Report on the Privatisation and Private Sector Involvement and other Forms of State Disengagement in Migration and Refugee Services

PSI-EPSU Privatisation of Migration & Refugee Services cover web

(18 September 2018) The European Public Service Union (EPSU) and Public Services International (PSI) commissioned a research to inform both our work in influencing policy on global governance of migration at European Union, national and global levels, build awareness and capacity among affiliates, and fight the privatisation of public services, which is now flourishing in different ways on the back of migrants and refugees.

The cocktail of austerity, privatisation and institutional racism, has tragic consequences first and foremost for the migrants and refugees whose lives are put at risk, whether by destitution, lack of or inadequate healthcare, inhumane, lengthy and costly bureaucratic asylum and migration procedures, or unjust detention.

As walls and borders are reinforced in the attempt to keep the poorest or those fleeing wars at bay, the report is a wakeup call for governments to reverse privatisation and invest in quality public services supported by the necessary checks and balances. Attempts by European governments to outsource asylum responsibilities to third countries, tantamount to Australia’s practice of offshoring asylum reception to neighbouring countries, is a deep cause for concern.

The report provides a minefield of information on the social, economic and dehumanising effects of privatisation both on migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and the workforce that delivers the services.

The key corporate players involved in the “migration business” are known to many of our affiliates that organise prison services or social care. These are the same global companies and equity funds that reap huge benefits as the welfare state disengages from its duty to protect the most vulnerable in society and turning them into commodities.

The report shows that governments do not need to develop new and specific services for migrants and refugees, but rather need to invest much more human and material resources in quality public services and to ensure full access for all, free from fear or discrimination.

For the report (EN / FR / ES) :