(In)formal Migrant Settlements and Right to Respect for a Home

C.H. Slingenberg, L. Bonneau

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Across European cities, migrants without access to state facilities, resort to living in
‘makeshift camps’ or squats. These settlements are usually evacuated and demolished
by state authorities. Instead of discussing the state’s positive obligation to provide decent
housing, this article focusses solely on the state’s negative obligations under the
right to respect for a home as laid down in Article 8 of the European Convention of
Human Rights (ECHR). Drawing upon the cases of Calais and Amsterdam, this article
scrutinizes domestic case law about evictions from (in)formal migrant settlements
and compares that to case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). We
argue that the ECtHR case law provides a relevant framework that should be used to
evaluate the legitimacy of evictions and destructions of (in)formal migrants’ settlements.
Despite the fact that applying this framework would not entail a complete ban
on evictions, it would provide some welcome (procedural and substantive) protection
for migrants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-369
Number of pages35
JournalEuropean Journal of Migration and Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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