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Migration Ethics

Migration Ethics

Objective

Over the last three years, millions have attempted to cross the EU frontier. Some are fleeing war and persecution; others poverty. The EU has struggled to find an acceptable response. It is aware that the denial of legal entry encourages risky crossings and that many of those migrating are refugees. Yet it is also keen to limit immigration. It has therefore responded by insisting on a sharp distinction between refugees and economic migrants, making some exceptions for the former, while seeking to exclude the latter. It has also obtained an agreement with Turkey that permits the EU to return migrants in exchange for various benefits. This response seems to have been effective in limiting migration along the Turkey-Greece route. Nevertheless, the large numbers migrating along other routes, the lack of sufficient protection for many refugees and the high death toll at sea, all cast doubt on the adequacy of the EU response. This research project will be the first within ethical theory to address the ethics of migration in the context of the Mediterranean crisis. It will assess how EU states should respond to such large waves of migration. It focusses on three questions. First, which migrants are entitled to protection? International law and EU policy single out refugees, but the research project will investigate whether states have duties towards other migrants as well. Second, of those who are entitled to protection, where should they be protected? The EU-Turkey agreement effectively involves the outsourcing of protection to Turkey. Such “safe third country” agreements are ethically controversial. Third, if it is permissible to exclude some migrants, how should they be excluded? Given the numbers that are currently dying while trying to evade migration restrictions, it is important to explore the various methods of restriction to see which, if any, are ethically defensible and, given the current regulatory framework, legally feasible.
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Coordinator

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Address

Placa De La Merce, 10-12
08002 Barcelona

Spain

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 172 932,48

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 842176

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2019

  • End date

    31 August 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 172 932,48

  • EU contribution

    € 172 932,48

Coordinated by:

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Spain