The economic, social and cultural rights of migrants in an irregular situation

image of The economic, social and cultural rights of migrants in an irregular situation
This publication aims to fill a significant knowledge gap on the human rights of irregular migrants. It seeks to describe barriers faced by irregular migrants in the exercise of such fundamental rights as the right to health, to education, to an adequate standard of living, to social security, and to just and favourable conditions of work, as well as trends and national policies, highlighting where possible examples of promising practice from around the world. It also draws attention to the guidance provided by international human rights law as well as related legal frameworks such as international labour law, and provides key messages on a human rights-based response to irregular migration.




More people are on the move than at any time in history; there are now some 232 million international migrants around the world. The search for better living and working conditions, growing inequalities between and within countries, discrimination and other human rights violations, poverty, environmental degradation, conflict and violence, as well as demands from labour markets, continue to push and pull migrants across international borders. Estimates suggest that migrants who are in an irregular situation represent 15 to 20 per cent of all international migrants, i.e., 30 to 40 million people worldwide. Contrary to some popular perception, such migrants do not move only between the South and the North; over recent decades South-South migration has increased and research suggests that many of these migrants are in an irregular situation.


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