Niger – an EU external border in the desert?
13. Jun. 2023
For June, 8, 2023, the School of Social Sciences invited to a public lecture with the topic "EU externalized Border in the Sahara Desert" in the auditorium. The speaker was Moctar Dan Yayé from Alarm Phone Africa (APS). Moctar Dan Yayé has been a human rights defender for several years and is a founding member and head of communication and public relations of the transnational project "Alarme Phone Sahara" based in Niger. In his presentation, he stated: "Since 2015, Niger has become one of the most important geographical points for the EU and its member states in managing and controlling mobility to the North. Consequently, a lot of leverage is being exerted on the country to assist Europe in this endeavour. The country itself, which is in a critical situation, plays this role to its own detriment: for the economy, but also for the lives of citizens and foreigners. A form of criminalisation of so-called irregular migration is taking place under new legal frameworks. In addition, mass deportations from Algeria to Niger, which are almost inhumane, have been taking place for some time. "Alarme Phone Sahara" and civil society actors are working to eradicate these abuses, which often violate basic human rights."
Alarm Phone Africa is a network of activists working to support refugees and migrants on the African continent. The project was set up to highlight the precarious situation of people trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea or other dangerous routes. Alarm Phone Africa consists of various teams of volunteers who operate a hotline around the clock to answer emergency calls from refugees in distress at sea. Once a call is received, the team works closely with the relevant authorities and rescuers to coordinate a rescue operation. In addition, Alarm Phone Africa also advocates for the rights of refugees. They document human rights violations at the borders and in refugee camps and advocate for the protection of human dignity and compliance with international human rights standards. Alarm Phone Africa's goal is to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis and exert political influence to ensure that people fleeing are adequately protected and have access to a fair asylum process.
The public lecture took place as part of the lectures in the International Social Sciences (Development Studies) programme.