Forced Migrations and Refugees in the Mediterranean Basin and the MENA Region


Laura Westra (Editor)

Series: Human Rights: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives

BISAC: SOC066000

In the past migrations opened the world to knowledge, science, and understanding among peoples, but increasingly migrants are viewed with disfavour and even hate, especially in the Mediterranean Basin and the MENA Region. I had published with two other scholars a book intended to promote the rights of migrants in 2015, but today the situation has become so much worse, particularly in our chosen area, that I believe the time has come to re-examine the situation.

A number of issues conspire to render the fate of migrants truly desperate, as they are forced to leave their lands that, due to the increasingly grave effects of climate change, can no longer feed and support them and their families, while the ongoing conflicts in the area render their situation truly unlivable. In addition, in the last few years, extreme right-wing political parties in Europe have conspired to treat people of different colour, ethnicity, or religion as unworthy of the respect due to all human beings.

In 2019 a further disaster struck the whole world, a pandemic that imposed particularly harsh conditions to migrants, who were clearly unable to practice social distance and who found themselves in situations where testing, medicines and even sufficient food and water were not available.

There are important aspects of this work that have global applications beyond the focus area we have chosen, such as the spread of racism, the fostering of conflicts to advance the interests of powerful countries, the dangerous spread of populism with fascist tendencies, and the spread of imperialism. Most of all, there is a lesson to be learned: walls to exclude and separate people provide no solutions for any of the grave problems we all face. Such problems can be solved all together or not at all; what is needed is a concentrated effort to acknowledge our need for each other, as only a belief in the true brotherhood of all can help.

Table of Contents

(Professor Tullio Scovazzi)


Chapter 1. Climate Change and the Plight of Migrants—Five Years Later
(Laura Westra)

Chapter 2. Land Grabs: The Other Crime Against Humanity
(Laura Westra)

Chapter 3. The Geopolitical Situation in the Mediterranean Basin and the MENA Region: The Worst Dangers for Migrants and Refugees
(Laura Westra)

Chapter 4. The COVID-19 Pandemic: Migrants’ and Refugees’ Fight for Survival
(Laura Westra)

Chapter 5. North Africa and the Venus Squint: About the Italian Migration Policies and the Need for Security
(Virginia Zambrano – Full Professor of Comparative Law, University of Salerno, Italy)

Chapter 6. European Legal Regimes for the Protection of Migrants and Refugees in 2020
(Matteo Fermeglia)



“The book presents itself as an original and elegant response to the greatest “moral dilemma” characterizing the current century. This dilemma concerns the erosion of the living conditions of the human being, who – for several reasons – is forced to seek new life possibilities. The work presents a critical analysis of the legal, political and moral status of a “refugee” and also provides a solid epistemological context that sheds light on the increasingly heated conflict between ideologies, rights and interests. The style of the topic and the methodological approach confer an extraordinary ethical slant, where the moral dilemma mentioned above acquires different interpretative nuances.” – Marco Ettore Grasso, PhD

“The book addresses forced migration from multiple, contemporary perspectives, bringing new food for thought for all those involved with or interest in refugee and migration law, as well as human rights more generally.” – Irini Papanicolopulu, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

“A brilliant work that addresses the issue of migrants and their fundamental rights through the lens of past colonization and current imperialism, in a context aggravated by a world pandemic.” – Professor Alessandra Cordiano, Associata di Diritto privato, Università degli studi di Verona Italia, Italy

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