Case Studies

Conceptual Framework
How do migration control policies affect the plans and actions of prospective (and actual) irregular migrants? And why some policies are more successful than others? These are the central questions addressed by the IRMA research project that the present reports attempts to answer. By outlining the factors, stuff
actors and policies we hope to acquire a better understanding of the interaction between policies and their intended recipients.

Case Study: Afghanistan

The main issues highlighted in the report are the role of asylum as primary reason for migration, and the importance of capital as the main parameter of successful migration. The smuggler is the key actor underscoring all discussions, holding multiple roles; from facilitator of mobility, to source of information, or disruptor to the migratory project. The choice of destination and the limited information informants actually have, are discussed, as well as the role of Turkey as a hub for collection of information, but mostly of money to continue the journey. The border crossing for both entry and exit is discussed in relation to policies in Greece and particular border fencing and increased deterrence of entry. Finally, the text highlights the issue of detention, as the key policy in place at the time of writing that appears to have  impacted heavily both the migratory route but also the decision of Afghans to leave Greece, either via transit (where possible) or via return to Afghanistan.

 Case Study: Pakistan

A question that emerges with urgency both in the scholarly literature and in public life nowadays, is why and how people decide to migrate; embarking upon a journey and a project that is irregular? To what extent migration control policies affect their decisions? The main question tackled in the present report is, which are the factors, policies and actors that influence the plans,actions and decisions of Pakistani migrants before leaving, while traveling and when arriving to Greece? In order to seek the answers, we trace the decision-making process of Pakistani migrants by reconstructing the course of their irregular migratory project, as it is experienced by them.

 Case Study: Albania

The study addresses the irregular migration of Albanians to Greece. In particular, it analyses the key findings of the fieldwork with 87 Albanian migrants, the dynamic of irregular migration from Albania to Greece, the factors and the actors who affect them as well as the success or failure of the relevant migration policies. The report shows that the expanding possibility of legal entry into Greece has had the immediate consequence of limiting irregular border crossing. What emerges is that the dynamic of attraction exerted by the demand for seasonal work in sectors like tourism and agriculture, is critical in shaping the irregular migration map. The data of the case study showed that irregular flows are not significantly implicating new migrants. Rather, we see that the involvement of those who perhaps possess even rudimentary information about the Greek environment and maintain contacts with the migration networks (ethnic, family and/or with Greek employers) in Greece. Finally, the migration plans of Albanians have been shaped accordingly with the impact of the crisis on opportunities for employment in Greece, the legal status, the level of influence and facilitation provided by migration networks, the migration policies, the liberalisation of the entry visa for Albanian nationals (implemented in December 2010), the bilateral relations between Albanian and Greece, and the unstable political and socio-economic situation in Albania.

Case Study: Georgia

?he causes of irregular migration can be traced at the junctions between individual search for life prospects, demand in the labour market, and restrictive migration control policies. The present report aims at examining the way in which these three forces (individual activity, labour market and policies) intertwine in the case of irregular Georgian migration to Greece. The research looks at the ways in which various factors, including Greek policies of migration and asylum management and migration control affect the plans and the actions of Georgian irregular migrants.

Case Study: Ukraine

The report on the Ukrainian migration focuses mainly on the analysis of the determinants and the setting of the nodal points in the process of migration to Greece and later on return to the home country.  In this context, significant events such as the transition period from a centrally planned to free market economy in Ukraine, the possibilities for work in Greece, the economic crisis and the recent conflict in Ukraine are setting the scene, on which the life stories of the migrants are unfolding.  The role of the social networks, intermediaries, employers and family differs in different stages of the migration cycles and define to a great extent the inspirations, fears and anticipations of the migrants.