Increasing Recognition Of The Phenomenon Criminology Essay

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There is an increasing recognition of the phenomenon of mixed motivations for migration and mixed migration flows that include both people who cross the border to escape conflict or those who leave due to economic strays. The emergence of these complex migration dynamics requires that policy take into account the mixed motivations of migrants and the mixed migratory flows they are subject to. The notion of 'mixed migration' in international policy regulations was introduced for the first time in 2000. This paper will examine tensions between the mixed nature of migration and the policy regimes set up by the government of Austria. Mixed migration has not yet been addressed by the government of Austria, but the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has taken the lead to develop a policy concept to be applied at the international, regional and national levels. The current legislative framework of Austria does not consider the mixed migration flows, but the Government rather places migrants within general categories under the economic migration or asylum. The focus of this paper will be on identifying challenges generated by mixed migration flows and its affect on today's migratory policy and mobility. Findings of this paper should show the relationship between the challenges of mixed migration flows and lack of comprehensive migration governance in Austria, which strongly contributes to irregular migration and abuse of asylum system. Empirical research of the case study should show whether Austria has adequately addresses the challenges of mixed migration and if the migration governance and asylum system has a comprehensive approach for better protection of people with various needs moving as part of mixed migration flows.


Why does it matter?

"We live in an era of the greatest human mobility in recorded history - one billion, or one in every seven persons is a migrant." Lacy Swing, W., Director General, International Organization for Migration (Lacy Swing, 2012)

Trends in international migration is increasing dramatically and globally. There are an estimated 214 million [1] international migrants worldwide in 2010 entering and settling in countries or regions to which they are not native. This represents about three percent of total population of the world, and would constitute the world's fifth most populous country. (IOM, Facts&Figures) Increasing disparities between developed and developing nations, economic opportunities and changing political and demographic dynamics have led to record numbers of migration, slowing only since 2007 due to the economic crisis. (IOM, 2010)

A variety of research carried out over the last twenty years indicates the increasing recognition of mixed motivations for mobility, and shows that migration streams include both people who move to escape conflict or distress, as well as those that seek improved living conditions. The life conditions that force people to move around the world are varying: people may leave a place to escape life or death circumstances; because of fear of violence; or their livelihoods may been undermined or threatened; they may move for better economic or education opportunities; or this is the most common case, they move for combination of these reasons. Migration can be mixed in several senses, which to some degree relate to stages of the migratory process: motivations may be mixed at the point of making the decision to move; migrants may make use of the same agents and brokers; they may travel with others in mixed migratory flows; and people may find themselves in mixed communities during their journeys or at their destination (Van Hear, 2011).

These increasing complex natures of migratory movements pose a major challenge for migration policy at the international, regional and national levels. Along with other Member States of the European Union, the Austrian government is also confronted with major challenges in the field of asylum and migration. Secondary or mixed-migration flows stand for a particular challenge, following illegal entry in the EU. (EC: Brussels, 2012) The total inflow of foreign nationals to Austria in 2010 reached up to 98 300, which is higher than the 7% in 2009, who immigrated for various reasons. Increasing disparities between Eastern Europe and Central European nations, economic opportunities and changing political and demographic dynamics have led to record numbers of migration, slowing only since 2009 due to the economic crisis. (OECD, 2012)

This shift of migrants worldwide and within the European Union and their continuous growth in number demographic and ethnic diversity has highlighted the importance of state and regional capacity to regulate both legal and irregular migration.

Governing such diverse migratory flows is a major challenge for migration policy. It poses a challenge, because there is a tension between the mixed nature of migration flows and the policy regimes set by governments. (Van Hear, 2011)

Current policy regimes within EU tend to classify migrants in terms of sole (primary?) motivation for migrating such as: labour migration, highly-skilled migration, refugee, family reunification, student etc., which requires a specific entry and entitlement according to their migration classifications. These categories cannot take into account the mixed migratory flows or mixed motivations that this study refers to within this thesis. In fact, many cases of migration may involve a combination of these kinds of motivations which should be adhered by a corresponding policy approach. (Van Hear, 2011)

This thesis will examine tensions between the mixed nature of migration and the policy regimes set up by the government of Austria. It will look into recent (2010 -2011) policy developments concerning labour market policies and the asylum procedure, and overall national migration regulation in Austria.

The government of Austria has not yet addressed mixed migration but concerns of it came along as a new developing trend in line with illegal migration. Current approaches to this regulation by both the State and regional actors (EU) over the past two decades have been mostly reactionary to national fears of security and sovereignty, and have played out in the forefront of national politics in the forms of increasing border control measures, restricted labour market policies, and tough asylum procedures and integration issues.(EMN, 2010)

In the policy world of governance for international migration two distinctions have been formulated to address the migratory movements. Those who chose to move within "voluntary" migration, and those who are compelled to move within "forced" migration (OECD, 2012). In reality, these distinctions are more complicated and overlapping.

The uniqueness of this research is that there has not been any prior research that examines impacts of mixed migration in Austria to find out if that is a case for Austria at all.

Research aims and objectives

The aim of this paper is to examine the migration policy and asylum regimes set up by Government of Austria and to find any gaps in the governance mechanism for migration.

Given the importance of understanding how migrants with mixed motivations affected by lack of migratory regulations and are vulnerable for illegal migration, the relationship between the phenomena of mixed-migration and governance of migration is nevertheless underexplored. This thesis examines this relationship in order to shed light on it.

Structure of thesis

This research paper will include an introduction, five main chapters, a conclusion, a list of the references, and appendices.

The Introduction, Chapter 1 part of the research focuses on providing background information on topics central to the research: phenomena of mixed-migration as a challenge to migration policy at the national (Austria) and sub-national (EU) levels.

Chapter 2 presents a literature review as well as definitions and data sources in order to clarify the gap in migration research that this paper is addressing. This chapter will also present emerging/current trends in migration flows in Austria, including increasing dynamics of irregular migration and governance of migration.

Chapter 3 describes the research methodology used for the analysis of the case study and the research design used to test the hypothesis, which represented as a title of the thesis. Not clear

Chapter 4 looks at the research findings concerning the emergence of the notion of mixed-migration in the policy world and its increasing salience and impact on migration policy. It will also explore the trends in mixed-migration in EU region and Austria and present them as statistical data. This chapter also gives a general overview on multilateral response to challenges of mixed migration developed by international organizations.

Chapter 5, the empirical evidence of the study subject begins by laying out the legal framework to highlight key factors that shaped current Austrian migration policies. In this chapter, the research is going to find out the factors and key actors that influence the policy-making process in the political, social and economic context. This chapter will also give a special attention on politics of immigration in Austria, which has a crucial impact on public opinion also will analyze current political anti-migration debates to find out rather it's the State's sovereignty rights or extreme-nationalisms.

Chapter 6 analyzes policy reforms relevant to asylum and migration that took place recently in Austria affecting migration governance. Within the chapter, this study emphasizes policy gaps found within Austrian migration policy and asylum. It advocates that national migration policies need redefinition of the objectives by means oriented towards (i) more flexible regulation of migration flows; (ii) more accelerated decision making for asylum and (ii) better integration of immigrants. This chapter also argues that the governance of migration in Austria should be based upon effective partnerships, which should be focused on dimensions such as international co-operation and policy coherence.

The final Chapter 7 will review overall outcomes of the research and analysis of the case study. The findings on the relationship between lack of comprehensive migration governance and the policy challenges of mixed flows will also be discussed and recommendations that could be applied to the case study will be provided. This chapter also highlights subject for future research and more closer examination of facts, which were found during the research but not directly relevant to the subject this thesis.

In addition to the overall research, based on various information sources, this thesis has conducted seven expert interviews with legal and public advisers from the International organizations: International Organization for Migration (IOM), and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Liaison Office in Vienna; NGOs: Vereign Project Integrationhaus, and Counseling Center for Migrants (Beratungszentrum für Migranten und Migrantinnen); Austrian Religious activist, as well as the Federal Ministry of the Interior responsible for migration and asylum regimes in Austria. These interviews were intended to identify any gaps of current existing policies and practical measures taken with regard protection-sensitive responses to mixed movements as well as extent cooperation among key-partners at national, regional and international levels.

However, it is worth mentioning that a particular interview inquiry to the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior did not met its expectations and did not receive any direct answers to the questions addressed to the Ministry's Integration Office at first instance. The inquiry has been responded as a general information sheet referring to Austrian pubic sources relating to migration and asylum policies, statistical data, and other relevant information. The questionnaire instrument addressed to the Ministry of the Interior is provided as Annex I and the response received as Annex II of this thesis.

Literature review


A considerable number of studies have been conducted on challenges of global migration and migration policies, including socio-economic human rights aspects of migrants and problems of irregular migration both in Austria, as well as in many EU countries (Jandl, M. and Kraler, A. (2003); Roth, K. and Hayden, R. (2009); Van Hear (2011); OECD (2011); EMN (2012); These studies analyze the micro and macro-economic factors addressing the question why people migrate and implications of the migration on both sending and receiving countries. The increasingly complex nature of migration dynamics along with economic difficulties has generated migration and asylum policies that are more and more restrictive. As access to legal migration has been limited, larger numbers of asylum seekers and migrants turned to the same hazardous channels to evade control and reach their destinations. (IOM: Vienna, 2012)

With the increasing number of illegal migrants and the emergence of a new phenomenon, numerous studies have attempted to explain this challenge as a continuum between "forced" and "voluntary" migration since the 1990s (Richmond, 1994; Van Hear, 1998). This perspective was increasingly taken up in the policy arena, where it found expression as concern with "mixed-migration" and the somewhat grander term the "Migration-Asylum Nexus", particularly after around 2000. (GCIM, 2005)

Only for the last decade, the study of mixed-migration has started to enter research models as interdisciplinary study, and be considered critical for migration policy-making process. In this regard, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was a pioneer institution to develop a policy concept of mixed-migration entitled 'A 10 Point Plan of Action', which was a basis for wide range studies carried out by several research institutes, social actors and scholars. (Graduate Institute: Geneva, 2010); (Van Haer, 2009); (DRC: Yemen, 2011);

Mixed Migration Task Force (2009) based in Somalia and Yemen in its study conducted in cooperation with the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) of the American University of Cairo (AUC) has introduced the concept of mixed migration(?), which describes it as "phenomenal migratory movements of people traveling by the same routes and same means of transport but for 'different reasons' and with a need for a 'different protection". This report provides an insightful overview of the journey of Somalis and Ethiopian refugees to reach their destinations in Yemen, Turkey, Europe and United States. Due to the fact that "Somalis are considered to be one of the most significant refugee populations in the world with more than one million of its 7.4 million people living outside Somalia, and daily growing numbers", the report has chosen this focus group in order to explain the nature of mixed migration phenomenon. (MMTF, 2010)

The first serious discussions and analyses of the 'concept of mixed-migration' emerged during the Global Consultations on International Protection launched by UNHCR in 2000 as a response to emerging crisis in international protection of refugees, at the year of 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee convention. (UNHCR, 2007) It was the first systematic approach and practical tool to address mixed movements in an effective and coherent way, developed by UNHCR. Its main principle is international cooperation between States, as well as among other key stakeholders including international organizations and NGOs. (UNHCR, 2007) As Erika Feller (2010) emphasized the important of the action plan, "Mixed movements involve - as our agenda reflects - different people with different needs. This calls for differentiated responses. Over the past three years, UNHCR has promoted the inclusion of refugee protection in broader migration management strategies through our 10-Point Plan on Refugee Protection and Mixed Migration. This Plan is now widely recognized as a valuable tool for use by governments, international organizations and civil society partners." During the past decade wide range of multilateral organizations took the lead to explain this notion, its meaning and implications. (IOM, DRC, UNDP)

In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of academic research papers generated by major international academic institutions. The Graduate Institute in Geneva has introduced the concept of mixed-migration in the framework of its academic Programme for the Study of Global Migration, research centre. The first public conference 'The Concept of Mixed Migration: Reflecting and Today's Migration Policies, Movements and Paradigms Shifts' was held in April 2010, to analyze the adequacy of current migration and asylum policies to address emerging new migratory movements, as well as examine the relevance of institutional response. (Graduate Institute: Geneva, 2010)

Major academic institutions, such as the University of Oxford, have also taken initiative to address the issue within academic studies. In March 2011, The Migration Observatory, based at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford has generated a research paper, Policy Primer - 'Mixed Migration: Policy Challenge' to explore this policy challenges and investigate the current multilateral response to it. (Van Hear, 2011)

Kratzmann and Reyhani (2012) in their publication "Practical Measures for Reducing Irregular Migration in Austria" explore that the phenomenon of irregular migration remains a highly relevant topic for migration policy, as most of the European countries consider it to be a problem and that the political and public pressure to reduce irregular migration is constantly rising on the EU and national level. (Kratzmann, Reyhani, 2012) The topic of irregular migration is immensely relevant to the phenomenon of mixed migration because majority of persons in mixed migratory flows move through irregular routes and have no legal documents or sometimes move involuntarily.

The United Nations Development Programme in its "Overcoming Barriers - 2009 Human Development Report" finds that the poorest and the low-skilled could benefit the most from emigration, although they are challenged by the largest barriers to movement including legal, financial and social. The report presents six major directions for reforms, from government policies that include providing greater access and better treatment for migrants to increasing the access of low-skilled and seasonal workers, which would reduce significantly the risk and costs of migration, and have a higher impact on human development. (UNDP, 2009)

Gagnon and Khoudour- Casteras (2011) in their publication „Tackling the Policy Challenges of Migration" explore implementation of restrictive migration policies in OECD countries, without taking into account their implication to the sending countries. Developed as a result of a three years research project "Effective Partnerships for Better Migration Management and Development", this study addresses how a better comprehensive governance framework can help improve three complementary policy challenges: the regulation of migration flows, integration of immigrants, and the development of migrant-sending countries. (OECD, 2011)

UNHCR's "Match" campaign (2009) created in cooperation with the Reichl & Partner advertising agency, one of the biggest public awareness campaign led in Austria to downgrade the public ignorance about asylum seekers and 'immunize them against the messages of fear'. The UNHCR's public affairs report the impact of this campaign and highlight the reasons of intolerance treatment towards asylum seekers in Austria by local community. (UNCHR, Reichl&Partner, 2009)

Rosenberger and König (2011) in their research "Welcoming the Unwelcome: The Politics of Minimum Reception Standards for Asylum Seekers in Austria" investigates the implications of the Directive 2003/9/EC (EC, 2003) [2] of the European Union to politics and policies of the reception standards for asylum seekers at the national level, particularly in Austria. They explore to what extent and why the adoption, transposition and implementation of the Directive will influence the protection asylum seekers will receive in Austria. (Rosenberger, König, 2009)

Also, a significant literature reviews the argumentation of the hypothesis in this thesis and includes global information sources in the Internet, library of the Vienna Office of the UNHCR, which provided significant materials such as international and Austrian policy records on asylum and migration, case studies, statistical data, UNHCR's annual publications such as „Asylum-seekers in Austria", „Refugee survey quarterly", „Asylum and Integration in Member States of the EU" as well as Austrian country reports on labor migration, Policy Reports, global reports on trends in international migration, and etc.

Media Review and Previous Studies

Other critical information for the research paper has been obtained from media sources. Many media reports on global migration trends, politics of immigration in EU as well as in Austria, illegal immigration trends, policy developments, and debates regarding the EU border-crossing issues have been reviewed.

BBC News archive since 1999, has been one of the earliest media reports that monitor the peak escalation of Austrian anti-immigration sentiments on political level with the rise of Freedom Party (FPÃ-). The news archives of the BBC comprise tens of articles and media reports on spread of extreme xenophobic views of the Freedom Party on immigration policies in Austrian demanding the Government to ''stop to overrun with foreigners''. The BBC had investigated a series of events around the Austrian controversial political activities over immigration and reported continuously a strong reaction from the European Community as well as United States questioning Austrian democratic values. (BBC, 1999 -2012)

Migration News Sheet provides a monthly information bulletin on policy and legal updates regarding migrants and refugees in European Union countries by Migration Policy Group. (MPG, 2009; 2010)

Previous studies have reported on development of cultural diversity politics and in parallel rise of extreme-nationalist political parties increasing concerns of human rights aspects of third-country immigrants in Europe, particularly in Austria (Böse/Haberfellner/Koldas 2001; Georgi 2005; Mária Guličová-Grethe 2003).

A number of comparative studies by Cas Mudde (1999/2012) examined an impact of extreme-right parties in Western Union, including Austria's Freedom Party (FPÃ-), whether they have direct or indirect influence on immigration policies, which found that Austria tightened its asylum laws as a result of the extreme-right aggression in 2003 - 2006 (Mudde, 2012).


The following summary can be drawn from the literature review, which provides insightful look into migration trends globally and challenges arising from the global mobility. The phenomenon of mixed-migration was found central to several academias and many studies of relevant international organizations in correlation to irregular migration. The literature review has been able to offer a big variety of analysis on politics of immigration in Western Europe, including Austria and to examine their impact on policies as well as public attitude which are crucial for immigration issues. The evidence of the case study's central research questions and hypothesis were found. The next chapter will introduce the methodology used in this thesis to disclose the findings further.



The hypothesis of this thesis is that changing trends of migration and contradictory policies introduced by the Government creates challenges for the regulation of immigration in Austria. This study will test the hypothesis by investigating policy regimes set by Government of Austria and its implication on migration trends and routs of the case study. This aimed to demonstrate that any insignificant policy changes play significant role in creating a room for more challenge for migration regulation and people's decision within migration. This thesis is a first of its kind study that looks into challenges of mixed migration for the Austrian migration regulation and how the country's existing policies treats immigrants who do not fit into any existing legal migration or asylum protection systems. The thesis based on UNHCR's Ten Point Action Plan (UNHCR, 2007) that is the only guidance developed by international community to help States to address phenomenon of mixed migration in order to develop an adequate legal framework, which would contribute to better protection of people in move within different routes and for different reasons.

The empirical evidence was carried out through interviews with different actors involved in migration regulations and asylum protection systems in Austria and extended through broader research on Austria's current legal framework and latest policy reforms on migration and asylum introduced by the government of Austria.

Selection of methodology

A case study approach was chosen to allow providing explanatory background information to the phenomenon of mixed-migration trends. This format of research would allow conducting more holistic examination of relationships between irregular migration and mixed flows.

Research instrument

The research design of this thesis is based on qualitive case study analysis. Yin, Robert K (2009) identifies advantages of the case study as follows, „A case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in depth and within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident" (Yin, 2009, p.240). According to Yin, "a single case study is relevant for critical cases in order to test theory, or to analyze cases that may be extreme, typical, revelatory or longitudinal." (Yin, 2009)

The case study research will be carried out through analysis of reports of past studies in order to explore and understand complex issues of migration and asylum policy-making process. The study is based upon a literature review, an analysis of the case (Austria), expert interviews (Annex I-IV) and other material obtained from non-governmental reports, academic research, and the media. It was considered that quantitive measures would usefully supplement and extend the qualitive analysis and allow the case study to explain the social and behavioral conditions through the actor's perspective. (Zainal, 2007)

Selection of Case Study

As previously mentioned, Austria never been admitted as a country of immigration as such Canada, Australia or United States. However, this perception is quite opposite to the fact that Austria remains one of the highly preferred countries of destination in European Union for thousands of immigrants from third-countries. According to IOM-EMN (2010) estimation, a number of foreign nationalities of the total population stock for January 2009 has reached 870, 704 persons, which is 10.4% of the total population. This numbers of non-nationals residing in the territory of Austria has ranked the country 7th among EU Member States with a high proportion of foreign born populations. As following figures in the table shows, majority of foreign-born nationals residing in Austria are those coming from third-countries in search for economic betterment.

Figure 1 Total share of foreign nationals residing in Austria in 2009

Source: IOM-EMN, December 2010 - (figures are based on statistical data of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, and Eurostat)

Taking into account such increasing migration flows to Austria, mostly from third-countries who are not from conflict regions which wouldn't make them eligible for international protection, Austria has been selected as a case study in order to look into these numbers to find out who these people are? From where they are coming and on which grounds of migration they are accepted or rejected? To find answers to these questions, the current study will examine Austrian national framework to immigration and asylum.

Also, the complex historical background of Austria's geo-political position in Central Europe and its status of neutrality since 1955 had promoted the country as a key destination for asylum and refugee protection, economic migrants as well as for transmigration between East and West, making the country's profile as a comprehensive source to learn for academic research.

Accordingly, Austria was given preference as the case study to carry out investigation on mixed migration flows and its impact on policy regimes in such important east-west country with dramatically growing immigration and asylum claims from across the globe.

In addition, no research has been found that surveyed mixed migration flows to Austria and on reaction of the Austrian policy makers on these growing trends of mixed migration.


According to Tellis (1997) including both, quantitive statistical results and qualitive data, helps the case study to explain both the process and outcome of a phenomenon through complete observation, reconstruction and analysis of the case under investigation.

Policy Challenges of Mixed Migration - Current Patterns


This chapter will introduce the concept of mixed migration, when it occurred in policy world and to find an answer to the question: Why Mixed-Migration Phenomena is a Policy Challenge? It explores research findings concerning the emergence of the notion of mixed migration in the policy world and its increasing salience and impact on migration policy. Migration trends in European Union region and Austria will be presented using statistical data and graphs to examine the nature of migratory movements and their quantitative implications. This chapter also reviews evidence for multilateral response to the challenges of mixed migration developed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in cooperation with other international organizations and explore relevance of key principles of the Ten Point Plan of Action to Austrian legal framework for migration and international protection.

Definition of Migration

To begin with, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) describes the term 'migrant' as "a wide-ranging term that covers people who move to a foreign country for a certain length of time - not to be confused with short-term visitors as tourists and traders. [3] People migrate for a variety of reasons." Human mobility is recognized as "voluntary migration" - people who move as a matter of their own choice, or "involuntary migration" - those who forced to move. Geographically, the very beginning of the movements of human groups has originated from East Africa to their current homes throughout the world. (National Geographic, 2005)

The Notion of Mixed Migration

The current study found that the concept of mixed migration is rather a new phenomenon which is dramatically increasing in numbers and gaining political importance at national, regional and global levels. (UNHCR, 2007) The definition of mixed migration is described by the International Organization for Migration as consisting of "complex population movements including refugees, asylum-seekers, economic migrants and other migrants." (IOM, 2004, p. 42) The UN's High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) describes mixed movements as a process that "involves various categories of persons travelling along similar routes and using the same methods of transport but with different needs, profiles and motivations." (UNHCR, 2007, p. 20)

Many observations show that for more than two decades migration movements have mixed motivations and that majority of migration streams include both economical migrants and refugees. (Van Haer, 2011). Mixed flows reflect the diversity of migration itself. The vast majority of migrants in mixed flows do not fit any particular label or established (legal) category. Changes in migration within the EU involve more destinations, more routes and travel strategies. [4] 

Into these complex phenomena fall the following categories of people:

Economic migrants, both high and low skilled (migrants seeking betterment);

Irregular migrants (smuggled migrants, or some of the voluntarily moving migrants);

Refugees and asylum-seekers (forced migrants);

Victims of trafficking (involuntary migrants);

Unaccompanied minors or stranded migrants (children under age 18, or children with no parents);

Stateless persons;

Migrants moving for environmental, food crisis reasons, and other vulnerable people on the move [5] 

Moreover, what makes the case even further challenging to deal within current legal frameworks is that the trends of international migration are gaining a character of "multi-stage" or "circular" migration. [6] 

Analysis of root causes of mixed migration leads to globalization on one hand, and many different political events, geographical and economic situations of those regions from where mostly people migrate, on the other hand. In Europe, these situations include the fall of Berlin wall, end of the Eastern block and Western block, the Balkan conflict, the fall of the majority of communist countries, etc. Another significant contribution to the mixed migration flows is the growing poverty because of gap between rich and poor countries. Also there have been long on-going conflicts, which uprooted a lot of people for last decades, destabilizing their regions. The food crisis around African region or people fleeing for environmental reasons comprise a major part of the mixed migration flows.

An important route of mixed migration leads to the Horn of Africa at large, where a record number of African refugees and immigrants reach Gulf and Middle East through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. According to study of the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS), flows of mixed migration are highlighted the most in Horn of Africa, region containing countries Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda as well as Yemen and Egypt. [7] Particularly, people from the Horn of Africa are affected by dreadful environmental and food crisis, in which starvation has become the main reason to flee to Europe. [8] The way of crossing the continents towards European destinations are very primitive, extremely dangerous and hazardous on fishing boats, dinghies and canoes. The most common routes of immigration are from 'West Africa to the Spanish Canary Islands; from Morocco to southern Spain; from Libya to Malta as well as Italian islands of Sicily and Lampedusa, rout from Turkey to the islands of Greece. [9] (Fr. Patrick Kofi, personal interview, 2 February 2013). Apart from the sea routes, many others reach the European Union by land, crossing the bordering countries such as Turkey, Eastern European countries, Ukraine, and Belarus. [10] Among, these mixed routes also many people from third countries such as Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Iraq share the total amount of migrants within mixed migration.

The reasons for these people to flee vary including conflicts, threat of prosecution and human right violation, food and environment insecurity as well as economic betterment. In many cases, seek for better economic opportunities means to have basic needs and life decent for a human being in its very basic means. [11] 

Majority of these people travel via irregular routs, having no travel or identity documents, and most of them are illiterate. These illegal routs involve well organized network of recruiters, so-called "middle-man" who builds their businesses out of illegal immigration. Recruiters speculate EU policy regime concerning asylum protection and migration regulation in order to make people travelling illegally to stay in EU country territory by giving false information and discourse of their real identity (Fr. Patrick Kofi, personal interview, 2 February 2013).

According to literature review and expert interviews, the main rout of mixed migration flows to Austria comes through Greece. [12] Commonly, illegal migrants or asylum seekers enter to the EU territory through Greece, where they experience the most critical conditions of acceptance (BBC, 3 November 2010; Migration News Sheet, p.12, November 2010).

These very different in their nature reasons makes (unclear) the system of protection migrants very complex and difficult for international protection system. Hypothetically, to provide international protection only to those with a reason of political prosecution and who under the threat of death but reject the protection for others, who do not directly involved in political prosecution, but in a danger for other reasons, would be a failure for international legal system to protect those, who need help. However, such mixture reasons of migrating people makes difficult the process for all involved actors, who wants to protect these people. Thus, it is important that different entities work together to identify the nature of movement and the protection need of migrants and asylum seekers. (R.Schöffl, personal interview, 22 November, 2012).

Why Mixed Migration is a Policy Challenge?

As the previous subchapter described the notion of mixed migration and its characteristics, it become clear that the key challenge of the phenomenon can be highlighted as "all in the same boat" fact including migrants of various categories and asylum seekers who are affected by inadequate treatment, because of the nature of traveling routs. [13] The Mixed Migration is a challenge in the policy world because of tension between mixed nature of migration and the policy regimes set up by governments. Current policy regimes tent to consider migrants in terms of a solely motivations for migration such as economic migrants, refugees, family members, or students and etc. These categories can't take into account the mixed motivations that we refer to within this thesis.

Every year, tens of thousands of people leave their homes because of many factors such as conflict, flee from prosecution and human rights violation, food insecurity, environmental conditions or hopes for better life opportunities. These different motivations make the nature of these movements "mixed", while most of these migrants die or smuggled (is this accurate?) during their hazardous journey. (IDM, 2008)

Dramatic increase in today's global migration and complex dynamics of mobility followed by a decrease in economic growth since the late 1980s has affected to migration and asylum policies, commencing more restrictive migration policies. Growing numbers of asylum seekers and migrants being limited to move within legal migration routes has became vulnerable for illegal migration and turn to trafficking channels to enter western countries by avoiding control and claiming asylum. (Van Hear, 2011)

According to UNHCR (2007), in case of mixed movements many countries at a time falling along a particular migration route and this makes it difficult to address from a perspective of one State alone but requires cooperation among all relevant States. (UNHCR, 2007) A major challenge that mixed migration flows cause is irregular nature of movements, which involves transit migration with no requisite documentation, or crossing borders and arriving at aimed destinations in an irregular ways. Increasing recognition of irregular mixed migration flows and complex dynamics of migration presents a significant policy challenge. "On one hand, it is a challenge to States because they infringe on their sovereign prerogative to determine which non-nationals may enter their territory and under what conditions, and on the other hand, the persons involved in these movements are more likely to be subject to hardship, human rights violations and discrimination, and thus require special and individualized assistance." (IDM, 2008)

This study suggests that, asylum-seekers and refugees in mixed flows "can be addressed according to the established international legal principles of non-refoulement and refugee protection." (is this consistent, or conflicting with your hypothesis?) But real situation dispose facts that mixed migration flows comprise different category of migrants in need for particular form of protection and in vulnerable conditions. As such could be highlighted victims of human trafficking or organized crime, smuggled migrants, stranded migrants, unaccompanied minors, psychologically distressed, exposed to violence, vulnerable persons such as pregnant women, children and elderly. Also migrants apprehended during the transit or upon arrival also included under the risk of people to be mistreated based on the characteristics of their movements.

There is an increasing interest in mixed migration phenomenon, mainly in the field of global migration research, in addition to status reports and action plans from the international organization in the context of irregular migration. However, there is no such statistical data as mixed migration flows within EU or particularly in Austria. According to UNHCR, those people who are in the asylum procedure commonly appeared to be people who migrated in mixed migration flows or has mixed motivations but doesn't fully meet legal criteria for refugee neither economic migration and as a result could be rejected in international protection or legal immigration status. Thus, particularly asylum seekers are the most vulnerable category of migrating people who needs a special attention and more comprehensive regime to identify their special needs. The need, which is different than of refugees or traditional migrants but the need for adequate protection suitable for their conditions. Thus, UNHCR Liaison Office in Vienna puts more focuses on advocating asylum seekers and less on refuges since the Geneva Refugee Convention is one of the most efficient and powerful mechanisms that provides a strong protection of refugees, once they receive recognition (R. Schoffl, personal interview, 22 November 2012).

Migration Trends in Austria 2000-2011

In order to examine the scope of people moving within mixed migration flows, it is conventional to look into statistical data to have more clear vision on the scale of people affected by lacking regulations.

Whereas, the current study was unable to find any statistical data particularly on mixed migration flows and there is no quantitive research on the subject yet available. ??? This would be an important issue to carry out future research. However, this study will address currently available statistical data on general migration flows in Austria by country of citizenship, which include legal migration flows in comparison to irregular migrants apprehended and ordered to leave on one hand and total asylum applications, including numbers of positive and negative decisions on the other. Such quantitative assessment facilitates to analyze nationality identities of those persons who were rejected for international protection and those who were detected as illegal migrants and returned to their home countries or found criminal in Austria. From the data in Figure 2, it is apparent that legal immigration patterns have increasing in thousands of persons yearly with a significant decrease by 2009 and 2010. Increasing annual inflows to Austria since 2000 can be referred to the Eastern war conflicts as well as EU enlargement processes between 2004 and 2007, especially accession of Romania and Bulgaria into European Union in 2007.


Source: Eurostat, updated 05.11.2012, (code: tps00176)

Figure doesn't show an increase in the long-term trend!

Following the data on total numbers of immigrants to Austria provided in previous figure, the Table 1 explores the nationalities by citizenship of those immigrants. It presents the most recent data available for 2011, which didn't significantly change in nationality representation. The table reveals the list of the most common country of citizenship of immigrants in Austria. It is apparent from this table that the highest proportions of immigrants in Austria are from Eastern Europe.

Table 1 Number of foreigners residing in Austria in 2011

Country of origin

Numbers by (2011)

Percentage (%)


110 680



103 537


Bosnia and Herzegovina

85 351



55 139



17 140



12 602


Russian Federation

7 444



7 135



5 565



5 134



4 936



4 871



4 585



3 826



3 309



2 949



2 065



1 961



1 807



1 589


Dominican Republic

1 532


Korea (South)

1 509



1 224



1 148



1 120


China Rep. (Taiwan)

1 064



1 061



1 056



1 050



452 389

Source: Eurostat, 2011 (? check)

Asylum Patterns

As the matter of fact, it is important to highlight in this study that migration system is regulated separately from asylum in Austria, as in majority countries. The difference lies in the legal frameworks built for the regulations of both regimes. According to Geneva Refugee Convention, once a State becomes a party to it, the State takes an obligation to provide international protection to those who claim for it and who recognised under the Convention provision as a refugee in need. While immigration policies are shaped upon State's decision based on economic reasons to set the rule defining who can enter the territory of the State, for how long and under which conditions.

However, expert interviews conducted within this study and review of status reports and analysis of migration and asylum developments, it was found that asylum seekers end up in the same migration routes along with economic migrants, most commonly in irregular routs of migration, which is as a result affects their legal status or opportunities to claim for asylum in the territory of a country of their first entry.