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Void of Sea, Void of Law?: Examining the European Union's treatment of migrants in the Mediterranean: a legal and normative analysis
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Division of Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO).
2022 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Approximately eight people have died every single day since January 1, 2014 attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Put another way, more than 23,000 migrants have met their end in the Mediterranean while attempting to enter the European Union. Yet, it has not always been this way. Dangerous and lethal Mediterranean crossings have been on the rise since the 1990’s as a result of more restrictive EU migration policies and increasing conflict and unsettlement in the Middle East and North Africa regions. This thesis seeks to understand how and why death has become a hallmark of the Mediterranean Sea by examining the laws relevant to the Sea. To do so, this work examines three case studies: the Successful Crossing, where a migrant vessel safely crosses the Mediterranean; the Thwarted Crossing, where a vessel is intercepted while crossing; and, the Failed Crossing, where a migrant vessel sinks or is pushed back from safety. The most relevant international, EU, and state laws are then contrasted with these case studies to determine if the vessels and the government actors around the vessel behaved according to the law or not. Across all three case studies, government actors violated some level of law (international, EU, or state.) In most cases, these violations are stipulated by another level of law (e.g., state laws allow for violations of international laws,) demonstrating a mismatch between the three levels of laws. In other cases, there is absolutely no legal support for the actions that have created so many deaths in the Mediterranean. Such violations are often met with impunity for the operators. This thesis documents such violations and then reflects on why the laws are built and broken in these ways. Subsequently, this thesis then recommends pathways to reform the laws in-line with human rights norms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. , p. 64
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-186193ISRN: LiU-IKOS/EMS-A--22/08--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-186193DiVA, id: diva2:1672969
Subject / course
Master's Programme in Ethnic and Migration Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2022-07-01 Created: 2022-06-20 Last updated: 2022-07-01Bibliographically approved

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McGirr_MasterThesis(695 kB)171 downloads
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File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 695 kBChecksum SHA-512
069cfe985af77a3c769ba48ae08593a15446e351569e34c7382d94e1c8d96e89a1c3c9a114db6d9c340ab22c8a8be05a294c5e04ed446a39b80cc7ce0cedd71b
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Division of Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO)
International Migration and Ethnic Relations

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Citation style
  • apa
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