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Global Migration Centre

Collection of International Migration Law Instruments

This research project directed by Prof. Vincent Chetail collected in a comprehensive and accessible way all the international and regional legal instruments applicable to migration.

International migration law is frequently equated to “a giant unassembled juridical jigsaw puzzle”, for which “the number of pieces is uncertain and the grand design is still emerging” (R. Lillich, The Human Rights of Aliens in Contemporary International Law, Manchester University Press, 1984, p. 122). International obligations of States with regard to migrants are indeed dispersed amongst heterogeneous enactments. The current international legal framework governing migration consists of a wide variety of principles and rules belonging to numerous branches of international law (such as refugee law, human rights law, trade law, labour law, air law, consular law, etc.). It gave rise to a disparate range of norms and standards, expressed neither clearly or accessibly. The dissolution of the international rules applicable to migration remains one of today’s most important issues as it impedes the understanding and, consequently, the effective implementation of these norms.

The objective of this research was to present in a comprehensive and concise manner the great number of relevant instruments – some of them being difficult to find. It has been published in French as a Code de droit international des migrations at Bruylant, Brussels in 2008.


Project Team