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Vulnerable People or Vulnerable Borders? EU External Migration Policies and Gendered Vulnerability

Kathrin Walter
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Kathrin Walter: Sciences Po Paris, France, King’s College London, United Kingdom

Migration and Diversity, 2023, vol. 2, issue 1, 65-76

Abstract: The concept of vulnerability is blurred and often evoked in the context of refugee and forced migrant women. Paradoxically, it is also employed by the EU with regard to its external border security. Thus, the question arises of how the EU conceptualizes vulnerability in its external migration policies and who is perceived to be vulnerable – refugees and migrants, or external borders? Using a systematic lexical keyword search to identify relevant policy aims in the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, the latest policy agenda on migration and asylum of the EU Commission published in September 2020, this paper highlights the mostly one-dimensional concept of vulnerability in external EU policies. In this article, it is argued that this entails significant gendered implications for asylum-seekers and migrants en route to Europe. It further reveals the detrimental effects for migrants and refugees caused by the EU’s focus and prioritization of its vulnerable borders. Ultimately, this paper by adopting a gendered lens calls into question whether the European Commission fully incorporates human rights commitments in its policy guidance on asylum and migration.

Keywords: European migration and asylum policies; vulnerability; gender; securitization; externalization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.33182/md.v2i1.2808

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