Working Paper

Local Responses to Migrants with Precarious Status: Frames, Strategies and Evolving Practices in Europe

Published 12 April 2022 / By Adrienne Homberger, Maren Kirchhoff, Marie-Laure Mallet, Ilker Ataç, Simon Güntner & Sarah Spencer

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This conceptual paper maps the field for an upcoming comparative research project on pathways of migrants with precarious status to local welfare services in three European cities: Cardiff, Frankfurt and Vienna. Recently, an increasing number of cities across Europe have developed strategies to include migrants with precarious status, often contrasting with restrictive national policies. They provide access to certain key services, such as education, healthcare, housing, safe reporting of crime or support in the protection of labour rights. While some municipalities actively promote their inclusive approach to all city residents under a variety of brands - ranging from human rights or inclusive cities to welcoming, solidarity or sanctuary cities - others are refraining from highlighting the services provided to precarious migrants or doing so at arms-length through civil society organisations (CSOs).

We anticipate that within municipalities, there rarely is one coherent strategy towards migrants with precarious status; rather, there are different approaches by different municipal service providers that may connect or disconnect with the overall city framing or branding. Our fieldwork will look at the barriers and the varying conflicting and coinciding interests of the many different actors involved in the provision of services to migrants with precarious status, ranging from migrants themselves, to CSOs, municipal administrations and policy makers in different sectors.


This paper has been written by the Local Responses to Precarious Migrants: Frames, Strategies and Evolving Practices in Europe (LoReMi) project team.




The support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany), the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is gratefully acknowledged.







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