Migration & Asylum

You have the right to leave your country of origin. However, your right to enter another country depends on various circumstances, such as the reasons for leaving your home country or the country you are from.

Migration encompasses all kinds of movement by people, whether voluntary or forced. The reasons why people leave their home country are usually called “push and pull factors” – some people are pushed to leave their countries due to conflict, natural disasters or persecution. Others are pulled to countries for reasons like better economic prospects, education or climate.

There is no universally accepted definition of “migrant”. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) uses “migrant” as an umbrella term for a person who moves away from his or her place of usual residence, whether within a country or across an international border, temporarily or permanently, and for a variety of reasons. The term includes several categories of people, such as migrant workers, international students, asylum-seekers, and more.

Migration, asylum & Human rights

It is important to make a distinction between different categories of migrants, as they are entitled to different rights and protection. International human rights instruments provide that all persons, including migrants, are entitled to fundamental human rights, such as the right to life, freedom from torture, the right to liberty and security, among others. However, refugees are entitled to wider rights than other types of migrants as they are not protected by their own country of origin.

About this Guide

This Guide will explain the difference between general migration and asylum seeking. It explains the cases in which you have the right to enter another country, what the consequences of entering without a legal ground are, and your rights as an asylum-seeker or refugee.


Last updated 17/04/2023