Border barrier

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Mexico-United States barrier in California Algodones sand-dune-fence.jpg
Mexico–United States barrier in California
Israeli West Bank barrier Israel - Jerusalem - Mount Zion - 03 (4261536735).jpg
Israeli West Bank barrier
Berlin Wall, 1988. Zum Kubat-Dreieck, Mauer am Potsdamer Platz.jpg
Berlin Wall, 1988.

A border barrier is a separation barrier that runs along or near an international border. Such barriers are typically constructed for border control purposes such as curbing illegal immigration, human trafficking, and smuggling. [1] [2] Some such barriers are constructed for defence or security reasons. In cases of a disputed or unclear border, erecting a barrier can serve as a de facto unilateral consolidation of a territorial claim that can supersede formal delimitation. A border barrier does not usually indicate the location of the actual border, and is usually constructed unilaterally by a country, without the agreement or cooperation of the other country.


Examples of border walls include the ancient Great Wall of China, a series of walls separating China from nomadic empires to the north. The construction of border barriers increased in the early 2000s; half of all the border barriers built since World War II which ended in 1945, were built after 2000. [3]

List of current barriers

Carte des barrieres de separation.svg

Note: The table can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically using the Sort both.gif icon.

NameCountryBuiltLength (km)Type
Belize–Guatemala Belize and Guatemala Proposed, agreedN/ADisputed territory and anti-illegal immigration
Botswana–Zimbabwe Botswana and Zimbabwe 2003500Anti-illegal immigration
Brunei–Malaysia Brunei and the city of Limbang, Malaysia 200520Anti-illegal immigration
Bulgaria–Turkey barrier Bulgaria and Turkey 201430Anti-illegal immigration
Ceuta border fence Spain and Morocco 20018Anti-illegal immigration
China–Hong Kong Hong Kong and China 1960s – early32Anti-illegal immigration
Costa Rica–Nicaragua Costa Rica and Nicaragua ProposedN/AAnti-illegal immigration
Green Line (Cyprus) Cyprus and Northern Cyprus 1964180Buffer Zone
Chinese–Korean border fence China and North Korea Under construction1,416Anti-illegal immigration
Egypt–Gaza barrier Egypt and Gaza Strip 1979, subterranean barrier under construction3.1Anti-terrorism and anti-illegal immigration
Estonia–Russia barrier Estonia and Russia Planned106–108Against Russian intrusion, illegal trade and illegal immigration
Greece–Turkey border Greece and Turkey 2012200Anti-illegal immigration
North Macedonia–Greece barrier North Macedonia and Greece 201530Anti-illegal immigration
Malaysia–Thailand border Thailand and Malaysia Proposed650Anti-terrorism
Melilla border fence Spain and Morocco 199811Anti-illegal immigration
Hungary–Serbia barrier Hungary and Serbia 2015175Anti-illegal immigration
Hungary–Croatia barrier Hungary and Croatia 201541Anti-illegal immigration
India–Bangladesh barrier India and Bangladesh Under construction3,268Anti-illegal immigration
India–Myanmar barrier India and Myanmar Under construction1,624Anti-drug smuggling and anti-terrorism
India–Pakistan barrier India Pakistan 2004550Anti-terrorism.
Iran–Pakistan barrier Iran and Pakistan Under construction959Anti-terrorism and Anti-drug smuggling
Kazakhstan–Uzbekistan barrier Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan 200645Anti-drug smuggling
Korean Demilitarized Zone North Korea and South Korea 1953248Conflict zone
Kruger National Park South Africa and Mozambique 1975120Anti-illegal immigration
South Africa–Zimbabwe Border South Africa and Zimbabwe 2000s225Anti-illegal immigration, anti-drug smuggling, anti-weapon smuggling
Kuwait–Iraq barrier Kuwait and Iraq 1991193Conflict zone
Libya–Tunisia barrier Libya and Tunisia TBA460Anti-Terrorism, Anti-illegal immigration
Norway–Russia border barrier Norway and Russia 2016200Anti-illegal immigration
Pakistan–Afghanistan barrier Pakistan and Afghanistan Under construction2,670Anti-terrorism, anti-illegal immigration, anti drug smuggling
Saudi–Yemen barrier Saudi Arabia and Yemen 200475Anti-illegal immigration
Saudi–Iraq barrier Saudi Arabia and Iraq 2014900Anti-illegal immigration and conflict zone
Slovenia–Croatia barrier Slovenia and Croatia under construction220Anti-illegal immigration
Serbia–North Macedonia barrier Serbia and North Macedonia 2020240Anti-illegal immigration
Turkey–Syria border barrier Turkey and Syria Under construction828Anti-terrorism, anti-illegal immigration and smuggling
Turkey–Iran border barrier Turkey and Iran Under construction144Anti-terrorism, anti-illegal immigration and smuggling
Turkmen–Uzbekistan barrier Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan 20011,700Anti-illegal immigration
Ukraine–Russia barrier Ukraine and Russia Under construction2,000Anti Weapon Smuggling and Conflict zone
United Arab Emirates–Oman barrier United Arab Emirates and Oman Under construction410Anti-illegal immigration
Mexico–United States barrier United States and Mexico Partially Constructed1,000Anti-illegal immigration and smuggling
Uzbek–Afghanistan barrier Uzbekistan and Afghanistan 2001209Anti-illegal immigration
Uzbek–Kyrgyzstan barrier Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan 1999870Conflict zone
Israel-West Bank barrier Israel and Palestine Partially Completed708Anti-terrorism (disputed territory)
Israel-Egypt barrier Israel and Egypt 2013245Anti-illegal immigration
Israel-Lebanon barrier Israel and Lebanon 201811Conflict zone
Israel-Gaza barrier Israel and Gaza Strip 1994N/AAnti-terrorism

Barriers by region



In 2003, Botswana began building a 480-kilometre-long (300 mi) electric fence along its border with Zimbabwe. The official reason for the fence is to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease among livestock. Zimbabweans argue that the height of the fence is clearly intended to keep out people. Botswana has responded that the fence is designed to keep out cattle, and to ensure that entrants have their shoes disinfected at legal border crossings. Botswana also argued that the government continues to encourage legal movement into the country. Zimbabwe was unconvinced, and the barrier remains a source of tension. [4]

Morocco-Spain border, by Melilla Verjamelilla.jpg
Morocco–Spain border, by Melilla


The Ceuta border fence was erected in 1993 at the Morocco–Spain border at Ceuta, a city on the North African coast that is Spanish territory in order to block the entrance of illegal immigrants to Spain.


The Melilla border fence stands at the Morocco–Spain border at Melilla, a city on the North African coast that is Spanish territory, in order to block the entrance of illegal immigrants to Spain.


Moroccan Wall in Western Sahara W Sahara Map.png
Moroccan Wall in Western Sahara

The Moroccan Wall is an approximately 2,700 kilometres (1,700 mi) long structure, mostly a sand wall (or "berm"), running through the region of Western Sahara and the southeastern portion of Morocco. It acts as a barrier between the Moroccan-controlled areas (Southern Provinces) and the Polisario-controlled section of the territory – Free Zone or de facto the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic that lies along its eastern and southern border.

According to maps from MINURSO [5] or the UNHCR, [6] part of the wall extends several kilometers into internationally recognized Mauritanian territory.

South Africa

Security fence along the South Africa-Mozambique border. Mozam-sa-fence.jpg
Security fence along the South AfricaMozambique border.

In 1975 a security fence of 120 kilometres (75 mi) was erected by South Africa to keep the violent revolution in Mozambique from spilling into Kruger National Park. [7] In 1990 it was reported:

Concern is growing in South Africa over the country's use of a lethal, 3,300 volt one amp electrified fence on its borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe. According to a report recently published by the South African Catholic Bureau for Refugees, the fence has caused more deaths in three years than the Berlin Wall did in its entire history. Local people call the fence the 'Snake of Fire'. There have been calls by South African church leaders over the past months for the fence to be switched off permanently. Most of its victims have been women and children fleeing the war in Mozambique. The Berlin Wall resulted in 80 deaths over 28 years. Official figures provided by the South African Defence Force (SADF) indicate that 89 people were electrocuted at the fence between August 1986 and August 1989. Church leaders dispute these figures, and claim that the true figure is nearer 200 each year. [8]

On December 9, 2002, by the presidents of South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe signed a treaty authorizing the fence to be torn down in order to re-open the ancient elephant migration route between South Africa and Mozambique. The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park of 35,000 square kilometres (14,000 sq mi) will connect the national parks of the three countries – South Africa's Kruger National Park, Mozambique's Limpopo National Park, and Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park. [9]

In 2005 it was reported that only a relatively small portion of the high-security border fence separating South Africa's Kruger National Park with Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou Park had been removed. Security concerns, especially about illegal immigrants and the smuggling of weapons and four-wheel-drive vehicles, have been hindering the removal of more sections of the border fence. [10]

The Americas


Argentina has constructed a wall at the Paraguay border between Posadas, Argentina and Encarnación, Paraguay. The wall is 5 meters high and1,300 meters (0.8 mile) long.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic announced on February 27, 2021, it will fence the border between the DR and Haiti in order to curb migration, drug trafficking, and the movement of stolen vehicles. [11]

United States

At the US Mexico border Border USA Mexico.jpg
At the US Mexico border

The United States has constructed a border barrier along 654 miles (1,053 km), some say more than 705 miles (1,135 km), (most of this section's data is from 2018), of its border with Mexico of 1,969 miles (3,169 km) to prevent illegal immigration and to deter smuggling of contraband, particularly illegal drugs.[ citation needed ] There has been discussion in the U.S. Congress on lengthening the barrier, but progress has been slow due to lobbying and lack of funding. In parts of the US (deserts and mountainous areas), there is only inferior fencing if anything. [12] President Donald Trump promised to build a 1,954-mile (3,145 km) border wall along the US–Mexico border during his campaign in the 2016 presidential election, famously pledging to "build the wall and make Mexico pay for it." [13] [14] After his election, he authorized construction in January 2017 with Executive Order 13767. [15] In early 2018, 54% of Americans supported building a combination of physical and electronic barriers across the U.S.-Mexico border. [16] [17] [18] [19] In 2018, the federal government partly shut down for the longest period in U.S. history due to President Trump's refusal to consider a spending bill without funding for the proposed wall. [20] In February 2019, President Trump declared the National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States in order to use U.S. Department of Defense funding for the wall despite opposition from both houses of Congress. [21] In 2019, a majority of Americans (58%) now oppose substantially expanding the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. [22] [23]



Brunei is building a security fence along its 20 kilometres (12 mi) border with Limbang, Malaysia, to stop the flow of irregular migrants and smuggled goods.[ citation needed ]

China (Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions)

The People's Republic of China (PRC) has two Special Administrative Regions on its southeastern coast – Hong Kong and Macau, both of which maintain controlled intra-national borders with the neighbouring Guangdong province in Mainland China. A Resident Identity Card is inspected when one crosses the border.

Hong Kong was a Dependent Territory of the UK until its sovereignty was handed over to the PRC in 1997, while Macau was a Special Territory of Portugal until its sovereignty was handed over to the PRC in 1999. Before the transfers of sovereignty back to the PRC, the Hong Kong–Guangdong and Macau–Guangdong borders were regarded as international borders.

Under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems", the two Special Administrative Regions continue to maintain their own customs and immigration policies, which are independent of those in Mainland China after the handovers. Due to differences in the policies between the special administrative regions and the Mainland, the Hong Kong–Guangdong and Macau–Guangdong borders have been maintained in operation after the returns.

Hong Kong has a border stretching 32 kilometres (20 mi) with the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone of Guangdong that features fences (topped with barbed tape/razor wire), thermal image sensors, lights, and closed-circuit television. Some sections are along the Shenzhen River thus acting as a physical barrier. The border is also patrolled regularly by police (and previously by the British Army until a short time before the handover in 1997). Just south of Shenzhen River (the geographical delimitation of the border) is a strip of rural land with restricted access, the 28 square kilometres (11 sq mi) Closed Area. Currently, the four road border crossings are located at Sha Tau Kok, Man Kam To, Lok Ma Chau, and Shenzhen Bay, and a railway and traveller crossing is located at Lo Wu. The residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are required to have their Hong Kong ID Cards inspected by the Hong Kong Immigration Department and their Home Return Permits inspected by the Public Security Bureau of Guangdong when they cross the border. Travelers from other countries and regions are required to present their passports or other types of travel documents for immigration clearance at both Hong Kong immigration checkpoints and Mainland China immigration ports.

Macau has been maintaining a 340 metres (1,120 ft) controlled border with Zhuhai City in Guangdong with a crossing available at the Border Gate (built in 1870). [24] The border crossing is equipped with 54 counters for travelers and 8 for vehicular traffic. Opened in 1999, Macau's Lotus Bridge supplemented what has been the only border crossing into mainland China through Border Gate. Both border crossings allow access to Zhuhai. Canal dos Patos, a former canal forms part of the border area along with Sun Yat-sen Municipal Park located to west of Border Gate area. Fencing along both sides of the canal restricts access to either side. Pagoda-like sentry towers are located along the Mainland China side of the border.

China (Mainland)

China, in October 2006, started building a security barrier along its border with North Korea to prevent illegal immigrants. [25]


Egypt began construction of a formidable barrier between Egypt and Gaza in 2009 prompted by concern that militant Islamist factions were making use of the Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels to move weapons and personnel between Gaza and Egypt. [26]


Along the black-dotted line and on the working boundary Kashmir map big.jpg
Along the black-dotted line and on the working boundary

Since the mid-1990s, India has been involved in the construction of some of the lengthiest border barriers along its international borders. Six of the nine countries neighboring India are classified as Least Developed Countries, and thus thousands of people from these countries – especially from Bangladesh and Burma – illegally immigrate into India.

The India–Bangladesh barrier and India–Myanmar barrier are being built to check smuggling, illegal immigration, and infiltration by Islamist terrorists. The refugee crisis could also ensue should a climate catastrophe ravage South Asia.

In addition, India completed the construction of the India–Pakistan barrier, which runs along the Line of Control in Kashmir and India–Pakistan international border. The purpose of this barrier is to prevent infiltration by armed militants.

India has fortified parts of their border against Pakistan with a new detection system using lasers. [27]

Fence separating Israel from Palestinian Authority at the former Israeli-Jordanian Green Line Barbed wire fence separating PA territory from Israel.jpg
Fence separating Israel from Palestinian Authority at the former Israeli-Jordanian Green Line


The Iran–Pakistan barrier wall is 700 kilometres (430 mi) long, which Iran claims is to stop the flow of illegal border crossings, stem the flow of drugs, and prevent terror attacks. However, the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan, whose lands straddle the border region, strongly opposed the barrier as the wall would divide the Baloch people politically and socially, with trade and social activities being seriously impeded.

Leader of the Opposition, Kachkol Ali, said the governments of the two countries had not taken the Baloch into their confidence on this matter [28] and demanded that construction be stopped immediately and he also appealed to the international community. [29] Residents of the Sorap locality in the Mand area of western Mekran region in Balochistan province rely on edible goods from Iran for their livelihood but Iranian border security forces vacate the town. According to BBC, "The Balochistanis, who live on both sides of the border and in the area where both countries neighbour Afghanistan, have had their communities divided by the wall." [30]


The Israeli West Bank barrier route built (red), under construction (pink) and proposed (white), as of June 2011 Westbank barrier.png
The Israeli West Bank barrier route built (red), under construction (pink) and proposed (white), as of June 2011

Due to Israel's specific security situation, as well as immigration concerns, border fences and walls have been utilized:

  • Jerusalem: During the 1950s and 1960s a fortified barrier separated Jordanian and Israeli-controlled sectors of the city. More recently, the West Bank barrier separates some Arab parts of greater Jerusalem form the city proper. [31] During the tenure of Prime-Minister Arik Sharon, part of the Israeli-Jordanian Green Line was fenced-off by a barbed-wire protective barrier.
  • Lebanon and Syria: Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria have sophisticated security barriers.
  • The barrier on the Golan Heights follows the border shaped by battles of the Yom Kippur War, but handed Kuneitra back to Syria.
  • Egypt: Barrier proposed in 2005 and completed in 2013 to block smugglers, terrorists and illegal migrants.
  • Jordan: This peaceful border is secured with a barrier designed to prevent the illegal movement of people in either direction.
  • The Israel–Gaza barrier follows the 1949 Armistice lines.
  • In the early 1990s, during the Oslo Accords, Yitzhak Rabin became the architect of delineated borders between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and which came to fruition with the construction of barriers under Arik Sharon.


South Korea has constructed a border barrier between its territory and North Korea to obstruct any southward movement by the army of North Korea. The border features:[ improper synthesis? ]


The United Nations has constructed a demilitarized zone to stop Iraq from re-invading Kuwait; Kuwait plans to install a new border barrier as well.


In September 2005, Pakistan stated it has plans to build a 2,400-kilometre (1,500 mi) fence along its border with Afghanistan to prevent TTP terrorists and drug smugglers slipping between the two countries. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has subsequently offered to mine the border as well. [32] [33]


There is an electronic security barrier (ex-"Iron Curtain") along the old Soviet border. Also, a security barrier is on the border of Russia with Norway, Finland, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. There is no barrier on Russian territory along the border with Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, or Ukraine, but there are some barriers on the Estonian, Latvian sides. It was reported in 2005 that the Russian government was considering the construction of a security barrier along its internal border with Chechnya to combat terrorism. [34]

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has begun construction of a border barrier or fence between its territory and Yemen to prevent the unauthorized movement of people and goods. The difference between the countries' economic situations means that many Yemenis head to Saudi Arabia to find work. Saudi Arabia does not have a barrier with its other neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council, whose economies are more similar.

In 2006 Saudi Arabia proposed constructing a security fence along the entire length of its desert border of 900 kilometres (560 mi) with Iraq in a multimillion-dollar project to secure the Kingdom's borders in order to improve internal security, control illegal immigration, and bolster its defences against external threats. [35]

As of July 2009 it was reported that Saudis will pay $3.5 billion for security fence. [36] The combined wall and ditch will be 1,000 km (600 mi) long and include five layers of fencing, watch towers, night-vision cameras, and radar cameras and manned by 30,000 troops. [37]

The land borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar were closed in 2017. Saudi Arabia has proposed the construction of the Salwa Canal along the Saudi-Qatar border, effectively turning Qatar into an island. [38]


Thailand plans to build a concrete fence along parts of its border with Malaysia to keep Muslim militants and dual citizens from crossing Thailand's southern border with Malaysia.


There are 4 border barriers around Turkey :

The barrier on the Syrian border is the third longest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China and the U.S.-Mexico border wall. [39]

United Arab Emirates

The UAE is building a security barrier along its border with Oman.


In 1999 Uzbekistan began constructing a barbed wire fence to secure its border with Kyrgyzstan.

In 2001 Uzbekistan fortified the fence with Afghanistan.



In October 2015, during the European migrant crisis, the Austrian interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner announced construction of up to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) long border barriers at several border crossings with Slovenia. The barrier is to be guarded by Austrian police and Austrian Armed Forces. [40]


Border zone in Brest with a security electric fence, a ploughed trace-control strip and a pillbox. Brest, DOT u mosta nad Bugom 03.jpg
Border zone in Brest with a security electric fence, a ploughed trace-control strip and a pillbox.

There is an electronic security barrier along the Belarus–Poland border consisting of Soviet-made security electric fences S-175 and KS-185. There are no electronic barriers on other borders.


Bulgaria has built a fence on its border with Turkey starting in 2013. [41]


During 2019, Denmark built a 1,5 m (5 ft) high fence along its border to Germany. Officially it is to keep out wild boars which are alleged to carry African swine fever. [42] Denmark also enforces border controls on the border with Germany.


In August 2015, Estonia announced a plan to build a barrier on its border with Russia. [43]


The Calais border barrier built jointly by Britain and France on French soil surrounds the port and Channel Tunnel entrance at Calais. [44] Many migrants have tried to enter Britain by jumping on trucks or trains using the tunnel.


East German guard Conrad Schumann leaping over barbed wire into West Berlin on 15 August 1961 East German Guard - Flickr - The Central Intelligence Agency (cropped).jpg
East German guard Conrad Schumann leaping over barbed wire into West Berlin on 15 August 1961

From 1952 onwards, East Germany started to construct a fortified Inner German border to separate it from West Germany. From 1961 the Berlin Wall also divided the city of Berlin into two. Most of the wall was demolished in and after 1989.


The Greek barrier is on the small section of the border where Evros River does not create a natural barrier. Greece-Turkey land border.svg
The Greek barrier is on the small section of the border where Evros River does not create a natural barrier.

After having made an agreement with Frontex on the guard of the maritime borders of Greece with Turkey [45] the Greek government decided a wall to be built at the land border with Turkey, the Evros River. [46] These actions have been made as a reaction to the illegal immigration to Greece through the Greco-Turkish borders. These immigrants are originated from Asian and African states. From January to the beginning of November 2010, 32,500 illegal migrants were intercepted in a single 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) stretch of the Turkish–Greek border along the Evros River. [47] This site is the main entrance of illegal immigrants to the EU from the Asian continent. [47] Illegal immigration is a current sore subject between the two countries.

Greece has constructed a barrier on the section of its land border with Turkey that is not separated by the Evros river, between October 2011 and December 2012. [48]


Hungarian border barrier with Serbia Hungarian-Serbian border barrier 2.jpg
Hungarian border barrier with Serbia

Hungary completed the construction of a 175 kilometres (109 mi) wall between Hungary and Serbia in September 2015 and on the border with Croatia in October 2015 to stop illegal migration into the EU. [49] In April 2016, Hungarian government announced construction of reinforcements of the barrier, which it described as "temporary". [50] In July 2016, nearly 1,300 migrants were "stuck" on the Serbian side of the border. [51] In August 2016, Orbán announced that Hungary will build another larger barrier on its southern border. [52] On April 28, 2017, the Hungarian government announced it had completed a second fence, 155 kilometres (96 mi) long, on the Serbian border. [53] [54]

On September 24, 2015, Hungary began building fence on its border with Slovenia, in the area around TornyiszentmiklósPince border crossing. [55] The razor wire obstacle was removed two days later. [56] As of March 2016, everything is in place if Hungary decides to build a border barrier on the Hungarian–Romanian border – the military is "only waiting for the command from the government". [57]

Attempted border entries have fallen since the barrier was constructed. During the month of September 2015 there was a total number of 138,396 migrant entries, and by the first two weeks of November the average daily number of intercepted migrants decreased to only 15, which is a daily reduction of more than 4,500. [58]


Latvia started to build a fence on its border with Russia in December 2015. [59]


BBC News reported in January 2017, that Lithuania was planning a fence on its border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. [60] The fence is to be 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) tall and 130 kilometres (81 mi) long. [61]


Macedonia began erecting a fence on its border with Greece in November 2015. [62]


In 2016 Norway constructed a barrier along a short part of its border with Russia, near the only official border crossing. [63]


Serbia began construction of a barrier on the Serbian border with North Macedonia in 2020. The leader of Presevo municipality said it is part of a deal with the EU, however, the EU says it is not. The construction is very intensive. The reason of its building is because of migration, and a possible new wave of migrants coming to Serbia from North Macedonia. [64]


Slovenia began erecting a border barrier along its border with Croatia in 2015 to control illegal migration into the Schengen Area. [65] As of November 2019 there was 220 kilometres (137 mi) of fences in total. They built extra kilometres in early 2020. [66] [67]


The European Union and Spain have constructed barriers between Morocco and the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla to prevent illegal immigration and smuggling.

Even though both the United Kingdom and Spain are part of the European Union, the border fence separating Gibraltar and Spain is still relevant because Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, is not part of the Schengen Area so remains outside of the customs union and VAT area. The border crossing is open twenty-four hours a day to facilitate customs collection by Spain.


United Kingdom

A "peace line" in Belfast Belfast peace line Cupar Way.jpg
A "peace line" in Belfast

In Belfast, Derry, and other settlements in Northern Ireland, barriers called "peace lines" have been built to separate the two main communities. Their purpose is to minimize inter-communal violence between Irish nationalists/republicans (who mainly self-identify as Irish and/or Catholic) and unionists/loyalists (who mainly self-identify as British and/or Protestant). They were first built following the 1969 riots and beginning of the "Troubles". They have continued to be built and expanded since the Belfast Agreement of 1998. In 2008 a public discussion began about how and when the barriers could be removed. [68] On 1 September 2011, Belfast City Council agreed to develop a strategy regarding the removal of peace walls. [69] At the end of 2011 several local community initiatives resulted in several interface structures being opened for a trial period. [70] In January 2012, the International Fund for Ireland launched a Peace Walls funding programme to support local communities who want to work towards removing the peace walls. [71]

Border barriers in history

Map of the Roman Empire, along with locations of limes Limes and borders.gif
Map of the Roman Empire, along with locations of limes
The extent of the Ming dynasty and its walls, which formed most of what is called the Great Wall of China today GreatWallChina4.png
The extent of the Ming dynasty and its walls, which formed most of what is called the Great Wall of China today


Middle Ages

Early modern period

Defunct barriers in modern times


See also

Related Research Articles

Separation barrier type of wall separating peoples, administrative units or cultures

A separation barrier or separation wall is a barrier, wall or fence, constructed to limit the movement of people across a certain line or border, or to separate peoples or cultures. A separation barrier that runs along an internationally recognized border is known as a border barrier.

Saudi–Yemen barrier

The Saudi–Yemen barrier is a physical barrier constructed by Saudi Arabia along part of its 1,800-kilometer (1,100 mi) border with Yemen. It is a structure made of pipeline three metres (10 ft) high filled with concrete, acting as a "security barrier along sections of the now fully demarcated border with Yemen" and fitted with electronic detection equipment.

Gaza–Israel barrier Border barrier between the Palestinian Gaza Strip and Israel

The Gaza–Israel barrier is a border barrier located on the Israeli side of the Gaza–Israel border. There are two main crossing points on the Israel-Gaza border: the northern Erez Crossing and the eastern Karni Crossing used only for cargo. Other cargo crossing points are the Kerem Shalom border crossing on the border with Egypt and the Sufa Crossing further north.

Mexico–United States barrier Series of vertical barriers along the Mexico–United States border

The Mexico–United States barrier, also known as the border wall, is a series of vertical barriers along the Mexico–United States border intended to reduce illegal immigration to the United States from Mexico. The barrier is not a continuous structure but a series of obstructions variously classified as "fences" or "walls".

Melilla border fence Part of the Morocco–Spain border at Melilla

The Melilla border fence forms part of the Morocco–Spain border in the city of Melilla, one of two Spanish cities in north Africa. Constructed by Spain, its stated purpose is to stop illegal immigration and smuggling. Melilla's border and its equivalent in Ceuta, also bordering Morocco, are the only two land borders between the European Union and an African country.

Mexico–United States border International border between Mexico and the United States

The Mexico–United States border is an international border separating Mexico and the United States, extending from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. The border traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from urban areas to deserts. The Mexico–United States border is the most frequently crossed border in the world, with approximately 350 million documented crossings annually. It is the tenth-longest border between two countries in the world.

Illegal immigration Migration of people across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country

Illegal immigration refers to the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration laws of that country, or the continued residence without the legal right to live in that country. Illegal immigration tends to be financially upward, from poorer to richer countries. Illegal residence in another country creates the risk of detention, deportation, and/or other sanctions.

Illegal entry

Illegal entry is the act of foreign nationals arriving in or crossing the borders into a country in violation of its immigration law. Human smuggling is the practice of aiding people in crossing international borders for financial gain, often in large groups. Human smuggling is associated with human trafficking. A human smuggler will facilitate illegal entry into a country for a fee, but on arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is usually free. Trafficking involves physical force, fraud, or deception to obtain and transport people, usually for enslavement or forced prostitution.

Bangladesh–India border International border of Bangladesh and India

The Bangladesh–India border, known locally as the International Border (IB), is an international border running between Bangladesh and India that demarcates the eight divisions of Bangladesh and the Indian states.

Egypt–Israel barrier

The Egypt–Israel barrier refers to a border barrier built by Israel along its border with Egypt. It was originally an attempt to curb the influx of illegal migrants from African countries. Construction began on 22 November 2010. However, following increased insurgent movement across the southern border in 2011 in wake of the crisis in Egypt, Israel upgraded the steel barrier project to include cameras, radar, and motion detectors. In January 2013, construction of the barrier was completed in its main section. The final section of the fence was completed in December 2013.

The Afghanistan–Pakistan barrier refers to the border barrier being built by Pakistan along its border with Afghanistan, otherwise known as the Durand Line. The purpose of barrier is to prevent terrorism, smuggling, illegal immigration and infiltrations across the approximately 2,640-kilometre-long (1,640 mi) international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Major-General Shaukat Sultan, a former Pakistani military spokesman, said the move was necessary to block the infiltration of militants across the border into Pakistan. The initially proposed fortifications and fence, about 2,400 km (1,500 mi) in length, was backed by the United States in 2005. Construction on the border barrier unilaterally began in March 2017 following a series of deadly and costly clashes between Pakistani security forces and Afghan-aligned militants in Pakistan's tribal areas that greatly intensified hostilities in the War in North-West Pakistan.

Hungarian border barrier

In 2015, Hungary built a border barrier on its border with Serbia and Croatia. The fence was constructed during the European migrant crisis, with the aim to ensure border security by preventing illegal immigrants from entering, and enabling the option to enter through official checkpoints and claim asylum in Hungary in accordance with international and European law. The number of illegal entries to Hungary declined greatly after the barrier was finished as it effectively abolished the access to asylum in Hungary.

Austrian border barriers are border barriers and migration management facilities constructed by Austria between November 2015 and January 2016 on its border with Slovenia and in 2016 on its border with Italy, as a response to European migrant crisis. They are located on internal European Union borders, since Austria, Italy, and Slovenia are members of the EU and the free travel Schengen Area with a common visa policy. The barrier on the Slovenian border is several kilometres long, located near the busiest border crossing, Spielfeld-Šentilj, and includes police facilities for screening and processing migrants. Another migration management facility with barriers located on Austria's Italian border near Brenner, South Tyrol was constructed in 2016.

North Macedonia border barrier

The North Macedonia border barrier is a border barrier built by North Macedonia on its border with Greece. It was constructed as a response to the European migrant crisis. The construction of the barrier began in November 2015, modeled similarly to the Hungarian border barrier.

Bulgaria–Turkey border

The Bulgaria–Turkey border is a 269 km (167 mi) long international border between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Turkey. It was established by the Treaty of San Stefano in 1878 as an inner border within the Ottoman Empire. The current borders are defined by the Treaty of Constantinople (1913) and the Bulgarian–Ottoman convention (1915). The border was reaffirmed by the Treaty of Lausanne ten years later, though Bulgaria was not a party to the latter treaty as it had earlier ceded to Greece that part of its border with Turkey which was modified by the Bulgarian-Ottoman convention.

The Norway–Russia border barrier is an international border barrier built by Norway on the Norway–Russia border. Construction of the barrier began in September 2016 and took a few months. The intent of the project was to prevent the smuggling and illegal crossing of migrants from the Middle East, mainly from Syria, who have used Russia as a route of entry into Norway.

The Calais border barrier is an international border barrier under construction jointly by France and the United Kingdom designed to prevent illegal migrants from gaining access to the Channel Tunnel and from the port of Calais as a means of illegal entry to Britain. Construction, funded by Britain, began in September 2016.

Syria–Turkey barrier

The Syria–Turkey barrier is a border wall and fence under construction along the Syria–Turkey border seemingly built in an attempt at preventing illegal crossings and smuggling from Syria into Turkey.

Albania and Montenegro share a border.

Turkey's migrant crisis, was a period during the 2010s characterized by high numbers of people arriving in Turkey. Turkey became the top refugee receiving country in 2014 (1,587,374), mid-2015 (1,838,848), and mid-2016 (2,869,421) reported on UNHCR registered refugees by country/territory of asylum [sort each year on descending]. Turkey's refugee breakdown in 2019 was "neighbor countries:" Syrians 3.6 M, Iraqis 142,000, Iranians 39,000, "Asia:" Afghans 172,000, "Africa:" 11,700. Reported by UNHCR in 2018, Turkey hosted 63.4% of all the "registered Syrian refugees." As of 26 June 2020, refugees of the Syrian Civil War in Turkey numbered 3,591,892.


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