Not walls of fear, but firewalls : ensuring the human rights of undocumented migrants
Since the Arab Spring, new waves of migration have forced immigration issues into the international spotlight. In relation to irregular migration, the majority of attention remains focused on border control, screening, detection of irregular status and expulsion. Thereupon, the human rights debate surrounding irregular migration primarily focuses on protecting human rights in this context. Yet, there is a significant number of irregular migrants who live undetected in EU countries, and whose irregular migration status forces them into the shadows. They are particular vulnerable people who face several obstacles on a daily basis to the access of their fundamental rights. This thesis investigates the obstacles that confront irregular migrants when accessing healthcare, justice and victims’ rights. These obstacles stem from the fear of detection resulting from the fact that service providers are often co-opted into performing immigration control tasks. The thesis also addresses the utility of releasing services providers from immigration control tasks in order to improve EU Member States’ capacity to deliver fundamental human rights to irregular migrants, which is possible by creating a clear separation between services and immigration enforcement, namely the creation of Firewalls.