Migration law, migrants’ rights and legal Identity

Cosmopolitan citizenship under construction. A structural-cultural approach to the implementation process of human rights of Roma and Gypsy travellers.

Description: This research starts from the observation that the human rights ideal has not yet been realized, illustrated by the many violations of the rights of one of the most vulnerable groups in our current society, the Roma migrants. In order to understand this discrepancy between the human rights ideal and the reality, we look at how this ideal is being interpreted by different actors (political, judicial, civil society, media) on different levels (transnational, national, local). The human rights instrument can be seen as a social construct, which is given different meanings according to the actor who uses it. The main aim in this research is to unravel the construction process of human rights of Roma migrants, analyzing how the structural positions and discursive strategies of the involved actors influence the contestation in the newspapers concerning human rights after a violation is being proclaimed. This study is carried out through multiple case studies of such violations.
Promoter(s): Lesley Hustinx
Researcher(s): Chloë Delcour
Department / Research group: Department of Sociology/ CST (Centre for Social Theory)
Faculty: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences

I cross the border and carry with me… Cross-border civil status: a private international law issue from a human rights perspective

Description: The increasing mobility of people leads to the worldwide circulation of documents that record the civil status of people (e.g. birth, marriage, death). The recognition of these documents traditionally belongs to the field of private international law which aspires cross-border harmony and continuity in the life of people. A noble objective, yet hard to put in practice. As a result, some people carry a different civil status (e.g. unmarried) in their host country in comparison with the status in their country of origin (e.g. married). Such discrepancies - also called limping legal relations - generate legal uncertainty and unpredictability. This research aims to study a new approach to cross-border civil status. Departing from the right to respect for private and family life, the research will examine whether and to what extend the human rights approach is able to reduce the negative effects of limping legal relations (increasing the cross-border portability of a certain civil status).
Promoter(s): Jinske Verhellen
Researcher(s): Sarah Den Haese
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Period of time: 2016 - 2021

Legal and administrative assistance to asylum-seekers in Belgium

Description: The project’s main objective is to strengthen protection standards for asylum seekers through safeguarding procedural rights and improving access to qualitative legal advice. The project aims to achieve the following outcomes: - Improved quality of legal assistance and information for asylum seekers, including for those in border detention facing risks of refoulement. - Improved access to a qualitative asylum procedure in Belgium. - Deepened scientific knowledge on legal, linguistic and other aspects of the asylum procedure, with a particular focus on detention. To achieve these outcomes, we will develop a new dynamic of legal and administrative aid to individual asylum cases, bringing together the expertise of experienced lawyers, legal practitioners and academics from different disciplines and putting this shared knowledge at the disposal of lawyers and other practitioners to improve the quality of the legal aid they deliver to asylum seekers.
Promoter(s): Ellen Desmet, Katrijn Maryns
Researcher(s): Marjan Claes
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2017 - 2017

Study on registration and residence formalities for EU workers in Belgium

Description: This research provides an insight into the administrative procedures regarding the implementation of the Directive 2014/54/EU into Belgian law, a European directive that intends to better facilitate the right to free movement of workers. The research contains a critical analysis and description of the municipal practices in the three regions of Belgium, focussing on the registration and residence formalities for EU citizens who exercise their right to free movement. The research also includes an exploratory analysis of residence formalities in the following countries: Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Italy. Lastly, the research will give possible recommendations regarding the law and implementation thereof as well as suggestions for more efficient and uniform municipal practices. The research is carried out in collaboration with the EU Rights Clinic of the University of Kent and Fragomen; it is funded by Myria – the Federal Migration Centre.
Promoter(s): Ellen Desmet
Researcher(s): Roos-Marie van den Bogaard
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Period of time: 2018 - 2021