Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Crimmigration between Human Rights and Surveillance

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.05.00  Social sciences  Law   

Code Science Field
S110  Social sciences  Juridical sciences 

Code Science Field
5.05  Social Sciences  Law 
crimmigration, migration, criminalization of migration, surveillance, personal data protection, equality, human rights
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (10)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  33443  PhD Vasja Badalič  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2016 - 2018 
2.  28195  PhD Veronika Bajt  Social sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018 
3.  33448  Barbara Bizilj    Technical associate  2018 
4.  24767  MSc Mojca Frelih  Social sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018 
5.  03706  PhD Vlasta Jalušič  Political science  Researcher  2016 - 2018 
6.  27894  PhD Neža Kogovšek Šalamon  Law  Head  2016 - 2018 
7.  29615  PhD Mojca Mihelj Plesničar  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2018 
8.  21687  PhD Mojca Pajnik  Political science  Researcher  2016 - 2018 
9.  20544  Irena Salmič    Technical associate  2016 - 2018 
10.  26029  PhD Aleš Završnik  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2016 - 2018 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0366  Peace Institute  Ljubljana  5498295000 
2.  0504  Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law  Ljubljana  5051525000 
Borders are subject to progressive securitization, surveillance and militarization. EU migration policies are increasingly based more on exclusion and denial of rights and less on equality as a basic legal and ethical principle. With the purpose of control over migrants, migration law is taking over elements of criminal law (the concept is called the criminalization of migration or “crimmigration”), which has threatening consequences for migrants' fundamental rights. This triggers aspirations for different, inclusive EU migration policies that would aim at respect for human dignity and fundamental rights of all migrants. The project addresses the problem of the criminalization of migration which is visible in the strengthening of border control institutions (border police and Frontex with large IT surveillance systems), militarization and externalization of border control, confinement of irregular migrants in detention centres, lack of alternatives to detention, antiterrorist laws, penalization of irregular border crossing and disproportionate representation of migrants in prisons. A particular problem is that while migration law is increasingly taking over penalizing elements of criminal law, it is not taking over the criminal law's procedural guarantees. Migrants are thus as Agamben’s homines sacri, people without Arendt’s “right to have rights.” The problem of crimmigration and creation of “disposable people” highlights that the law is used against its basic purpose, which leads to denial of law (justice/rights) or even to the inversion of law, an element pertaining to setting up of totalitarian regimes. What are the consequences of these processes on equality and rights, the principles and practices of human relations and on the nature of political systems in the EU? With the purpose of examining the problem from various aspects, the project is structured into six thematic work packages (WPs). The first two WPs are focused on theoretical conceptualization of crimmigration through analysis of their impact on the principle of equality (WP1) and analysis of the impact of large IT surveillance systems and their penal effects on fundamental rights of migrants (WP2). Along with the described framing of the issue we will conduct analysis of three geographical areas (WP3 Western Balkans, WP4 Middle East, WP5 Slovenia) and one specific sub-issue of migrants within the criminal justice systems (WP6). In addition, the WP0 on project coordination and WP7 on dissemination are added to thematic WPs. The methodology of the project will be based on an intersectional approach to the law by including philosophical, political science and sociological concepts, while it will also include intertwining the research results from different WPs for the purpose of comprehensive articulation and understanding of the issue. The overall research goal of the project is to generate new knowledge and find new solutions, based on science. Specific goals of the project are: to deepen the understanding of criminalization processes in the extension of the penalizing state before the entry of migrants into the EU, at the entry and after the entry; to improve the understanding of border management, its externalization and the role of Frontex; to study crimmigration from the perspective of theories of racism and equality; to strengthen the insight into the background of migration policies and criminalization by way of advancing the thought of Hegel, Arendt and Agamben (the “right to have rights” doctrine); to articulate advantages, shortcomings and challenges for EU regulations balancing fundamental rights and the need for surveillance; to frame new theoretical concepts in the field of crimmigration; to raise awareness of Slovenian legal scholars on the issue of relationship between surveillance and fundamental rights; and to contribute to scholarly debate on the EU and international level and thereby promote Slovenian research achievements internat
Significance for science
The project is a basis for development of a new legal field – crimmigration in the context of EU policies – which does not exist in Slovenia yet. With specific approaches (theoretical and geographical) the project will contribute importantly to the development of the crimmigration legal field in the international sphere where the topic is intensively developing as we speak. What is original in this project (in particular for the Slovenian research context) is that these topics will be further linked to issues of equality, fundamental rights and racism. The project will importantly contribute to filling the gaps in crimmigration research and it will thereby build upon existing studies as well as offer a new and additional understanding of the theme. The project will also encourage advancement of the thought of G. W. F. Hegel, Hannah Arendt and Giogio Agamben. It will nourish interdisciplinary approaches to the legal issue of crimmigration interlinking it with philosophical, political science and sociological aspects. The research results will be original as they will be based on gathering new data through interviews. Taking into account the lack of existing studies special contributions to science will be ensured by work packages on the Middle East and the Western Balkans.   Crimmigration is an issue that has not been researched and analysed in Slovenia. This causes a lack of knowledge in this area within the academic, and research community, which hinders development of this legal field and leads to the absence of Slovenian researchers from the debates on the EU and international level. The original results of this project will contribute to the development of these aspects of law in Slovenia. This knowledge is very much needed since Slovenia is an active co-creator of EU and international law in the stated fields.
Significance for the country
The project addresses one of the most relevant and burning issues of this moment, the “migration crisis,” and the punitive manner in which it is addressed by the states. At this moment there is an intensive on-going EU-level debate among the member states taking place on measures needed to address the problem in the next months and years, to which the results of the project will contribute directly. To decision makers and policy makers the project will provide information and knowledge needed for this. Migration, surveillance information technology, and elements of xenophobia are phenomena that are daily on the front pages of the media and on the agendas of both the EU and individual states. Due to very intensive and intertwined normative activity in these fields and a very fast development of IT surveillance systems, it is crucial to ensure that the policies adopted in these fields are in line with standards developed by the EU (Charter of Fundamental Rights), Council of Europe and United Nations, as well as the constitutional standards of the EU Member States. Taking into account the relevance and frequency of this topic in the media and in the public discourse the project will importantly contribute to increasing of the understanding of migration, the reasons for it and responses expressed by the authorities, international, non-governmental organizations and other non-state actors.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
Views history