26 September 2022

A permanent state of emergency? Human rights challenges at EU’s external borders ‒ and beyond

26 September 2022, 9:30 am
Brot für die Welt
Caroline-Michaelis-Str. 1, 10115 Berlin

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While millions of refugees are welcomed with open arms at EU’s borders with Ukraine, those seeking protection at other external borders are exposed to a completely different reality. A militarized state of emergency at the Polish-Belarusian border, pushbacks in Croatia, “expulsiones en caliente” in the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, prison-like arrival centres on the Greek islands ‒ everywhere measures are deployed that violate fundamental principles of the rule of law and human rights.

On which (different) discourses are European border policies based upon? How can the rights of asylum seekers be defended if emergency measures threaten to become the new normality at many external borders? And what is at stake for our constitutional state and our society as a whole if the state of emergency should become the leitmotif of European asylum and migration policy ‒ as recently at the Polish-Belarusian border?

We want to discuss these questions with actors from civil society, politics and academia during the one-day conference. We will not stop at the EU’s external borders, but also look at the externalisation of EU’s asylum and migration policy to African countries, that plays an increasingly important role in the European border architecture.

The analysis of fundamental developments is not an end in itself. It is a neces-sary basis for discussing strategies on how, under the current circumstances, to implement the promise of the coalition agreement of the German govern-ment to “protect refugees” and to return to a “constitutional border protection” at all borders.

Keynotes by Tineke Strik (Member of the European Parliament) and Azizou Chehou (Alarmphone Sahara)


  • Border discourses: on the grammar of EU’s asylum policies
  • Rule of law at the borders: on the ambigous role of law in securing rights
  • Working in a state of emergency I: Humanitarian aid at the border
  • Working in a state of emergency II: Journalism and civic engagment at the border

Organized by Amnesty International, Brot für die Welt, Diakonie Deutschland, Equal Rights Beyond Borders, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Medico International, Misereor, Pro Asyl

Languages: EN/DE (simultaneous interpretation)

Please register here.


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