Irregular migration

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Reliable statistics on stocks or flows of irregular migrants, the well-being of migrants in irregular situations, or the extent to which they have access to services such as health and education, are generally not available. Irregularity does not refer to the individuals but to their migratory status at a certain point in time. Changes in national laws and policies can turn regular migration into irregular migration, and vice-versa. The status of migrants can change during their journey and stay in the country of transit/destination, which makes it difficult to have a comprehensive picture of irregular migration and the profiles of irregular migrants. Terms such as “irregular”, “undocumented” and “unauthorized” are often used interchangeably. 

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