Centre for Migration Policy Research

The Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR) is an inter-disciplinary Research Centre based at Swansea University. The Centre was established in 2007.


Asylum and migration issues have never been higher on the political and policy agendas. The unprecedented global movement of people seeking protection, employment and family reunion poses economic, social and political opportunities and challenges. These opportunities and challenges have local, regional, national and international dimensions.

In this context the Centre’s aim is to encourage the exchange of ideas about asylum and migration and ensure that policy making is underpinned by empirical evidence about the nature and causes of migration, the impacts on different countries and communities and the effects - both intended and unintended - of policy responses.

The Centre’s approach is underpinned by three key principles:

  • A commitment to a rights-based approach to migration

A rights-based approach to migration is a conceptual framework that is normatively based on international human rights standards and operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights. A rights-based approach to migration explicitly sets out the achievement of human rights as an objective of migration on the basis that the rights of migrants but be respected for the full benefits of international migration to be realized.

A rights-based approach also gives preference to strategies for empowerment over charitable responses. It focuses on migrants as the owners of rights and emphasizes the human person as the centre of the migration process (directly, through their advocates and through organizations of civil society). The goal is to give people the power, capacities, capabilities and access needed to change their own lives, improve their own communities and influence their own destinies.

  • A desire to understand and reflect the migrant experience

Much of the research undertaken within the Centre is embedded in the migration experience and focuses on the ways in which the realities of national and international migration (for migrants, the communities from which they depart and those to which they subsequently move or pass through) are conceptualized and represented within policy and practice. Research is also concerned, in turn, with the implications of policy and practice for the experiences and opportunities of migrants and the communities of which they seek to become a part. The politicization of international migration and of migrant identity is an important and cross-cutting theme.

  • A recognition of the importance of policy relevant research and analysis

We are particularly keen to ensure that the research we produce is accessible to a wide range of audiences and is timely and policy-relevant. We work closely with policy makers and practitioners in Wales, the UK, Europe and beyond to raise awareness of problems and issues, analyse underlying issues, model policy impacts and evaluate policy outcomes.

The Centre for Migration Policy research has its own video channel on Human Rights TV