Critical legal scholars observe that irregular migrants are rendered cheap labour forces in most labour relations and are abandoned in the condition of severe exploitation. This paper, asks ‘how the legal constructions behind the protection of labour-related rights under the European regime of human rights enable the exploitation of irregular migrants.’ In order to address this question, I develop a review of the labour-related protections vis-à-vis irregular migrants under the European human rights framework as well as a review of the landmark rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in this regard. I argue that the exploitation of irregular migrants takes place not because they lack the right to work and the protections attached to it. Irregular migrants, rather, turn exploitable subjects from the outset through the normalization of an inversion in the derivative and core elements of the human right to work under the European regime of human rights.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!