tooltip text

United Kingdom


The Netherlands






European Union





Country profile

The Netherlands

Research in The Netherlands will be centred around the city of Utrecht and focus on the domestic work and cleaning and logistic and delivery sectors. In Utrecht, an estimated 5000 people live without residence papers, which includes rejected asylum seekers and visa overstayers. For domestic work and cleaning, the most common nationalities are South Asians and Latin Americans, but African migrants are also present. In logistics and delivery, Eastern European workers have a large presence. Utrecht has been at the forefront of developing inclusion measures for asylum seekers and irregular migrants for decades. As the first Dutch city to offer legal support on top of emergency social assistance to irregular migrants, the municipality has longstanding partnerships with civil society and refugee solidarity organisations. Researchers estimate that irregular immigrants in the Netherlands come from as many as 200 source countries. Over time policies and regulations have become stricter, with the obligation to carry identification documents and the Linking Act (Koppelingswet) stipulating that adults without a right of residence no longer have access to public services. While the control and policing of irregular migrants has changed considerably, they continue to fill labour market gaps.

Related publications

Minke Hajer, Carola Vasileiadi, Ilse van Liempt
Utrecht University
This report aims to understand the implementation and impact of Dutch laws and policies on the production of migrant irregularity in the Netherlands. It is shown that over the past 25 years, Dutch policies have increasingly excluded irregular migrants from essential ser...

Academic Partner:

Utrecht University

Ilse van Liempt

Associate Professor
Principal Investigator, Executive Team member, WP5 Leader


Ilse van Liempt is Associate Professor in Urban Geography at Utrecht University. Van Liempt has published widely on human smuggling, irregular migration, refugees, public space and processes of inclusion and exclusion in cities. Recently she co-edited the Research Handbook on Irregular Migration with Joris Schapendonk and Amalia Campos-Delgado (Edward Elgar 2023).

Silvia Spurigan

Project Manager
Project Manager, Executive Team member


Silvia is the project manager for ICLAIM and oversees the administrative part. She has been working on EC funded projects on migration and integration in Romania. Her educational background is in languages, international relations, and migration.

Carola Vasileiadi

Research Assistant
Research Assistant


Carola Vasileiadi is a junior researcher on the I-CLAIM project at the Utrecht Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning. After graduating from the master’s program Urban Geography at Utrecht University in 2021, she contributed to the organization of the HERA conference in Amsterdam about Refugee Youth, Public Space and Artistic Practices in collaboration with artistic and local institutions in the city. Thereafter, she started working for the municipality on urban development projects. Meanwhile, she participated in conferences to present her master thesis on Artistic Practices of Undocumented Migrants and their construction of Place- and Political Belonging for which she received the master thesis award within the Focus Area Migration and Societal Change.


Minke Hajer

Post-doctoral researcher


Minke is a sociologist working at the department of human geography and spatial planning at Utrecht university. She obtained a joint PhD from the universities of Milan and Amsterdam, researching the citizenship struggle of irregular migrants in social movements in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Turin (Italy).

Afterwards, she worked on multiple research projects regarding refugee (labour market) integration, the regularisation of irregular migrant workers, and migrant care-workers.

Recently, she co-authored the reader ‘Irregular Migration’ with Maurizio Ambrosini (Springer, 2023)

Country Engagement Partner

Fair Work

Anna Ensing

Project Coordination, Advocacy and Research
I-CLAIM Partner


Since 2018 Anna works at FairWork where she is a project leader on the topic of labour exploitation. Her expertise is built on supporting undocumented workers in the Netherlands and she advocates for recognizing labour rights for vulnerable migrant workers and victims of exploitation.

Share This