Call for Contributions


Undocumented and precarious migrants are often excluded from the full scope of human rights, both in law and in practice, and continually struggle with access to their basic human rights. Their rights are included in various international law instruments, in particular the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW); the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the International Labor Organization’s Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (ILO C-189). However, these international instruments are not yet ratified by many states hosting undocumented migrants workers. In addition, while there is a large overlap and complementarity between these instruments, they also diverge regarding the scope of certain rights, in particular labour rights.

The ‘Making Rights Reality’ conference brings together those international law instruments with human rights activism and practice. By focusing on those instruments, that have received less-attention among scholars and governments in Europe, and by engaging with diverse users and actors in migrant human rights, this conference strives to break new ground in the possibilities for international norms and their effective protection. Though this conference is set within a law faculty and legal frameworks, we strongly endorse methodological pluralism and encourage interdisciplinary, empirically-driven, and practice-based contributions.

We particularly encourage contributions from scholars and researchers from countries which have ratified these Conventions and presentations by migrant activists and social organizations to share their experiences with human rights access and activism. The conference strives to include voices of undocumented migrants by creating inclusive spaces of share experiences, communicate demands, and ask questions from the international organizations and academics present. Throughout the conference, a ‘Global Migration Café’ will be opened where different participants can table about their initiatives or present posters about their research or initiatives. We also welcome posters in lieu of or in addition to presentations.

To stimulate these kinds of discussions, we invite individual paper abstracts, panel proposals, and posters on the following (non-exhaustive) topics and issues:

  • Presentations of success and challenges from migrant human rights activism
  • Regularization within human rights framework
  • Labour rights as human rights
  • Socio-economic rights of migrant workers
  • Human rights strategic litigation
  • Migrant worker rights-claiming
  • Non-state actors and/or international coalitions in migrant rights-making
  • Cross-fertilization of international instruments (both soft and hard law)
  • The limits of human rights for migrant workers
  • Trade unions and the human rights of migrant workers
  • Businesses/employers and the human rights of migrant workers
  • Intersectional approaches to migrant worker rights
  • Local, national, or regional cases of human rights based approaches
  • Human rights theory applicable to migrant workers

How to participate?
Participation is possible through submitting an individual paper abstract or a workshop proposal.

  • Paper abstract (300 words max. + paper title + short bio) or
  • Workshop proposal
    • Workshop/Training proposal: title and short description, bios of workshop leaders or
    • Academic panel proposal: title and short description, 3-4 paper abstracts, each 300 words max. with paper titles and short bios or

Participation is also possible through submitting a proposal for a:

  • Poster (300 words max. brief description + poster title)
  • Global Migration Café Table (title + brief description 300 words max)

Please submit your abstract or proposal to at no later than 01 March 2024. A selection of papers will be included in an edited volume or special issue proposal. Please note in your abstract or proposal if you would prefer to present in a language other than English. By high demand we may form non-English language panels. For academic proposals, please include a description in your abstract of the social relevance of your research for undocumented migrant workers. The conference is intended to be primarily in-person, however to include participation of undocumented workers outside of the Netherlands, some sessions will be offered hybrid. Please note in your abstract or proposal if you are unable to attend in-person due to lack of migration status.

Important dates:

  • Deadline submission for abstracts 01 March 2024
  • Notification of acceptance 18 March 2024
  • Registration Deadline 15 May 2024
  • Deadline for papers and posters 31 May 2024

Click here to download the Call for Contribution.