As debt-reducing measures and austerity packages are introduced all over Europe, will governments be forced to abandon plans to build more immigration removal centres?1 One way that European governments could cut costs is by removing as many legal obstacles to deportation as possible and thereby speeding up the process of removal.
This briefing paper and list of thirty-eight asylumand immigration- related deaths (see Appendix 1, p.19) examines developments over eighteen months (from January 2009 to 30 June 2010) which suggest that, in the countries of northern and eastern Europe the scale and pace of deportations is accelerating, even as the number of new arrivals declines. (The pattern is more varied in southern Europe.) In one country, Norway, the number of rejected asylum seekers forcibly returned in the first six months of 2010 rose by a staggering 72 per cent. Speedier removals have been accompanied by the increased use of force, as well as measures that both deny asylum seekers access to justice (which in itself ensures a faster rate of removal) and limit the ability of NGOs to scrutinise the system and provide independent oversight.