Manifesto against violent border regimes

This manifesto stems from conversations and sharing of knowledge among participants at the final conference of the Asylum Commission in Malmö, August 2022. 

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We come from different regions in the world. We are active in Denmark, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Portugal. From each of these countries we have observed the rapid development of various forms of border control and violence.

  1. We come with various experiences of migration, activism, research, and solidarity with and among migrants.
  2. We are the voices of distinct groups coming together to exchange experiences of resistance and imagine other futures.
  3. We share common hopes and work to counter different types of violence, bring forward our voices and contribute to finding humane and legal pathways for mobility.
  4. We demand accountability from governments for the senseless border practices, and immigration laws they pass in our name. Borders are callous and should be open and safe for all.
  5. We work with knowledge sharing, legal advice and information, translation, collaborations, support in everyday life, including in extreme emergencies. An important element in this context are self-organised groups among people with lived experience of violent border regimes.
  6. Freedom of movement is a present and historical phenomena. Many more people come through militarised borders than are stopped by them. Whilst not ignoring the immense suffering borders create, we acknowledge the power in peoples’ everyday struggles in mobility across borders.
  7. Borders are open for profitable exchanges, be it services, capital and goods. Simultaneously violent borders across the world create life threatening travel routes for people fleeing.
  8. Many of the proposals on the future of migration policy now being put forward in public debate, will worsen the conditions for migrants and crack down on people who are already denied many rights because of their insecure status.
  9. Border control and violence prevent billions of people from living a decent life. People are prevented from realising their aspirations because of their lack of birthright privilege. This is both a drain on the innovative potential of human societies across the world and indefensible in an order that recognises the moral worth and dignity of every human being.
  10. The border regimes in Europe and globally are intertwined with colonial histories and affect places elsewhere. In sharing struggles, failures and hopes, we counter violent borders.
  11. We want to contribute to finding humane and legal pathways for mobility, and policy reform that reduce and eventually remove these barriers to free movement of people around the world.
  12. We call for new visions of resource sharing and ways of living together.
  13. We want languages, attitudes and practices that do not reinforce differences and categories created by divisive and violent states.
  14. We want people to be able to live, thrive and move wherever they decide.
  15. We want people to be able to stay where they started their lives or move if they want.
  16. We call for governments, international organisations and multinational companies to fulfill and respect international obligations and responsibilities.
  17. We want just distribution of resources that we share as humans, collectives, and other species on earth.
  18. The future is now. A future where it is not us and them. A future where we have the freedom to dream. A future to achieve those dreams together.