The University of Manchester



 End of project conference was held in London, 6th December 2013

For some of the conference presentations and material:

UndocNet Conference Programme  

UndocNet presentations

Irregular Migration dilemmas

illegal immigrants are not criminals  

Bonding and bridging revisited London

Chinese film

Bengali film

 Turkish film

 Undocumented Migrants, Ethnic Enclaves and Networks: Opportunities, traps or class-based constructs

UndocNet, a two-year project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, will be holding its end of research project conference in London on Friday 6 December 2013. UndocNet has been exploring the labour market experiences and aspirations of 55 irregular migrants in London from three countries of origin - Bangladesh, China and Turkey (including Kurds) - and 24 minority ethnic entrepreneurs employing people from these three groups. The context of the research has been the economic downturn, increasingly restrictive immigration controls, raids on businesses suspected of employing people without correct documentation and the deportation of irregular migrants. Within this contemporary context the project has been concerned with understanding decisions to use or not to use social capital in the form of co-ethnic networks in the search for work and for workers, in or out of ethnic enclaves, from the perspectives of workers and their employers. The research has investigated the ways in which migrants and their employers use their social networks and other resources in relation to work and the ways in which working relationships operate within frameworks of ethnicity, class and gender.

The UndocNet research team welcomes contributions focusing on the following topics in the national or comparative perspective addressing irregular migration:

. Policy intersections
Papers in this stream will consider government policies in relation to irregular migration, particularly in a period of economic crisis. More specifically we are seeking papers that consider the impact of existing policies and/or current government proposals, including the doubling of sanctions against employers and the legal obligations on landlords to check on their tenants. Papers can address these issues through the perspectives of irregular migrants and/or employers.

. Status and status mobility
The second stream of papers will focus on the strategies available to and pursued by irregular migrants seeking to move from irregular to regular status. We are seeking papers that address issues of status and of status mobility, primarily from the perspective of irregular migrants but would also encourage papers that address how employers respond to status changes, as well as on the role of legal professionals in providing advice and support to those seeking to regularise their status. The UndocNet project has been examining status and status mobility, looking at the strategies that irregular migrants adopt to try to alter their status and the barriers they face, as well as the position of employers in terms of their practices.

. Family networks and social capital
The third conference stream will investigate the networks that irregular migrants use, both on arrival and later as they negotiate their routes into employment. We are seeking papers on any aspect of social capital in the form of networks and network building, including families, friends, networks based on place of origin, faith groups, community organisations and on ethnicity. We would also be interested in papers that critically examine how networks advance or limit employment opportunities, but also how networks impact on other aspects of integration. A key focus of the UndocNet project has been to understand how and when networks are used in relation to employment and to interrogate social capital theory in relation to irregular migrants, and we seek papers to complement this work.

. Irregular migrants and work
We are seeking papers on any aspect of employment and migration but in particular on the types and conditions of work that irregular migrants find and the ways in which they negotiate within the constraints of their employment situation and how they utilise agency. A key focus of the UndocNet project has been to investigate the employment trajectories of migrants with irregular status.

There will be four plenary speakers and four paper strands. We encourage both established and new researchers to submit abstracts for the paper sessions. The abstracts need to reach us by Monday 23 September 2013. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length and the selection will be made by the UndocNet research team, taking account of the thematic areas and the desire to support new as well as established researchers. In responding to the call please indicate your name, institution and current status as well as the stream you would like your paper to be considered for. Presenters will have up to 20 minutes to present their paper with some time for questions and discussion. Abstracts selected for the conference will be posted on the project website, where information about UndocNet can also be found.

We are pleased to announce that the conference plenary sessions will be addressed by four leading academics in the field:
. Professor Bernard Ryan, School of Law, University of Leicester
. Professor Bridget Anderson, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford
. Professor Louise Ryan, Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University
. Dr Hannah Lewis, School of Geography, University of Leeds

From the UndocNet project, Alice Bloch, Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, together with Sonia McKay, Professor of European Socio-Legal Studies and Dr Leena Kumarappan, both at the Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University, will present the key findings arising from the project.

The Call for Papers and details about how to present contributions will be available on the UndocNet website  The finalised Conference Programme will be available from October 2013.

For the information about the presentation of the papers or to register for the conference please contact Dr Leena Kumarappan: There are a limited number of places and early registration is advised.


14th November 2013         

The UndocNet project will be holding a half day workshop on 14 November 2013 and we very much hope you are able to attend. The workshop will be held with the support of Praxis Community Projects, an organisation committed to working with vulnerable migrants, with the aim of bringing together policy makers, NGOs and relevant stakeholders to discuss the impact of sanctions on employment conditions, community cohesion, employers and irregular migrants, particularly in the context of the proposed increase in employer sanctions.
The workshop will be held on 14 November commencing at 2pm with a lunch served from 1pm.
We are inviting trade unions, employers, NGOs working in the field of irregular migration and policymakers to share an open discussion on the consequences of employer sanctions and to consider whether there are alternatives that would better safeguard the human rights of those without regular status.
We would very much want your organisations to be represented at the workshop and I am writing to ask ideally if you would be available or alternatively if someone else from the organisation could be present.
The workshop will be held at the Praxis office, Pott Street, London E2 0EF.


Mid-Project Workshop

Date: 28/11/2012

Time: 4PM to 6PM followed by refreshments

Location: Room D112, Social Sciences Building, City University London, St. John’s Street, London EC1V 0HB

Guest speaker: Don Flynn from Migrants’ Rights Network

The research got underway in October 2011 and the fieldwork is now nearing completion.The workshop: Don Flynn (Migrants’ Rights Network) will set the scene and then the research team will be discussing the methodology, including the challenges of accessing this ‘hard-to-reach’ group of workers and their employers and some of the initial findings.


Second Project advisory Group meeting 17th September 2012


First Project advisory Group meeting 9th December 2011