Rambling from Glumslöv to Landskrona (Sweden)

Walk from Glumslöv to Landskrona. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.
Walk from Glumslöv to Landskrona. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.

This is a wonderful coastal walk, easily accessible from Malmö by train. The train goes from Malmö Central Station to Glumslöv, a small village just off the coast of Skåne in Southern Sweden. Stepping off in Glumslöv, there is a small grocery store near the train station to pick up supplies. There are different routes on the road down to the coast, but we arrived via Ålabodsvägen (passing this old stone chamber grave) and then around into the beautiful village of Ålabodarna from the northern side. From there, we followed the Skaneleden hiking trail that tracks along the coast all the way to the northern tip of Landskrona, jumping on the bus from here to the Landskrona train station.

Rambling from Eastbourne to Seaford (the Seven Sisters)

The cliffs on the Eastbourne to Seaford walk. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.

This is a beautiful walk along the white cliffs from Eastbourne to Seaford. You can take public transit (or drive) to Eastbourne and walk all the way to Seaford along the coastal cliffs. There are frequent busses back from Seaford to Eastbourne, making this a great one-way walk. The walk is around 18-21km depending on how far into Seaford you go at the end. I would bring a hot thermos of tea and a sandwich to enjoy while overlooking the ocean. This walk would also be an excellent trail run; once past the rocky beaches, the trail is spongy yet firm and the up and down swoops of the green hills are great fun. This, and the beautiful and wide-open view of the churning ocean. It was so windy when I did this walk that a few times I worried about lifting off–so be mindful of staying away from the cliffs’ edges.

Running in the Kent Downs (Part II)

Photos of the footpaths & road running landscape near Elmsted in the Kent Downs. Photo credits © Siena Anstis.

I have marvelled at how wonderful running is in Kent (UK) in a previous post. Having spent more time in the area, I have now concluded that the area has some of the most beautiful countryside running I have experienced to date in the UK (or anywhere, save Northern and Western Uganda). I do not have a specific route to recommend, although I have been running around Elmsted (a small village in Kent). Both the road and off-road running around there is wonderful, and particularly along the North Downs Way. If you have a solid set of cross-country or off-road running shoes (I am partial to these Solomons), the muddy footpaths provide a wonderful way to get off the narrow roads. I use maps.me app (which can be downloaded to use offline) to direct me on these runs, which I find a bit easier to follow than the OS maps. A few pictures above to tempt anyone in the future.

Submissions to the Government of Canada on the Renewal of the Responsible Business Conduct Strategy

My colleagues and I at Citizen Lab have published submissions we made to the Government of Canada in regards to its public consultation to update the Responsible Business Conduct strategy. We focus on international human rights harms that flow from the use of Canadian-made technologies used abroad. The entire submissions are available here, with our key recommendations below:

Reform Canadian export law:  

  1. Clarify that all Canadian exports are subject to the mandatory ‘human rights’ analysis set out in section 7.3(1) and section 7.4 of the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA).
  2. Amend section 3(1) the EIPA such that the human rights risks of an exported good or technology provide an explicit basis for export control.
  3. Amend the EIPA to include a ‘catch-all’ provision that subjects cyber-surveillance technology to export control, even if not listed on the Export Control List, when there is evidence that the end-use may be connected with internal repression and/or the commission of serious violations of international human rights or international humanitarian law. 

Implement mandatory human rights due diligence legislation:

  1. Similar to the French duty of vigilance law, impose a human rights due diligence requirement on businesses such that they are required to perform human rights risk assessments, develop mitigation strategies, implement an alert system, and develop a monitoring and public reporting scheme. 
  2. Ensure that the mandatory human rights due diligence legislation provides a statutory mechanism for liability where a company fails to conform with the requirements under the law. 

Expand and strengthen the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE): 

  1. Expand the CORE’s mandate to cover technology sector businesses operating abroad.
  2. Expand the CORE’s investigatory mandate to include the power to compel companies and executives to produce testimony, documents, and other information for the purposes of joint and independent fact-finding.
  3. Strengthen the CORE’s powers to hold companies to account for human rights violations abroad, including the power to impose fines and penalties and to impose mandatory orders.
  4. Expand the CORE’s mandate to assist victims to obtain legal redress for human rights abuses. This could include the CORE helping enforce mandatory human rights due diligence requirements, imposing penalties and/or additional statutory mechanisms for redress when requirements are violated.
  5. Increase the CORE’s budgetary allocations to ensure that it can carry out its mandate.

New article: Detaining the Uncooperative Migrant

I have a new article out in the Journal of Law and Social Policy with colleague Molly Joeck on the role of “non-cooperation” in detaining migrants under Canadian immigration law:


A migrant held in a Canadian prison refuses to hand over a DNA sample to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). Another refuses to sign a statutory declaration of voluntary return to Somalia where his return is anything but voluntary. Others outright refuse at times to assist in any manner whatsoever with their own deportation. Canadian officials, judges, and adjudicators have treated all of these situations as instances of “non-cooperative” behaviour by an immigration detainee and, in turn, relied on such conduct to impose lengthy and indefinite periods of immigration detention. While the issue of an immigration detainee’s “non-cooperation” seems idiosyncratic and relatively unimportant in the larger scheme of immigration controls in Canada, we argue that this line of case law constitutes an example of the ambiguity surrounding the purpose of immigration detention itself and, when considered in light of writing by Michel Foucault and David Garland, reveals the State’s goal of individualizing, disciplining, and controlling non-citizens in order to achieve certain political aims in response to fears stoked by globalization. More specifically, we contend that where non-cooperation is cited by Canadian courts and tribunals as a justification for detaining a non-citizen, the supposedly nonpunitive nature of immigration detention is called into question. In this article, Foucault’s writing on the disciplinary society is used as a lens to demonstrate that, rather than immigration detention being used as a means to further the machinery of immigration control, it is instead being used as a means of disciplining non-citizens who have dared to “transgress” the Canadian border regime. David Garland’s writings on crime control also show that immigration detention serves an expressive function, allowing the Canadian government to denounce these perceived transgressions of sovereignty committed by undisciplinable migrants for political traction. At the same time, we seek to underline a fact that often goes unacknowledged in discussions around immigration detention: namely, that non-cooperation can constitute a form of resistance—an expression of agency and autonomy—on the part of migrants against the machinery of the state. Finally, we conclude by arguing that the justification of lengthy and indefinite periods of detention of non-citizens on the basis of non-cooperation is instrumentally incoherent (in that detention on the basis of non-cooperation does not seem to achieve the purpose of immigration control) and legally incoherent (in that the statutory basis for non-cooperation as justification for lengthy and indefinite detention is absent). We argue that the introduction of certain principles into the Canadian immigration detention regime could remedy this significant problem.

Rambling to Tuc de Mulleres (Spain)

The mountain crest near Tuc de Mulleres. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.
View from Tuc de Mulleres. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.

Another part of the truly endless wonders of Northern Spain. We started this hike to Tuc de Mulleres (3014m) early in the morning from the valley of the old Espitau de Vielha, finishing in the late afternoon. Starting out gently in the valley forest, the path winds up to the top of a gushing waterfall. After that, a series of still, transcendent, deep green lakes, and the irregular song of bells, and finally the bleating of sheep grazing on summer pastures. The perpetual maze of rocks and boulders can be taxing, but not so much if you pause to gaze at the shadowy bare shapes of the Pyrenees or eat pain au chocolat gazing at the steely reflections of the mountains in clear water. The ascent was long, but steady, until the last scramble and climb to the tuc itself (this last section onto the crest of the mountain and over to the left towards the peak itself would have been difficult without someone who knew where they were going, so some caution would be advisable). At the top, we lit up the little Primus stove and ate like hiking royalty–Swedish meatballs and pasta–with the sun shining, a cool wind, and a wondrous view of the mountains all around us. Seemingly not so far away, Pico d’Aneto tantalizingly close with its sheen of snow. The trip down was straightforward after the initial steep ascent from the tuc. A swim in the glacier lake washed off much of the afternoon heat, as did the welcome cover of the valley forest for the last section towards the old hospital.

Trail Running near Bassa d’Oles (Spain)

View from 2,000 m near Cabana de Gèles. Photo © Siena Anstis.

I started this run from Era Bassa D’Oles, using maps.me to navigate a circulate route from the lake, up into the valley and a mountain pass at 2,000 m, and then down for a total of 9 km. After running through the forest on bike tracks and then over a gravel road, I ended up at a picnic area at the bottom of a mountain and followed the shape of the mountain parallel to the Barranc de Gèles up to Cabana de Gèles at around 1,900m and finally a little further up to 2,000m. After that, the most glorious running unfolded as I made my way around and back to the lake where I started. A narrow path cutting across the mountain side towards the blue green shadows in the distance. A herd of horses grazed and slept in the sunshine. I was alone–and, so it felt, on top–of the world. Over the years, I have started to find running utterly boring, but this is just the opposite. Far outside my comfort zone, navigating by map, but also much more by feeling and instinct, staying upright over unexpected roots and rocks, alone and mostly in control without cars, people, or bikes. The sense of exhilaration transforms running from a routine chore to fend off old demons, to a way to connect with the world around you. The ground under your feet, the cold of mud sucking at shoes, a herd of startled animals, the sun pushing down over the mountain, the threat of a storm in the changing patterns of the clouds, and the sheer unpredictability of each step.

Climbing Via Ferratas in Val D’Aran (Spain)

Climbing the Via Ferrata in Unha. Photo © Siena Anstis.
The valley around the town of Unha–view from the top of the Via Ferrata. Photo © Siena Anstis.

Via Ferrata Unha

Just shy of 800 meters, this via ferrata proceeds in three stages (with escapes after stage 1 and stage 2) to climb up to 2220 meters. There is one Tibetan bridge, a dangling ladder, and a few challenging overhanging sections, among other obstacles to conquer. There is nothing quite like the sensation of gripping to rock and metal hundreds of meters above the valley floor. Requiring intense concentration, the ability to wipe mind of fear and anxiety for several hours, and a certain physical consistency in movement, the final ascent over the crest of the via ferrata is deeply gratifying and a psychological release. As we climbed, we spotted a soaring eagle and swallows playing in the wind, rushing over our heads and near our clips. The wind picked up as we climbed higher, bringing the sweet, fresh smell of a summer afternoon in the mountains. From the top, a view of the beautiful valley around the charming town of Unha.

Via Ferrata Les

Another via ferrata near Vielha and accessible by bus from there. While less magnificent than the route in Unha, it presented its own challenge. The first section includes an intimidating overhang that benefited from strong upper arms and solid confidence. I ended up spooked before we had even really started to climb the first section, so we descended and began with the second section which was much simpler (leaning towards dull after Unha). After that, we returned to complete the first section and then took the escape route back down to the valley floor. It was beautiful up on the top, but the view slightly marred by a quarry and heavy construction in the valley floor.

Rambling to Lac d’Arrius, Lac Tort d’Arrius & Lac del Mar (Spain)

View from the path to Lac d’Arrius. Photo © Siena Anstis.
Lac d’Arrius. Photo © Siena Anstis.

This was my second glimpse of the unique world of the Spanish Pyrenees. Starting from the old Hospital de Vielha (at the end of the mouth of the tunnel that goes to Vielha), we hiked up to Lac d’Arrius/l’Estanh de Rius, Lac Tort d’Arrius/Estanh Tort de Rius and Lac de Mar/Estanh del Mar and back down to the Hospital (maps.me proving again to be a helpful navigator). While the mountains are not as imposing and dominating as the Mont Blanc massif, this was easily compensated by the stillness and quiet around these craggy, grey, endless, rocks. The route took about a half day, punctuated with breaks to eat, swim and gaze. The glacier lakes were particularly special to witness. They have a peculiar colour–perhaps that of being untouched and seemingly empty–and while the water is cold and the bottom of the lake awkward and silty, a swim is incomparable. Green lake, blue sky, gentle breeze, a shock of cold water, a still landscape. It seems hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else.