5PO005 Europe United: European Politics, Societies, Cultures

Week 18 Migration



‘Migration is the physical movement of people within and between social systems. Migration, for example, is a major component of population growth — particularly in low-fertility regions such as Europe and North America — and historically has been the main source of urbanization. Migration also profoundly affects the social composition of populations and for this reason often plays an important role in racial, ethnic, and class relations. Historically, the sociological study of migration patterns has focused on "push factors" and "pull factors" — conditions that cause people to leave one area and to be attracted to another. Current research on this topic has used more complex approaches that take into account larger-scale processes such as the international demand for labor and the shift of capital across national boundaries’.
Johnson, A. (2000) The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology, http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/724104(accessed 16 November 2010)


‘An immigrant is someone who goes to make a home in another country.
In the twentieth century, world immigration has increased. Partly it is the result of a serious refugee crisis which has been accentuated by the increase in the number of oppressive regimes throughout the world and partly it is economic.
Immigration remains an important world issue. Democratic majorities often want to restrict the movement of people although it is contrary to both liberal and free-market principles’.
Bealey, F. (1999) The Blackwell Dictionary of Political Science http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/725295(accessed 16 November 2010).


‘One who leaves one's native land either because of expulsion or to escape persecution. At the beginning of 2007 the world's international refugee population was about 14.2 million,

In addition, there were an estimated 24.5 million "internally displaced persons," individuals forced from their homes within the boundaries of their own countries. Sudan (5 million), Colombia (3 million), Iraq (1.8 million), Uganda (1.6 million), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1.1 million) all had enormous numbers of internal refugees’.
Columbia Encyclopedia (2008) http://www.credoreference.com/entry.do?id=813563(accessed 16 November 2010).

‘According to international law, a person fleeing from oppressive or dangerous conditions (such as political, religious, or military persecution) and seeking refuge in a foreign country. In 1995 there were an estimated 27 million refugees worldwide; their resettlement and welfare is the responsibility of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). An estimated average of 10,000 people a day become refugees. Women and children make up 75% of all refugees and displaced persons. Many more millions are ‘economic’ or ‘environmental’ refugees, forced to emigrate because of economic circumstances, lack of access to land, or environmental disasters. The Geneva Convention only applies to victims of persecution, not to those fleeing civil war or violent disturbances at home. Internally-displaced people, who have been forced to leave their homes but have not crossed their country's borders, are not recognized as refugees; they were estimated to number at least 26 million worldwide in 1995’.
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide (2009) http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/1105959(accessed 16 November 2010).

‘The 1951 Refugee Convention envisages protection for any person unable to return to his/her country due to "a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion." Even where this standard is not met, European states may not return individuals in breach of international obligations such as the absolute prohibitions on torture, execution or inhuman or degrading treatment contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)’.
http://www.ecre.org/topics/asylum_in_EU/qualifying_for_protection(accessed 16 November 2010).


‘“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs’ (42)
UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto (2004) http://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC%20Convention/TOCebook-e.pdf


According to the Penguin Dictionary of Sociology (1994) racism is 'the determination of actions, attitudes or policies by beliefs about racial characteristics. Racism may be (1) overt and individual, involving individual acts of oppression against subordinate racial groups or individuals, and (2) covert and institutional, involving structural relations of subordination and oppression between social groups.
While individual racism consists of intended actions, institutional racism involves the unintended consequences of a system of racial inequality. Racism may be accompanied by either implicit or explicit racist theories, which seek to explain and justify social inequality based on race'.
Retrieved 13 December 2003, from xreferplus. http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/105434

In The Dictionary of Human Geography (2000), racism is defined as an 'ideology of difference whereby social significance is attributed to culturally constructed categories of race. Racism is 'an ideology which ascribes negatively evaluated characteristics in a deterministic manner ... to a group which is additionally identified as being in some way biologically ... distinct' (Miles, 1982, p. 78). Such ideological distinctions invariably lead to discrimination and racialized inequality.
Racism can take various forms, from the 'scientific' racism of the nineteenth century to the 'cultural' racism of today where the emphasis is on supposedly 'inherent' cultural differences rather than on innate biological differences. Discourses of 'race', like ideologies of gender, attempt to ground themselves in nature though they are both socially constructed'.
Retrieved 13 December 2003, from xreferplus. http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/734624

Facts and figures

According to Amnesty International, at the present time there are

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (2009)

Nearly half of the world’s 16 million refugees come from Muslim countries while 15 million of the total of 26 million IDPs worldwide are displaced in the Muslim world (Hayatli 2009).

Castles (2002) says that UNHCR-recognised refugees (13 million in 1997) now outnumbered by other types of forced migrants: asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), post-conflict returnees, people displaced by environmental and natural disasters, and development displacees (people who lose their homes and livelihoods due to large dams, industrial projects, infrastructure developments and so on).

Some calculations from PW from various sources

1975 84 million people officially living outside their country of origin
1990 155 million people living outside their country of origin
2009 200 million people living outside their country of origin = 3% of world population of 6.5 billion people or 30 out of every 1000.
15-16 million of these are refugees and there are an additional 24.5 million internally displaced people. This means that at least 40 million people in the world have been forced to leave their homes – 0.6% of the world population or 6 out of every thousand people.

Types of migrants

(Stalker 2001)
The author above does not seem to have a category for temporary and legal migrant workers.

‘... in the last half-century, three types of primary migration have been most common: permanent settlement migration, temporary labor migration and refugee movement. Each of these often led to family reunion, which often became the largest flow as a movement matured. The tendencies of the last two decades have been towards a diversification, proliferation and intermingling of types of flows’ (Castles 2002).

Responses of governments

‘The recent history of European migration policy has been dominated by two objectives that are pulling in opposite directions. On the one hand, the ageing populations and changing labour markets of most European countries have created employment opportuni¬ties for both high- and low-skilled labour migrants. On the other, there has been growing concern about the ‘asylum problem’ – despite the reality that the number of people seeking asylum in the EU is stead¬ily decreasing’ (Crawley 2005).

‘With the end of the Cold War, however, many states saw refugees as a burden rather than an asset. Furthermore, since the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States, state security concerns have come to dominate the migration debate, at times overshadowing the legitimate protection needs of individuals. As governments have revisited their asylum systems from a security angle, they have instituted more restrictive procedures or substantially modified their policies to similar effect. Many states have broadened grounds for detention, and now focus more strongly on detecting potential security risks when reviewing asylum claims’. (UNHCR 2006: 1)

‘Globalisation essentially means flows across borders flows of capital, commodities, ideas and people. Nation-states welcome the first two types, but remain suspicious of the last two. Differentiated migration regimes have been set up which encourage elites and the highly skilled to be mobile, while low-skilled workers and people fleeing persecution are excluded’ (Castles 2007: 359).

According to Dollar and Kraay (2007), the world population increases by 83 million every year and 82 million of these people are in the developing world. In Europe and Japan, population aging and workforce shrinking – migration from developing world to developed world could be beneficial for both – former get workers, later get higher wages for those who migrate and those who are left behind (because labour surplus is smaller) and remittances from those who migrate.
Rich countries need to accept unskilled labour legally for this to happen

The Importance of the European Community


The Single European Act came into force on 1 July 1987, was the first modification of the fundational treaties of the European Communities (Treaty of Paris, 1951 & Treaty of Rome, 1957).
Among its provisions were measures for the progressive establishment of a common market, with free movement of goods, people, services and capital, by 31 December 1992.

See 'The Single European Act and the road toward the Treaty of the European Union (1986-1992)'

The Development of a Common Asylum Policy

1993 The Maastricht Treaty makes asylum an issue of common interest for the EU.

1999 The Amsterdam Treaty provides for a common asylum system.

2004 Target date for developing the European Union into an area of freedom, security and justice, including a first phase of the establishment of a common European asylum system.

Asylum – a common space of protection and solidarity - European Commission: Home Affairs http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/asylum/asylum_intro_en.htm(last updated July 2010)

Council of Europe Recommendation 1440 (2000)[1]
Restrictions on asylum in the member states of the Council of Europe and the European Union
'In recent years, many European governments have introduced restrictions in their immigration and asylum policies and practices with a view to substantially reducing the number of refugees and asylum seekers on their territory. These restrictions are reflected and amplified in the ever more intensive efforts by the European Union to harmonise the asylum and immigration policies and practices of its member and applicant states.
Restrictive policies and practices may be classified into four types

The Parliamentary Assembly is particularly anxious to ensure that the European Union's plan to establish a common European asylum system provides sufficient protection for those in need. Moreover, the Assembly considers that any European Union policies which have the effect of reducing the responsibility of European Union member states for persons in need of protection at the expense of non-member states are to be avoided'.

Tasks for StudentsWhy do EU countries appear to be so reluctant to fulfil their human rights and humanitiarian obligations to the full?

Andrew Geddes (1997) in 'Fortress Europe: Immigration Policy Fact or Phantom?' asks whether racism in Europe has changed from being 'ethnocentric' to being 'eurocentric'.
He concludes that 'Even though there is resurgent ethnocentrism which makes itself manifest in racist and anti-immigrant political mobilisation the forces of ethnocentrism are strongly opposed to both immigration and European integration because both threaten the far-right’s idea of the nation'.

'Fortress Europe pulls up the drawbridge' June 3, 2002 The Guardian

Towards a common European Union immigration policy - European Commission: Home Affairs http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/immigration/immigration_intro_en.htm(last updated July 2010)


According to the foreigners law that went into effect in mid-1993, foreigners living in Germany for fifteen years may become German citizens if they have no criminal record and renounce their original citizenship. Young foreigners who have resided eight years in Germany may become citizens if they have attended German schools for six years and apply for citizenship between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three.
Usually, however, German citizenship depends not on where one is born (jus solis) but on the nationality of the father or, since 1974, on the mother (jus sanguinis). Thus, to many, German citizenship depends on being born German and cannot rightfully be acquired through a legal process. This notion makes it practically impossible for naturalized citizens or their children to be considered German.

2004 Legislation
Aimed at making it easier for highly skilled non-EU nationalsto live and work in Germany
Summary at http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1442681,00.html
Update at http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1841955,00.html


Lloyd & Waters (1991) argue that racism and immigration have been crucial issues in French politics through the 1980s.
In 1981, the Socialist government repealed the 1939 Act prohibiting people who were not French nationals forming associations. This meant that those without French citizenship could organise politically against racism.
But in 1983, the extreme right wing Front National won their first seat in the National Assembly.

The authors say that in France, the term 'immigrant' is used inaccurately and in a perjorative way to describe migrant workers from Southern Europe, asylum seekers from S.E.Asia, Latin America & the Middle East, French citizens from the French Overseas departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique etc. and people from what used to be the French Empire in North Africa, many of whom accepted french citizenship on independence.
White French culture has a strong strand, deriving from the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, of perceiving other cultures as inferior. A key principle of French colonialism was 'assimilation' - imposing French values and practices on colonised peoples and incorporating their elites into French culture.

United Kingdom

1985 UK government imposed visa requirements on visitors from Sri Lanka - first time Commonwealth citizens obliged to have visas.
1986 Requirement extended to visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria & Ghana.
1989 Turkey added.
1990 Somalia, Algeria, Morocco & Tunisia added
Many visa applications refused.
Many visitors from the Caribbean also refused entry - for visitors from Jamaica, this rose from 0.6% refused in 1985 to 4.9% in 1989.
Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants points out that in 1989, only one Canadian visitor was refused entry for every 130 Jamaicans refused.

Asylum seekers - 12,500 in 1989 - doubled since 1986.
Long waiting times for applications to be heard - applicants may be kept in custody.
Deportations 1,578 in 1985 - rose to 3,101 in 1989
1989 4 Kurdish asylum seekers had applications refused and were deported - Immigration Appeal Tribunal eventually found the deportation to be unlawful but, by this time, one of the deportees had been arrested & tortured in Turkey.
1990 European Commission of Human Rights found that the deportation of 5 Turks was contrary to the Human Rights Convention.
'Migrants: Facing the Clampdown' Labour ResearchFebruary 1991.

2003 The Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill is the fifth asylum Bill in eleven years and Labour's third since 1997.
"The government had indicated that the two-tier appeal system of adjudicator and Tribunal was to be replaced by a one-tier appeal. What it had not indicated before the Bill's publication was that rights of appeal and review from the Tribunal to the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords were also to be abolished. The 'ouster' clause proclaims that 'no court may entertain proceedings for questioning' the Tribunal's decisions, which are to be final".
"But it appears to enshrine into law the concept that those who are not citizens of this country are entitled only to a curtailed and second-class justice system, thus undermining the universality of the human rights protection which was hitherto recognised as the birthright of every human being".
'Concern at new asylum measures' by Frances Webber 1 December 2003 http://www.irr.org.uk/2003/december/ak000001.html

Tasks for Students
Can you make two or three generalizations about the differences between the approaches of the three countries above?


One cultural representation of undocumented migrants

Review of 'Dirty, Pretty Things' (2002), directed by Stephen Frears.
'Frears' film focuses on the usually unseen world of the capital's illegal immigrants, the invisible people who keep its economy running smoothly'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2002/11/01/dirty_pretty_things_2002_review.shtml

Organisations working for the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency http://www.unhcr.org.uk/
Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org/en
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants http://www.jcwi.org.uk/
European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) http://www.ecre.org/
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrant (USCRI) http://www.refugees.org/
Refugee Council http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/
ICAR Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees http://www.icar.org.uk/
PICUM - Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants http://www.picum.org/
Human Rights watch http://www.hrw.org/en/home

Online information sources

OneWorld Guide to Refugees http://www.oneworld.net/guides/migration

Some fairly recent news stories

Allen, Peter (2009) 'French condemn Britain's 'inhumane' immigration policy', Daily Telegraph, 9 January http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/4208674/French-condemn-Britains-inhumane-immigration-policy.html
Bowcott, Owen (2010) 'Two asylum seekers deported to Baghdad and allegedly tortured were not Iraqi', The Guardian, 10 November, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/10/asylum-seekers-deported-baghdad-torture
(2008) 'OECD Blasts German Immigration Policy', Deutsche Welle 11 September, http://www.dw.de/oecd-blasts-german-immigration-policy/a-3636129-1
Hill, Amelia (2010) 'Many migrant workers in UK are modern-day slaves, say investigators', The Guardian, 30 August, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/aug/30/migrant-workers-modern-day-slavery
Packer, John (2013) 'The UK is failing in its duty to protect vulnerable asylum seekers' Guardian, 4 February, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/04/uk-failing-duty-vulnerable-refugees
(2013) 'Latest Developments in Russian Migration Policy', The Moscow Times, 12 February http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/business_for_business/article/latest-developments-in-russian-migration-policy/475339.html
Travis, Alan (2010) 'Human rights lawyers condemn English tests for spouses coming to UK', The Guardian, 27 September, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/27/lawyers-condemn-migrants-english-tests

Reports and speeches

Amnesty International (2010) Widespread abuse of migrants in Mexico is 'human rights crisis', 27 April, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/widespread-abuse-migrants-mexico-human-rights-crisis-2010-04-2
Amnesty International (2010) Malaysia must end abuse of migrant workers, 24 March, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/malaysia-must-end-abuse-migrant-workers-2010-03-24
Amnesty International (2010) Greece must stop treating migrants as criminals, 26 July, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/greece-must-stop-treating-migrants-criminals-2010-07-27
Annan, Kofi (2006) Address of Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, to the High-Level Dialogue of the United Nations General Assembly on International Migration and Development, New York, September 14, International Migration Review, 40(4): 963-972
United Nations (2004) UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto (2004) http://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC%20Convention/TOCebook-e.pdf
UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency (2006) The State of The World's Refugees 2006: Human Displacement in the New Millennium, Oxford: Oxford University Press http://www.unhcr.org/4a4dc1a89.html
UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency (2009) 2008 Global Trends: Refugees, Asylum-seekers, Returnees, Internally Displaced and Stateless Persons http://www.unhcr.org/4a375c426.pdf
World Bank (2011) Migration and remittances Fact Book 2011, 2nd ed., Washington: The World Bank http://issuu.com/world.bank.publications/docs/9780821382189


Ackers, L. (1998) Shifting Spaces: Women, Citizenship and Migration within the European Union, Bristol: Policy Press.
Blake, N. and Husain, R. (2003) Immigration, Asylum and Human Rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bloch, Alice, Sigona, Nando and Zetter, Roger (2009) 'No Right to Dream': The social and economic lives of young undocumented migrants in Britain, London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation, http://www.staff.city.ac.uk/yum/documents/Young%20Undocumented%20Migrants%20report.pdf
Blotevogel, H. and Fielding, A. (eds.) (1997) People, Jobs and Mobility in the New Europe,, Chichester: Wiley.
Carling, Jørgen and Hernández Carretero, Maria (2008) ‘Kamikaze migrants? Understanding and tackling high-risk migration from Africa’, paper presented at Narratives of Migration Management and Cooperation with Countries of Origin and Transit, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex, 18–19 September, http://www.pol.ed.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/20181/Carling.pdf
Castles, S. (2002) ‘Migration and community formation under conditions of globalization’, International Migration Review, 36(4): 1143–1168.
Castles, S. (2007) ‘Twenty-first-century migration as a challenge to sociology’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 33(3): 351-371.
Castles, Stephen and Miller, Mark (2009) The Age of Migration: international population movements in the modern world, 4th ed., Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 325/CAS
Cesarani, David and Fulbrook, Mary (eds) (1996) Citizenship, Nationality and Migration in Europe, London: Routledge, 323.094/CIT or 323.6094/CIT
Crawley, Heaven (2005) 'Europe looks to Africa to solve the "asylum problem"', Forced Migration Review, Issue 23, 23-26, http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR23/FMR2309.pdf
Dollar, D. and Kraay, A. (2007) [2002] ‘Spreading the Wealth’, in D. Held, D. & A. McGrew, A. (eds) A Global Transformation Reader: An Introduction To The Globalisation Debate, Cambridge: Polity, 447-454.
Finer, C. J. (2006) Migration, Immigration and Social Policy, Oxford: Blackwell.
Forced Migration Review Supplement January 2009 - Islam, human rights and displacement
Hayatli, Musab (2009) ‘Islam, international law and the protection of refugees and IDPs’, Forced Migration Review Supplement January, 2-3, http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/Human-Rights/islam-human-rights.pdf
Lloyd, C. and Waters, H. (1991) 'France: one culture, one people?' Race and Class 32(3).

Ryan, A. (2008) 'Learning from the cayuqueros: What the African “boat people” are teaching Spain – and Europe – about immigration policy', The International Catholic Migration Commission, http://www.icmc.net/pubs/what-african-boat-people-are-teaching-spain-and-europe-about-immigration-policy
Stalker, Peter (2001) The No-Nonsense Guide to International Migration, London: Verso.
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