The Human Rights of Irregular Migrants in Europe
Historically, the State has pledged to protect the
rights of its citizens at home – for instance from
torture or from exploitation – and of citizens of other
states who enter the country lawfully. Where refugees
flee persecution at the hands of their own state,
international law requires other states to provide the
protection denied at home.
This paper deals with another category: migrants who are
not refugees or asylum seekers and who are in another
country without the state’s consent. Perceptions of
these irregular migrants are polarised. ‘Irregular
migrant’ refers to non citizens who have no valid leave
to enter and / or remain within a state.