Research Team on Laws and Migration (EDEM)


EDEM is a research team created in 2011 in the framework of a research project co-financed by the European Refugee Fund and UCLouvain.
At the beginning of 2023, EDEM changes its name. The acronym remains the same, but from European Rights and Migration Team, we become Rights and Migration Team.
This change comes as a response to the evolution of our research fields, itself dictated by the questions raised by the understanding of migration through law. This choice is also an opportunity to focus on the words "Rights" and "Migration", whose understanding is the basis of our work.
The most visible change is the removal of the adjective European. We are still located in Europe, which influences our view. However, from an analysis focused on European legal sources, our research now also targets international sources and other regions and sub-regions of the world (e.g., African Union law). Our work goes beyond the European framework. Some of it is looking at the externalisation of the EU’s migration policies. Some is conducted on other continents. Some still is conducted by and with researchers from universities with which EDEM has developed partnerships (in North, West and Central Africa, but also with North American teams).
The word "Rights" is deliberately plural because our work is interested in both law in its most classical conception and in the way other norms apprehend migration (soft law, compacts, etc.). These different sources interact in a network, similar to the way judges interact with each other. In addition to the norms, the approach to migration justice is evolving, to include mechanisms other than jurisdictional ones. This leads us to consider the synergies with transitional justice. With regard to law and justice, it seems essential to us to remain attentive to their limits and contradictions, since they can be transformed into instruments of exclusion and, in so doing, threaten the effectiveness of rights.
Finally, at the heart of our reflections are "Migrations", also plural. Our research has broken free from the dichotomies between international and internal, forced and voluntary migration, to focus on mobility in a more general way, and its diversity. Our perspectives have expanded at different levels, particularly in terms of time. Migration trajectories encompass, first, the determinants of mobility, second, the way in which they operate en route, and finally, third, their legal treatment in the host countries.
These plurals can also be applied to research methods. While our approach is primarily legal, most of the analyses carried out mobilise other disciplines, often with an empirical and field approach. Collaboration with teams studying migration from other angles than law has become both necessary and natural.
These developments are part of the vast dynamic of transition, which calls for reflection on environmental and climate justice, but also on migration justice, as these are interconnected.


PALIM. This EU-funded project aims to address ICT labour shortages in the Flemish Region and Morocco. It aims to implement legal channels for immigration via employment... Keep reading.
ISEMI. A new research is beginning on the best interests of the child in a migratory context. The project combines two interrelated approaches: one targets jurisprudence and the other the social representations and professional practices of actors in the field. Keep reading.
VULNER. As part of the call MIGRATION-07-2019 (Horizon 2020): International protection of refugees in a comparative perspective. A new project has been created on the theme "Vulnerabilities under the global protection regime: How does the law assess, address, shape and produce the vulnerabilities of the protection seekers"? Keep reading.
The REDIAL project, co-funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Migration Policy Centre (European University Institute), aims to promote and facilitate dialogue between national judges involved in return proceedings. Keep reading.
GLOBMIG is a 48-month project that aims at developing stronger conceptual tools to better understand and model global migration patterns, to anticipate future migration pressures, and to investigate the global implications of policy reforms... Keep reading.
The aim of this project is to examine the correlation between the Belgian and European legal frameworks on the one hand, and the agency of third-country nationals on the other hand.... Keep reading.
The UCL has created a consortium of researchers working on migration issues: Louvain4Migration. We are pleased with this new opportunity to work and reflect together. Synergies are essential for understanding the complex issues at the heart of migration.


The online course Migration Law provides a theoretical and practical analysis of developments in migration law, to master its fundamentals . It will answer many questions: Who can migrate? What are the conditions for moving from one country to another? Keep reading.
Interdisciplinary and inter-university certificate in transitional justice. Tools for analysing and understanding transitional justice by and for those working in the field... Keep reading.
The programme aims to strengthen the protection and resilience of migrants, IDPs and host communities. The specific objective of the intervention is to improve the access of migrants and refugees to their rights. EDEM is working with ULB to strengthen the capacity of legal clinics in Moroccan universities.

  The 1951 Refugee Convention is celebrating its 70th anniversary and  is more relevant than ever. To learn more about it, go to our online course ... Keep reading.


New MOOC. Better understanding of migration, its causes and impacts on host societies. This online course brings together the views of anthropologists, demographers, economists, psychologists, sociologists and lawyers on migration... Keep reading.
A "Rosa Parks Clinic" has been set up, through which students will replace their "theoretical" dissertation with a legal analysis, the subject of which is determined in collaboration with an NGO. The aim is to confront students with one or more current issues requiring applied research work.


MOOC Migration Law

Who can migrate? What are the conditions for moving from one country to another? To answer these questions, we are releasing a new MOOC in February 2024: Migration Law! Zoé Crine presents this...

Cahiers de l'EDEM - Louvain Migration Case Law Commentary

Each month, the Cahiers de l'EDEM propose to analyze decisions or new texts and to comment them.