Panel 2C

The Refugee Crisis: Protection, Borders and European Responses

13.45 – 15.45

Chair: Lilach LevAri, Oranim Academic College of Education

Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon: An Example of Contemporary Borders

Anna Maria Brancato, University of Cagliari

“Borders are never to be found only in border areas but are also located in wider social practice/discourse all around societies, and increasingly in relation to global space”, A. Paasi affirmed. The concept of border has been deeply changed over the years, together with the evolution of international politics and the prolong of the unsolved problem of the illegal immigration. Following Paasi statement, I will indicate the reality of the modern refugee camps in Europe as an example of border. Effectively, they are the physical consequences of the numerous migration flows from African or Middle East countries and represent the transient limit between the status of “refugee” and the desirable condition of a “freeman”. On the contrary, sometimes camps end up to become the permanent solution to an emergency situation, leaving migrants in a suspended time and place for an indefinite period. Moreover, as an example of a new type of modern institutions, camps are also experiments of “technical landscapes of control and surveillance”, with a strong military presence inside and outside the borders of the camp itself and unlike walls existing in different places, camps can gain a relative autonomy, becoming kinds of “states inside a state” with their proper laws and their own perception of what is considered legal and illegal. In analysing the situation of the refugees inside camps, I will refer to Giorgio Agamben view of “homo sacer”, to emphasize the holiness of these human bodies in front of the “bare life”.

Migrant Rights in an Age of International Insecurity: Competing Approaches and Disjointed Actions to Protect Migrants while Ensuring National Security

Saagarika Dadu-Brown, Independent Researcher; Jamie Brown

As the migration crisis driven largely by conflict in the Middle East has unfolded, European countries have had to confront the dichotomy between what they perceive to be the protection of their national interests while abiding by humanitarian principles. Anti-immigration and anti-refugee political movements are testing the relevance, applicability and suitability of international institutions and instruments of which Europe has long since seen itself as a champion. Competing and conflicting approaches can be identified among primary actors: migration policies are largely being driven by a security and law enforcement narrative in the political realm, whereas a human rights and humanitarian protection narrative prevails among NGOs and international organisations, which to some remain disjointed and uncoordinated. In this context, questions are thus being raised on whether the implementation of international migration law by a number of actors adequately balances these competing approaches in order to meet the security imperatives of states while protecting the rights and wellbeing of migrants. To this end, we propose to analyse the nexus between key international and regional institutions that help shape or determine the applicable international legal framework in Europe towards Syrian refugees and the national institutions and NGOs that are responsible for operationalising these objectives in practice. As such we propose to analyse whether significant gaps exist between the political or legal entities that oversee or monitor the entities applying migration law instruments on the ground, and whether there are appropriate checks & balances that ensure accountability for violations of migrants’ rights.

Betwixt and Between—Crises of Global Health Governance for Serially-Displaced Refugees Fleeing Syria: UNHCR, UNRWA, and the EU

Carly Krakow, University of Cambridge

This paper examines interactions between UNHCR and the EU, analyzing violations of the human right to health for serially-displaced asylum-seekers in the EU, focusing on Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria as a primary case study. By focusing on Palestinian refugees who fled to Syria in 1948 and 1967, and have been again displaced by upheaval emanating from the Syrian conflict and rise of the Islamic State, I examine the dynamic roles of global governing institutions such as UNHCR and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), with specific consideration of the administering of health and emergency care services. Who must take responsibility for serially-displaced Palestinian refugees leaving Syria—is UNHCR solely obliged? Must UNRWA provide services for these refugees only while they are within the bounds of UNRWA’s geographically mandated zone (the “Near East”)? Or, in light of the refugee crisis we are observing in the Mediterranean, could an expansion of UNRWA’s mandate be either feasible or helpful? Fieldwork conducted in the Middle East, at UNRWA, and in Geneva at the World Health Organization, ICRC, and UNHCR informs this research. Scholars analyzed include Mark Zeitoun, Ilan Pappé, Sara Roy, Adam Hanieh, and others.

Can the New Border Fences Deter Middle East Refugees from Immigrating to Europe?

Lilach Lev Ari and Arnon Medzini, Oranim Academic College of Education

Globalization has, to a large extent, succeeded in blurring the borders and barriers separating billions of people around the world. After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the demolition of the Berlin Wall, commentators predicted a reconstruction of international relations: The borders between nations would fall or at least would lose their importance and we would move from a world defined by borders to the era of a world without borders as part of the creation of a global village. Yet all over the world it seems that globalization has not realized these dreams of peace and unity but rather the opposite. Thousands and thousands of kilometres of walls and barriers are being built worldwide, separating sectors, nations, classes and religions. During the past three years, this process seems to be reaching a new peak in view of the lack of political stability and the refugee crisis created primarily as a result of the Arab Spring. Countries justify building these new border fences with claims of the need to maintain national state sovereignty, to safeguard the nation’s security, to prevent forced immigrants or refugees fleeing wars and ethnic cleansing from seeking sanctuary so as to preserve the nation’s social or religious structure and to stop the illegal entry of immigrants flows. The objective of this lecture is to describe this global phenomenon of building border barriers and primarily to examine whether these new borders have the power to deter the stream of refugees and asylum seekers into Europe.

Detecting False Opinions in Pairs of Suspects with the Devil’s Advocate Approach

Haneen Deeb, University of Portsmouth

Militant extremists travelling from Syria to launch violent attacks on European territory have posed as refugees. Failure to detect the violent opinions and affiliations of these extremists at checkpoints have led to hundreds of casualties and have impacted refugees’ status in Europe. Accordingly, it is important to develop interviewing techniques that would assist immigration and security officers in uncovering the true opinions and affiliations of suspects. We examined consistency in the opinions of pairs of suspects using the Devil’s Advocate Approach. Forty-nine pairs were matched based on their strong opinions about a controversial topic and were randomly allocated to the truth or lie condition. Pair members were instructed they would be interviewed separately about their opinions, but they were given the opportunity to prepare for the interview together. During the interview, they were asked the opinion-eliciting question for arguments that support their genuine/contrived opinions followed by the devil’s advocate question for opposing arguments. Truth-telling pairs repeated each other’s arguments to the opinion-eliciting question more than to the devil’s advocate question, whereas deceptive pairs repeated each other equally to both questions. Hence, deceptive pairs were more consistent than truth telling pairs. The implications of the implementation of the Devil’s Advocate Approach to detect false opinions in security and immigration settings are discussed.