Every human has right to dignity. People forced to migrate due to conflicts face however harsh situations throughout their journey. In this research notebook, we document the political, legal and health situation of de facto refugees trying to move from Italy to France. Indeed, despite Schengen agreements, the border was reactivated. Public authorities in Menton and Briançon push back 150 people to Italy each day, without respecting refugees’ right to apply for asylum as stated by the European Union’s law. In Ventimiglia and Oulx, refugees are also denied their right to live in decent conditions (access to food, toilettes, shelter, information, etc). This project is run by participants of the migration law clinic of the International University College of Turin.

1. Collecting existing knowledge

Through information scent, we collect information about the topic. We already listed over 50 articles and reports, 20 videos, and 140 news from civil society organizations, researchers, and media, as well as three great articles we reproduce thanks to their Creative Commons licenses:

A first observation, possibly due to the scope of the research, is that most daily news coverage of the border situation seems to come from France, and support migrants’ voices. As for now, the perspective of the broader population living in the region, as well as public authorities is underrepresented.

2. Meeting with diverse actors

On June 7-8 2021, we went to Ventimiglia to better understand the dynamics and meet people on the move and support organizations. We will release posts about our experience late August.

3. Documenting the detentions of migrants

Following the death of a young migrant in the Centre for Residence and Repatriation of Turin, we translated an Italian report released by the Association for legal studies on migration in English and French.

4. Getting the big picture

Late August, we will release reports on the political, legal and mental health situation in Ventimiglia. We will also improve and translate the guide available to migrants and advocacy groups, including a new section on self- and mutual care.

5. Spreading the word

From September 2021, we will share a synthesis of this project. People interested in contributing to or building on this project are welcome to join us at all time via the Credits page.

We also started to share reflections on our methodology, as well as summaries of activities we take part to.