Humane and Dignified? Migrants’ Experiences of Living in a ‘State of Deportability’ in Sweden
DeBono et al. (2015) Humane and Dignified? 'Migrants’ Experiences of Living in a ‘State of Deportability’ in Sweden, Malmo University: Malmo
234 Pages Posted: 5 May 2016
Date Written: September 30, 2015
By analysing migrant experiences of living in Sweden under the threat of deportation, this book contributes to our understanding of the effects of deportation, or forced return, on people. Migrants at risk of deportation are a varied and disparate group, with singularly different stories. Within their different stories, often painful to listen to, there arise common and strong narratives.
These narratives, the outcome of qualitative research with migrants, are the focus of this volume. An overview of key policies, legislations and institutions at the Swedish and EU levels is provided to contextualise the data and conclusions. What can we learn from these migrant experiences of the Swedish forced returns system, a system which has been both highly commended in some areas while critiqued in others? Deportation is increasingly being discussed from a social and global justice point of view, as well as from a human rights point of view. It is therefore of critical importance that migrant voices are heard and their experiences analysed. The 2009 European Return Directive, transposed into Swedish law in 2012, states that deportation and pre-removal detention should be conducted with respect to fundamental human rights, or in other words, in a ‘humane and dignified’ manner. But what is a ‘humane and dignified’ deportation? Is it an oxymoron in itself? This book does not claim to answer this question, but merely contributes to the debate through an analysis of migrant narratives. The afterword by UNHCR Nansen Award winner Dr. Katrine Camilleri reflects on the results of the study by juxtaposing it with her own work in Malta and primes a wider discussion of the topic by putting the Swedish case in the broader context of European Union trends.
Keywords: human rights, forced return, deportation, Sweden, European Return Directive, EU, migration, criminalisation
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