Webinar: Inclusion of Migrants with Irregular Status: a Role for Cities

Cities of Migration


Why should cities reach out to migrants with irregular status?

A growing number of cities in Europe, like their North American counterparts, are taking steps to connect irregular (‘undocumented’) migrants and their families to essential services.  Sarah Spencer, Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, COMPAS, University of Oxford, draws on the work of the C-MISE Project (City Initiative for Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe) to explain why and share some of the creative ways that local authorities have found to provide services, protect the vulnerable and build more inclusive cities for everyone.

Join Sarah Spencer, Director of the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity (Oxford), and Jan Braat, Senior Policy Advisor, Migration and Integration, City of Utrecht to learn about C-MISE findings, recommendations, and to explore the specific example of the City of Utrecht’s public commitment to be a ‘Human Rights City’ and the inclusive policies and practices it has developed to ensure undocumented residents have access to ‘Bed, Bath and Bread’ as well as health care, employment, education and legal advice. The  C-MISE Project is a two-year learning-exchange project involving 11 European cities, chaired by the City of Utrecht.

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Sarah Spencer, Director, Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, COMPAS, University of Oxford (UK)

Dr Sarah Spencer is Director of the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, the learning-exchange arm of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at the University of Oxford. Her own research focuses on irregular migrants in Europe, on which she held an Open Society Fellowship, and on migrant integration, with a particular interest in policy-making at the local level. Sarah’s earlier career was in the public and voluntary sectors. She is a former Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality; former Chair of the network of British equality and human rights organisations, the Equality and Diversity Forum; and former Director of the human rights NGO, Liberty. Sarah was recently elected Chair of the Board of Directors of IMISCOE, the network of European research centres that focus on migration and integration issues.

Jan Braat, Senior Policy Advisor, Migration and Integration, City of Utrecht (Netherlands)

Jan Braat was the first policymaker in the Netherlands who in 2001 developed a system for emergency shelters for undocumented migrants. Jan initiated and succesfully implemented many projects with NGOs to mainstream integration and combat illegal (over)stay and homelessness. He is also well known for his efforts in getting municipalities to work together, which he does on a national as well as on a European scale. He was one of the leading officials in the agreement between national and local authorities on the great Dutch regularisation in 2007.  He is the chair of the Eurocities Sub Working Group on Undocumented Migrants, the City Initiative C-MISE project. The other cities participating with Utrecht are Athens, Barcelona, Stockholm, Gothenborg, Oslo, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Ghent and Zurich and Helsinki. He is an active member of the Working Group Migration and Integration of Eurocities, with more then 50 member European cities in this working group of Eurocities within the social pillar. He holds a Bachelor Degree in economy and a Master in sociology. He worked with Amnesty, the Refugee Council, and the Social Department of the Municipality of Utrecht before becoming a widely recognized senior policy maker on asylum matters in the Netherlands.

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