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Why do people want to migrate? What influences their choice of migration destination? The EUMAGINE project addressed these questions from an innovative angle. It looked not only at the role of factors such as socio-economic status and social networks, but also at the impact of perceptions of human rights and democracy.  ‘Human rights’ is understood to include both negative (e.g. democracy, individual liberties, freedom from discrimination) and positive (a right to e.g. social security, healthcare, education) rights. Special attention was paid to the role of gender.

The core idea of the project was that macro- and meso-level discourses on human rights and democracy influence micro-level perceptions on these themes in countries of origin, which in turn influence migratory aspirations and decisions.