Ethical Issues in Irregular Migration Research in Europe

This paper is concerned with the ethical issues

arising for researchers engaged in the study of

irregular migration. Based on the authors’

research experiences, the paper goes beyond

analysis of ethical dilemmas and aims to

provide some guidance to researchers in this

field. Irregular migration is by defi nition an

elusive phenomenon as it takes place in

violation of the law and at the margins of

society. The very nature of this phenomenon

raises important issues, including the

sensitivity and vulnerability of the research

subjects and a whole series of other ethical

issues to be addressed both when conducting

fieldwork with irregular migrants and also at

the later stage of data analysis, processing and

dissemination. The paper fi rst considers

various methods in researching irregular

migration and defi nes research ethics. It then

discusses the differences between sensitivity

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