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On the waterfront: Portuguese port cities and undocumented immigration Alina Esteves CEG – CENTRE FOR GEOGRAPHICAL STUDIES, INSTITUTE OF GEOGRAPHY AND.

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Presentation on theme: "On the waterfront: Portuguese port cities and undocumented immigration Alina Esteves CEG – CENTRE FOR GEOGRAPHICAL STUDIES, INSTITUTE OF GEOGRAPHY AND."— Presentation transcript:

1 On the waterfront: Portuguese port cities and undocumented immigration Alina Esteves CEG – CENTRE FOR GEOGRAPHICAL STUDIES, INSTITUTE OF GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL PLANNING (IGOT) UNIVERSITY OF LISBON

2 Structure of the presentation Geographical position of Portuguese port cities Maritime irregular/ undocumented migration to Portugal Why so few? The role of FRONTEX

3 Geographical position of Portuguese port cities Portugal has a long coast line along the Atlantic Ocean.

4 Azores (PT) Portugal Algeria Madeira (PT) Morocco Canary islands (Spain) Cape Verde Geographical position of Portugal (mainland and archipelagos)

5 Location of ports and marinas in Portugal (mainland)

6 Location of ports and marinas in Portugal (mainland and archipelagos) Canary islands (Spain)

7 Irregular / undocumented migration Every year the SEF identifies undocumented foreign citizens in their inspections to the vessels moored in Portuguese ports. Considering the last 4 years ( ) a total of 100 undocumented individuals have been identified with particular relevance to the ports of Lisbon, Setúbal and Leixões which roughly correspond to the two major Portuguese metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Oporto (79%). Between 2007 and 2010, the number of foreign citizens in Portugal changed from to accounting for approximately 4% of the total resident population in the country. The inflow of foreign citizens during 2010 reached almost people (50.747).

8 Undocumented foreign citizens identified by SEF in the vessels inspected, by port of arrival, 2007/10 Source: SEF, unpublished data. 3 ports: 79%

9 Undocumented foreign citizens identified by SEF in the vessels inspected, by nationality, 2008/10

10 Why so few? For irregular migrants, one way of reaching South European coastal areas is by using fragile makeshift boats. Considering the geographical position of mainland Portugal and its two archipelagos, there is hardly any undocumented migration using these means to reach the coastal areas. - mainland Portugal faces the Atlantic Ocean and not the Mediterranean sea and therefore is not reachable by fragile boats from North Africa (winds and sea currants are not favourable) - the archipelago of Madeira is far from the African coast (the Canary islands are much closer; 100 Km or 54 nautical Miles separate the Moroccan village of Tarfaya from the Spanish island of Fuerteventura in the Canary archipelago) - the archipelago of the Azores is in the middle of the Ocean, too far from everything

11 Why so few? (cont.) -For deep draft vessels like commercial ships, the commercial companies running business transporting cargo are under tight scrutiny. Ship owners and shipping agencies have to communicate to the SEF the list of crew members and the eventual presence of undocumented / illegal persons aboard. -There is no direct ferry crossing between Moroccan cities and Portuguese ports, thus limiting opportunities for any undocumented migration. -As far as cruisers go, the Portuguese port cities of Lisbon and Funchal are welcoming a growing number of ships from diverse origins but the control of passengers by the crew in these floating hotels does not allow for illegal immigration.

12 The role of FRONTEX The 2010 FRONTEX[1] Report mentions several meetings held with third country officials in order to reduce the irregular flows of people from countries such Mauritania and Nigeria to the EU ports. One of the operational activities held since 2007 is the European Patrols Network HERA in the Atlantic Ocean’ waters between North Western African countries and the Canary Islands[2]. This bilateral cooperation of Spain with Senegal and Mauritania aimed at organising naval and air surveillance among Member States to prevent the arrival of irregular immigrants to the Spanish archipelago by early detection of immigrants at the sea. [1] FRONTEX is the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union set up in [2] More than illegal migrants have arrived to the Canary Islands from Africa in 2006, compared to 4,751 for all of 2005 and 8,519 in During the first part of 2007, about 5000 illegal migrants have already reached the Canary Islands (2010 FRONTEX Report).

13 Thank you !


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