Border Violence as Border Deterrence: Condensed Analysis of Violent Push-Backs from the Ground

Karolina Augustova*, Jack Sapoch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Thousands of people on the move, travelling through the Balkan route to Europe, are caught in a cycle of structural violence marked by repeated denials of access to asylum procedures, physical attacks from EU border authorities, and collective expulsions. Since May 2017, the grass root organization No Name Kitchen has been collecting testimonies of border abuse in informal transit camps in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. While being present along the Balkan route, we have observed an increase in the deployment of police forces and violent practices, making legal and safe transit to Europe impossible. We have received consistent reports from men, women and children, of abuses that remain either uncovered or denied, leading to a lack of real prosecution of the perpetrators and continued border violence. This research report, derived from 338 interviews with people on the move, communicates the diverse practices of violence communicated through an increasingly securitized EU border apparatus. We focus on the lived experiences of border abuses, as narrated by the people on the move, by exploring who the victims and perpetrators of this violence are. We argue that violent push-backs demonstrate a flagrant violation of international, European and national laws by EU border authorities, leading to slow destruction of lives of people searching for safety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Critical Migration and Border Studies
Volume5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

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