Since the 1990s, there has been an emerging discourse on ‘irregular migration’, amid political concern to limit ‘unwanted migration’ to the developed world. Although there has been limited formalized cooperation in this area at the global level, and states retain sovereign authority over their border, there is increasing regional cooperation on irregular migration. This is occurring both at the formal level, through for example, the European Union and NAFTA and also informally through so‐called Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs). This chapter examines the emergence of the regional and inter‐regional governance of irregular migration in the context of Europe and the Americas. It argues that the focus of the emerging governance has been predominantly on security to the detriment of human rights, and that there is a need for a renewed recognition of the human rights of irregular migrants.
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