This map documents and denounces the systematic violence and push-backs at the internal, external and externalised borders of the European Union. It provides a space to visualise the systematic and institutionalised nature of push-backs conducted and condoned by the authorities. This violence takes place within the wider context of the European border regime, increasingly xenophobic policies, militarisation, securitisation, and the use of deterrent measures. The implementation of this structural violence is mostly outsourced to the margins of the European Union. Push-backs are a systematic technique used to suppress movement across borders, as the increase of push-backs during and after the gradual closure of the Balkan corridor shows. Through this map we aim to increase the visibility of the systemic practices of expulsion, and expose the resulting violations of human rights and dignity, denials of (international) protection, as well as physical and psychological violence, harassment, and death. The mapping of these practices begins with the closure of the Balkan corridor in March 2016.

The mapping project emerged from several groups and individuals documenting and counteracting push-backs and violence at the internal and external(ised) borders of the European Union. Although initiated by groups and individuals mainly active along the former Balkan corridor, this map is not limited geographically, because push-backs and border violence are a global phenomenon. The map is an inclusive and open tool for people targeted by, witnessing and counteracting push-backs in order to collect and centralise evidence. As the history of push-backs is also a history of resistance with successful legal challenges, activist struggles and relentless movements across borders, this map intends to document the continued struggle of people on the move and hopes to empower people to report experienced or witnessed push-backs. We thereby not only counteract and denounce push-backs and border violence, but also support the right to move freely and safely across borders in order to enjoy a life in dignity.


The term “push-back” means that people are expelled shortly after entering the territory of a country, without the possibility to start administrative procedures to stay, to access the mechanisms of international protection, to explain their personal circumstances or to object to their treatment. Push-backs are expulsions, direct deportations or readmissions, or other forms of immediate involuntary return across one or several territorial borders. Depending on the regulatory framework in place, these forms of forced displacement can be legalised under national law, semi-formalised or informal practices. They continue to put in danger those who attempt to cross borders.

Deportations conducted under the Dublin Regulation exceed the scope of this map, because they are carried out after the procedure for international protection has been administratively initiated.

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