Research project

Missing Migrants: Identifying and Shaping Obligations for Protection

About the project

The Missing Migrants: Identifying and Shaping Obligations for Protection (MIRO) project aims at identifying and interpreting international legal obligations regarding ‘missing migrants’ and accordingly critique and shape the practices of the EU, its Member States, and pertinent international organisations.

The term ‘missing migrants’ is not defined legally (or in any other way) and most broadly includes all migrants whose whereabouts remain unknown. While various international organisations engage with the issue of ‘missing migrants,’ they each conceptualise the phenomenon differently, focusing variously on only those migrants that are lost at sea, die unidentified, are secretly deprived of liberty, appear to have been trafficked, or disappear in the informal economy. Against this background, MIRO will identify the key facets of the umbrella concept of ‘missing migrant’ – a legally informed empirical concept – which will facilitate the identification of key legal obligations across various domains of international law. In turn, this will provide the basis for an analysis and critique of institutional practices.

MIRO is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.


Project lead