WG Law and Migration
Chair: Ralf Rogowski
Joanna Ptak | Jagiellonian University
What if law is not enough? Strategies of combating honour-related violence in Europe.
Honour-related violence (hereainafter as HRV) has appeared at political agenda of European countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands at the beginning of XXI century. Remarkably, in all of mentioned countries it was contextualized as a problem of ethnic minorities, unknown to a host society. This contextualization resulted in a significant politicization of this phenomenon and made the governance in this sphere conditional on decisions of a ruling party that are not necessarily based on effectiveness or rationality of applied solutions.
The main aim of this paper is to answer the question about the directives of effective action in reference to discussed social problem. Answer to the main research question will be preceded by answering detailed questions, such as: which strategies of combating HRV were applied with the mentioned countries? What were the arguments towards their application? Which factors have had a negative impact on their efficiency?
The paper will be composed of three parts. The first one will consist of theoretical considerations about the strategies of combating HRV – presentation of their catalogue and assumptions, indication of the role of law and legal tools within particular strategy, discussion over their drawbacks and advantages with special focus given to their versatility, summary of a critique. In the second part author will focus on extracting factors that have had an impact on the shape and effectiveness of the strategies, such as the function of expert knowledge, role of non-governmental organizations as meaning-making institutions, politicization of the issue, influence of the mass media and public opinion on undertaken actions. The main aim of the concluding part will be to answer the main research question and to present author’s propositions of directives of effective action regarding this social problem.
The methodology used in the research consisted of expert interviews, analysis of legal regulation and desk research.
Presented research problem is significant, as in spite of states’ activity, crime rates of discussed social problem are not decreasing and the question about the most efficient measures and tools of combating HRV is still actual. Furthermore, HRV falls within the wider scope of problems contextualized as “the migrant issues”. As such, results of the presented research are not limited solely to this particular problem.
Arianna Jacqmin | Università degli Studi di Milano
Desaparecidos from the Mediterranean Sea. Identifying Bodies and Connecting Families
Thousands of migrants die in the Mediterranean Sea every year, but only the smallest part follows the process of recovery, identification, family recognition, mourn, and decent burial, as international scholarships testify. The post-mortem vicissitudes of migrants and of their families will be analyzed in order to enlighten legal gaps, cultural prejudices, and practical difficulties that jeopardize the whole process in Southern European countries, and in particular in Italy.
From the perspective of the deceased, the guarantee of a dignified treatment of the corpse, the defense of the right to personal identity and to decent burial are at stake. On the other hand, the families of the desaparecidos of the Mediterranean Sea struggle to know the fate of their missing loved ones, and to participate to investigations; they claim the right to family and private life, the special protection for children, the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to reparation. However, these demands find legal inadequate recognition and insufficient practical application within national contexts.
After having retraced the Italian panorama with a special focus over the legal forensics identification process, I will analyze the practices that the Special Commissioner of the Italian Government for Missing Persons adopted in collaboration with Universities and humanitarian organizations, after the 2013 “Lampedusa shipwreck” and after a further tragedy in the Sicilian Channel in April 2015. These innovative although extraordinary joint procedures to collect, manage, identify, and bury the corpses from the Mediterranean Sea, and to outreach their families, may represent an action model for further implementation at the national, European, and international level.
Virginia Passalacqua | European University Institute
Reactive or proactive courts? Two case-studies on legal mobilization for migrants’ rights from Italy and the UK
According to legal mobilization scholarship, citizens are the social engine behind the law. Law provides strategic resources that individuals use to structure their relations with others and to conduct social struggles (McCann, 2004). Courts are essentially ‘reactive’ institutions, while ‘individual litigants actually set the agenda of the judicial branch of government’(Zemans 1983). Consequently, courts become tools that can be used by social movements, private parties or activist lawyers. But, what if judges start telling us their version of the story?
This paper, drawing on the interviews with two migration judges, from Italy and the UK respectively, examines the relationship between judges, social movements and social struggles. It shows that, at times, confining judges to their institutional role is wrong: they might turn out to be the first promoters of a strategic litigation.
I met the Italian judge in his top-floor office in the Venice Tribunal’s historic building; the British judge, instead, greeted me in his courtroom in the very heart of London. The aristocratic atmosphere pervading such fascinating locations conveys the impression of judges being far away from migrants’ social and political struggles. However, the stories they told me debunked this first impression. The judges, experiencing respectively a context of ‘criminalization of immigrants’ and of ‘refugee crisis’, decided to mobilize EU law for migrants’ rights in unconventional manners. This paper will assess to what extent their decision was the result of their connection with organizations supporting migrants’ rights.
Finally, the paper moves from the two case-studies to assess whether this type of judges-led public interest litigation fits with the conceptual framework developed in the literature on legal mobilization or whether it raises the need of a re-conceptualization. Some scholars have argued that EU litigation empowers non-majoritarian organizations (Cichowski 2007; Börzel 2006; Alter and Vargas 2000). This article sheds light on how EU litigation has also empowered national judges, stressing the need to further investigate judges’ mobilization.
Arturo V Bustamante | University of California, Los Angeles
Jie Chen | UM-College Park
Alexander N. Ortega | Drexel University
Health care access and utilization among US immigrants before and after the Affordable Care Act
We examine changes in health insurance coverage and access to and utilization of health care before and after the national implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) among the U.S. adult immigrant population. Data from the 2011-2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) are used to compare adult respondents in 2011-2013 (before the ACA implementation) and 2014-2016 (after the ACA implementation). Multivariable logistic regression analyses are used to compare changes over time. This study shows that the ACA has closed the coverage gap that previously existed between U.S. citizens and non-citizen immigrants. We find that naturalized citizens, non-citizens with more than five years of U.S. residency, and non-citizens with five years or less of U.S. residency reduced their probability of being uninsured by 5.81%, 9.13% and 8.23%, respectively, in the first three years of the ACA. Improvements in other measures of access and utilization were also observed.