Det juridiske fakultet

Migration to Norway - Flows and Regulations

For the past two decades, migration and its regulation have been at the top of the policy agenda in Europe. The research project seeks to describe and explain the interaction between migration flows and migration regimes, pivoting on the case of Norway.

Bilde av at verdenskart


Migration regimes are understood as sets of regulation, laws, policies and practices which together govern the inflow and integration of immigrants.

The main research questions include: what is the interrelation between migration flows and regulation? To what extent can migration to Norway be explained as a function of the national migration regime, the emerging European regime and the regimes in relevant neighbouring countries?

The key actors brought together in this project include: the Institute for Social Research in Oslo (ISF), the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen (FoL, UiB), Professor Grete Brochmann from the Institute of Sociology and Social Geography at the University of Oslo (ISO,UiO) and Dr of Law Vigdis Vevstad from Son Consulting. International partners in the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and the UK will also contribute.

At the Law Faculty, researchers explore the relationship between international law, EU-law and Norwegian immigration laws and policies. How do regional and international frameworks limit the freedom of Norwegian policymakers in the area of immigration control? Where are these frameworks unclear?

In the field of asylum, one contested issue is the use of “protection alternatives” by destination states eager to reduce the flow of asylum applicants. Rather than providing protection itself, a state may send a potential refugee to another state (a “safe third country”) or a “safe” place in the country of origin. Under what conditions is the concept legitimate under international law? What rights must, in fact, be protected? A PhD thesis will explore the legal requirements for an “internal protection alternative” under the 1951 Refugee Convention and human rights treaties, and examine how the concept has been applied in the practice of Norway with respect to different groups of refugee claimants. Another important issue relates to the forced return of failed asylum applicants to their countries of origin. Two articles will analyze Norway's use of readmission agreements in light of the EU's work in this area. How are such agreements implemented, and do they fulfil the aims that motivate their negotiation in the first place?

Project researchers have also written on the application of the “best interests of the child” principle in Norwegian asylum law, and contributed chapters on EU law and the Dublin Regulation to a Norwegian Immigration Law textbook published in 2013.