A study of the human security of North African economic migrants through a gender lens

Coetzee, Jodi Anne (2019-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Migration, the movement of people across various distances and through various means, has changed significantly in the current global era. Since 2010, migration has taken on a different, more irregular nature, as people are determined to improve their livelihoods, some being driven by desperate circumstances to do so. Migration has also become increasingly feminised. During migration, the human security of migrants is at risk and their vulnerability persists throughout migration. Human security is an issue that reaches far beyond the individual, as human security issues shape national issues. It would be ignorant to assume that the two are mutually exclusive, as the influx of migrants to Europe in the post-Arab Spring context has illustrated. This thesis employs a gender lens to understand the nature of human security issues that economic migrants, who migrate from North Africa to Europe, experience. By exploring the push and pull factors of migration, the thesis provided an overview of the human security of migrants pre-migration. Conflict in North African and modern-day slavery largely drive migration from North Africa to Europe and exacerbate the human insecurity of migrants. Economic opportunity has been identified as the most significant pull factor for migration to Europe. By analysing the responses of Italy and, to a lesser degree, France, to migrants, the thesis produced insights into the human security of migrants in Europe. The differences between the experiences of men and women migrants were also considered. Using feminist security theory and a human security framework, this thesis maintains that security on the ground is important, perhaps more so than high politics. Valuable insights were provided on how Italy and France have managed migration and the impact of this on how citizens perceive and receive migrants. Central to the study was the focus on the securitisation of state responses to irregular migration, which include measures like border control, search and rescue operations, returns, resettlement and relocation, the closure of ports and refusals to disembark, the Hotspot Approach and detention. From these, successes and shortcomings have been identified, illustrating the nature of state protection to non-citizens. The human insecurity of migrants has been compounded by the lack of provisions, including medical attention and safety provisions, and the unique threats to women migrants. Although men and women migrants face similar risks and experience similar challenges during migration, women remain more susceptible to gender based violence and sexual exploitation and are, therefore, more vulnerable than their counterparts.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Migrasie, die beweging van mense oor verskeie afstande en wyses, het drasties verander in die nuwe globale era. Sedert 2010 het migrasie 'n ander, meer onreëlmatige aard aangeneem, omdat mense, gedryf deur hul desperate omstandighede, vasbeslote is om hul lewenskwaliteit – en bestaan te verbeter. Die feminisering van migrasie is ook besig om toe te neem. Tydens migrasie is die menslike sekuriteit van migrante in gevaar. Migrante bly ook kwesbaar tydens die proses van migrasie. Menslike sekuriteit is 'n probleem wat ver buite die individu strek, aangesien menslike sekuriteitskwessies nasionale kwessies vorm. Beide dié kwessies is afhanklik van mekaar soos geïllustreer deur die vloei van immigrante na Europa tydens die post-Arabiese lente. Hierdie tesis gebruik 'n genderlens om die aard van menslike sekuriteitkwessies van ekonomiese migrante, wat van Noord-Afrika na Europa migreer, te verstaan. Deur die druk- en trekfaktore van migrasie te ondersoek, gee die tesis 'n oorsig van die menslike sekuriteit van migrante se pre-migrasie. Konflik in Noord-Afrika asook hedendaagse slawerny dryf migrasie grootliks vanaf Noord-Afrika na Europa en benadruk die menslike sekuriteit van migrante. Ekonomiese geleenthede is geïdentifiseer as die belangrikste faktor vir migrasie na Europa. Deur die response van Italië en, in mindere mate, Frankryk, aan migrante te analiseer gee die tesis insig in die menslike sekuriteit van migrante in Europa. Die verskille tussen die ervarings van mans en vroue-migrante is ook ondersoek. Met behulp van feministiese sekuriteitsteorie en ʼn menslike sekuriteitsraamwerk, word daar geredeneer dat veiligheid op die grondvlak belangrik is, miskien meer belangrik as hoë politiek. Waardevolle insigte word verskaf oor hoe Italië en Frankryk migrasie bestuur, asook hoe burgers migrante waarneem en ontvang. Sentraal tot die studie is die fokus op die sekuritering van staatsreaksies op onreëlmatige migrasie, wat maatreëls insluit soos grensbeheer, soek- en reddingsoperasies, terug stuur, hervestiging en herlokasie. Die sluiting van hawens, die weiering van toestemming om af te klim van vaartuie, asook die “hotspot”- benadering en aanhouding is ook onder oë geneem. Hiermee is suksesse en tekortkominge wat die aard van staatsbeskerming aan nie-burgers illustreer, geidentifiseer. Die gebrek aan menslike sekuriteit van migrante is vererger deur die gebrek aan hulpbronne soos mediese aandag en veiligheidsverkaffing wat unieke bedreigings vir vroue-migrante inhou. Alhoewel mans en vroue-immigrante dieselfde risiko's en soortgelyke uitdagings tydens migrasie ervaar, bly vroue meer vatbaar vir geslagsgeweld en seksuele uitbuiting. Vroue is dus baie meer kwesbaar as hul eweknieë tydens die proses van migrasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105906
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