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> MIGRANT Home > Good practices database - Labour migration policies and programmes > Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)

Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)

  • Responsible Organisations: Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (Civil society)
  • ILO Regions: Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe and Central Asia
  • Country(ies): Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Kazakhstan; Luxembourg; Malta; Morocco; Nepal; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom
  • Thematic areas: Evidence-based policy making; Protection; Social integration and inclusion
  • MLFLM: 3.; 8.; 9.(a),(b),(c); 11.; 14.


The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) was founded in 2001 as an initiative of grassroots organisations. Now representing a network of more than 140 organisations and 100 individual advocates working with undocumented migrants in 33 countries, primarily in Europe as well as in other world regions, PICUM has built a comprehensive evidence base regarding the gap between international human rights law and the policies and practices existing at national level. With over ten years of evidence, experience and expertise on undocumented migrants, PICUM promotes recognition of their fundamental rights, providing an essential link between local realities and the debates at policy level. Some of PICUM's most recent initiatives are highlighted below.

1. UNDOCUMENTARY - 'UNDOCUMENTARY: The Reality of Undocumented Migrants in Europe', is a web documentary on the daily realities faced by undocumented migrants living in Europe. The documentary is divided into five thematic chapters (Criminalisation, Work, Women, Children and Health Care) and includes interviews with undocumented migrants, advocates and service providers from seven European countries (Belgium, Cyprus, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden). It is accompanied by a teacher's guide for use in schools. UNDOCUMENTARY is available in English, French and Spanish and can be accessed at:

2. Five-Point Action Plan for the Strategic Guidelines for Home Affairs from 2015 - In January 2014, PICUM submitted a five-point action plan to the European Commission's Directorate-General for Home Affairs. The plan proposes that the strategic guidelines for EU Home Affairs from 2015 address the shortcomings in the current approach and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of EU migration policy, both in the short and long term. Specifically, it proposes taking an evidence-based approach to reducing irregular migration; ensuring due process and justice is guaranteed in legal procedures, including in migration-related decisions; tackling discrimination against women and promoting equality; developing measures to ensure protection of all migrant children; and improving policy coherence through an integrated, credible and comprehensive approach to migration.

3. 'Words Matter!' campaign - PICUM promotes accurate, humane terminology and strictly avoids using the term 'illegal migrant'. With the slogan 'Words Matter', PICUM launched a leaflet on accurate terminology in June 2014. The leaflet provides reasons why not to use the term 'illegal migrant', a lexicon with translations of 'undocumented migrant' and/or 'irregular migrant' in all EU languages and an overview of key institutions that have already committed to accurate terminology in reference to undocumented migrants. PICUM's Terminology Leaflet is available in English, Greek, Dutch and Italian and has been widely disseminated on social media platforms.

4. Research- PICUM regularly publishes position papers and policy briefs to inform policy-making, particularly on the EU level. Some of its most notable publications, available for download below, include: 'Employers' Sanctions: Impacts on Undocumented Migrant Workers' Rights in Four EU Countries'; 'Access to Health Care for Undocumented Migrants in Europe: The Key Role of Local and Regional Authorities'; 'Protecting undocumented children: Promising policies and practices from governments'; 'Human Rights of Undocumented Adolescents and Youth'; 'Strategies to End Double Violence Against Undocumented Women: Protecting Rights and Ensuring Justice'; a position paper on the EU Return Directive; and a position paper on the European Commission Communication on an EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020. PICUM's research is essential to its advocacy efforts. For instance, in 2014, PICUM submitted a report to a discussion on 'Workplace Exploitation and Workplace Protection' of the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW). The submission, which was informed by key research findings, highlights PICUM's main concerns regarding workplace exploitation of migrant workers and provides several recommendations to improve the protection of undocumented migrants.


last updated on 18.05.2015^ top