Focusing on the Italian island of Sicily, this report seeks to describe and analyse how the bodies of migrants who die en route to Europe are managed, what laws are in place and what practices actors have developed to ensure that the dead are identified and families are informed.
The Mediterranean Missing research project has sought to understand both the impact on families of having a relative missing in migration, and the law, policy and practice around the identification of bodies of dead migrants in Italy and Greece. Please read the summary report here.
Dead and Missing Migrants: The Obligations of European States under International Human Rights Law – International Human Rights Briefing
The Mediterranean Missing research project has sought to understand both the impact on families of having a relative missing in migration, and the law, policy and practice around the identification of bodies of dead migrants in Italy and Greece.
This paper reviews how international human rights law (IHRL) applies in situations of migrant death and loss in the European region. It sets out principles which should be at the centre of national responses when migrants die or go missing at international borders. It focuses on the state’s legal duties under IHRL to protect the right to life, and specifically to investigate deaths and give information to families.
‘Like a part of a puzzle which is missing’: The impact on families of a relative missing in migration across the Mediterranean. Report on the situation of families
Deadly shipwrecks and the bodies of migrants have become the most iconic images of the contemporary refugee crisis at the EU’s periphery. Although the media and solidarity groups have shed light on the plight of living refugees, and highlighted the shocking reality of shipwrecks, relatively little is known about migrants whose fate is not known to their families. These families are the real, yet invisible, victims of this humanitarian disaster. In the absence of a body to bury they are trapped in a state of ambiguity, not knowing where loved ones are, or if they are dead or alive.
It is hoped that this report can encourage approaches that can minimise the numbers of migrants whose bodies are retrieved at the EU’s southern borders, but who remain unidentified.
This report seeks to survey how the bodies of migrants who die or go missing in their effort to cross the Aegean Sea are managed in Greece, and what laws, policies and practices are in place to ensure that the dead are identified and families informed. Our research focuses on the Greek island of Lesbos, one of the key entry points to Europe for migrants and refugees during the recent crisis, and close to of which a number of deadly shipwrecks have occurred.
An output of the Mediterranean Missing research project, this briefing note outlines many issues surrounding missing migrants in the Mediterranean context, such as the identification of the deceased and the impact on families of migrants.