Jill Alpes, Free University Amsterdam: Post-deportation risks and monitoring practices
In some countries failed asylum seekers risk serious human rights violations upon return. The decision to deport can thus constitute refoulement. Nonetheless, states and international organisations do not systematically collect information about the human right situation of forcibly returned failed asylum seekers. This keynote lecture focuses on risks that different kinds of forced returnees can face after deportations. What do we know about the fate of asylum seekers once they have been rejected and deported? What about those who are immediately forced to return after being refused entry at European borders? What about those migrants who are forcibly returned to third countries, rather than their own? In asking these questions, the keynote lecture seeks to provide an overall context to the topic of deportations by a) introducing a typology of different kinds of forced returns and b) illuminating deportations from the perspective of societies of departure in the global South. The lecture draws on fieldwork on post-deportation risks in Cameroon, Congo and Turkey (2016), a review of references to post-deportation risks in country of origin reports (up until 2015), as well as long-standing ethnographic research on migration aspirations in Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon (2007 – 2014). I will argue that post-deportation monitoring can help improve both migration and refugee policy and advocate for the importance of researching and monitoring post-deportation risks. Most notably, post-Deportation Monitoring can improve refugee policy in three ways: by providing support to asylum seekers who were deported either because of insufficient legal aid during their asylum applications or while actually still in asylum procedures; by helping to identify and document where the fears of asylum seekers were well-founded after a forced return; and by providing valuable insights for country of origin reports.
You can find Alpes' presentation here.