HorizonEurope project DignityFIRM soon to kick-off

The HorizonEurope project DignityFIRM kicks-off on 1 April 2023. Professor of European Migration Law Tesseltje de Lange is the principal investigator of this project, cooperating with professor of Criminology Masja van Meeteren, assistant professor of Planning Pascal Beckers and assistant professor of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies Els Rommes.

The project contributes to improving conditions of irregularized migrants (IM) working in Farm to Fork (F2F) labour markets in four EU member states (IT, NL, PL, SP) and two associated countries (MO, UA). To derive structural recommendations for improvements, the researchers analyze regulatory infrastructures that govern these conditions distinguishing five influential spheres of stakeholders at the EU, national, and local levels, and at the level of employers and IM themselves. The focus on IM in F2F labour markets is timely given the instrumental role of these industries in securing EU livelihoods, the high systemic dependency on IM that coincides with persistent group vulnerabilities. By providing knowledge and innovative tools to improve regulatory infrastructures, this project enhances IM’s access to basic rights and services, and improves their precarious working conditions. Doing so, we contribute to systemic resilience of F2F industries and the EU’s ambitions for social and economic transformation.

The project adopts a mixed-method research approach, that includes a special focus on the division of labour in F2F markets with respect to gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, health and safety. Doing so, the research group provides new knowledge on the multidimensional regulatory infrastructure and the conditions of IM therein, their access to basic rights and social services and employer reliance on IMs. Thery build on their analysis of the current situation, and work towards innovative solutions by developing Dignity tools in co-creation with stakeholders across the five stakeholder spheres. The research group proposes group sensitive policy measures at EU, national, and local level, across four policy domains: migration management, EU pillar social rights, labour market sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Doing so, they create a pathway for impact towards upholding IMs’ access to rights and services and simultaneously addressing labour market needs and wellbeing of host communities.

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Faculty of Law