protection (Geneva, Switzerland, 20-21 November 2008)

Migration, 21 November 2008

A first expert roundtable on UNHCR's 10-Point Plan of Action took place in Geneva on 20-21 November, 2008 with funding from the European Commission. Entitled "Controlling Borders while Ensuring Protection" and convened by UNHCR and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the roundtable was the first in a series of four thematic meetings on the refugee agency's plan to address refugee protection and mixed migration. Around 40 experts from governments, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, academia and UNHCR explored practical ways on how to operationalize refugee and human rights protection in the context of border and entry management. Emphasis was given to the challenges for the entry system related to the phenomenon of mixed migratory movements.

Below is a copy of the binder distributed at the roundtable as well as documents generated during and after the meeting. All documents are in English.

Roundtable Binder

1. MAIN ROUNDTABLE DOCUMENTS

2. REFUGEE PROTECTION AND INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION

3. SELECTED LEGAL AND POLICY RESOURCES AND POLICY

3.1 International Refugee Law and Policy

3.2International Human Rights Law and Policy

3.3 International Criminal Law

3.4 Documents Relating to Rescue at Sea

4. GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLES

5. SELECTED BACKGROUND MATERIAL


Download the collection of roundtable documents in zipped format for offline browsing and/or printing here: 10-Point Plan Expert Roundtable No.1: Controlling Borders while Ensuring Protection[zipped file, 4Mb]

Roundtable poster: Download the roundtable poster [PDF, 253Kb]

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Refugee Protection and Mixed Migration: A 10-Point Plan of Action

A UNHCR strategy setting out key areas in which action is required to address the phenomenon of mixed and irregular movements of people. See also: Schematic representation of a profiling and referral mechanism in the context of addressing mixed migratory movements.

International Migration

The link between movements of refugees and broader migration attracts growing attention.

Mixed Migration

Migrants are different from refugees but the two sometimes travel alongside each other.

Asylum and Migration

Asylum and Migration

All in the same boat: The challenges of mixed migration around the world.

Drifting Towards Italy

Every year, Europe's favourite summer playground - the Mediterranean Sea - turns into a graveyard as hundreds of men, women and children drown in a desperate bid to reach European Union (EU) countries.

The Italian island of Lampedusa is just 290 kilometres off the coast of Libya. In 2006, some 18,000 people crossed this perilous stretch of sea - mostly on inflatable dinghies fitted with an outboard engine. Some were seeking employment, others wanted to reunite with family members and still others were fleeing persecution, conflict or indiscriminate violence and had no choice but to leave through irregular routes in their search for safety.

Of those who made it to Lampedusa, some 6,000 claimed asylum. And nearly half of these were recognized as refugees or granted some form of protection by the Italian authorities.

In August 2007, the authorities in Lampedusa opened a new reception centre to ensure that people arriving by boat or rescued at sea are received in a dignified way and are provided with adequate accommodation and medical facilities.

Drifting Towards Italy

New Arrivals in Yemen

During one six-day period at the end of March, more than 1,100 Somalis and Ethiopians arrived on the shores of Yemen after crossing the Gulf of Aden on smuggler's boats from Bosaso, Somalia. At least 28 people died during these recent voyages – from asphyxiation, beating or drowning – and many were badly injured by the smugglers. Others suffered skin problems as a result of prolonged contact with sea water, human waste, diesel oil and other chemicals.

During a recent visit to Yemen, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller pledged to further raise the profile of the situation, to appeal for additional funding and international action to help Yemen, and to develop projects that will improve the living conditions and self sufficiency of the refugees in Yemen.

Since January 2006, Yemen has received nearly 30,000 people from Somalia, Ethiopia and other places, while more than 500 people have died during the sea crossing and at least 300 remain missing. UNHCR provides assistance, care and housing to more than 100,000 refugees already in Yemen.

New Arrivals in Yemen

Crossing the Gulf of Aden

Every year thousands of people in the Horn of Africa - mainly Somalis and Ethiopians - leave their homes out of fear or pure despair, in search of safety or a better life. They make their way over dangerous Somali roads to Bossaso in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

In this lawless area, smuggler networks have free reign and innocent and desperate civilians pay up to US$150 to make the perilous trip across the Gulf of Aden.

Some stay weeks on end in safe houses or temporary homes in Bossaso before they can depart. A sudden call and a departure in the middle of the night, crammed in small unstable boats. At sea, anything can happen to them - they are at the whim of smugglers. Some people get beaten, stabbed, killed and thrown overboard. Others drown before arriving on the beaches of Yemen, which have become the burial ground for hundreds who many of those who died en route.

Crossing the Gulf of Aden

Syrian Refugees: Desperate in LampedusaPlay video

Syrian Refugees: Desperate in Lampedusa

In the past year, more than 13,000 people have arrived by boat in Italy's Lampedusa Island on irregular migration routes. Many have died attempting the crossing. Young men from sub-Saharan Africa mix with families from Syria. All share the same dream - starting afresh in the security and stability of Europe.
Mexico: Fleeing Central American Gang ViolencePlay video

Mexico: Fleeing Central American Gang Violence

Tens of thousands of people make their way to Mexico on mixed migration routes every year. They include victims of gang violence who need protection.
Dialogue on Asylum & MigrationPlay video

Dialogue on Asylum & Migration

Delegates from about 70 nations recently met in Geneva and grappled with the complex issue of how to identify and better protect refugees who travel alongside irregular migrants on dangerous journeys in search of safety.