The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal is Costly – Especially for the Refugees

The agreement reflects the EU’s self-interest just as much as Turkey’s, but takes little account of the interests and rights of the refugees. On Friday 18 March, Turkey and the EU concluded a deal designed to put an end to refugees’ use of the sea route to travel from Turkey to Greece, because the route… Read more »

Refugees are Also Migrants. And All Migrants Matter

The recent debate over word choice has taken turns that undermine humanitarian principles and cloud the view of how migration is unfolding. The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, and others have examined the usage of ‘refugees’ versus ‘migrants’ over the past week. The general impression is that ‘migrants’ are being… Read more »

ASEAN’s Rohingya Challenge: Can ASEAN fail to act and yet be a Community?

A human tragedy has been unfolding in the Bay of Bengal. Thousands of poor Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees and job seekers have been the victims of xenophobia, cynical smugglers and incapable governance. What has ASEAN done? So far very little. Yet this crisis is exactly the kind of non-traditional trans-national security challenge that ASEAN must… Read more »

A Close Look at Border Security in the Mediterranean

The EU’s response to the increased flow of refugees crossing the Mediterranean has been to boost border security by means of Operation Triton, which is the responsibility of Frontex, the EU border agency. There is little one can do, however, to impose effective border controls at sea. Operation Triton does not have a search-and-rescue mandate,… Read more »

What Would Have Been New about Bombing Migrant Boats?

The European Union has made it clear that bombs were not part of the plan for war against people smuggling after all. “No one is thinking of bombing,” said Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, yesterday. The alleged plans for bombing had already caused widespread alarm and protest. But what would have been new about bombing… Read more »

Refugees are a Shared Responsibility

A record number of refugees have arrived by boat in southern Europe this summer. Norway should voice its support for a common European solution to the issue of boat migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Last year this would have been front-page news, but now each new arrival – or each refugee boat that is lost at… Read more »