93% of irregular migrants experienced danger during their journey to Europe. Yet only 2% of them would – knowing this – not do it again. These are the striking results from the report ‘Scaling Fences, voices of irregular African migrants to Europe’ from the UNDP. For this research almost 2,000 migrants in 13 European countries, including the Netherlands, were interviewed. Migration is an important issue in Europe, also particularly in the upcoming elections in the Netherlands. This debate is based on the results of the report in which we want to look at the situation in the Netherlands and in Amsterdam. We would like to focus on the migrants who are already here, talk about the current framing of irregular migration and place it in a broader context. Irregular migrants are not allowed to work, although they all indicate that they want and want to contribute to society. What does the current approach bring, and what are possible solutions?

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Note: this program will be conducted in English.

About the speakers

Jide Okeke is currently the Coordinator of the Regional Programme for Africa at UNDP. He was previously Head of Policy on peace operations at the African Union Commission. He holds a PhD in development politics (University of Leeds), an MA in Conflict Resolution (University of Bradford) and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Leo Lucassen is Professor of Global Labour and Migration History and director of the International Institute of Social History (IISH). His research focuses on Global Migration History, Integration, Migration Systems, Migration Controls, Gypsies and the state, State Formation and Modernity, and Urban History. Leo wants to stimulate interdisciplinary research on migration history and contributes regularly to the public debate on migration.

Anne van Schaik is General Coordinator ASKV (Refugee Support) and has worked for various environmental and human rights organizations since 1999, including Environmental Defense, Friends Of The Earth, Oxfam Novib and Clean Clothes Campaign.

Elianne Schultz is a diaconal worker at the Lutheran Church in Amsterdam Southeast. The church – De Nieuwe Stad – provides free meals to people in Amsterdam who need help and thereby became a meeting place for many different people needing an escape from loneliness for a while, including undocumented people.

Don Ceder is a Dutch lawyer and politician. He is a member of the ChristenUnie and in 2018 became the first councilor for this party in Amsterdam. From 2015 to 2018, he was also a duo committee member of the Provincial Council of North Holland for the ChristenUnie / SGP fraction. At the moment, he is Parliamentary Candidate for the party. Don founded his own law firm in 2015.

Mustapha has come to Europe from Gambia and is therefore an expert by experience in the field of migration. He is also a cheese maker.

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