Hertie School | Deadly sea crossings: Public indifference and policy impasse for migrant protection
Panel discussion with Julia Black, Başak Çalı, Laurent Muschel, Tankred Stöbe, and Ralph Wilde
2016 was the deadliest on record for refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean. More than 5,000 migrants died according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, an average of fourteen people every day. Most of these were traveling the central Mediterranean route.
Despite this, European media has focused on the decline in asylum seekers across the continent after the influx of 2015. According to European Union statistics, the number of first time asylum applicants in the 28 member states of the EU decreased by 15% in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same quarter of 2015.
This debate will focus on policy responses to deadly sea and land crossings in Europe. Why has the issue of deadly crossings faded from the European public agenda? Are people becoming indifferent to these catastrophic deaths? Has this “normalisation” led to a policy impasse?