Contesting protection
in Reclaiming migration
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Chapter 4 examines experiences en route and of arrival to the EU, to emphasise the limitations of European asylum and protection policies. It draws attention to the complexity of migratory journeys and explores how the struggle to find peace and safety often involves a seemingly unending search by people on the move. By pointing to the longevity of many journeys outside EU territory, their fragmented nature, and what we call varied and ‘intersecting drivers and conditions of flight’, the analysis shows how people on the move often face cumulative experiences of precarity in which both colonial legacies and racialised violence form a part. It also reveals the violence and limitations of an asylum system that requires cross-border travel irrespective of the difficulties and risks that this imposes. While some were actively seeking asylum on arrival to the EU and others were more generally seeking peace and safety, people on the move advanced a multiplicity of claims and demands in contesting the cumulative experiences of precarity that they faced both before and after arrival to the EU. As such, our counter-archive draws attention to the limits of assumptions about the need to provide people on the move with humanitarian succour.

Reclaiming migration

Voices from Europe’s ‘migrant crisis’


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