The tighter the borders become, and the more intensely they are monitored by both technology and personnel, the higher the number of migrants who die trying to cross these borders. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that with a count of 1500 deaths in 2011, more refugees than ever have drowned on their flight across the Mediterranean Sea or dehydrated on boats.
Human rights organizations regularly heavily criticize the practice of border surveillance. Refugees that made it into the EU have reported to the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch that uniformed officials from Italy and Libya forced them to return on open seas in their unseaworthy boats, whereupon arrival in Libya they were taken into camps.
In 2003, Italy made an agreement with Libya (at that time still ruled by Muammar al-Gaddafi) which attracted a lot of interest and attention.
However, not only are the human rights and values of refugees sometimes ignored in the process, but the rights of EU citizens are being surrendered with the increasing automation of border crossing abuse. The information in passports and visas is limited to names, addresses, birthdates, height and eye color, but the new biometric technology allows for far more information to be saved. Access to this data has primarily been the Achilles heel of every information system, and not just since the NSA scandal. When the borders are monitored via Eurosur, it is not only the migrants entering irregularly that are monitored, but everyone else as well, which puts elementary data protection rights in question.
This text is part of the policy brief on Interner Link: "Frontex and the EU Border Regime".