Managing the migration crisis? Undocumented migrants and refugees at Europe’s southern border

Managing the migration crisis? Undocumented migrants and refugees at Europe’s southern border


Coventry University




Simon McMahon


Over recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy as part of what has come to be known as Europe’s ‘migration crisis’. An intensification of controls on international population movements has taken place both at sea and after arrival. This project seeks to better understand what the impact of attempts by EU institutions and national governments to manage the crisis has been on migrants’ status and journeys. It also serves to document the ongoing crisis through the experiences of newly arrived migrants and refugees.


The research seeks to contribute to improving the reception and settlement conditions of people who have arrived as part of the recent unprecedented levels of migration across, and loss of life in, the Mediterranean. It does so by building networks and collaborating with local practitioners and activists across southern Italy, from providers of formal rescue and reception facilities to social movements and volunteers in squats, occupations and camps in the region.

Comment pieces are also periodically published reflecting project findings, including the following:

Border Control and the Precarious Lives of Migrants in Italy, Oxford Border Criminologies (Dec. 2016)

After the Boats: Refugee Reception and the Production of Irregularity in Italy’s Migration Crisis, Middle East Institute, Washington DC (July 2016)

The grey areas of migration control: quick asylum decisions risk denying individuals their right to protection, LSE Europp (Dec. 2015) 

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