Remote controls against refugees


Remote controls against refugees

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Written by: Frances Webber


A new report by the Refugee Council examines how border controls are endangering the lives of refugees.

The report, Remote Controls: how UK border controls are endangering the lives of refugees, traces the development and effect of the obstacles put in the way of asylum seekers fleeing to safety in the UK and Europe, and bravely seeks to argue that external border protection measures should be subject to the protection needs of refugees.

The report points out how the UK government, in common with the rest of Europe, north America and Australia, has increasingly avoided its responsibilities under the Refugee Convention by pushing border controls further and further away from its own borders, resulting in more and more people in need of international protection being sent back to the countries they fled, or resorting to more and more dangerous means of travel, swelling the numbers who die in transit, or living a marginalised existence in limbo in transit states on the borders of the EU. Analysing measures such as visa controls and e-borders, carrier sanctions, outposted immigration officials and interception operations, it argues that these external border control measures, applied indiscriminately and without regard to the needs of refugees, breach the basic international obligation of non-refoulement which is at the heart of the Refugee Convention. Its recommendations call for the protection of refugees to be incorporated into all border control measures, both domestic and European.

Related links

Download a copy of: Remote Controls: how UK border controls are endangering the lives of refugees (pdf file, 704kb)

Refugee Council


Remote Controls: how UK border controls are endangering the lives of refugees. Refugee Council, December 2008. 86p, can be downloaded at the link below.


The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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