Irregular Migration

“The fight against irregular migration must be carried on with full respect for fundamental rights and the dignity of the human person, the principles of international law and the relevant international commitments”

PARIS DECLARATION, Paris, 25 November 2008

Finding answers to the challenges posed by irregular migration has been one of the three pillars of the Rabat process over the past years. Those challenges encompass, on the one hand, threats for the security of states given the links between irregular migration and organised crime, but they also put into question developing migration management systems. On the other hand, they pose a serious threat to the security of migrants.

The Rabat declaration recognizes that effective action against irregular migration, including both smuggling and trafficking in human beings, must be taken in the framework of a viable and united partnership, whilst respecting the fundamental rights and dignity of migrants

The fight against irregular migration is addressed in the Rabat Action Plan through some concrete orientation, such as improving the coordination and support for regional programmes in Africa; the reduction of document fraud; the reinforcement of national border control capacities of countries of transit and departure; the facilitation of the reinsertion of victims of human trafficking; and readmission and voluntary return.

In the Second Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development, which took place in Paris on 25 November 2008 a Three-Year Cooperation Programme was adopted. In the spirit of cooperation and joint responsibility, it is in the interest of countries of destination, transit and origin not to allow migrants to settle in irregularity.  Fight against irregular migration should be achieved through the following measures:

  • Establishing a comprehensive approach to that fight against irregular migration through the setting up of a concerted management framework and operational cooperation between Africa and the European Union, by supporting African countries who receive irregular migrants and by increasing community awareness of the dangers of irregular migration in the countries of departure.
  • Supporting African countries in improving the quality of their civil s registry status and combating document fraud.
  • Strengthening the control of borders, the fight against migrant smuggling and the fight against trafficking in human beings by promoting the implementation of the integrated border management concept in African countries and by encouraging the harmonisation of laws in order to make sure that border control measures and the fight against trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling include protection mechanisms and comply with the principle of non-refoulement.
  • Improving readmission and promoting voluntary return by improving both the efficiency of readmission procedures and return assistance, particularly voluntary return, as well as the reintegration of migrants.