Defend the rights of migrants, equalise relations and freedom of movement of people in the Mediterranean

The following is the final declaration from the conference: "Rethinking migrations: for free movement in the Mediterranean" which took place in in Tunis on 30th September and 1st October 2011

The Arab revolutions of spring 2011 have invited a reinvention of relations at the heart of the Mediterranean region.

Some associations and researchers from the global south and global north met in Tunis as part of a conference entitled "Rethinking migrations: for free movement in the Mediterranean".

The participants of this meeting agreed that the politics of the European Union, its member states and the states of the "rive Sud" (north African coast) have led to the closure of borders and has impeded the free movement of people, with disregard for the principles of international bodies regarding human rights guaranteeing freedom to leave all countries, including one's own country, and the right to return to your own country. These obstacles are furthermore in total contradiction with the official discourse of co-operation in this region.

We denounce what has proven to be a veritable war on migrants, which is manifested by the violation of human rights, the criminalisation of migrations and the militarisation of the Mediterranean, its borders and territories. The latest events in Lampedusa and in the Mediterranean such as prolonged detention on the island, collective deportations and prison boats lay testimony to these practices.

We will engage to undertake and to support all actions aimed at defending the rights of migrants in their countries of origin, transit and destination. Tunisia is called upon to work firmly in this direction.

We demand an end to the pressures of the EU on the countries of the "rive Sud" to force them to play the role of border guard.
We call upon the organisations of civil society in the global north and global south in the Meditteranean region to:

1 - Successfully mobilise for the 18th December, "Global Day of Action against racism and for the rights and dignity of migrants, refugees and displaced people";

2 - Support the actions and initiatives such as that which are undertaken as part of the organisation of the "Solidarity flotilla in the Mediterranean" (Boats4People : سفينة الشعوب );

3 - Initiate and support actions such as making legal complaints against states, their bodies and agents, or against international organisations and agencies, to end the impunity of those responsible for crimes against migrants.