On the basis of migration governance and legal pluralism theories, as well as on the basis of the developments in migration policies, the proposed research hypothesizes that the growing role of regional economic groups is likely to impact international migratory flows, bringing about, at the national level, a shift from migration control to migration management. A second hypothesis is that beyond trade and economic integration, regional initiatives have the potential to fulfil relevant functions, including the development of an appropriate normative framework for facilitating a human-rights-based approach to labour mobility. Third, the research proposes that as a consequence of this shift, the human rights protection available at the regional level can become much more effective. The research will develop an alternative human rights approach, based on the presumption that the regional migration approach may innovates in the exercise of sovereignty and human rights law. In order to achieve this, the proposed research will:
- Contribute to migration governance by making regional processes, law and institutional developments a strong rationale for migration;
-Develop an in-depth, country-level programme of research in two countries (Argentina and Thailand), in two regional integration projects (MERCOSUR in Latin America and ASEAN in Asia );
- Test the three hypotheses, relating to (1) the existing and emerging regional integration processes; (2) human rights effects of regionalism; (3) the interaction between regional integration processes and the formulation of migration and free movement provisions.
The findings will contribute to multi-layered migration governance on the role of regional integration projects as venues for migration governance; to theories on how human rights law can respond to new forms of human mobility; and to the analysis of the diffusion of migration law in regional integration regimes – one of the most pressing issues of our time.
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