Counting and Accounting for Deaths of Asylum Seekers en Route to Australia

Brian, T and Laczko, F (eds) Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration, Geneva, International Organisation for Migration, Forthcoming

Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2520383

26 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2014 Last revised: 5 Feb 2015

See all articles by Leanne Weber

Leanne Weber

Monash University

Sharon Pickering

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies; Monash University - Faculty of Arts

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

In this chapter, we discuss the particular social and methodological challenges that arise in counting and accounting for the deaths of individuals who are seeking to travel to Australia via irregular means, and contrast the official response to these deaths with the procedures followed in response to fatalities in other contexts. We have argued elsewhere that people die because of the ways in which borders between the Global North and the Global South are controlled (Weber and Pickering, 2011). These deaths are often foreseeable and can occur by deliberate act or omission. This does not mean the identification and explication of border deaths is straightforward, nor are the chains of responsibility or accountability for these deaths easily identifiable. However, without defensible ways to count and record border-related deaths, our journey to understanding, prevention and justice is delayed. We conclude that basic principles of equity require that those who lose their lives far away from home, and their surviving relatives and loved ones, receive the same level of resources, respect and consideration irrespective of the circumstances in which their lives were lost.

Note: The original publication can be found at the International Organization for Migration Website.

Keywords: Border deaths, border control, deaths in custody

Suggested Citation

Weber, Leanne and Pickering, Sharon, Counting and Accounting for Deaths of Asylum Seekers en Route to Australia (2014). Brian, T and Laczko, F (eds) Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration, Geneva, International Organisation for Migration, Forthcoming ; Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2520383. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520383

Leanne Weber (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

Melbourne
Australia

Sharon Pickering

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Monash University - Faculty of Arts ( email )

Clayton Victoria, 3800
Australia

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