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Human dignity and biophysical violence: Migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

About the project

Migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea raise questions about the limitations of the EU’s definition of human dignity. Rather than representing an inviolable ground on which fundamental rights rest, such deaths suggest that the EU neglects the value of migrant lives by failing to account for a form of violence whereby physical forces act directly on migrating bodies. This project examines different interventions in Lampedusa, Italy, whereby migrant deaths at sea are tolerated and/or contested. It provides renewed appreciation of the potential and limitations of human dignity, by addressing the violence involved in neglecting the value of migrant lives.

Research Team

Dr Vicki Squire


Funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship commenced in September 2015, and will run for two years until August 2017.

Contact information