2021/ 2022

Colleen Boland

Mobility Phase: Leiden University, Dutch Council for Refugees

EU Refugee and Asylum-Seeker Rights Dilutions: Gendered Crimmigration Experiences in the Dutch and Spanish Cases

Colleen Boland is a postdoctoral researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She works on the EU Horizon2020 funded ITFLOWS project, seeking improved prediction and management of mixed migration flows to the EU, and co-coordinates the project’s Gender Committee. She obtained her PhD in Sociology and Anthropology from the Complutense University of Madrid, with the thesis “Second generation Muslims in Madrid: hybrid identities, experiences of discrimination and rights expectations”, exploring belonging within the framework of citizenship that includes sociocultural rights. She holds an M.A. with distinction in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, with a dissertation on tribal law in modern Iraq. Her professional roles have included Research Manager at the transnational NGO Common Action Forum and Managing Editor of the quarterly International Journal of Health Services, with work experience at the Johns Hopkins Public Policy Center and American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. Her research interests relate to the intersection of gender and diversity, asylum rights and management, and the construction of citizenship and belonging, with specific reference to minorities and vulnerable populations residing in European societies.

EU Refugee and Asylum-Seeker Rights Dilutions: Gendered Crimmigration Experiences in the Dutch and Spanish Cases

The EU faces increasing patterns of crimmigration, or the merging of criminal and migration law, discourse and practices. This can entail conflating asylum seekers and refugees with more general migrant populations, despite that these former groups are entitled to international protections. Alongside this, the need for improved EU asylum systems has been identified as pressing, by stakeholders including EU institutions, Member States and civil society actors. Given the relatively nascent literature and global evidence to date as to the gendered dimensions of crimmigration practices, it is hypothesized that any crimmigration experiences of women asylum seekers and refugees in the EU entail multidimensional consequences for their rights protections and access. As such, this project inquires as to whether and how crimmigration rhetoric, policy and practice affect asylum seeking and refugee women’s rights in the EU, via two case studies of Member States the Netherlands and Spain. In examining the Dutch and Spanish contexts, borders and approaches to crimmigration, through qualitative interviews as to lived experiences of crimmigration with refugees, asylum seekers and practitioners, the project adopts a multi-scalar perspective in seeking insights as to compounded, gendered rights dilutions within the context of EU asylum frameworks and rights guarantees.