European borders


Together with Christians in other European countries, in our intercessions on a Sunday around 20 June we remember in particular migrants and refugees who have died on their way to seek a life of human dignity in Europe. We deplore the lethal consequences of sealing off the external borders of the European Union. This is taking place through increasingly sophisticated technical systems of border protection, through the transfer of border protection measures to neighbouring and transit states of the EU in Africa and Eastern Europe, and through readmission agreements with neighbouring and transit states even when human rights are violated in these states. There are no exact figures of the number of people who have died en route to Europe. After examining media reports the human rights organization “Fortress Europe” came to the conclusion that in the period from 1988 to October 2013, at least 19.144 people died at the borders of Europe. On 3 October 2013 one of the worst single day death tolls on the European border was reached with over 350 migrants drowning off the coast of the small Italian island of Lampedusa. This tragedy has shone a light on this onGrenzschutzanlage Melillagoing crisis with 14.309 persons having died in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Sea in their attempt to reach Europe over the last fifteen years. In the year 2011 alone, 2.352 people lost their lives at European borders. The actualnumber of victims is much higher than this, since many deaths go unrecorded.


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