‘In the shadow of law’ : the minimum right to health entitlements of undocumented migrants in Europe

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Haan, Andel Antje de
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The following thesis is an exploration of the minimum right to health entitlements of undocumented migrants in Europe. The purpose of this study is to find out what the minimum entitlements are regarding their right to health, within the human rights framework, as well as the entitlements afforded them in European State policies and in daily practice. International human rights law protects in its essence everyone and States are obliged to grant at least minimum levels of the right to health to undocumented migrants. Moreover, undocumented migrants face a higher risk to their health than others and are in need of transparent protection. Nonetheless, the major finding of this study is that undocumented migrants are in an extreme ambiguous position with regard to their health entitlements and general human rights. Therefore this thesis ascertains that undocumented migrants are situated ‘In the Shadow of Law’. In addition, this study makes clear that undocumented migrants have an impeded right to health and even the essential levels are sometimes hampered. Lastly, this thesis identifies that their health entitlements are vague and do not seem to secure their right to health. The holistic picture drawn by this thesis exposes valuable information on the strong tension between the principle of universal human rights protection and the practical delivery of these rights to those who are undocumented.
Second semester University: Abo Akademi University.
migrants, Europe, right to health