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Information about Scheinin

Published on December 25, 2007

Author: Junyo


The Nordic Countries and ’Fortress Europe’:  The Nordic Countries and ’Fortress Europe’ Professor Martin Scheinin 4th ETMU Days 2007 Bits of historical background:  Bits of historical background The Nordic countries as Lutheran (Christian) states: nationality, public service, identity Finland after 1809: the creation of nationhood and resistace to Russification based on the Swedish Constitution of 1772 and 1789 The Cold War and the Iron Curtain The pull of human rights (the right to leave) The push of Realpolitik and a 1000 km land border with the Soviet Union Ratification of the Refugee Convention: Denmark 1952, Norway 1953, Sweden 1954, Iceland 1955, Finland 1968 Normative background:  Normative background Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 Art 14.1 ”Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Refugee Convention 1951 Art 1 definition of ’refugee’ Art 33 prohibition against non-refoulement International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 Art 12.4 ”Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own. Art 13 ”An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the present Covenant may be expelled therefrom only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall, …, be allowed to submit the reasons against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed … CSCE (later OSCE) Helsinki Final Act 1975 Fortress Europe:  Fortress Europe Free movement of labour as one of the four fundamental freedoms of a single market (EEC -> EU) Personal extension from workers to EU citizens and lawful residents Geographical extension to EEA countries Sharp distincton between eradication of internal boarders and collective responsibility over external borders Facts about the ’burden’ 2006 Global Trends (UNHCR 2007):  Facts about the ’burden’ 2006 Global Trends (UNHCR 2007) More facts:  More facts UNHR statistics on Nordic Countries, end-2006 :  UNHR statistics on Nordic Countries, end-2006 Lethal consequences of Fortress Europe:  Lethal consequences of Fortress Europe Since 1993 the NGO UNITED has monitored the deadly results of the building of a 'Fortress Europe'. More than 6700 deaths of refugees and migrants have been documented up to now. Great majority of the deaths occur at sea. These deaths can be put down to border militarisation, asylum laws, detention policies, deportations and carrier sanctions. They are linked to the carrying out of decisions taken on highest political level: the Schengen Treaty, the Dublin Convention and EU border control programs. What can the Nordic Countries be blamed for?:  What can the Nordic Countries be blamed for? Restrictive domestic policies Involvement in restrictive European-level policies Outsourcing of border controls through carrier sanctions Fast-track procedures allowing removal before final decision Bypassing judicial review of deportation Breaching the rule of non-refoulement Unlawful, unnecessary or disproportionate use of force Restrictive domestic policies: Finland:  Restrictive domestic policies: Finland Tradition from the times of the Cold War Often only a handful of asylum applications are successful per year 2006: 38; 2005: 12; 2004: 29; 2003: 8; 2002: 14 ’Compensated’ through the adoption of quota refugees throuh the UNHRC and fairly generous humanitarian status the quota is not always filled EU harmonization is now forcing Finland towards stricter rules on humanitarian (subsidiary) status Carrier sanctions:  Carrier sanctions EU Directive 2001/51/EC imposes an obligation to return persons arriving without proper travel documents and to impose on airlines and other carriers sanctions Territorial outsourcing of border controls Privatization of border controls Chilling effect on international protection Complicity in the denial of the human right to leave Disagreement as to sanctions apply even when a person is an asylum-seeker E.g. Denmark applies the sanctions nevertheless Finland and Sweden allow discretionary exemptions France, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Spain are more liberal Fast-track procedures:  Fast-track procedures UN Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations on Finland 2004: 12. The Committee notes the lack of clarity as to the implications and consequences of the amendment to the Aliens Act of July 2000 providing for accelerated procedures in the case of asylum-seekers with manifestly ill-founded claims and applications by aliens from a "safe" country, as regards both the suspensive effect of an appeal and the legal protection available to asylum-seekers. The State party should ensure that legislation and practice in this area are compatible with articles 2, 6, 7 and 13 of the Covenant and, in particular, that appeals have a suspensive effect. Breaching the rule of non-refoulement:  Breaching the rule of non-refoulement Agiza v. Sweden (Communication 233/2003) Sweden violated the Convention Against Torture Alzery v. Sweden (Communication 1416/2005) Sweden violated article 7 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (prohibition against torture and related practices) Dar v. Norway (Communication 249/2004) Norway breached article 22 of CAT by deporting a complainant to Pakistan but remedied the breach by taking him back and granting residence Excessive use of force:  Excessive use of force European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, report on visit to Finland 2003 57. .. the delegation heard claims from various sources (and, in some cases, found evidence) of highly questionable practices, such as the involuntary administration of medication (cf. paragraph 36), the carrying out of deportations without prior notice to the persons concerned or the exercising of psychological pressure (including by threats of forcible administration of tranquillisers) on persons after a failed deportation attempt. 37. ..The administration of medication to persons subject to a deportation order must always be carried out on the basis of a medical decision taken in respect of each particular case; the taking of such a decision necessarily involves that the person concerned has been physically seen and examined by a medical doctor. ... Excessive use of force (by CIA operatives) at Bromma airport was one of the violations by Sweden of ICCPR article 7 in Alzery v. Sweden

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