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The EU & African Refugees: the last brick in the wall?

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Committee Room 2, House of Lords

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Friends Who Are Going
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Last year, at least 4,579 people died attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya, or 1 in every 40 of those who made the attempt. The Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe is now among the world’s deadliest and most dangerous migrant routes.

Having struck a deal with Turkey over Syrian refugees, the EU is now desperately seeking a solution to keep migration to a minimum from Northern Africa. Libya is at the frontline of attempts to deal with the flows of people crossing the Mediterranean.

Detention centres have sprung up across Libya, and are being used as part of an EU strategy to hold migrants and refugees. Whilst this seems like a solution for keeping migrants out of the EU, the conditions in these centres have been criticised by organisations like UNICEF, and the UK’s independent aid watchdog has recently criticised the role these centres play in facilitating trafficking.

With this in mind, on the eve of the G7 Summit in Sicily, the Fabian International Policy Group is convening an event to explore:

  • Why Africans continue to seek routes into Europe
  • Why the EU has failed to agree a common policy on migration.
  • The impact of detention centres of migrants, particularly women and children
  • What alternatives EU strategy for dealing with migration flows from North African would look like.

Our speakers include:

  • Martin Plaut - Journalist and author of Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa's most repressive state
  • Selam Kidane - Eritrean researcher and activist
  • Baroness Jan Royall - Chair



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