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Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh / South Asia





RightsThere are various categories of rights that are now enshrined, to varying degrees, in laws, international conventions and agreements. Rights of relevance to migrants, both forced and voluntary, include civil and political rights, access to justice and redress to courts, the right of association and assembly, the right to work, education and health, freedom from arbitrary detention, and the right to return. However, despite increasing acceptance of the notion that migrants either do have, or should have, rights, access to rights remains highly varied. Most obviously, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1990 is still only ratified by 33 states worldwide, almost all of them primarily sending countries of migrant workers (although these states include three of the four countries in which the Migration DRC works – Bangladesh, Egypt and Ghana).

So far, our work on rights has concentrated on the rights of forced migrants, and especially the way in which policy works to promote or restrict access to rights. For forced migrants, the range of relevant human rights instruments is larger, most noticeably including rights conferred under the Geneva Convention on Refugees. However, despite this ‘special’ protection for some forced migrants, and the growth of ‘rights-based’ approaches to a range of displaced people, refugees and other forced migrants often remain unable to access rights. In Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, India, Malaysia and Ghana, we are examining why access to rights is limited, and the extent to which forced migrants seek to mobilise around rights, highlighting two key rights in each country case study.

We are also developing new work which focuses on access to rights and human rights violations amongst migrant domestic workers in Cairo, replicating an existing study by the principal investigator in Beirut, which is currently nearing completion.


  Key Projects

6a: Balancing Rights and Risks in Forced Migration in India and Malaysia

6b: Forced Migration and Policy in the Middle East

6c: Liberian Refugees and Rights in Accra, Ghana

6d: A Social Profile and Analysis of Migrant Domestic Workers in Cairo


Whose Needs are Right? Refugees, Oustees and the Challenges of Rights-Based Approaches in Forced Migration, Dec 03 (WP-T4)

  Two workshops on rights and forced migration have been organised: ‘Rights and Policy Frameworks: Challenges for Forced Migration’ in Cairo, October 2004, and ‘Forced Migration and Policy in the Middle East’ in October 2005. Researchers working on this theme will organise a panel at the IASFM conference in Toronto in June 2006.

Prior to this, they will come together for a writeshop in April 2006, and contributions will be finalised for a landmark edited volume, to be launched at the IASFM conference in Cairo in January 2008. It is also planned to disseminate research on rights of domestic workers in Cairo at a conference in late 2007/early 2008.
  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs