E.g., 02/23/2024
E.g., 02/23/2024
All at Sea: The Policy Challenges of Rescue, Interception, and Long-Term Response to Maritime Migration
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Migration Policy Institute

As the world’s refugee and asylum-seeker populations climbed past post-World War II records in 2015, the most dramatic images of migration were of those who travel by sea, typically in dangerously overcrowded and barely seaworthy vessels. A drowned child lying facedown in the sand. Capsized boats. Life jacket-strewn beaches. People huddled on deck, awaiting rescue.

Just a tiny proportion of the world’s international migrants travel by sea without permission to enter their intended destination country. Yet the plight of these migrants—with more than 3,700 lives lost at sea in 2015 in the Mediterranean alone—receives an outsize share of media and policymaker attention. And in certain countries, it absorbs a significant amount of financial and human resources devoted to making and implementing migration policy.

"Kathleen Newland and her co-authors… have put the challenges and the dilemmas of maritime migration starkly in perspective in this compelling volume."

- Peter Sutherland

United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration

This volume reviews the policy responses to irregular maritime arrivals at regional, national, and international levels, focusing on case studies in five global hotspots: the Mediterranean, the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea region, the Gulf of Aden/Red Sea, Australia, and the Caribbean.

While policy discussions once typically focused on rescue at sea, those today are more likely to be framed in terms of interception designed to address concerns of border protection, national security, and organized crime. The current, central dilemma, as explored by Kathleen Newland and her coauthors, is how to reconcile these concerns with international legal obligations and regional or global burden-sharing.

Table of Contents 

Peter Sutherland

Kathleen Newland

Chapter 1: Maritime Migration: A Wicked Problem
Kathleen Newland

Chapter 2: Unauthorized Maritime Migration in Europe and the Mediterranean Region
Elizabeth Collett

Chapter 3: Maritime Migration in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea, and Straits of Malacca
Kathleen Newland

Chapter 4: Unauthorized Maritime Migration in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea
Kate Hooper

Chapter 5: The Maritime Approaches to Australia
Kathleen Newland

Chapter 6: Maritime Migration in the United States and the Caribbean
Kathleen Newland and Sarah Flamm