SuperCamp: Genealogies of humanitarian containment in the Middle East

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View of Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Image credit: UN Photo

In 2015, more than one million migrants reached Europe. In response, the European Union and Schengen countries instituted a new policy of regional containment from March 2016.

The policy specifically aimed to stop and turn back migrants and especially targeted irregular migration through Turkey. Border patrols in the Mediterranean increased and surveillance and border patrols intensified.

In so doing, the European Union and Schengen countries effectively established a ‘catch basin’ for refugees and migrants in the Middle East.

This project examines the implications of this for the transit countries in the Middle East and hypothesises that the Middle East takes on features of what we call a ‘SuperCamp’ – an area where migrants are not so much hosted but held hostage.