Mapping Humanitarian Non-State Actors of Migration Management in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
WMB - Gannochy Seminar Room 3 (University of Glasgow)
Paolo Cuttitta , Faculty of Law, VU University Amsterdam
This paper provides a critical mapping of the different actors (international and intergovernmental agencies, as well as and international and local NGOs) involved in the humanitarianized migration and border management in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Until 2011 the issue of migration across the Mediterranean was under strict control of state authorities in these countries. The main intergovernmental and international actors in the field, such as UNHCR, IOM and Red Crescent, had only limited roles and autonomy. Local NGOs were almost absent, and some of the few existing ones were but the longa manus of the regime. Based on fieldwork in Tunisia and Egypt, the research presented in this paper asks whether and in how far the fall of Ben Ali, Gadhafi and Mubarak has changed this picture and allowed for a multiplication and differentiation of non-state actors involved in migration management in the relevant countries, and, if so, what effects this change produced. The paper analyses the different humanitarian activities carried out by the different actors, as well as the different funding sources, with the aim to assess whether and in how far such activities are aimed at preventing migrants from reaching Europe or at selectively including them into the European polity; what the impact of such activities is in terms of delocalization and depoliticization of the EU border; in how far these actors are just supporting states in their delocalized migration and border policies and in how far they are putting forward alternative (political) agendas instead.