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The desire to understand the complex problem of irregular migration in Europe led the Jesuit Refugee Service in 1996 to commission three country studies on the issue from the UK, Germany and Spain. They were intended to provide a broad view of the problem of irregular migration across countries with diverse migration histories. This paper acts as a synthesis report, bringing together the findings of the three national reports to focus attention on the situation of migrants with irregular status in Europe as a whole. It aims to draw out common themes from the national studies that are applicable across all European Union countries. Moreover, it proffers a number of recommendations for policy responses towards irregular migrants at the European level. The policies advocated here are intended to form the basis of humane and rights-respecting responses by European governments to the phenomenon of irregular migration.

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Working paper


Refugee Studies Centre

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