Sub-projects

I. Migration Law and Shifts in Social Risks from Family to State to Citizen, 1950-2015
Researcher: Prof. dr. Sarah van Walsum †

In Memoriam Sarah van Walsum (18 februari 1955 – 9 november 2014)

II. Cross-border Parent-Child Relations in Dutch Law, 2005-2015 
PhD-candidate: mr. N. Ismaili
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Sarah van Walsum †, Prof. dr. H. Battjes, Prof. dr. C. Forder

An underlying assumption of migration law appears to be that migrants are adult, able-bodied individuals, unencumbered by any responsibilities towards dependent persons. To the degree that migrants’ family relations are taken into account, these are assumed to involve persons of the same nationality and/or residing within the same national territory. As a result, migration law frequently fails to anticipate cross-border relations involving pressing issues of dependency.
This sub-project will examine where migration law and international family and child law intersect, and what the consequences are for the family life of migrants in terms of custody and access. This will be done on the basis of legislation, policy documents and case law relating to national, EU and international migration and family and child law.


emptyIII. Family Related Claims of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Human Rights Law
PhD-candidate: mr. Y. Arbaoui
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Sarah van Walsum †, Prof. dr. H. Battjes, Prof. dr. T.P. Spijkerboer

For most of asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands, Dutch immigration and asylum law will have interfered in their family relations: some will have been admitted on the basis of family ties; for others family related problems, such as family related violence, will have been the reason they fled. Emerging case law and available literature indicate that asylum seekers and refugees and their family members face a specific constellation of issues. Although the specific circumstances of asylum seeking families have to a degree been acknowledged in asylum law, much work remains to be done in the development of effective legal remedies.
This research looks for ways in which international law can protect the family lives of asylum seekers and refugees without jeopardising their individual rights, and vice versa. Beside looking at international asylum protection norms, this research also looks at international family and child protection norms that might also serve to protect the family lives of asylum seekers and refugees and/or their individual freedoms, vis-à-vis the family.

IV. Public opinion and EU harmonization of family reunification policies
PhD Candidate: Johanne Søndergaard
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Sarah van Walsum †,Prof. dr. H.B.G. Ganzeboom, Prof. dr. T.P. Spijkerboer

This project examines whether differences in family reunification policies across Europe can be explained by differences in public opinion. This project draws on theories about the relationship between attitudes and policies. It looks first at whether family migration policies have been harmonized in the EU, then examines whether two relevant types of attitudes have converged, before exploring whether a lack of harmonization may be rooted in the absence of convergence of attitudes. This thesis thus asks: can divergent public opinion explain the lack of harmonization of family migration policies? Specifically, do attitudes toward immigration and/or attitudes toward gender-roles influence the development of family migration policies in Europe?

V. The Global Governance of Migration and the redistribution of care and social risks between individuals, families and states, 1990-2015
Postdoc: Dr. Maybritt Jill Alpes

This research project investigates whether and how the emerging governance of migration and development is addressing the care needs and social risks of migrant (care) workers and their families. It does so by looking first at the solutions that Cameroonian care workers (domestic workers, au pairs, babysitters, elderly care staff and nurses) have found in Paris to secure their lives and meet the needs of their families; secondly by studying the regulatory dispositions of relevant state actors; and thirdly by comparing normative presuppositions about the global distribution of social risks and care needs between states, families and individuals.
The project does not presuppose that states are the prime providers of social security, but openly examines the place of states, families and market providers of services (such as brokers) within care arrangements and access to housing, health and education. By relating programmes on circular migration and return migration to the practices of migrants and their family members, this project will be able to make explicit otherwise implicit norms within the regulatory efforts of states, reveal blind spots and unintended effects, and thus open up alternative avenues for potentially more equitable arrangements between migrants, states and families. 

VI. Precarious migrant workers and the trade union, a fruitful alliance? Lessons from ten years of union membership of (undocumented) migrant domestic workers in the Netherlands
Assistant Professors: Dr. Franca van Hooren and Dr. Anja Eleveld

For ten years, undocumented migrant domestic workers have been members of FNV, the biggest trade union In the Netherlands. The explicit inclusion of undocumented migrant workers was a unique step in the history of Dutch trade unions. Through interviews with (former) domestic worker members, union officials and representatives of other involved organisations, we investigate why migrant domestic workers have been interested in union membership, why the union wanted to organise them and what the results of ten years of membership have been. We look at rights claiming activities by undocumented workers and how these are shaped by union membership. We look at the specific interests of migrant domestic workers and the way in which the trade union handles these in a time of strong societal anti-immigrant sentiments. Finally, we try to draw general lessons about successes and pitfalls in organising vulnerable (undocumented) migrant workers. 

VII. The Multivalence of rights: the case of the unionization of undocumented migrant domestic workers in the Netherlands
Assistant Professors: Dr. Anja Eleveld and Dr. Franca van Hooren

Various social-legal and political scholars have pointed at the ambivalence involved in rights claiming practices: they may both challenge existing injustices, and re-enforce regulatory control over citizens. Examining the case of the unionization of undocumented migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in the Netherlands through the lens of visibility, this project aims to enhance our understanding of various aspects of rights claiming. The case study shows that rights claims were not only part of strategic action (i.e. a means to reach certain substantive ends), rights claiming undocumented MDWs who did not ‘have the rights to have rights’ also emerged as political agents. At the same time, however, they raised their rights claims within the institutional context of the labour union, which molded the MDW rights claims into (union) workers’ rights claims. Regarding these different aspects of rights and rights claiming practices this project disentangles the multivalence of rights and rights claiming practices.