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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchClimate Migration Will Worsen the Brutality in the Mediterranean

Climate Migration Will Worsen the Brutality in the Mediterranean

Author: Ian Urbina

Affiliation: The Outlaw Ocean Project (Washington DC non-profit)

Organization/Publisher: Aljazeera

Date/Place: December 6, 2021/Doha, Qatar

Type of Literature: Opinion piece

Word Count:  1570


Keywords:  Detention Camps, Climate Migration, Torture, Border Security




The EU border Agency (Frontex) has been monitoring refugee flow into Europe while using the Libyan coast guard as auxiliary border security, which in turn captures refugees and places them in brutal detention camps. The Libyan coast guard receives great EU support including surveillance cover, equipment such as a new speed boat fleet in 2020, and financial payment; these payments from EU members are typically done through aid organizations which these member states deny. This offers no practical solution for 216 million people estimated to be displaced due to famines, rising seas, desertification and other effects of global warming. It is indisputable that the EU is an active participant in detention abuses; detainees report torture and deplorable living conditions—with the author himself getting arrested and beaten for reporting abuses. Meanwhile, the US has been using similar tactics on its Mexican border, stuffing migrant centers beyond capacity with refugees, and putting the burden of maintaining migrants on Mexicans while ensuring greater border control. The result is disregard for the abuses refugees experience. States have a right to maintain their borders, but the methods are cruel and do not help in solving the problem of failed states. The fear is that immigrants will face increased brutality as the effects of climate change rise, as large populations will shift when their homelands will become inhospitable and thus force them to leave.


Critical Analysis: 

The author mentions the West’s unjustified brutal response to immigrants but did not address the root causes of irregular migration, which is aggressive hegemonic power projection. Urbina failed to mention that the EU (headed by France) and the US were the main cause for Libya and the Sahel’s political instability. Simply speaking, the EU being a primary cause for destroying the homelands of immigrants should not be a cause of surprise when they hire militants to hound anyone crossing the sea then throw them into detention camps. Ultimately, the author’s concern for the future builds awareness but offers no clear policies of what to do with projected increase in future migration numbers. However, it should be added that perhaps there is no real effective policies intended towards this issue to begin with, as the West’s agenda has largely been to keep the region unstable in order to facilitate resource exploitation.


By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant



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