Accepted paper:

Human Rights are not a Panacea: Protection Gaps in European Migration Law

Author:

Marie-Claire Foblets (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Paper short abstract:

European countries aim to control access to their territory. Current events show that their policies still cannot produce the desired effectiveness. Human rights have a prominent role in correcting certain injustices and serious infringements of respect for human dignity.

Paper long abstract:

European countries have a restrictive migration policy. Their aim is to control access to their territory. After having tried to follow this policy at national level, and since these policies were unable to manage the restrictions they sought to impose, starting from the nineties the countries moved certain competencies to the European level, hoping an EU policy could better exercise that control. Current events show us every day that these policies are still not able to produce the desired effectiveness. I would like to emphasize the ever more prominent role of human rights – in the past 30 or so years - that allow, depending on each situation, to correct certain injustices or serious infringements of respect for human dignity and other fundamental rights that migrants are entitled to. In practice, however, what we see is that this corrective role is not equally effective for everyone: either, national policies remain very different, or case law is divided as to the scope of protection according to the situation, or people do not have the necessary information or are not ensured access to human rights protection. I see human rights play out in another way as well: for it to play this protective role, we see certain stratagems put in place, with people putting themselves deliberately in situations, or make claims that will enable them to make use of human rights. While recourse to these stratagems is understandable, they have a negative impact on the protective role of human rights.

panel Plenary B
Migrants, refugees and public anthropology