For Undocumented Migrants` Rights in Central Europe

Project Partners:

Objectives :

  • Monitoring of the implementation and application of the Directive 2009/52/EC (Employers` Sanctions Directive)
  • Enhancing the protection of undocumented migrant workers from labour exploitation
  • Enhancing the knowledge of the rights deriving from the Directive
  • Creation of the network of NGOs from the Central European Countries active in the area of migration


  • free legal assistance for undocumented migrant workers and the ones in threat of losing their legal status (click here for our counselling hours)
  • research (interviews, statistical data, desk research)
  • advocacy for undocumented migrant workers` rights at the national and the EU level

Employers` Sanctions Directive

Directive 2009/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 providing for minimum standards on sanctions and measures against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals is a EU law with the primary aim of counteracting illegal immigration to the EU territory by acting against what is defined as a major “pull factor”: the possibility of obtaining work without the required legal status. The measures introduced by the directive include new obligations imposed on the employers (e.g. to verify the legal status of the worker) and a series of sanctions for violating the prohibition of employment of undocumented migrant workers

Why is it interesting ?

The Directive is one of very few EU documents actually acknowledging the rights of undocumented third-country nationals staying on the territory of EU, at least in the area of their fundamental labour rights. It explicitly states that the employer is obliged to pay any outstanding remuneration for work which the employee has performed, and any outstanding taxes and social security contributions. In addition the employer should cover the costs of transferring money to the country where the employee returned or was returned. To facilitate the recovery of this remuneration, the Directive establishes a presumption of existence of at least the minimum wage and a working relationship of at least three months if this is not proved otherwise. The Directive also emphasises the necessity of securing the recovery of any back payments even after the employee has left the territory of the Member State.

For details see our publications:

Financing of the project:

  • grant giving institution: European Programme for Integration and Migration
  • amount of subsidy: 265 000 EUR