Launched in 1999 and updated regularly, Statewatch News includes our own reporting and writing as well as articles, announcements, documents and analyses from elsewhere on civil liberties, EU policies and state practices. You can receive updates in your inbox by signing up to our mailing list, or use an RSS feed to get instant alerts.

30 July 2020

Spain: Huge funding increase for migration control in Africa challenged in court

Spain's government has massively stepped up funding for African states for migration control purposes in recent years. €30 million provided to Morocco is being challenged in court.

30 July 2020

UK: Increasing police use of Tasers poses "threat to life"

A new report aims "to inform members of the public of the threat to life posed by the increasing adoption of Tasers by police forces across England and Wales," and in particular by Greater Manchester Police, who have taken up use of the 'less-lethal' weapons with gusto.

29 July 2020

Ireland: 'Reunited refugees at risk of being homeless'

A new report by Nasc, a migrant and refugee rights organisation, explains "the many challenges faced by reunified [refugee] families, including significant barriers to accessing housing and a high risk of homelessness, as well as difficulties accessing other essential services. It highlights significant unmet support needs which are likely to hinder integration into Irish society."

28 July 2020

UK: MI6 apologise for asking court staff to withhold evidence from Judges

The UK's foreign intelligence agency, MI6, has apologised to human rights groups after pressuring court staff to withold evidence in a case concerning a policy that allows state agents to commit serious crimes.

28 July 2020

Mediterranean: Almost 100 people left adrift for 33 hours: non-assistance policies continue to put lives at risk

The New York Times reports on the latest case of non-assistance to people in distress in the Mediterranean, this time involving almost 100 people in a rubber dinghy who were only rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta following intense pressure from activists and civil society groups.

28 July 2020

Counter-terrorism and the Arts: How counter-terrorism policies restrict the right to freedom of expression

A new paper from TNI examines how counter-terrorism law and policy can impinge upon freedom of expression in the arts.

28 July 2020

EU: New 'Security Union Strategy' - all the documents

The European Commission has published a new 'Security Union Strategy' for the 2021-25 period, replacing the previous 'European Agenda on Security' (2015-20) and further extending the scope of EU action on security issues.

28 July 2020

Masks cause "great difficulty" for pre-pandemic facial recognition algorithms

A study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has found that facial recognition algorithms developed before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic have "great difficulty" in accurately identifying people.

27 July 2020

UK: Policing the pandemic: figures show ongoing racial discrimination

A series of reports in The Guardian show how the policing of the pandemic has further exacerbated racial inequalities in law enforcement.

27 July 2020

UK: Borders after Brexit: government consultation launched

The UK government has launched a '2025 UK Border Strategy Public Consultation', which seeks to "ensure that the government and industry are able to work in partnership together to deliver a world class border." According to the government, its ambition is to "create the world’s most effective border by 2025, to ensure the UK becomes an even more attractive place to travel to and do business with. It will ensure the UK is better protected against crime, terrorism and environmental and biosecurity threats."

27 July 2020

UK: Hear Us: the experiences of refugee and asylum-seeking women during the pandemic

A new report by the Sisters Not Strangers coalition examines the experiences of refugee and asylum-seeking women in the UK during the COVID-19 lockdown. The authors argue that their findings confirm what they already knew - that refugee and asylum-seeking women have been some of those hardest hit by the pandemic and the measures introduced to contain it. Existing inequalities and disadvantages have been exacerbated, and those interviewed for the report "have experienced hunger, homelessness, mental health has deteriorated and women with pre-existing health conditions have struggled to access healthcare."

27 July 2020

Pull-backs by the Libyan Coast Guard: complaint filed with UN Human Rights Committee

A press release from the Association for Juridical Studies on Migration (ASGI, Italy) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights, published on 24 July in advance of a press conference on 28 July.

23 July 2020

Montenegro: Frontex launches second operation on non-EU territory

Frontex has launched its second executive operation in a state outside the EU, deploying officers in Montenegro on 15 July.

21 July 2020

Surveillance and data-driven discrimination: 10 threats to migrants and refugees

Privacy International set out ten threats to the rights of migrants and refugees stemming from "surveillance practices and data-driven immigration policies".

20 July 2020

Borders, budgets and beyond: LIBE report sheds light on Frontex’s priorities for implementing its new mandate

In February, three MEPs visited the Warsaw headquarters of Frontex, the EU’s border agency, to assess implementation of its new mandate, which entered into force in December last year. A report on their mission presents a snapshot of Frontex’s current operations, work on deportations and relations with non-EU states, research activities and fundamental rights issues.

20 July 2020

EU support for "migration management" in the Western Balkans squarely focused on control measures

An internal Council survey of EU member states' assistance for Western Balkans countries shows that the emphasis is very clearly on migration control measures, with "the majority of bilateral support... provided in two areas, namely border management and combating the smuggling of migrants (over 50% of all MS activities)".

17 July 2020

Netherlands: Police and refugee agency accused of breaching asylum seekers’ privacy

Dutch authorities have been accused of breaking the law by sharing refugees' personal data without their consent in the name of detecting "offences such as visa fraud, human trafficking and terrorism."

16 July 2020

Forced returns and fundamental rights? FRA releases 2020 report on national ‘state of play’

On 3 July the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released a ‘state of play’ document examining the deportation (“forced return”) monitoring systems of the 27 member states in 2020.

16 July 2020

Border surveillance and deaths at sea: Frontex’s invisible flights come under scrutiny

Interest in Frontex’s “Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance” activities picked up in April this year, when journalist Sergio Scandura documented the presence of Frontex-operated aircraft above the Mediterranean over the Easter weekend. Four migrant boats with approximately 280 people on board were left in distress situations for days, despite repeated calls for intervention, leading directly to “pull-backs” to Libya and deaths at sea.

16 July 2020

Council of the EU: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the EU’s migration partnership with African countries

On 2 June, the Croatian Presidency circulated to member state delegations a document intended for discussion at an "informal videoconference" of the secretive High-Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration on 12 June.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error