INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS:
ENSLAVEMENT & INSECURITY
One of the most pertinent challenges to human rights is migration control and the trend toward more aggressive border security. This research program provides insight into the two most prominent contexts: the European Union's response to the Mediterranean 'crisis' and the effect of the United State's amendments to the asylum seeking process.
1. Migration, Detainment and Power in Libya
Libya is a crucial case study for understanding international security concerns stemming from the emerging trend of external migration control.
Libya is a crucial case study for understanding international security concerns stemming from the emerging trend of external migration control. We argue that the outsourcing of border security to Libya continues the architecture of detainment developed under Muammar Gaddafi’s rule, financially benefiting competing actors in intra-state conflicts and terrorist organizations with global ambitions.
We conduct a macro to micro analysis of detainment and captivity informed by a corpus of investigative reports and survivor testimony from 2011 to 2019. Through mapping sites of captivity, facility types, and the conditions of abuse, we establish that the treatment of detainees across both official and illicit channels constitute conditions of enslavement and abuse-for-profit. Decentralized mechanisms of detainment directly benefit militant, criminal, and terrorist actors vying for power. This realization imposes us to consider the implications of outsourcing migration control against the backdrop of verified human rights abuse, counterterrorism concerns, and global insecurity.
For More Information:
Dr. Nadia Al-Dayel, Principal Investigator
Dr. Aaron Anfinson, Co-Investigator
Graeme Anfinson, Research Associate
Migration, Detainment and Power in Libya (Forthcoming)
2. Migrant Protection Protocol
The United States’ border with Mexico is highly politicized, reshaping the institutions of national security and asylum policies.
The United States’ border with Mexico is highly politicized, reshaping the institutions of national security and asylum policies. The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP/“Remain in Mexico”), implemented in January 2019, changed the very process of being able to await asylum court proceedings within the US, placing applicants in cities in Mexico that have a heavy presence of traffickers and drug cartels.
There is evidence that criminal organizations exploit those awaiting asylum hearings, financially benefiting from kidnapping operations, extortion, and human trafficking. Women and children, in particular, are targeted and experience gender-based violence. Furthermore, asylum seekers in the MPP procedures are at an increased risk with the emergence and aftermath of COVID-19 response policies that have halted normal routes of access to hearings and admittance into safe houses in Mexico. However, we have yet to examine the relationship of MPP and criminal organizations, as well as the impact of COVID-19 policies on individuals held in the MPP process.
An understanding of this issue is crucial in assessing current migration and border policies that aim to strengthen national security and also stem the ways that criminal organizations (who often operate on a transnational scale) indirectly benefit from neighboring migration policies.
In what follows, we propose an analysis on the relationship between the Migrant Protection Protocols and criminal organizations in Mexico.