On July 9, FRC researcher Júlia Zomignani Barboza presented her PhD proposal at the third session of PhD seminars of the Odysseus Summer School. Her research focuses on ‘undesirable but unreturnable’ migrants, a special category of migrants that are considered undesirable in their country of residence because they are deemed to pose a threat to national security, either because of past criminal activities or involvement with armed or terrorist groups. At the same time, the country they are in is forbidden by international law to send them back to their country of origin, as they might be subjected to gross human rights violations there (thus, they are unreturnable).
As a solution to this situation, Júlia is proposing a balancing test to find the right balance between the rights of migrants and national security. In this solution, the migrants that fall under this category would stay in their country of residence, but such country would be allowed to limit their rights and freedoms, as long as these limitations represent the least amount of limitations that is necessary and proportionate to mitigate the threat they pose. Once the right balance is established, Júlia will look at whether countries strike such balance in practice.
During the PhD seminar, Júlia received input from Professor Philippe de Bruycker of the Université Libre de Bruxelles and from Professor Tineke Strik of the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Both are migration experts and provided valuable feedback for Júlia to improve and add value to her research.