II.0-DEMILITARIZATION OF BORDERS
II.1-FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
II.2-FREEDOM OF CHOICE
II.3-FREEDOM TO STAY
II.4-FREEDOM TO PLAN A NEW LIFE, WHEN MOVEMENT IS NECESSARY
II.0_ DE-MILITARIZATION OF BORDERS
EU countries like Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden, are amongst the ten greatest weapons exporters in the world;
- a very high percentage of this weaponry is imported by countries from which people are escaping because of conflicts, human rights violation, lack of democracy;
- current migration control policies entail a militarization of domestic territories and border zones, under the pretence of granting humanitarian aid or providing security or vigilance measures;
- the control of borders and migrants is intertwined with the militarization of territories for war purposes and to defend the predominant financial interests;
- this form of militarization spreads additional violence on persons, including sexual violence, particularly on women’s bodies;
- militarization produces death, and often entails the disappearance of bodies, thus depriving survivors and relatives of a natural mourning process,
The Charter of Lampedusa marks the need for the immediate abolition of all operations linked to militarization and to management of border control mechanisms, both military and civilian, including military training for refoulement and for control of people’s mobility on international territories.
The Charter of Lampedusa thus calls for the redirection of all those resources allocated and invested in this field to the guarantee of safe routes for people who migrate out of need, as well as for social reasons.
The militarization of domestic territories and borders is presented as a humanitarian-security bond; states prevent migrants from reaching European lands, hinder their routes, filter and block departures.
The Charter of Lampedusa calls for the abolition of:
• the Eurosur system, conceived to impede access to the EU territories;
• the European agency Frontex, officially conceived to combat the arrival of migrants in EU lands, and its current operations
• all the operations of the European Union and its member states, both those carried out in border areas (like the operation Mare Nostrum which started in 2013) and those which involve intervention in non-EU states (such as Eubam which started in Libya in 2013);
• all the control and communication systems and military agenda (electronic and satellite systems, radars, drones, biometric control systems, air and sea vehicles) intended to control migrations and/or militarize territories for purposes of war and the assertion of dominant economic interests;
• all material barriers, in particular the walls and physical barriers surrounding the European Union and which are expanding into bordering states with the aim of preventing freedom of movement.
Furthermore, as regards the role that militarization has taken on in the specific context of Sicily:
the Charter of Lampedusa calls for an immediate halt to:
• the use of the Sigonella Naval Air Station for the transit of specialized divisions of the US military that are used for the training of police and armed forces of African regimes;
• the strategic role of the Sigonella base for the control and management of drones which belong to the US and NATO forces, and which also serve as vigilance and support for operations which control and obstruct migrations;
• the procedures for the installation of one of the MUOS ground stations at Niscemi which will have, amongst others, the task of strategically coordinating mobile users, including drones, in the surveillance operations in the Mediterranean and refoulement of migrants in extraterritorial regime.
II.1 FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
The Charter of Lampedusa asserts the need to immediately abolish visas.
Visas only allow a selected mobility based on financial possibilities, blocking the free movement of one part of the world population;
-people whose visas are denied risk their lives in order to move or are discriminated against in their access to rights and services once they have reached Europe;
-agreements between EU and countries at migration risk include measures of militarization and border controls, producing negotiation of entry quotas on EU territory.
The Charter of Lampedusa thus calls for
- the abolition of “migratory clauses” from any agreement
- any country on whom such rules are imposed, to reject this practice.
- opposition to current European neighbourhood policies, freeing the relation between peoples and States from every form of exploitation intended to control migrations.
Current EU migration policies tend to link EU citizen’s legal residence to labour market needs, producing indissoluble ties between residence permits and employment contracts;
-these ties can limit rights and protection of all workers, as migrants can thus be held to ransom by their employers.
The Charter of Lampedusa calls for a separation between the right to enter, reside and stay on territories of the member states and having a work contract.
The system of entry quotas adopted by EU member states and established largely on the basis of their economic needs is one of the main means of illegalisation of people.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms the immediate need to abolish the system of quotas, as well as to recognize the right to stay to all of those who have already entered the European territory, overcoming once and for all the logic of amnesties.
The Charter of Lampedusa also notices the need to abolish the qualitative (linked to income and housing criteria) and quantitative (linked to the number and age of the people to reunite ) limits currently imposed on family reunions.
With respect to children, the Charter of Lampedusa
- endorses the principle of the child’s best interest, with respect to any decision which concerns them;
- supports the presumption of minority and the need to stop the use of invasive medical practices to assess age;
- promotes the immediate activation of protection and every tool to ensure children can exercise all their rights;
Furthermore, we state that aid and support should be offered to children not by military/police forces, but rather by qualified civilian personnel.
At all moments of the migration process, every person facing institutional representatives must be permitted to understand what is happening to them, be informed of their rights, be able to make themselves heard and understood in their own language and to participate in the decisions which are made about them.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms the need for
-the immediate abolition of regulations which directly or indirectly qualify people’s entry and/or stay in a country as ‘illegal’,
- the immediate annulment of offences which directly or indirectly criminalize the rescue, reception and hospitality of migrants, regardless of the ‘legality’ of their entry and of their stay.
II.2-FREEDOM OF CHOICE
The Charter of Lampedusa calls for
the abolition of all national and international laws, especially EU legislation deriving from the Schengen treaty, which limit the freedom of movement, to stay and to choose where to live of European citizens and of those who come from so-called ‘third countries”, particularly international asylum seekers.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms
in particular the need to immediately abolish the Dublin Regulation and all its subsequent modifications that force migrants to apply for international protection in the first member state they enter, thus preventing people from carrying out their life plans.
Asylum seekers should have freedom of choice as regards the country where they are applying for international protection.
All countries should reach equally high standards in protection and reception, with immediate and effective sanctions towards states not meeting with these standards
II.3-FREEDOM TO STAY
One of the main instruments of subordination and control of migrants is the strong link between the right to residence and the fulfillment of more or less complicated bureaucratic formalities;
-the regulations governing these formalities in various countries are part of a separate and differentiated legislation which creates legal entities with reduced rights, always subordinate to the protection of state borders and state interests.
The Charter of Lampedusa calls for the elimination of every condition which, in regulations or in practice, creates unequal access to rights on the basis of citizenship as regards access to welfare and/or regulations for access to employment, to political rights, including the right to vote and civil status records. The requirements to formalize residence status should be immediately reduced to the checking of identification, whatever one’s citizenship, and these functions should be detracted from the Ministry of the Interior and the Police forces.
A. The right to work:
Entire sectors of the labour market in Europe are based on the exploitation of migrant labour which, as in the case of domestic and care work, is mostly carried out by migrant women;
-this high availability at a low cost, with low rights, helps to overcome the deficit of public institutions, also permitting their de-responsibilisation;
-forms of neo-slavery and exploitation of migrants also entail forms of blackmail and violence, both physical and psychological, including gender and sexual violence;
-access to many professions is constantly prevented for women and men, according to a segmentation of the labour market on the basis of origin and/or citizenship;
-alongside these aspects, the non-recognition of educational qualifications and/or acquired competences (whether documented or not) results in the elimination and denial of personal and professional development.
The Charter of Lampedusa thus affirms the right to access all professions and exploitation-free jobs, to work in safe conditions, with full respect of the person in all their dimensions and with no discrimination. This right is to be guaranteed through equal pay and in respect of contractual norms – constantly violated by opportunistic delocalization of production and labour force – above all where this entails a revision of the economic and social system of the countries concerned, towards a more balanced redistribution of resources and services.
B. The right to Inhabit
The exercise of the right to inhabit is, for a large part of the population, not respected and thus is actually layered on the basis of income and is often discriminatory, according to people’s citizenship;
-the right to inhabit is a precondition for the exercise of other rights, such as political rights and other freedoms, like that of developing one’s life plan where one chooses to live;
-the right to inhabit is constantly violated by the confinement of some minorities and some groups, defined on national, religion, socio/economic basis, to determined spaces which are separate from the rest of the urban context. These spaces are designated for this end on the basis of discriminatory prejudices that often oblige members of these minorities and groups to modify their lifestyle and life plans;
-a considerable number of public and private buildings are left abandoned, unused or underused, and not destined to provide the right to inhabit.
The Charter of Lampedusa thus asserts
the right for every human being to fight to obtain and to build the possibility to inhabit an adequate space, depending on each individual life plan and in respect of every social and relational dimension in which their personal existence can be fulfilled.
C. The right to healthcare and access to welfare
Personal fulfillment can only occur through an interdependence between people and the whole of society;
-this interdependence becomes stronger at certain stages of life such as during pregnancy, parenthood, childhood or old age, as well as in certain conditions of existence, such as illness or disability;
-currently access to public and social policies meant to grant the sustainability of these interdependencies is determined on the basis of citizenship, gender, social , economic and legal status.
The Charter of Lampedusa thus affirms
the need to assure non-discriminatory access to health-care infrastructures, medical care, monetary aid and services including mother-child care and pediatrics, because they are essential to the full exercise of everyones’ right to receive and provide care.
D: The right to education
Non-discriminatory, free access to knowledge and education through learning pathways is a basic medium to fulfil one’s life plan in all its forms;
-countries produce practices and norms which block and subordinate this access to the ownership of specific legal, economic and social status;
-the possibility to learn local languages is a fundamental right of everyone as it is a basic condition for fulfilling one’s life plan;
-institutions should never exploit learning and knowledge of official local languages as selection criteria and/or prerequisites for obtaining and renewing residence permits.
The Charter of Lampedusa thus affirms the need:
-to remove any discriminatory barriers towards access to knowledge, education and instruction, and the learning of the local and mother tongues;
-to release all those relational contexts in which this can happen and improve;
-to grant the recognition of international qualifications, equation of training and professional paths, integrating them where due, so as
-to erase those practices and norms which, in many countries, separate and differentiated educational paths according to citizenship or legal, social or economic status.
E. The right to build and preserve a family and affective personal core.
Every human being is free to build a family and affective personal core, with chosen persons, respecting their liberty, regardless of citizenship and/or legal, economic and social status, as well as sexual orientation;
-the possibility to build and preserve a family or affective personal core, is often subordinated to economic and social conditions, even more so in the case of migrants;
-migrants are usually tied, with reduced rights, to the labour market, by social systems and public policies.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms the need to erase all the institutional interference which, through the production of practices, means of control and legislations, limit people’s freedom to preserve and constitute a family or affective core;
these regulations create differences in legal status and other areas, specifically in the case of marriage between EU citizens and non, or two non-EU citizens.
The Charter of Lampedusa
recognizes and respects a family and affective core, also as regards administrative procedures of entry and stay, of civil unions between EU citizens and non, or two non-EU citizens.
F. The right to social and political participation
Because of legislative and bureaucratic obstacles, as well as economic, environmental and housing conditions, millions of people settle in a place without any access to its political and social life.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms that
every person, regardless of their citizenship and legal, social or economic status, if they so wish, must be able to fully take part in their public and social environment, and have full access to the places where this participation happens to be, including electoral and representative processes of democratic institutions on local, national and supranational levels.
G. Agreement of a non-discriminatory language code, with respect for everyone
-Xenophobic and openly racist rhetoric, which finds ample diffusion in the public sphere and in all categories of media, as well as the rhetoric of a racism of differences, which looks to other cultures as static and immutable forms, both foster legal, economic and social discrimination;
-media racism is manifested in many forms strongly connected with forms of institutional racism which limit, through norms and practices, access to rights on the basis of origin and/or citizenship;
-the use of terms such as ‘illegal’, which evoke stereotypes and criminalizing prejudices, is normalized and widespread, even in the texts of laws, as is the general use of stigmatizing and discriminatory expressions and tones towards people on the basis of their real or assumed origin and social, cultural and religious membership;
-these processes of criminalization and stigmatization are enacted through the constant denial of the right of migrants to represent themselves and narrate their stories in the media and/or public spaces, and consequently contribute to partial, one-sided, information;
-the spectacularization of the moments of migrants landing on the island of Lampedusa, as at many other European borders, as well as the use of an alarmist and securitarian language which distorts the reality of phenomena and erases people’s stories, contributes to the intensification of phenomena of racism and discrimination.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms
a political vision of relations between people that does not depend in any way on their origin and/or citizenship, or even on their real or assumed cultural or religious membership.
It acknowledges the need to fight all language founded on prejudice, discrimination and/or racism, wherever it occurs, in every context and in every place.
Public resources for the production and consumption of art and culture are often inaccessible, and it’s important to not only be an object of other people’s narration.
The Charter of Lampedusa thus affirms
the right of everyone to access public resources, funds and spaces for art and culture.
H. New forms of citizenship.
The establishment of citizenship, since the birth of the Nation-States, has revealed itself to be an inclusive, but at the same time strongly exclusive, mechanism;
-access to rights, including universal ones, has been transformed into a privilege tied to juridical status;
-to date, the EU has introduced no innovative criteria to offer more inclusive access to citizenship, but rather has limited its exclusive conferral to individuals who are already citizens of one member state;
- in the process of EU enlargement, an internal hierarchy has been constituted between citizenship of different Member states.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms the need
to recognise the full exercise of equal rights to whoever finds themselves in the European area, regardless of their citizenship and calls for the recognition of a single European citizenship based on ius soli.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms in any case
the need to establish new relationships between institutions and people, based on residence and no longer on national membership.
II.4- FREEDOM TO PLAN A NEW LIFE
Humanitarian policies enacted by state, supra state structures and international organizations are to be rejected as they
- are based on the assumption that only few should be granted total freedom of movement;
- block those who move out of need towards areas of immediate safety;
- condition their paths, with the result of forcing thousands of beings into precarious life and subsistence conditions, in refugee camps for long periods of time and even permanently;
- favour the European Union’s choices in relation to asylum seekers intended to delocate or externalize protection, by transferring people on a selective basis (resettlement), or impeding their arrival in Europe (regional protection program);
- constitute the political aspect of war, militarization and economic exploitation of territories.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms the need
to establish routes to guarantee secure and fast arrival for those who leave their territory of birth and/or citizenship and/or residence, in order to escape wars, individual or collective persecutions, climate and environmental catastrophes, as well as economic and social ones.
This should in no way be placed in juxtaposition with the freedom of movement of people who do not live these conditions.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms that during the time it takes to construct these routes, everyone must respect internationally recognized rescue obligations, without conflicts of geographical jurisdiction, and without the delays that have already provoked thousands of deaths. The immediate safeguarding of those who request international protection needs to be guaranteed, starting from the first contact with the authorities of the member state, regardless of where and how this contact occurs (including in international waters or international areas).
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms
the need to immediately suspend any practice of formal and informal refoulement at the internal and external borders of the European Union.
The Charter of Lampedusa calls
for EU policies of asylum externalisation to come to a halt, as they impose responsibility for international protection on transit countries.
In this perspective, even in the previously listed emergencies,
people must be guaranteed the freedom of choice as regards where they seek asylum, as defined in this Charter;
-while recognizing the specificity of the routes of those who move out of necessity, the Charter of Lampedusa rejects criteria that regulate the verification of status and, in practice, oblige people to demonstrate the reasons for their migration in order to have access to certain rights.
The Charter of Lampedusa also calls for the establishment, in the place of arrival, of all the initiatives required to grant the immediate inclusion of those requesting international protection and of refugees into economic and social life.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms the need to
-stop systems of reception based on camps and centers,
-build, instead, a shared system based on the development of decentred, widespread reception activities in various areas around the Mediterranean and beyond.
Decentralised and founded on the enhancement of personal routes, thus promoting grassroots reception and management experiences, this shared system would also avoid giving speculative monopolies the chance to exploit and to separate hospitality from its social dimension.
The planning of initial reception, at first arrival, must consider the make up of families and relatives, preserving the continuity of parental, family and affective relations.
In this light, even in above mentioned emergencies, the right to choose, as defined in this paper, must be guaranteed and choices not be forced.
Within the EU area and its state borders, migration policies impose a system of administrative detention for those migrants with no residence permits;
-the widespread system of confining asylum seekers in spaces which are, to all effects, detention camps, for the entire time required to process the claim for a refugee status;
-government and EU migration control policies have managed to branch out practices of detention and confinement even to non-EU member states;
-all the deaths and violence which have occurred within detention and confinement centres, on all the EU territory and in countries to which the borders control is externalized are to be denounced;
-no light has been shed on the responsibility for these deaths and violence, so they remain unpunished.
Such places serve the symbolic and policing function of criminalization as well as the legal, economic and social inferiorization of migrants;
- the squandering of public resources on this system and their distribution in the hands of subjects who speculate on migrants’ lives means there is no way these places can be reformed.
The Charter of Lampedusa affirms the need for the immediate abolition of administrative detention and the closure of all detention centres, whatever they may be called, and of all reception centres which limit freedom of movement, be they legally constituted according to an existing legislation, simple decrees or regulations, or whether they are informally established for the detention and confinement of people.
The Charter of Lampedusa calls for
the redirection of resources that to date have been dedicated to such places, towards social projects for everyone.