No one is illegal

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No one is illegal logo
Demonstration against the jailing of 16 people during a training of FC Sans Papiers. Vienna, 2010
No one is illegal sticker in Dutch

No one is illegal is a loosely connected international network, which advocates for refugees and migrants present in a country unlawfully.[1] Activists in the network take initiatives in favor of undocumented migrants who stay in a country illegally and are at risk of deportation. The network has started a campaign and held rallies to bring wider attention to the situation of refugees. The campaign initially began in Germany as No Person Is Illegal (German: Kein Mensch ist illegal or kmii) and has spread to other countries, including Canada and Belgium. No one is illegal questions the idea of citizenship as a legal condition for access to and participation in the socio-political sphere.[2]



The first use of the phrase is attributed to Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in 1988, who used "No Human Being Is Illegal" on a flyer at the "National Campaign for the Civil and Human Rights of Salvadorans".[3]

No Person Is Illegal was founded in 1997 at the "documenta X" art exhibition in Kassel.[4] After a few weeks, thousands of individuals joined as well as the 200 groups and organisations that had joined them in appealing to "help immigrants begin and continue their journeys towards obtaining work and documentation, medical care, education and training, and to assure accommodation and physical survival" regardless of their immigration status. The founding followed the death of deportee Aamir Ageeb at the hands of the German Federal Police. In the wake of Ageeb's death, the "Deportation-Class" campaign set its aims towards airlines that took part in deportations. The campaign culminated in a 2001 online demonstration in conjunction with Libertad. No Person Is Illegal and "Deportation-Class" have drawn the attention of Germany's "Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution" due to purported connections with "left-wing extremism".[5]


Switzerland Bildung für Alle (Education for All) organization has its own specific task which is attempting to achieve permanent legal stay for immigrants. the organization stated School for all like Autonome Schule (Autonomous School)

Autonomous School Zurich[edit]

Autonomous School Zurich is a school for all immigrants.


No one is illegal protesters at Occupy Vancouver in 2011

A NOII collective of organizations has been established in a number of Canadian cities, including Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, Fredericton, Ottawa, Montreal (where Jaggi Singh has been associated), and London. Activist Harsha Walia is an organizer for the Vancouver chapter, while Yanisa Wu, Kelly Campbell, Sherry Viloria, Evan Macintosh, Jayelyn Rae, Hazim Ismail, and Mitchell van Ineveld organize for the Winnipeg chapter.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beckett, Lois (7 April 2021). "'A system of global apartheid': author Harsha Walia on why the border crisis is a myth". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  2. ^ Crouzé, Ronald; Meurs, Pieter; Huysmans, Minne. "No one is illegal. Niemand is illegaal! Personne n'est illegal?". Hannah Arendt Instituut (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  3. ^ Huber, Wolfgang (9 July 2001). "Kein Mensch ist illegal – Der Auftrag der Kirchen gegenüber Menschen ohne Aufenthaltsstatus" [No Human Being is Illegel – The Duty of Churches Towards People Without Residency Status]. Evangelical Church in Germany (in German). Archived from the original on 11 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Sans papier". 4 July 1997. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Antirassismus" [Anti-Racism]. Ministry of the Interior (in German). State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  6. ^ Condon, Sean (21 May 2013). "From global action, local motion: Harsha Walia seeks justice for Vancouver newcomers". Megaphone Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  • AutorInnenkollektiv (2000): Ohne Papiere in Europa. Illegalisierung der Migration. Selbstorganisation und Unterstützungsprojekte in Europa. ISBN 3-924737-49-5
  • cross the border (Hg.) (1999): kein mensch ist illegal. Ein Handbuch zu einer Kampagne. ISBN 3-89408-087-6
  • Gerda Heck: ›Illegale Einwanderung‹. Eine umkämpfte Konstruktion in Deutschland und den USA. Edition DISS Band 17. Münster 2008. ISBN 978-3-89771-746-6
  • Thomas, Jens (10 November 2008). "Geschlossene Gesellschaft". Telepolis. Retrieved 19 April 2023.

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