Freedom United's event on how migration politics are killing people

Freedom United invites you to an event on how migration politics are killing people and exposing them to human trafficking

  • Published on
    June 27, 2024
  • Written by:
    Ellie Finkelstein
  • Category:
    Human trafficking, Law & Policy
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This event is now available to watch here.

Freedom United is hosting an online webinar, Migration Politics that Kill: How governments exacerbate human trafficking, on July 3rd at 12:00 pm EST, free of cost and welcome to everyone. Simply register on Zoom here to receive the link. We are sitting down with the experts at a critical moment across the globe when migration is becoming the hottest topic, and number of migrant deaths is at an all-time high. 

As global displacements rise due to conflict, persecution, and climate disasters, opportunities for safe, regular migration routes are closing. People on the move are being forced to take extreme risks in search of a better life, but with no protection or access to safe routes, some face being exploited, detained, and even killed.  

People on the move are not inherently vulnerable to exploitation or human trafficking. Rather, it is these unsafe policies and the wave of anti-migration views that result in restrictions to their rights, the removal of protections, and movement methods that greatly increase their vulnerability and, henceforth, their exploitability. 

Disturbingly, we are witnessing a trend of governments hijacking “anti-trafficking” narratives to legitimize their anti-migration policies, which prompts the questions we will be asking:  

Is it a matter of misunderstanding the cause of the increase in migration and why trafficking smuggling networks exist?  

Or is it a matter of a lack of political will to implement policies to protect safe migration that will consequently disrupt trafficking and smuggling by making migrants less vulnerable to them?   

We believe it’s the latter.

Claiming they’re fighting this issue, the E.U., U.K., and U.S. governments have turned to draconian anti-migration policies with the stated aim of stopping migration altogether. However, this “logic of deterrence” has only ever been successful in putting migrants’ lives at risk, creating a market for traffickers, and normalizing inhumanity towards people on the move, specifically marginalized peoples and communities that face discrimination.  

Why do we need to have this conversation now?  

Freedom United is hosting this online panel at a pivotal time. With the looming general election in the U.K., the recent elections in the E.U., and the upcoming presidential elections in the U.S., migration is the number one topic on the docket.  

This conflation of anti-migration and anti-trafficking is not only entirely wrong, it is also damaging genuine anti-trafficking efforts and, most appallingly, fueling human trafficking networks in each jurisdiction:  

The E.U. is outsourcing border control and sea interceptions to North African countries to “save lives” while also keeping migrants from reaching European shores, which has resulted in human traffickers exploiting migrants who are caught and brought back to dangerous regions and detention centers with rampant human rights abuses.  

Biden has just announced further restrictions on asylum access at the U.S.-Mexico border. This is the latest action involving the flawed CBP One Mobile App, making asylum harder to obtain. These policies harm people fleeing persecution and do not enhance U.S. safety; they just send people fleeing danger back into it.  

The U.K. government’s justification for the illegal Migration Act is ostensibly to prevent people from making dangerous journeys via small boats to reach the U.K., citing that people seeking refuge in the U.K. should do so via legal routes. However, this argument crumbles under scrutiny since claiming asylum is provided for in law – it is a legal route, and there are no alternative regular routes available. 

Inevitably, these policies force people to find alternative perilous “irregular” routes that do nothing more than increase their vulnerability to human trafficking for the purpose of exploitation and death.  

It is time to expose the truth of how anti-trafficking narratives are being weaponized globally to justify denying asylum and protection from modern slavery, closing doors on immigration, and instead increasing migrants’ vulnerability to trafficking, exploitation, and death – all for political gain. 

Register here to take part in this important event.  

If you would like your question to be included in the discussion, please send it to us here.  

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Rambha Mohan
Rambha Mohan
16 days ago

Liberalisation of Immigration Policies between Nations should be uniform as per International Covenant on Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1948 Magna Carta promulgated under U.N.Enforceability of Human Rights Protection Vicarious Liability vested upon it with Commandment Responsibility on Member Countries.

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