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Immigration | Migration | Refugees

What’s a Migrant’s Life Worth?

Camilo Perez-Bustillo and Sarah Towle in conversation on International Migrants Day 2021

In December 2018, Heads of State and Government met in Marrakech, Morocco under the auspices of the United Nations to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, placing migration and refugee matters squarely on the international agenda.

Camilo Perez-Bustillo, the Executive Producer of Witness Radio, was there.

In remembrance of both International Human Rights Day (Dec 10) and International Migrants Day (Dec 18), he sat down with Sarah Towle, Witness Radio Host & Director, to discuss the tragic migrant deaths in Chiapas, Mexico, the unresolved humanitarian crisis on the Poland-Belarus border, the secret detention centers in Northern Africa funded by the EU, and the resumption of the US Remain in Mexico program.

What connects these obvious human rights abominations?

Securitization, which frames migrants as threats to national security, and externalization, which invites nations of the global north, under the guise of “global migration governance,” to extend their borders beyond the boundaries asylum-seekers are hoping to cross.

Sarah and Camilo wonder: Though The Global Compact on Migration promotes “safe, orderly, and regular migration,” has it resulted in international crimes against humanity and potential “migrant genocide” instead?

Correction, Dec 17, 2021: the number of dead in the Chiapas tragedy has now risen to 57

Additional reading:

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration

The Impact of Externalization of Migration Controls on the Rights of Asylum Seekers and Other Migrants, By Bill Frelick, Ian M. Kysel, and Jennifer Podkul for Human Rights Watch

Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala deploy troops to lower migration, By Alexandra Jaffe for the Associated Press

Enemy Mentality: Mexico Cracks Down on Migrants and Asylum-Seekers at its Southern Border, By Sandra Cuffe for The Intercept

The Secretive Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of Europe, By Ian Urbina for The New Yorker

10 DECEMBER 2021, Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, for the United Nations

We can, we must #WelcomeWithDignity because #CrueltyIsNotOK. Demand the worldwide leadership to #RestoreAsylumNow!

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Sarah Towle

Sarah Towle

Award-winning London-based author sharing her journey from outrage to activism one tale of humanity and podcast episode at a time @THE FIRST SOLUTION on Medium