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Irregular migrants are not 'illegal'

The Assembly has condemned increasingly restrictive migration policies, increased social exclusion and limited access to human and social rights for migrants on the European continent. The term “migrant” retains, according to parliamentarians, a degree of stigmatisation vis-à-vis the group or person to whom it is applied, especially when it is associated with illegality.

Adopting a resolution based on the report prepared by Ionut-Marian Stroe (Romania, EPP/CD), the parliamentarians called on European governments to promote and observe fundamental rights standards for migrants, including irregular migrants, and to use neutral terminology, replacing the term “illegal migrants” with “irregular migrants” in speeches and official documents.

The standards concerning entry, transit and residence on the territory of European Union countries should be applied stricto sensu to migrants. Governments should ensure that asylum seekers have access to fair procedures and that irregular migrants are given access to the essential rights for human dignity (medical care, education).