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World Politics Review logo

Professor Matthew Gibney (RSC Director) has written an article this week for World Politics Review which focuses on the measures taken by states in the Global North to prevent the arrival of unwanted asylum seekers and other migrants.

Traditional control measures like visas and carrier sanctions have been supplemented by Safe Third Country agreements, and more recently outsourcing deals, such as the EU-Turkey deal and the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. Gibney considers whether these deals actually achieve their primary aim of preventing the arrival of migrants, and states “it is worth noting that successful border control outsourcing depends on more than the practical ability of neighboring countries to stop migration. And paying one state to solve the immigration problems of another could actually give the recipient an interest in manipulating migration pressures and leverage to do so.”

He further argues that “If it is not obvious who wins from outsourced border control, it is starkly apparent who the losers are.” Whilst such deals are frequently justified by “a humanitarian logic” (such as stopping dangerous voyages in the hands of smugglers), they are often secured with countries that pay little attention to migrant rights, including countries that have not signed the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention.

Read the article: The Global North is Closing its Doors to Migration