Policing the Central Mediterranean: mass drownings and systematic torture of persons of African descent : CSDM submission on racism in EU border control practices for the upcomming report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the subject of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies against Africans and persons of African descent.
European border control practices have made the Central Mediterranean the deadliest migration route in the world. Thousands of Africans drown every year because European states have decided not to put an end to preventable deaths but have instead obstructed independent NGO rescue operations. Thousands of other refugees and migrants are « pulled back » to Libya – with European assistance – where they face extreme violence including torture, rape, starvation and forced labour.
Today we have submitted information to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in view of the preparation of the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers (Human Rights Council Resolution 43/1).
In our submission, we urge the High Commissioner to shed light on the illegal law enforcement practices in the Central Mediterranean and call for the establishment of international mechanisms to bring them to an end, including the creation of avenues for redress for victims.
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In the Swiss law journal Asyl, we explore whether Italy can be held accountable under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment for the human rights violations againt migrants pulled back to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard.
For article in pdf, click here.
The CSDM has submitted a formal request to the UN Committee against Torture to launch an inquiry procedure under Article 20 CAT concerning Italy’s conduct in the Central Mediterranean which is leading to the mass torture, rape and forced labour of thousands of refugees and migrants pulled back to Libya.
CSDM condemns Switzerland’s discriminatory pratices vis-à-vis Eritrean asylum seekers before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Switzerland’s lack of progress since the CERD Committee’s Concluding Observations of 2014 is striking. Of particular concern is the situation of Eritrean asylum seekers which has worsened dramatically in the wake of the Swiss migration authorities’ radical change of practice in 2017 – 2019. As we explain in our alternative report, this change of practice targets specifically Eritrean asylum seekers denying them protection from non-refoulement for which they qualify under international law. Further, Eritrean nationals who are already legally residing in Switzerland have their residence authorization withdrawn, leaving them in legal limbo since expulsions to Eritrea cannot be executed.
The aim of this shadow report is to highlight the above practice which is driven by racial discrimination and which ultimately exposes the persons concerned to the risk of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or forced labor in Eritrea or a life without a recognized immigration status in Switzerland depriving them of their human dignity.
Read our shadow report here.
The Protection of Family Unity in Dublin Procedures: Towards a Protection-Oriented Implementation Practice, CSDM October 2019, discusses the protection of family unity in proceedings arising under the Dublin III Regulation against the backdrop of the Swiss authorities’ practice. The analysis is relevant to any national administration applying the regulation and provides important guidance for European legal practitioners representing asylum seekers.
For translated versions: français, Deutsche, italiano.