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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century


Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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North African Migration under Surveillance. Between Home Country and Host Country (Sylvie Mazzella)


← 56 | 57 → North African Migration under Surveillance

Between Home Country and Host Country


In North Africa, the “Arab Spring” made 2011 a historic year, thanks to media coverage throughout the world.1 The major political upheavals that occurred during this period had an immediate impact on the massive movement of refugees, whether within the region or to Europe.

According to statistics provided by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for May 2011, nearly 780,000 people fled Libya to find refuge in neighbouring countries. In Tunisia, the official figures for the same period indicate the presence of more than 380,000 refugees2 from Libya, as a result of the armed conflict between Gaddafi’s supporters and the opponents to his regime: among them, there were not only Libyans, but also foreign refugees, mainly from Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq and the Côte d’Ivoire.

Elsewhere in the Euro-Mediterranean area, there was a considerable increase in the number of illegal migrants with nearly 25,000 arriving on the Italian coastline during the months of January and February 2011, mostly Tunisians, Libyans and Sub-Saharan Africans. This sparked a debate on a proposal for reforming the Schengen Accords, which was adopted on 7 June 2012 and which included the possibility of re-establishing temporary controls on the European Union (EU)’s internal borders in “exceptional circumstances”.

← 57 | 58 → The spectacular nature of the migration crisis in 2011 can undoubtedly be seen as...

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