Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen on the difficulties of protecting migrants at sea

87983Four thousand six hundred and ninety migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean this year, making 2016 once again set a tragic record and the Mediterranean account for more than three fourths of all registered migrant casualties worldwide.

In his most recent book chapter, “The Perfect Storm: Sovereignty Games and the Law and Politics of Boat Migration”, RWI’s Research Director and Professor Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen argues that the current inability to adequately address the plight of boat migrants may perhaps best be understood as an instance of “the perfect storm”, ie. a confluence of circumstances that in their sum aggravate a given state of affairs dramatically. Both in political and in legal terms, the boat migrant is caught in several inter-related dynamics, all linked to the way that different states re-interpret and instrumentalise sovereign power and responsibility today.


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Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen’s chapter is part of a new volume titled ‘Boat Refugees’ and Migrants at Sea: A comprehensive approach: Integrating Maritime security with human rights, edited by Violeta Moreno-Lax and Efthymios Papastavridis, which features contributions by a number of leading international scholars.

More information on the book and online purchase

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