Human Rights of Irregular Migrants

This project examines how irregular migrants engage with international human rights law through grassroots activism and litigation in Europe and the United States. By examining court cases and related media reports and working with grassroots organizations on their strategic engagement with human rights, this project will examine the role of irregular migrants in developing human rights legal doctrine.

We will examine questions such as, how does or can human rights law respond to regularised migrants as subjects and creators of rights (instead of as objects and at best beneficiaries of rights)? What is the role of cities and other sub-national spaces as forums for the human rights claims of irregular migrants? How do the rights-claims of irregular migrants’ challenge traditional notions of citizenship as a condition for political participation and rights-protection?

If you have questions about the project or if your organization would like to participate in the research process, please contact Jordan Dez at j.f.dez@vu.nl. We would love to hear from you!

News

November 2020 Seminar: Racial Discrimination and the Human Rights of Migrants

On November 18-20, the ACMRL hosted an online seminar with scholars from around the world on Race, Migration, and Human Rights. This seminar examined migration law and the exclusion of irregular, precarious and stateless migrants from human rights protection in terms of racial discrimination. Participants’ written contributions approached this topic from legal and interdisciplinary perspectives, with the goal of opening new avenues in legal analysis. The written contributions and meaningful conversation were indeed inspiring for both organizers and participants. This seminar was part of two grant projects funded by the NWO: Karin de Vries, Equality for non-nationals? Nationality discrimination as a new challenge for non-discrimination law; and Jordan Dez & Thomas Spijkerboer, Claim-making as Rights-making: Irregular Migrants Reshaping International Human Rights Law.

The discussions of the seminar will be memorialized in a pending special issue with the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights in 2021. For more information, please contact Karin De Vries, k.m.de.vries@vu.nl, Jordan Dez j.f.dez@vu.nl, or Thomas Spijkerboer t.p.spijkerboer@vu.nl.

Fieldwork in the Time of Corona:

Though this project was intended to involve fieldwork with organizations in the United States and Europe, due to limitations on travel and to prevent spreading the Corona virus to participants in the research process, fieldwork will take place as much as possible on-line. Organizational members who agree to participate will be asked for interviews to discuss their strategic engagement with human rights. All findings of the research will be discussed in a focus group before being included in the written conclusions of the research (articles, blogs, and a book). Anything written based on organizational research will be shared with participants.

If you are part of an organization of irregular migrants that is active in rights-claiming, claiming city-citizenship, or if you have decided not to use the discourse of human rights when fighting for irregular migrants, we would love to hear from you! If you would like to participate in this research project, please contact Jordan Dez at j.f.dez@vu.nl.