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The Mexican wall and pushing back boats – do deterrence policies work?

Media Release: 8 September 2018
The Mexican wall and pushing back boats – do deterrence policies work?
World experts gather to debate the role of detention and deterrence in migration policy at global conference in Sydney

Leading human rights campaigner Gloria Careaga, Professor and Researcher, University National Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM) says that despite cruel and radical policies being implemented by some nations, they are not deterring refugees and migration; only leading to significant increases in persecution, deportation and death.

“When looking at the psycho-social impact of Donald Trump’s Mexican Wall deterrence policy on both the American and Mexican psyches, Ms Careaga says the policy did not have the US Governments’ expected effect.

“Despite the intensification in the persecution and deportation of people, Mexicans and Central Americans continue to follow the ‘American Dream’.

“At the same time, the tightening of migration policy has claimed more lives and caused more xenophobia in some sectors of the US, and rejection in others” Ms Careaga said.

Professor Gloria Careaga and Dr Franck Dϋvell will be discussing the role of detention and deterrence in migration policy at this year’s Metropolis International Conference being held in Sydney from 29 October to 2 November.

Dr Franck Dϋvell, Associate Professor, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford and German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM), says the Italian Government’s way of dealing with migration pressures is reminiscent of similar responses which are also known as 'left to die' policies and subsequently abandoned.

While Italy has moved to more brutal rejection policies, it has pushed greater responsibilities and pressure onto countries like Greece and Spain who are continuing to rescue boat people.

However, this is fraught with danger as demonstrated by the Mediterranean crossing death rate quintupling since 2015 to 2.2%1, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“In Italy we are seeing a return of such brutal policies, other countries build fences, close transit camps, and even shoot at migrants and refugees.

“It is a paradox that large-scale arrivals of refugees and migrants as seen in 2015 and 2016 have actually ended, whereas policies become more and more radical. This tells us that there is a strong populist driver at play.

“Movements are being diverted to other countries, notably from Morocco to Spain, departures from Turkey have also recently increased again.

“Migration is largely driven by conditions in the sending countries and if these don't improve, migration is not and will never go away; people will simply find other ways, routes or destinations to move to.

“Instead of the deterrence policies, a different approach could include providing legal migration channels for refugees and labour migrants; this could result in very different and positive outcomes,” concluded Dr Dϋvell.

Gloria Careaga and Dr Franck Dϋvell will be joined by local and international researchers, policy makers, practitioners and community voices to debate the role of detention and deterrence in migration policy at the International Metropolis Conference, the only global conference to focus on migration, diversity and integration.

The International Metropolis Conference will provide a unique platform for leaders and experts to debate, discuss and critique policy approaches, practice and research in relation to migration, diversity and integration; at a time when migration and its place in the body politic is at a critical inflection point.  

The International Metropolis Conference 2018 will be held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney: 29 October – 2 November 2018.

More information: www.metropolis2018.org.au

1 Per 1,000 arrivals
Notes to Editors 

Limited Media Passes are available for relevant and interested parties and are subject to approval. If you would like to apply for a media pass, please contact Marlise Beasley on marlise@zadroagency.com.au

For more information or to interview those featured in this press release, please contact:

Marlise Beasley, Senior Account Manager, ZADRO via marlise@zadroagency.com.au +61 2 9212 7867
Felicity Zadro, Managing Director, ZADRO via felicity@zadroagency.com.au +61 2 9212 7867

Images and logos can be downloaded from here.

  1. Gloria Careaga, Professor and Researcher, University National Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM), Faculty of Psychology
  1. Dr Franck Dϋvell, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) and University of Oxford, UK

About the Event 

The International Metropolis Conference will be held at ICC Sydney | 29 October – 2 November 2018.

The world’s brightest academic, government and community leaders and practitioners will gather for a week of learning, discussion and debate on migration, diversity and integration. Metropolis will be an intellectually challenging, culturally rewarding opportunity to network and explore the latest thinking and practices in migration policy, research and programs.

Metropolis 2018 – the only gathering of its kind that brings together leaders and experts to discuss migration, diversity and integration.

This year’s event is hosted by a consortium, led by Settlement Services International (SSI), in partnership with Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) and Multicultural NSW (MNSW).

The Conference Chairs are:
  • Violet Roumeliotis, CEO, Settlement Services International and Telstra Business Woman of the Year 2017.
  • Dr Bulent (Hass) Dellal AO, CEO, Australian Multicultural Foundation
  • Hakan Harman, CEO, Multicultural NSW
The conference theme is Global Migration in Turbulent Times. It will focus on the following eight sub-themes:
  1. Enterprise, Innovation and Employment – catalysts for social change?
  2. Migration and Mobility – the dynamic shifts in the Asia-Pacific region
  3. Displacement and asylum – new dimensions driving an old phenomenon
  4. Visible and powerful – migrant voices in a connected world
  5. Conflicting agendas? National, local, regional and global responses to the governance of migration
  6. Religious diversity – a bridge or a barrier to belonging?
  7. Migration and inequality – complex challenges under the microscope
  8. Australia a multicultural paradise – myths and realities
To view the program at a glance: https://metropolis2018.org.au/cms/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Metropolis-2018-Program-26-September-2018.pdf

For all conference information www.metropolis2018.org.au