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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


Bengali film

 Turkish film

 Undocumented Migrants, Ethnic Enclaves and Networks:



End of project conference

The Graduate Centre, London Metropolitan University
9:30 AM to 6 PM, 6th December 2013

Register now 

( to register Email:

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 (

Findings from the conference will be presented by the research team:
Professor Alice Bloch,University of Manchester
Professor Sonia McKay, London Metropolitan University
Dr Leena Kumarappan, London Metropolitan University

Plenary lectures:
Professor Bernard Ryan, Law School, University of Leicester: Irregular Migrants: Legal Dilemmas
Dr Hannah Lewis, School of Geography, University of Leeds: The increasingly hostile environment: discomfort as a policy goal
Professor Louise Ryan, Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University: Making Connections: re-appraising social networks, family and social capital
Professor Bridget Anderson, COMPAS, University of Oxford: “Illegal immigrants are not criminals!” Aren’t they?


All welcome to a drinks reception after the conference

Registration is free but places are limited

Registration deadline: 15 November 2013 ( to register Email:



Mid-Project Workshop to be held on 28/11/2012; 4PM to 6PM

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.

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

Guest speaker: Don Flynn from Migrants’ Rights Network


UNDOCNET project reaches its halfway fieldwork point.

UNDOCNET community fieldworkers have now completed at least half of the 60 interviews we are carrying out with undocumented migrants. They have interviewed both male and female undocumented migrants with a diversity of experience in terms of sectors of employment, age groups and length of time in the UK. While some of those interviewed had come directly from their country of origin to the UK, a small number had experienced migration in other countries before reaching the UK.

We anticipate that all of this phase of fieldwork will be completed by the end of September.The team has just started the interviews with employers and the aim is to have these completed by the end of October 2012 at the latest.

Second Project Advisory Group (PAG) meeting was held on 17th  September 2012

The second PAG was held on 17 September 2012.  Reports were presented by the research team to  members of PAG  on the the project so far. PAG members and project team had a good discussions on topics such as methodology, access, data collection and processing. PAG members were updated on all aspects of project. PAG members have been very useful to the project in assisting our community researchers in making contact with a wide range of migrant interviewees.

Training day a success

UNDOCNET  organised a day’s training for members of the team and for the project community fieldworkers on using and filming with digital cameras. The project intends to produce a short film which documents some of the key experiences of a range of migrant workers. The training has provided the community researchers with the skills needed to film and pre-edit prior to the final edit by the research team. We are hoping to begin filming within the next few weeks.

UNDOCNET team members attend conferences.

The research team value the opportunity to take part in academic and practitioner conferences to expand our knowledge of the work realities of undocumented workers today.  On 1 November 2011 Leena and Sonia from the team travelled to Manchester to participate in a conference organised by the Joseph Rowntree Trust on Chinese migrant workers in the UK: Experiences of exploitation and forced labour in the UK. We heard first-hand accounts of the exploitation experienced by Chinese migrant workers without documents.