||Irregular migration to the European Union is not a new phenomenon. For decades, migrants have crossed the external borders of the Union illegally, hoping to find a better life. With the abolishment of internal border controls in the European Union, the necessity for increased protection of the external borders arose. This became especially clear when after the Arab Spring uprisings an unprecedented amount of people made their way to Europe, culminating in the 2015 European migration crisis. The response of the EU and its Member States entailed policies of deterrence and entry-prevention. Furthermore, agreements were made with third countries in order to stem the migration flows. These agreements effectively externalised migration control beyond the borders of Europe. In this comparative case study, the bilateral migration control agreements between Italy and Libya, and between Spain and Morocco are analysed, with the aim of assessing the impact of these agreements on the human rights of migrants residing in North Africa. The study suggests that through the bilateral agreements, externalisation of migration control is facilitated, which in turn has resulted in a crackdown on irregular migration, with severe consequences for the perception and treatment of irregular migrants in North Africa.