Mexico–United States barrier in California
Israeli West Bank barrier
Berlin Wall, 1988.

A border barrier, border fence or border wall 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

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (December 2021)

Border Barriers in the World

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

Name Countries affected Built and maintained by Date built Length (km) Type Deaths during crossing attempts References
Argentina–Paraguay Argentina and Paraguay Argentina 2014 1.3 Anti-illegal immigration [4]
Austrian border barrier Austria, Italy, and Slovenia Austria 2015 3.7 Anti-illegal immigration [5]
Belize–Guatemala Belize and Guatemala Belize Proposed, agreed N/A Disputed territory and anti-illegal immigration
Botswana–Zimbabwe Botswana and Zimbabwe Botswana 2003 500 Protection of livestock against disease (Botswana), anti-immigration (purported from Zimbabwe officials) 8 [6]
Brunei–Malaysia Brunei and the city of Limbang, Malaysia Brunei 2005 20 Anti-illegal immigration
Bulgaria–Turkey barrier Bulgaria and Turkey Bulgaria 2014 30 Anti-illegal immigration [7]
Calais border barrier United Kingdom and France United Kingdom and France 2016 1 Anti-illegal immigration [8]
Ceuta border fence Spain and Morocco Spain 2001 8 Anti-illegal immigration 13–18 depending on estimates.[9]
Costa Rica–Nicaragua Costa Rica and Nicaragua Costa Rica Proposed N/A Anti-illegal immigration
Green Line (Cyprus) Cyprus and Northern Cyprus Cyprus and the United Nations 1964 180 Buffer Zone
Chinese–Korean border fence China and North Korea China 2011 1,416 Anti-illegal immigration [10]
Chile-Bolivia ditch Chile and Bolivia Chile 2022 (Under construction) N/A Anti-illegal immigration [11]
Denmark–Germany border fence Denmark and Germany Denmark 2019 70 Wildlife control (official), Anti-immigration (third party claims) [12][13][14]
Dominican–Haiti border fence Dominican Republic and Haiti Dominican Republic Under construction 2022 N/A Anti-illegal immigration and crime [15][16]
Egypt–Gaza barrier Egypt and Gaza Strip Egypt 1979, subterranean barrier under construction 3.1 Anti-terrorism and anti-illegal immigration [17]
Estonia–Russia barrier Estonia and Russia Estonia 2018 110 Anti-intrusion, illegal trade and illegal immigration [18]
Finland–Russia border barrier Finland and Russia Finland 2023 200 Against Russian intrusion, illegal trade and illegal immigration [19]
Greece–Turkey border Greece and Turkey Greece 2012, expanded 2021[20][21] 200 Anti-illegal immigration [22][23][24][25]
North Macedonia–Greece barrier North Macedonia and Greece North Macedonia 2015 30 Anti-illegal immigration [26]
Malaysia–Thailand border Thailand and Malaysia Thailand Proposed 650 Anti-terrorism
Melilla border fence Spain and Morocco Spain 1998 11 Anti-illegal immigration
Hungary–Serbia barrier Hungary and Serbia Hungary 2015 175 Anti-illegal immigration [27][28][29][30][31]
Hungary–Croatia barrier Hungary and Croatia Hungary 2015 41 Anti-illegal immigration
India–Bangladesh barrier India and Bangladesh India Under construction 3,268 Anti-illegal immigration
India–Myanmar barrier India and Myanmar India Under construction 1,624 Anti-drug smuggling and anti-terrorism
India-Nepal barrier India and Nepal India Under construction ? Anti-illegal immigration Anti-terrorism
India–Pakistan barrier India and Pakistan India 2004 550 Anti-terrorism [32]
Iran–Pakistan barrier Iran and Pakistan Pakistan[33] and Iran Under construction 959 Anti-terrorism and Anti-drug smuggling [34][35][36]
Iran–Afghanistan border Iran and Afghanistan Iran Under construction 140 Anti-illegal immigration Anti-terrorism Anti-drug smuggling
Israel-West Bank barrier Israel and Palestine Israel Partially Completed 708 Anti-terrorism and disputed territory [37]
Israel-Egypt barrier Israel and Egypt Israel 2013 245 Anti-illegal immigration
Israel-Lebanon barrier Israel and Lebanon Israel 2018 11 Conflict zone
Israel-Gaza barrier Israel and Gaza Strip Israel 1994 N/A Anti-terrorism
Kazakhstan–Uzbekistan barrier Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Kazakhstan 2006 45 Anti-drug smuggling
Korean Demilitarized Zone North Korea and South Korea North Korea and United Nations Command 1953 248 Conflict zone
Kruger National Park South Africa and Mozambique South Africa 1975 120 Anti-illegal immigration 89 (Army), over 200 (Various churches)
South Africa–Zimbabwe Border South Africa and Zimbabwe South Africa 2000s 225 Anti-illegal immigration, anti-drug smuggling, anti-weapon smuggling [38][39][40][41]
Kuwait–Iraq barrier Kuwait and Iraq Kuwait 1991 193 Conflict zone
Latvia–Russia border fence Latvia and Russia Latvia 2015 90 Anti-illegal immigration [42]
Libya–Tunisia barrier Libya and Tunisia Tunisia TBA 460 Anti-terrorism, Anti-illegal immigration
Lithuania-Belarus barrier Lithuania and Belarus Lithuania 2021[43] 502 Anti-illegal immigration [44][45]
Lithuania–Russia border fence Lithuania and Russia Lithuania 2017 130 Anti-smuggling, anti-illegal immigration, anti-intrusion [46]
Moroccan Western Sahara Wall Morocco and Western Sahara Morocco 1980 2,700 Conflict zone [47][48]
Norway–Russia border barrier Norway and Russia Norway 2016 0,2 Anti-illegal immigration [49]
Pakistan–Afghanistan barrier Pakistan and Afghanistan Pakistan ongoing 2,670 Anti-terrorism, anti-illegal immigration, anti drug smuggling [50][51]
Poland–Belarus barrier Poland and Belarus Poland 2022[52] 186 Anti-illegal immigration 21[53] [54][55][56][57][58]
Saudi–Yemen barrier Saudi Arabia and Yemen Saudi Arabia 2004 75 Anti-illegal immigration
Saudi–Iraq barrier Saudi Arabia and Iraq Saudi Arabia 2014 900 Anti-illegal immigration and conflict zone [59][60][61]
Slovenia–Croatia barrier Slovenia and Croatia Slovenia 2016 220 Anti-illegal immigration [62][63][64]
Serbia–North Macedonia barrier Serbia and North Macedonia Serbia 2020 240 Anti-illegal immigration [65]
Turkey–Syria border barrier Turkey and Syria Turkey 2018 828 Anti-terrorism, anti-illegal immigration and smuggling [66]
Turkey–Iran border barrier Turkey and Iran Turkey 2019 144 Anti-terrorism, anti-illegal immigration and smuggling
Turkmen–Uzbekistan barrier Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan Turkmenistan 2001 1,700 Anti-illegal immigration
Ukraine–Russia barrier Ukraine, Russia and Belarus Ukraine Under construction 2,000 Anti Weapon Smuggling and Conflict zone
United Arab Emirates–Oman barrier United Arab Emirates and Oman United Arab Emirates 2018 410 Anti-illegal immigration
Mexico–United States barrier United States and Mexico United States Partially Constructed 1,000 Anti-illegal immigration and smuggling [67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74][75][76]
Uzbek–Afghanistan barrier Uzbekistan and Afghanistan Uzbekistan 2001 209 Anti-illegal immigration
Uzbek–Kyrgyzstan barrier Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan 1999 870 Conflict zone
Hong Kong-China barrier and Forts Hong Kong and mainland China United Kingdom and Hong Kong 1950s ? Anti-terrorism Anti-illegal immigration
(Gibraltar) United Kingdom-Spain barrier (Gibraltar) United Kingdom and Spain United Kingdom and Gibraltar 1909 1.24 Anti-terrorism Anti-illegal immigration
Ethiopia-Eritrea barrier Ethiopia and Eritrea Ethiopia and Eritrea 1990s–2000s ? Anti-terrorism

Border barriers in history

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

Antiquity

Middle Ages

Early modern period

Defunct barriers in modern times

Other

See also

References

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