Abstract: The Deaths at the Borders Database is the first compilation of official, state-produced data about people who have died attempting to cross the Southern external borders of the EU and whose bodies were recovered in, or brought to, European soil. The information has been gathered primarily from death certificates registered in the civil registries of municipalities in Spain, Gibraltar, Italy, Malta, and Greece, that border non-EU countries. Previously, the only data available on ‘border deaths’ was sourced from news media. The Database has revealed two significant findings: Firstly, that the majority of migrants whose bodies are found remain unidentified by the local authorities responsible for their bodies. Secondly, that, with further analysis, the data could reveal trends in migrant mortality that may be used to evaluate the effect of different trends in migration and border policy. In addition to outlining these two preliminary findings, this presentation will discuss the research and methodology behind the Database, and the challenges faced in using the Database to investigate the relationship between migrant mortality and European migration and border policies.
About the speaker: Tamara Last is currently researching a PhD on the relationship between migrant mortality and European migration and border policies as part of the Human Costs of Border Control project at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has compiled a database of persons whose bodies were found in Spain, Gibraltar, Italy, Malta, or Greece, having died crossing the southern external borders of the EU. Prior to starting her PhD research, Tamara completed an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, and specialized in migration, human rights, and international law during her Bachelors in Law at the University of Warwick. Tamara has previously worked with the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana (on the Migrating Out of Poverty project), the UN Research Institute for Social Development (on regional governance of migrants’ rights), and IOM-Nederland (on the development activities of Ethiopian and Ghanaian diaspora communities in the Netherlands).
All are welcome to attend. Sandwiches and refreshments will be provided.