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