Denied access to Europe

Borders reproduce social inequalities. Borders reproduce social inequalities. Especially for people from countries of the so-called Global South, there are increasing barriers to travel around the world. In order to prevent the arrival of migrants and refugees from countries of the Global South in Europe, the EU has increased control at Europe’s external borders since the 1990s. The growing border fence at the European external border between Melilla in Spain and Nador in Morocco since 1998 makes this development visible. In 2004, the FRONTEX agency was also funded to combat migration. This mobile organisation is deployed on the Mediterranean but also, for example, on the border between Poland and Belarus.

Since access to legal travel routes is often denied, many people are left with dangerous routes on which they risk their lives. International human rights organisations and local civil actors have therefore long been calling for more legal entry routes to Europe. Since 2015, people can apply for asylum at an agency on the Spanish side of the border in Melilla. To get there, you first have to pass through the Moroccan border post. Here, however, black-read people are systematically selected by the border officials in order to deny them access to the Spanish side. But also non-black-read people, such as Syrians, are often forced to buy or rent Moroccan passports temporarily in order to be able to apply for asylum.

"This is a hostile border. Not from the population, but from the authorities."

Cesar G.
speech therapist from Melilla, 2018

„Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have no right to asylum.”

Quote from former Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz on 17/03/2015 in

"Prohibition of Differential Treatment: Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to refugeeswithout distinction on the grounds of 'race'*, religion or country of origin."

Article 3 of the Geneva Refugee Convention
* "Racialisation: Categorisation of people that often amounts to hierarchisation. Racialisation occurs on the basis of historically variable perceptible and imperceptible physical, sociological, symbolic and mental as well as imaginary characteristics. It arises with the knowledge of racism and discrimination." (English translation from Alice Hasters. 2019. "What white people don't want to hear about racism but should know anyway".)