International Forum «Migrant Detention in Europe and Beyond: What perspectives?»

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Migreurop, European Alternatives and the Observatoire de l’enfermement des étrangers (OEE, France) are currently working to organise an international meeting around migrants’ detention in Europe and the Mediterranean Region. The event is set to take place in Paris at the CISP Maurice Ravel on Friday, December 6th, under the title “Migrant Detention in Europe and Beyond: What perspectives?” within the framework of the “Open Access Now” Campaign.

European Alternatives, as partner organisation, has been working on the defence of migrants’ rights and the free movement of citizens for many years. This area of work culminated over the last two years in the coordination and implementation of transnational campaigns on administrative detention and the role of civil society organisations and media in reporting the conditions of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants held in administrative detention in many EU Member States. This was done mainly through the “Open Access Now” campaign (officially launched with Migreurop in 2011), as well as through the participation in 2011 to the “LasciateCIEntrare” broad-based coalition of Italian associations calling for access to detention centres – known as “CIE” in Italy – for journalists and CSOs against the suspension and restrictions on the right to information.

The Paris Forum is intended for all those involved in any aspect of campaigning and informing about immigration detention and challenging detention policy and practice. It will offer the opportunity to look at various critical issues related to migrants’ detention in key European and Mediterranean countries and will critically assess civil society actions in the mobilisation of public awareness around these problems, especially after the latest migrant boat disaster off Lampedusa.

On this date, a first version of the “Dynamic Map” of detention camps for ‘foreigners’ in Europe and Mediterranean Countries, a participatory project which is currently being worked on by the cartography group within the Migreurop Network, will also be presented to the public.

Journalists who are taking part in “Open Access Now” transnational campaign, those who are engaged in the mobilisation led by the “LasciateCIEntrare” coalition in Italy, those who participated in the Open Access Parliamentary Visits 2013 or earlier, and some representatives from Reporters Without Borders will take part in the event.

The meeting consists of two parts as follows: two round-tables (in the morning) and four working groups (in the afternoon) dealing with new challenges regarding:

  • the administrative detention of migrants and the study of alternatives to this practice;
  • the work with the media in this area and the challenges to the right to information;
  • the possibilities and challenges for visitors of detention centres;
  • the methods to act together against detention outside of Europe.

European Alternatives representatives will be in charge, together with Mediapart and Libération, of the working group “Travailler avec les médias” (Working with the Media) which foresees the active participation and contribution of delegates from Attac, The Human Rights League, the Balkans and Caucasus ObservatoryCité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration (CNHI), Kisa (Cyprus), Cimade, the Italian National Association of Intercultural Press (ANSI), Maison des Journalistes, amongst other international organisations.

Whereas the morning session is open to the public who registers before December 3, 2013, the working groups are restricted to members of the Steering Committee of the “Open Access Now” Campaign in addition to those of the organising partners.

For further information and to register, please write to: oaconference6dec@gmail.com.

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Anna Lodeserto coordinated public-oriented campaigns through the new supranational instrument of direct democracy “European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)” since the first year of its entry into force (2012) as a result of the Treaty of Lisbon. She has worked with policy dialogue, cross-border cooperation, capacity development and participatory democracy and tools and programmes since the mid-2000s serving as an expert for European networks, NGOs, universities and international organisations on issues such as transnational organised crime and corruption, as well as Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, EU neighbourhood and governance. She holds a Master’s Degree in Peacekeeping and Security Studies, and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, with a specialisation in Development Politics.
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