Criminalization of Assistance and Strategic Litigation in the Mediterranean

This workshop tackles different human rights issues in the Mediterranean and looks into the international responsibility of the several actors involved. Since the long summer of 2015, migration has been at the heart of the political agenda and the public discussion in Italy as well as in the EU. Solidarity groups, local and international organizations continue supporting local facilities in Italy, as well as search and rescue operations against the background of increasing tensions and frictions among the receiving communities and criminalization of assistance to the extent of violating the EU and international human rights norms. At the same time border controls keep intensifying, the main tendencies being externalization and collaboration with third states, which often have questionable human rights records, and an increased role for Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
As a dialogue meeting, this event aims to bring together international and local civil society organizations, practitioners, and researchers who are working on issues related to the criminalization of assistance, in particular search and rescue, and judicial accountability for human rights violations occurring as a result of policies of deterrence and securitisation. Itis based on the work ofthe Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum (ReSOMA) that aims to provide ready-to-use evidence on policy, policy perceptions and policy options on migration, asylum, and integration at the EUlevel. The event is organized together with the Association for Judicial Studies on Immigration, ASGI, and Migration and Citizenship Law Clinic of Rome Tre University. It is designed as two interactive panels that will be attended by invited participants. Speakers from migrant organizations, academia, and think tanks will share their first-hand experiences and legal argumentation on matters that concern criminalization of search and rescue and human rights litigation in the Mediterranean.

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