Baldwin-Edwards, Martin. (2006) Between a Rock and a Hard Place: North Africa as a region of emigration, immigration and transit migration. [Preprint] (In Press)
The prevailing Eurocentric perspective on Mediterranean migration lies almost exclusively in the security paradigm, focusing upon African illegal migration to Europe and disregarding the role of migration in the socio-economic development of the African continent. The older emigration histories of North African countries are diverse, with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria linked to France as a destination country, Libya as an immigration country, and Egypt linked with other Arab countries for temporary migration alongside permanent migration to Anglophone countries. More recent changes include the emergence of southern Europe as destination countries for all except Libyans, and all of North Africa turned into transit countries for migrants from the sub-Sahara and Asia. The “new migrations” from and through North Africa are described, along with known major migration routes and data on interceptions of illegal migrants by southern European countries. North African policy responses are also identified, noting especially the failure of all countries in the region to observe international human rights standards. Finally, I outline the “failed policy” of the European Union, which simply continues the securitization approach previously pursued by Spain and Italy, neglecting the fundamental realities of Africa as a new continent of emigration. Furthermore, European policy promotes the human rights abuses of North Africa with regard to illegal migrants and asylum-seekers, yet welcomes skilled (as opposed to semi-skilled) African migrants to European territory. Europe thus guarantees the continuation of African underdevelopment – seeking to avoid its negative symptom of mass emigration and asylum-seeking whilst benefiting from the migration to Europe of skilled African workers.
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