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Channel crossings and deaths at sea: managing irregular migration and the need for safe and legal routes to protectionThe recent marked increase in numbers of individuals attempting to cross the English Channel on small boats is at the centre of the current debate on immigration in the United Kingdom. This paper provides an overview of the measures recently proposed or adopted to counter the phenomenon and assesses their legality under international law. It argues that the creation of safe and legal routes to protection is the most appropriate way to accommodate both the UK’s legitimate interests in limiting irregular migration by sea, and its humanitarian obligations towards vulnerable migrants.
Troubled waters in the Mare Nostrum: interception and push-backs of migrants in the Mediterranean and the European Convention on Human RightsThe practice of ‘push-backs’ in the Mediterranean Sea, in which vessels carrying migrants are intercepted and forced to return to the State from which they departed (or from which they are presumed to have departed) raises serious issues from the perspective of international human rights law. In the wake of the spate of recent tragedies, in which innocent women, children and men attempting to traverse the Mediterranean in order to reach European shores have lost their lives, States and European institutions are finally responding to these issues. The present piece explores the legality of the practice of push-backs under international human rights standards, particularly the European Convention on Human Rights, and offers an assessment of the ongoing developments within the European Union. The piece offers a preliminary assessment of the Draft Regulation relating to joint migration control operations at sea under the auspices of Frontex which aims belatedly to ensure that migration control operations incorporate an element of protection of human life and other fundamental human rights.