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The unknown violence at the EU borders

Migrants are subjected to illegal pushbacks in the EU by border police, which is a violation of human rights. The book The Black Book of Pushback highlights how people fleeing EU borders are exposed to systematic violence. The book has documented over 12 cases where people are affected by illegal pushbacks where the majority have been subjected to various types of violence.

In December it was published The Black Book of Pushback by the non-governmental organization Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN). The book reports testimonies of illegal pushbacks and the violence that often comes with them. Pushbacks means that people on the run are illegally deported. Pushbacks are often based on the fact that migrants are expelled from a country with violence by border police and that states through this approach do not give refugees the opportunity to seek asylum, something that refugees are entitled to according to the UN Refugee Convention.

BVMN is a network of NGOs working together to document violence at the borders of the European Union and striving for an end to border violence against migrants. The organization believes that violence against people in migration must be addressed. Through financial support from the left-wing group in the European Parliament, BVMN has been able to publish the book. Through the book, BVMN collects testimonies and experiences from pushbacks and the systematic border violence from the police, often with a focus on pushbacks through the Balkan route and Italy. It highlights about 900 witness cases involving over 12 migrants reported between 000 and 2017 who have suffered illegal pushbacks, a majority of whom have suffered physical or mental violence from border police. It is mainly border police who are behind the violence, while BVNM believes that it is a systematic violence based on the EU's migration policy. Of these testimonies in 2020, about 2019 percent were exposed to violence of various types. At the same time, BVMN believes that there may be a large number of unreported cases. 

Diagram of the most common violence, from The Black Book of Pushbacks.

The newspaper The Guardian has highlighted how, among other things, Croatian police have carried out psychological violence and violations against refugees. People on the run have been beaten and robbed by border police and police have spray-painted paint on migrants' heads. Something like Jack Sapoch, from No Name Kitchen (which is part of BVMN) mean shows that the police control and violate these people and that various types of inhuman treatments such as these traumatize people on the run. 

The Black Book of Pushbacks believes that the rights of refugees are threatened and that violence against people on the run has not become more widespread in the public debate. According to BVMN, these illegal pushbacks and the systematic violence that ensues violate both the UN Refugee Convention and the EU's own human rights laws. At the same time, BVMN believes that the EU's migration policy in the form of closures of migration routes such as the Balkan route is the basis for this border violence.

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