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Invisible migrants


With funding from Zennström Philanthropies, the AIRE Centre launched its invisible migrants project in 2010.

What makes migrants invisible?  Some have rights in theory under European human rights law - for example, not to be expelled from the country in which they are living because of the real risk of ill treatment they face back home, or because of the interference expulsion would represent with their right to respect for family or private life - but they cannot enjoy those rights in practice because of the way the authorities are handling their cases.  Some are made invisible by decisions that disregard their rights, for example, as family members of EU migrants.  Others have an unquestioned right to live in the country where they are residing, but are refused social assistance benefits or healthcare as a result of decisions that ignore or flout European law, driving these migrants to the margins or society.  

This project represents a systematic response to the problems invisible migrants face in asserting their rights under European law.  The project involves:

  • giving advice to migrants and those advising them;
  • taking cases to the European Court of Human Rights, as applicants' representatives on the record, joint representatives or third-party interveners;
  • intervening in cases in the domestic courts that raise important issues; and
  • carrying out other forms of advocacy.

If you want to know more about the project, contact