Relocation of Torture and ‘State Torture’
Readmission Agreements, Externalisation of Borders and Closure of Ports in the Mediterranean Sea
The article examines one of the forms of state violence exercised on undocumented migrants in Belgium, in particular on women and children, since the introduction of their confinement in detention centres and their forced deportation in the late 1980s. The article concludes that regarding the norm of the intentionality of migration policies and the detrimental effects on the mental and physical health of children and women migrants, the recognising of these inhuman treatments as typical forms of torture of detention centres and their re-labelling as such would seem more consistent and realistic. The challenge of this re-labelling lies in the need to shift the moral and legal debate to the political one in order to question that form of migrants’ governmentality and policy unworthy of a democracy.
Keywords: Readmission agreements • Torture • Deportation • Borders • Belgium • Undocumented women and children • Detention centres • Principle of non-refoulement • Crimes against humanity