Testimony of a formerly undocumented migrant - PICUM

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Testimony of a formerly undocumented migrant - PICUM



Edgar Legaspi

Housing and Homelessness of Undocumented Migrants in Europe:

Building Alliances and Developing Strategies ,

Brussels, Friday 28 June 2013


Migration for most of us is a necessity/adaptation strategy for

development opportunities

Despite challenges such as exclusion and marginalization

Actors/workers for development in as well

Country of Origin and Host Country;

Organizing ourselves and campaigingn with RESPECT/TMP to strengthen

our positions in both countries;

Together we develop strategies to minimize our vulnerability

in the area of labour rights, health security, education.

Excluded as workers in NL

As Domestic Workers in the private household we are

not recognized as well as our work is not recognised as

a proper work,

There is no national legal legislation,

MDW is not a category for migration despite the

adoption of the ILO convention 189. NL has not ratified,

Migrant Domestic Workers are forced to become


As Migrant Domestic Workers we are

organized as: TRUSTED

As entrepreneurs we have set up a

Credit Cooperative: KOOP Natin

Continue to educate and empower ourselves

Key difficulties for undocumented migrants

in the private rental market

Conditions/Difficulties in the private rental market

Conditions Key difficulties Alternative/consequence

Residence permit

Salary slip

Bank account

not allowed to register for

housing possibilities in the

formal housing sector

work without contract

not allowed to open a bank


Housing in the informal housing


- within own migrant

community and other


- through housing agencies


Lack of bargaining power due to lack legal status,

as a result undocumented migrant becomes more vulnerable to abuse.

Vulnerability in the informal

housing sector

Within migrant community

Living with the house owner

per bed spacer / small room/sofa in the

living/ just enough to sleep after work

not allowed to use the address

depending on discretion of owners

Per room/per person

Period of rent is not known

- Family reunion of owners

- Misunderstandings

- abusive house owners

Housing agents


there is more possibilities to decide

whom to rent the other rooms

not allowed to use the address for

formal institutions(welfare system)

Per house

Period of rent is known

High Fee (one month commission =

one month rent)

Our House is not our Home

Our House is not Our Home

The human right to adequate housing is the right of every woman, man, youth and child

to acquire and sustain a secure home and community in which to live in peace and

dignity. The right to housing is codified as a human right in the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights (article 25(1))

Lack of living standard

Peace of mind


Family formation is difficult


Our alternatives

Through our organizing we are able to share our

rooms to those who need temporary shelter,

Bayanihan - Our network is also able to search for

rooms available for undocumented migrant workers

but it will take time, meanwhile one member of our

organisation will host such MDW until a room is



we have rights, but how to reclaim them

Basic rights

Criminalisation of undocumented migrants

increases vulnerability (racism and



Acces to legal infrastructure against racism

and discrimination

Sublease is permitted only if not prohibited

by the landlord (in the contract)

Every tenant has a constitutional or legal

guarantee that a tenant cannot be removed

from room except in exceptional and

specified circumstances. Removal has to be

announced months before.

Undocumented persons cannot get a housing

permit, cannot rent a house from a housing

corporation and cannot get a subsidy for the


Binding contract and if contract is broken

acces to legal infrastructure for legal redress

See above

Support our demands in our campaign.

Support our demand in our campaign.

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