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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2016  /  April 2016  /  Debating Open Borders and the Politics of Migration

Debating Open Borders and the Politics of Migration

3rd year Geographers address the current arguments

Debating Open Borders and the Politics of Migration

Last term’s course on Migration and Transnationalism ended with 3rd Year UCL Geographers debating the question of Open Borders.

With over 100 students, there were two debates on 28 March to examine the motion, With reference to human migration, this house agrees that 'there are very good practical arguments in favour of borders being open’.

In the weeks before the debate, small groups worked to identify the key points they wished to argue. Twenty speakers, representing each group, explored the social, economic, political, security-related, cultural and moral implications of open or restrictive border controls. These were viewed from the perspectives of the states of origin, of transit, and the host states; the host societies and the communities of origin; businesses; the migrants themselves, including asylum-seekers and refugees; and smugglers and traffickers.

The debate drew on academic research and case-studies from all regions of the world, including the on-going Mediterranean crisis, border closures in the Balkans and US-Mexican border crossings. It enabled the group to focus on questions central to understanding the challenges and opportunities arising from the complex current processes of migration and displacement.

In both groups, the motion was decisively won.


Open Borders debate