Migration - Research Guide International Law

The past few decades the movement of people across borders has increased significantly. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more and more people are on the move today than at any other point in human history. According to the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, a migrant worker can be described as a 'person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national'. According to the working group of intergovernmental experts on the human rights of migrants only those people who freely take the decision to migrate are considered migrants: the notion 'migrant' "should be understood as covering all cases where the decision to migrate is taken freely by the individual concerned, for reasons of 'personal convenience' and without intervention of an external compelling factor. Thus, the definition of migrant does not refer to individuals who have been forced or compelled to leave their home or country, such as refugees and internally displaced persons. Various aspects of migration include: labour migration (not forced), family reunification, migration and security, migration and trade, migrant rights, health and migration, integration, migration and development.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Migration. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification Public international law and subject heading (keyword) Migration are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

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  • Triandafyllidou, A. (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies, London/New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

    The Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies offers a comprehensive and unique study of the multi-disciplinary field of international migration and asylum studies. Utilising contemporary information and analysis, this innovative Handbook provides an in depth examination of legal migration management in the labour market and its affect upon families in relation to wider issues of migrant integration and citizenship.

    With a comprehensive collection of essays written by leading contributors from a broad range of disciplines including sociology of migration, human geography, legal studies, political sciences and economics, the Handbook is a truly multi-disciplinary book approaching the critical questions of:

    • Migration and the labour market
    • Integration and citizenship
    • Migration, families and welfare
    • Irregular migration
    • smuggling and trafficking in human beings
    • asylum and forced migration.

    Organised into short thematic and geographical chapters the Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies provides a concise overview on the different topics and world regions, as well as useful guidance for both the starting and the more experienced reader. The Handbook’s expansive content and illustrative style will appeal to both students and professionals studying in the field of migration and international organisations.

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  • Leckie, S., and C. Huggins (eds.), Repairing Domestic Climate Displacement: The Peninsula Principles, London/ New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.

    Climate change, sometimes thought of as a problem for the future, is already impacting people's lives around the world: families are losing their homes, lands and livelihoods as a result of sea level rise, increased frequency and intensity of storms, drought, and other phenomena. Following several years of preparatory work across the globe, legal scholars, judges, UN officials and climate change experts from eleven countries came together to finalise a new normative framework aiming to strengthen the right of climate displaced persons, households and communities, which resulted in the approval of the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement within States in August 2013. This book provides detailed explanations and interpretations of the Peninsula Principles and includes in-depth discussion of the legal, policy, and programmatic efforts needed to uphold the standards and norms embedded in the Principles. The book provides policy-makers with the conceptual understanding necessary to ensure that national-level policies are in place to respond to the climate displacement challenge, as well as a firm sense of the programme-level approaches that can be taken to anticipate, reduce, and manage climate displacement. It also provides students and policy advocates with the necessary information to debate and critique responses to climate displacement at different levels. Drawing together key thinkers in the field, this volume will be of great relevance to scholars, lawyers, legal advisors and policy makers with an interest in climate change, environmental policy, disaster management and human rights law and policy.

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  • Rochel, J., Immigration to the EU: Challenging the Normative Foundations of the EU Immigration Regime, Schulthess, Genève/Zurich 2015.

    Immigration is omnipresent in current political, legal and, more broadly, societal debates. Challenges linked to immigration have given rise to an important body of scientific literature. The key contribution of Dr. Johan Rochel’s book is to transcend disciplinary boundaries by linking legal scholarship with political philosophy and providing insight on how to reform the current European regime on economic migration and family reunification.
    At a time when the European Commission and its president Jean-Claude Juncker have made the common immigration policy a political priority, this book offers a timely outline of a republican theory of immigration for the EU. It specifies how the EU should reform its immigration policy in order to be more consistent with the values and principles upon which the European project has been developed.

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  • Talani, L.S. and S. McMahon (eds.), Handbook of the International Political Economy of Migration, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2015.

    This Handbook discusses theoretical approaches to migration studies in general, as well as confronting various issues in international migration from a distinctive international political economy perspective. It examines migration as part of a global political economy whilst addressing the theoretical debate relating to the capacity of the state to control international migration and the so called ‘policy gap’ or ‘gap hypothesis’ between migration policies and their outcomes.

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  • Cantor, D.J., L.F. Freier and J-P. Gauci (ed.), A Liberal Tide? Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy in Latin America, London, Institute of Latin American Studies, 2015.

    Over the past decade, a paradigm shift in migration and asylum law and policymaking appears to have taken place in Latin America. Does this apparent “liberal tide” of new laws and policies suggest a new approach to the hot topics of migration and refugees in Latin America distinct from the regressive and restrictive attitudes on display in other parts of the world? The question is urgent not only for our understanding of contemporary Latin America but also as a means of reorienting the debate in the migration studies field toward the important developments currently taking place in the region and in other parts of the global south. This book brings together eight varied and vibrant new analyses by scholars from Latin America and beyond to form the first collection that describes and critically examines the new liberalism in Latin American law and policy on migration and refugees.

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  • Plender, R. (ed.), Issues in International Migration Law, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2015.

    This lively collection presents the revised papers resulting from a conference held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen under the auspices of the Groningen Centre for Law and Governance and the Department of European and Economic Law. The conference brought together scholars from a number of countries to examine a series of current issues in international migration law - a topic which continues to be of major importance worldwide. The collection aims to widen horizons in the debate and assist in achieving an understanding of the fact, often forgotten by those who prefer rhetoric to understanding, that migration is a truly global phenomenon. While Europe is at the forefront of population changes and debates on the control and management of migration, there are major issues and crises in many areas across the globe, and various contributions to this volume rightly draw attention to them.

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  • Panizzon, M., G. Zürcher and E. Fornalé (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of International Labour Migration: Law and Policy Perspectives, New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2015

    This authoritative state-of-the-art reference collection maps the changing landscape of labour mobility. It explores the dialectic between state sovereignty and market-based logic, which is transforming the speed, scope and scale of trans-boundary migration for employment.

    Faced with the absence of a multilateral treaty and of a global architecture, governments today are turning to bilateral agreements as the preferred mode of migration governance to deal with the cross-border movement of capital and persons. Recently, private actors have challenged state regulations to increasingly bypass the complexities of their immigration laws and policies. This duality
    between immigration regulations and the market-based logic of trade agreements offers the opportunity to conduct a deep examination of the relationship between labour migration and the state-centred regime.

    This insightful collection offers a conceptual framework for the development of interdisciplinary approaches to the management of labour mobility – including transnationalism, economics, legal and social sciences. Eminent scholars from various disciplines and perspectives analyze labour mobility issues across the major countries of origin and destination over four continents, with an emphasis on theoretical reflection and empirical analysis.

    The Palgrave Handbook of International Labour Migration goes beyond the assumption that states are the only actors in the design and implementation of migratory policies. It maps the field, framing legal and political questions to address the main elements of labour mobility, including the limits and challenges of state action.

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  • Y. Jansen, R. Celikates and J. de Bloois (eds.), The Irregularization of Migration in Contemporary Europe : Detention, Deportation, Drowning, London ; New York, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015.

    Working from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on the social sciences, legal studies, and the humanities, this book investigates the causes and effects of the extremities experienced by migrants. Firstly, the volume analyses the development and political-cultural conditions of current practices and discourses of “bordering,” “illegality,” and “irregularization.” Secondly, it focuses on the varieties of irregularization and on the diversity of the fields, techniques and effects involved in this variegation. Thirdly, the book examines examples of resistance that migrants and migratory cultures have developed in order to deal with the predicaments they face. The book uses the European Union as its case study, exploring practices and discourses of bordering, border control, and migration regulation. But the significance of this field extends well beyond the European context as the monitoring of Europe’s borders increasingly takes place on a global scale and reflects an internationally increasing trend.

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  • McMahon, S., Immigration and Citizenship in An Enlarged European Union The Political Dynamics of Intra-EU Mobility, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

    Immigration has become one of the most significant and emotionally charged social and political issues of contemporary Europe. Public and political debates on immigration, however, differ greatly. This book asks how and why differences arise by examining public debates on Romanian migrants and the Roma minority in Italy and Spain. In so doing, it reveals what it means to become a citizen of an enlarging European Union facing economic crisis. McMahon's study shows how political responses to immigration and negotiation of the terms of citizenship are mediated by political positioning and claims making. It is a contextual and contested process, and often therefore tells us more about the political dynamics in the host country than about the immigrants themselves. Analysing three levels of these dynamics: the national, the local dimension in the capital cities of Rome and Madrid and the cross-border dimension of transnational political and social relations, this book provides a rich insight into the politics of citizenship and will be a valuable resource to scholars of Political Science, Sociology, Political Economy and Anthropology.

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  • Mitsilegas, V., The Criminalisation of Migration in Europe : Challenges for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Cham, Springer, 2015.

    This is the first monograph providing a comprehensive legal analysis of the criminalisation of migration in Europe. The book puts forward a definition of the criminalisation of migration as the three-fold process whereby migration management takes place via the adoption of substantive criminal law, via recourse to traditional criminal law enforcement mechanisms including surveillance and detention, and via the development of mechanisms of prevention and pre-emption. The book provides a typology of criminalisation of migration, structured on the basis of the three stages of the migrant experience: criminalisation before entry (examining criminalisation in the context of extraterritorial immigration control, delegation and privatisation in immigration control and the securitisation of migration); criminalisation during stay (examining how substantive criminal law is used to regulate migration in the territory); and criminalisation after entry and towards removal (examining efforts to exclude and remove migrants from the territory and jurisdiction of EU Member States and criminalisation through detention). The analysis focuses on the impact of the criminalisation of migration on human rights and the rule of law, and it highlights how European Union law (through the application of both the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and general principles of EU law) and ECHR law may contribute towards achieving decriminalisation of migration in Europe.

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  • Khalaf, A., O. AlShehabi and A. Hanieh (eds.), Transit States: Labour, MIgration & Citizenship in the Gulf, London, Pluto Press, 2015.

    The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar) form the largest destination for labour migration in the global South. In all of these states, however, the majority of the working population is composed of temporary, migrant workers with no citizenship rights.

    The cheap and transitory labour power these workers provide has created the prodigious and extraordinary development boom across the region, and neighbouring countries are almost fully dependent on the labour markets of the Gulf to employ their working populations. For these reasons, the Gulf takes a central place in contemporary debates around migration and labour in the global economy.

    This book attempts to bring together and explore these issues. The relationship between ‘citizen’ and ‘non-citizen’ holds immense significance for understanding the construction of class, gender, city and state in the Gulf, however too often these questions are occluded in too scholarly or overly-popular accounts of the region. Bringing together experts on the Gulf, Transit States confronts the precarious working conditions of migrants in a accessible, yet in-depth manner.

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  • The ‘US Travel Ban’ from an International Law Perspective

    On January 27th, 2017, American President Donald Trump signed ‘Executive Order 13769’ titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorists Entry into the United States’. The purpose of this order is to place a limit on the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States in 2017. The order suspends the entry of foreign nationals from seven Muslim majority nations namely, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a period of 90 days after which an updated list will be put in place. The order also indefinitely suspends nationals from Syria. This blog will briefly highlight the international legal implications.

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  • The Case for Border Controls

    It is a legitimate right of sovereign states to control their borders. To achieve this, modern states have designed sophisticated immigration rules that use elaborate criteria such as nationality, age, diplomas, marital status and wealth to grant or refuse people the right to enter and settle. Both the ‘open’ and ‘closed’ border positions are unrealistic and do not justice to the complex realities of migration policy making, which is primarily about the selection of migrants, and not about numbers, despite muscle-flexing political rhetoric suggesting the contrary.

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  • The EU Migration Crisis and Moral Obligations

    The European Union is currently coping with the world’s biggest migrant crisis since World War II. A record number of 107,500 migrants reached the EU’s borders last month.Large numbers of desparate migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa are trying to enter the European Union every day. Apart from this there are also many illegal immigrants who have entered the EU undetected. A conserable number of them have died during their attempt. According to a report of the UNHCR, around 2500 migrants who were trying to reach and enter the European Union have died or gone missing in the past year.

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  • Climate Change and Forced Migration : A Gap in Protection

    The barely-above-sea-level, coral-dependent Maldives are sinking into the Indian Ocean. The apocalyptic fate is due to climate-change induced temperature increases, which have resulted in rising sea levels and dying coral reefs. In response, the state has built artificial islands—to accommodate the rising sea levels that may render previous places of residence inhabitable—and The Great Male Sea Wall—to protect Male from imposing storms. Many people have already been evacuated from their homes, temporarily housed in camps elsewhere in the Maldives. However, eventually the Maldives may become completely submerged and inhospitable. If the Maldives become a casualty of climate change, as has been predicted, people will be forced to flee from the islands altogether, potentially becoming stateless. They will have to seek protection elsewhere.

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  • Mixed Migration Flows Across the Mediterranean: The EU Agenda on Migration

    Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time in history to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere, according to UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report: World at War, released on June 18, two days before world refugee day. One of the most recent and highly visible consequences of the world’s conflicts and the terrible suffering they cause has been the dramatic growth in the numbers of refugees seeking safety through dangerous sea journeys, including on the Mediterranean, in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, and in Southeast Asia.

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  • Borders Beyond Control?

    In my previous blogpost “Feigning Immigration Control”, I argued that politicians are often busy with feigning immigration control while in reality they often can or want to do little about it. What do we actually know about the effects of immigration policies? In order to answer this question, I have conducted a research project on the ‘Determinants of International Migration’ (DEMIG) at the International Migration Institute at Oxford University. One of the main insights of the project is that while immigration restrictions often reduce immigration, these effects tend to be rather small. In addition, restrictions often have a four potential side-effects (‘substitution effects’) which further undermine their effectiveness or can even make them counter-productive.

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  • Border Controls and Human Rights: Migration in the Central Mediterranean

    The Central Mediterranean has, in the last years, turned into the epicentre of human (migrant) disasters. The Central Mediterranean route refers to the migratory flow coming from Northern Africa towards Italy and Malta through the Mediterranean Sea. Here, Libya often acts as nexus point where migrants from the Horn of Africa and Western African routes meet before embarking on their journey towards the EU.

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  • First Global Forum on Statelessness - "New Directions in Statelessness Research and Policy"

    From 15 to 17 September 2014, 3 institutions (the UNHCR, the agency mandated by the General Assembly to help states to address statelessness, and the Statelessness Programme of Tilburg University) co-hosted the first held Global Forum on Statelessness. The three-day event took place in the Academy building of the Peace Palace of The Hague, the Netherlands.

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  • “People must be able to look one another in the eye”. Plans of the Dutch Government to ban face-covering clothing.

    The Dutch Government chose to ignore the advice of the Council of State concerning the ban on face-covering clothing. The Council of State, the advisory organ of the Government, heavily criticised the legislative proposal. First, the Council of State does not consider the complete ban as necessary and useful. Second, the Council of State is of the opinion that a ban on face covering clothing is an infringement of the freedom of religion.

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  • Cultural Diversity

    On Monday the 17th of August 2009 the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations of the Hague Academy of International Law started. The Centre takes place annually at the Academy and Library building of the Peace Palace. The purpose of the Centre is to bring together advanced young scholars of […]

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  • European Pact on Immigration and Asylum

    European Pact on Immigration and Asylum : At a meeting in Cannes on Monday, 7 July, EU ministers approved French proposals for a tougher common policy to stem the influx of illegal immigrants, despite some differences and concerns about accusations of xenophobia from outside the European Union.

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