The deadly ripple effect of harsh immigration policies

The
unfortunate lesson that we can draw from the effects of unilateral actions by
EU states is that we have to prepare for more of the same: the ripples will
spread.

Adbulrahman Idris from Darfour, Sudan, crossed the Sahara to arrive in Libya. November, 2017. SOPA/Press Association. All rights reserved.

In an attempt to save her government and placate German interior
minister and leader of the conservative party of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer,
Angela Merkel has agreed to plans to erect extrajudicial spaces called “transit
zones” at the border to Austria. In accordance with Seehofer’s demands for
unilateral actions, the measure seeks to reject refugees that have already
registered for an asylum application in other EU countries. 

Learning from experience

Yet, we know from experience that unilateral actions seldom have
unilateral consequences. We have learned this lesson when Hungary sealed its
borders in September 2015 by erecting razor wire fences, deploying special
police forces to patrol the borders to Serbia and established just those transit
zones that the German government now seeks to emulate.

These decisions had immediate knock-on effects on the treatment of
refugees not only in Hungary but all throughout the so called “Balkan Route”.
Seeing border fences going up and the Balkan Route’s bottleneck being closed,
other countries copied the Hungarian solution: none wanted to host those
refugees that could no longer go on to seek protection in the country of their
destination. The unilateral decision of the Hungarian government had, at the
time, created a ripple effect of border controls and abuses of refugee rights
that reached far back into Turkey.

Slovenia and Croatia soon began adopting similar measures. In March
2016, both these countries effectively sealed their borders to refugees after
Sweden had begun controlling the borders to Denmark, Denmark to Germany,
Germany to Austria and Austria to Slovenia. Macedonia followed suit shortly
after by erecting barbed wire fences and deploying army troops at their borders
themselves. Those unfortunate refugees that were violently pushed back from
Hungary to Serbia subsequently ran the risk of being caught up in a chain of
push backs: from Serbia to Macedonia and from Macedonia back to Greece, often
suffering beatings, humiliation and theft of their belongings by private
vigilante groups or police forces along the way. 

The knock-on effect
of the German decision

Today, we witness the same ripple effect emanating from the German
decision to close down its borders with Austria, arguably with worse consequences
to refugees themselves. Just one day after the German decision, the Austrian
chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that Austria would react to it by closing
down its own borders, beginning with border controls at the Brenner Pass.

In a speech before the European Parliament he subsequently argued for a
“paradigm shift in migration”, that would allow for a Europe without internal
borders only in the long term. The message by the German and Austrian
governments was heard by other European leaders in countries further south.
Italy had already begun adopting harsher policies towards refugees by calling
back its rescue missions, obstructing rescue operations by civil society actors
and denying other rescue ships access to its harbours. Malta has adopted
similar measures. On July 4, it seized the “Moonbird”, an aircraft operated by
the Swiss Humanitarian Pilots Initiative (HPI) that has participated in saving
over 20,000 people in the Mediterranean last year alone. 

What effects must
we anticipate?

The ripple effect of harsh immigration policies that emanated from
Hungary’s unilateral decision to close down its borders gives us a pretty good
idea of what is about to happen next. Refugees already en route to Germany will
be detained in transit centres and consequently pushed back to Austria. Just as
in the Hungarian case, this will cause a chain of pushbacks from Austria to
Italy or all the way back to Greece. These countries themselves will adopt even
stricter immigration policies – a taste of which we were already given with
their decisions to let refugees drown in the Mediterranean rather than to have
to host them themselves.

Indeed, they seem to be ready to give up on their international legal
obligations and every inch of their moral conscience if that is what it takes
not to be left as one of the few countries to host refugees. The ripple effect
of harsh immigration policies will not only be felt by those refugees floating
in the Mediterranean with no place to go. It has also started to affect
countries south of the Mediterranean such as Algeria.

With an eye to harsher immigration policies being enforced by EU states,
these countries seem equally unwilling to be the state that ‘loses out’, having
to host those refugees that EU states reject. Algeria has already begun with
the pushback of refugees, packing them into trucks and abandoning them in the
Saharan Desert. Last year alone approximately 13,000 refugees were abandoned in
the Saharan Desert to wander off by foot in the direction of Niger and towards
likely death in temperatures reaching 48°C. Their unwillingness to take over
the international legal obligations that EU states intend to force upon them
was manifested by their clear rejections of proposals from EU officials to create
holding centres in northern African states to process asylum claims from there.
None of the states concerned agreed to such plans. 

This should give us pause. The unfortunate lesson that we can draw from
the effects of unilateral actions by EU states is that we have to prepare for
more of the same: the ripples will spread, there will be harsher immigration
policies ranging far into Africa, putting at risk the lives of thousands of
refugees for the sake of political stubbornness and leader’s unwillingness to
assume their legal and moral obligations towards the lives of others.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Privacy Policy

WideBitcoin.com is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information

Definitions

Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Our business partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Connected third parties:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.

Children

We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalize and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as optout.aboutads.info or youronlinechoices.com. For more information about cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org.

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

email: [email protected]

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the WideBitcoin Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the WideBitcoin Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018