A new report by Refugees International sheds light on the systematic human rights violations targeting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Tunisia since the arbitrary expulsions carried out in July, and calls for Europe and the US to reconsider their funding—and fundamental approach—for managing migration across the Mediterranean.
Over the past month, Tunis has received visits from a number of European officials offering aid to the Saied regime in exchange for cooperation on migration issues. Their proposals all revolve around one prickly question: the return and readmission of Tunisian and foreign immigrants.
With each measure of “support” the EU has offered Tunisia—whether in the form of a sizable loan for security reforms, or a free trade agreement for economic growth—particular emphasis has been placed on the recent successes and imperative role of civil society in the country’s path to democracy. But if what Tunisian civil society demands is a shifting of the scales and relations based on reciprocity, is Europe really prepared to listen?