Borders controls and human rights in the Mediterranean Sea

Federico Arcos Ramírez, Eva Díez Peralta


This article analyses some of the most controversial aspects of borders control and migratory flows in southern Europe, with the aim of proposing a necessary revision of the immigration and asylum policies in order to bring them in line with the most basic human rights and the requirements of the rule of law. For this purpose, it addresses, in the first place, the problems that are presiding over the development of rescue operations for migrants on the high seas, in particular the identification of clear and precise rules on the responsibilities of States, not only with respect to rescue and humanitarian assistance on boats, but also in relation to the duty to facilitate the disembarkation in their ports of the rescued persons. Secondly, problems of legitimacy derived from the mere existence of coercive controls at the borders and, in particular, from some of its instruments, such carriers sanctions, readmission agreements or the Immigration Detention Centers, in which the use of coercion is more debatable from an ethical and legal point of view.

Received: 05 September 2018
Accepted: 20 October 2018
Published online: 11 December 2018


políticas migratorias; derechos humanos; salvamento marítimo; legitimidad de la coacción fronteriza; acuerdos de readmisión; carriers sanctions; Centros de Internamiento para Extranjeros

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