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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds As we have seen in our previous lecture, there are many terms related to migration, and this might create confusion. Let’s put some order here. Migrants are people who move and settle in a country different from the one of origin after having crossed an international border. Migrants should hold the documents requested by the country they leave, the one they go into, as well as the countries they might cross on the way. But reality tells us that this is not always the case. In fact, we speak of irregular migrants referring to people who either move without having such documents or have false documents. There are also people who enter the country legally, but abuse the terms of their visas.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds For example, by overstaying or by taking up employment without having the permit to do so. That said, irregular migrants are at risk of being detained and repatriated against their will. The case of asylum seekers is different. These are people who apply for international protection, thus request a permit to stay in a country different from the one of origin because of the risks they face in their own country. In the case that their application is successful, asylum seekers become refugees. So who is a refugee? According to the Geneva Convention, people are eligible for refugee status when they fear to be persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, or political opinion.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds However, for the Organisation of African Unity Convention, refugees are people who have been forced to leave their country because of an external aggression or a natural disaster. Alternately, the Cartagena Declaration defines refugees as people whose lives, security, or freedom have been threatened by generalised violence and human rights violations. Beware, refugees should not be confused with internally displaced people, who are not international migrants, but people forced to move towards safer areas within their own country.

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Why Do People Migrate? Facts

European University Institute (EUI)