Background

Irregular migration today: A global challenge

According to the most recent United Nations Development Report (UNDP 2009: 21) it is currently estimated that around 214 million individuals are international migrants, viagra sale representing some 3.1 percent of the world’s population (see also IOM 2008: 2). Thus international migrants represent a rather small fraction of the world’s population. Still it is interesting to note that the percentage of international migrants is estimated to have doubled in the last 25 years even if the share of international migrants in the world’s populations has risen only by 50% – in other words international migrants are 2.5 times more today compared to 1970 but they account for approx. 3% of the total world’s population (as opposed to approx. 2% in 1970). The United Nations has estimated that globally there are approximately 30 to 40 million irregular migrants, misbirth
a number that amounts to between 15 and 20 percent of all international migrants. Naturally this is just an estimate. Data on undocumented migrants are usually derived from national censuses that although comprehensively counting both legal and irregular migrants, physician are not likely to capture the total size of the irregular migration as undocumented residents tend to hide from census interviewers by fear of detection.

The case of Greece

Greece has been blamed by its fellow EU member states for the excessive permeability of its borders, its inability to stop irregular migration, and its too frequent implementation of massive regularisation programmes. At the same time it has been accused for violating the human rights of irregular migrants and asylum seekers. In addition Greece is characterised by weak internal controls of irregular migration, especially as regards the sectors of the labour market where immigrants are usually employed e.g. agriculture, domestic work, tourism and catering. Overall it may thus be said that Greek state policies for combating irregular migration have been only partly successful, while they have raised a lot of criticisms, especially at the European and international level. These features make Greece a particularly interesting case study on which to ask and answer our two fundamental research questions.