This is the sixth post of Border Criminologies themed week on 'Borders Through Time: Commemorating Lampedusa' organised by Victoria Canning and Francesca Esposito.  

The criminalisation of solidarity has a long history, as well as the political and legal mechanisms used to make it more difficult for people to reach Europe via sea crossing. In this podcast, Francesca Esposito speaks to Lucia Gennari about the externalisation of border control and the current situation on Italian shores. Lucia – a lawyer in the studio legale Antartide and activist with the platform Mediterranea Saving Humans – has extensive experience of working on migration and SAR activities in the Mediterranean. In this conversation, Lucia highlights the main political and legal tools used over the last years by EU member states to withdraw from any responsibility towards people in danger at sea and hinder the presence of civil society fleets in the Mediterranean. She also highlights how the global pandemic has been used as an excuse to worsen border control measures, amplify pre-existing mechanisms to create a differentiated access to rights and guarantees and, finally, create an archipelago of unofficial forms of migrant detention which are likely to be further normalised in the future.