The 'Obrim Fronteres Caravan' returns to Barcelona with proposals for changes in immigration and border policies

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Silvia Arroyo
The members of the 'Caravana Obrim Fronteres' during the farewell speech at Riace.

The members of the 'Caravana Obrim Fronteres' during the farewell speech at Riace.

The aim of this project is to denounce the violation of human rights generated by the migration policies of the European Union.

300 activists who were travelling since last July 13 in the ‘Obrim Fronteres Caravan’ arrived on Sunday to Barcelona after 9 days crossing different points of Italy, to report the deaths that are happening on the main European maritime route for refugees. The organization said in a statement: "We return to our territories with more strength, energy and proposals to continue defending and guaranteeing the human rights". 

The Caravan has returned with several requests based on the experiences during the trip. First of all, they request an European network of cities of refuge with effective and real actions. Secondly, they demanded the legality situation for all those who arrive to European territory. They also request migrant politics to consider the specificities of each person and that their psychological and health care adapts to them, as well as including the gender perspective in this process. Finally, they denounce the use of public budgets for the militarization of borders, migration control and the purchase and sale of weapons and war material.

A route of activism and denunciation

This year, the Caravan has focused in Italy in the wake of its "key negative role in the application of EU policies relative to migrants and refugees", they explain. 

The organizers report that it is on the Franco-Italian border where “are happening facts that are showing the worst of the government and police actions against migrants and refugees". Some of the facts that they denounce are the "uninvestigated death of migrants, the repression of those who risk their lives in hard conditions or the prosecution of the solidarity people who help them to cross the border”. 

Sicily is defined as the center of the Caravan actions, where several acts and manifestations of rejection have taken place during the trip. The activists denounce the presence of the most important internment center in Europe and the retention of rescue vessels. There’s also the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. 

On the other hand, they denounce exploitation practices of migrants and refugees and the presence of US military bases. 

The project

The 'Obrim Fronteres Caravan' was born in 2016 formed by a network of different organizations and collectives in Spain. In previous editions, the Caravan was mobilized to Greece (2016) and Melilla (2017) with very positive results. The purpose of this organization is to work towards the fulfillment of human rights and international agreements on refugee and immigration, and build a sensitized and active citizenship with refugees and migrants.

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