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Illicit Return Practices of Irregular Migrants from Greece to Turkey

Authors: Enkelejda Koka, Denard Veshi


Since 2011, in the name of ‘humanitarianism’ and deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, the legal and political justification delivered by Greece to manage the refugee crisis is pre-emptive interception. Although part of the EU, Greece adopted its own strategy. These practices have also created high risks for migrants generally resulting in non-rescue episodes and push-back practices having lethal consequences to the life of the irregular migrant. Thus, this article provides an analysis of the Greek ‘compassionate border work’ policy, a practice known as push-back. It is argued that these push-back practices violate international obligations, notably the ‘right to life’, the ‘duty to search and rescue’, the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the principle of non-refoulement.

Keywords: Greece, migrants, push-back policy, violation of international law.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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