Democracy and Human Rights

Perspectives #10 - Borders: Lines in the Sand or in the Mind?

Published: 20 October 2016

When ISIS announced the establishment of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ it fuelled discussions as to whether  this would herald  the ‘end of Sykes-Picot’ – borders artificially drawn by the colonial powers at the beginning of the twenti- eth century. But borders are more than ‘lines in the sand’: they divide. While the privileged few may cross legitimately  by simply presenting their passport, for most, these borders present difficult if not insurmountable hurdles. People fleeing from war, climate change  or economic hardship, attempt to cross the Mediterranean but many drown trying.