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13 Feb 2019

Exploring the Links Between Enhancing Regular Pathways and Discouraging Irregular Migration: A discussion paper to inform future policy deliberations

One of the most pressing governance challenges of our time is how to manage international migration effectively, and the related need to respect the interests and needs of migrants and their families as well as those of countries, right the way through the migration cycle (origin, transit, destination, return). Safe, orderly and regular migration is recognized as beneficial to all parties involved. Nonetheless, a significant share of international migration takes place outside regular channels, either through unlawful entry or through regular entry and irregular stay and work at destination. For high-income countries, combating irregular migration and channelling prospective migrants into regular flows is a high-priority policy challenge. This research project, led by Professor Anna Triandafyllidou from the European University Institute, examined key issues and current research on the links between regular migration pathways and irregular migration. Presented as a discussion paper to inform policy deliberations, the researchers’ findings point to the development of possible policy options and good practices that States could draw upon to improve their respective migration realities.

  • Abbreviations
  • Executive summary
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Defining the key issues and challenges
    • 2.1. Asylum seeking and (economically motivated) migration: A blurred line
    • 2.2. Regular versus irregular migration: Shades of grey
    • 2.3. Key issues and challenges
  • 3. Regional mobility regimes
    • 3.1. South-East Asia
    • 3.2. Sub-Saharan Africa
    • 3.3. South America
    • 3.4. Key findings on regional mobility regimes
  • 4. Bilateral mobility schemes
    • 4.1. Responding to demand for domestic and care workers
    • 4.2. Key findings on bilateral mobility schemes
    • 4.3. Thinking forward: Temporary Migration Partnerships
    • 4.4. Thinking forward: Skills and Mobility Partnerships
  • 5. Sponsorship schemes
    • 5.1. Employer-driven sponsorship schemes
    • 5.2. Sponsorship schemes for refugees
    • 5.3. Key findings and issues on sponsorship schemes
    • 5.4. Thinking forward: Human Development Visa Scheme
  • 6. The protection of migrants in vulnerable situations
    • 6.1. Resettlement and humanitarian corridors
    • 6.2. Lessons learned: Regularizing migrants
    • 6.3. Key findings on protecting migrants in vulnerable situations
  • 7. Concluding remarks
  • 8. References