NameAffiliation Presentation TitleAbstract Bio
Eva Ecker Ghent UniversityThe influence of the institutional architecture on the outcome of international protection determination: the cases Belgium and the NetherlandsSince the implementation of the Refugee Convention of 1951, Belgium and the Netherlands have followed different institutional paths concerning the procedure to determine eligibility for international protection. These institutional choices include: what kind of protection is given, which institutions are involved, and what steps are made to come to a final decision. This presentation first elaborates on how and why both countries institutionally evolved towards different patterns of decision making concerning granting international protection. Next, we will investigate whether the institutional architecture matters for the outcome of the decisions. Finally we will explore preliminary policy recommendations and elaborate on our plans for further research.Eva Ecker is a Ph.D. student at Ghent University, Belgium where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in Public Administration and Management. After finishing her master thesis ‘Does the Hungarian asylum policy go in confrontation with the European asylum policy?’ she has continued her research within the governance of asylum policies. For the PROTECT project, she is contributing to Work Package 3, researching the evolution, motives, and impact of member states’ institutional architecture of asylum determination.
Integrating perspectives from both fields of social work and public administration, with my research I would like to contribute to the knowledge of how asylum policies on different levels can be organized in a way that they opportune for all the actors involved.
Elspeth Guild, Kathryn Allinson and Nicolette BusuttilQueen Mary University of LondonAn Analysis of the Gaps and Synergies between the Common European Asylum System and the UN Global Compacts for Refugees and MigrationThis paper identifies the gaps and synergies between the two UN Compacts and EU law relating to migrants and refugees. The research questions the extent to which existing EU law in this area reflects EUMS’ commitments, as outlined in the Global Compacts, to illustrate which if any of the Compacts’ elements are reflected in the CEAS and which, if any, call into question the CEAS’ conformity therewith. It presents a comparative exercise where key provisions in the main CEAS instruments and the Returns Directive are assessed against the framework, objectives and commitments outlined in the two Compacts. The Compacts seek to comprehensively address the migration process and contain objectives and commitments that address key documented challenges within the EU, e.g., immigration detention, access to asylum procedures, and access to basic services. The CEAS instruments cover the different elements of the migrant and refugee’s legal journey within the EU and regulate the treatment of these individuals as they shift between overlapping legal categories that engender distinct entitlements (e.g., irregularly staying third country national, applicant for international protection, and beneficiary of international protection). Accordingly, the provisions of these CEAS instruments and the Returns Directive have been mapped and assessed against the relevant aspects of the Compacts to identify how and where they can provide additional interpretive value (a human rights-compliant interpretation of existing CEAS provisions) or scope for law and policy change. Kathryn Allinson is a Research Assistant on the PROTECT Horizon 2020 project working with Professor Elspeth Guild. She is finalising her PhD in the Department of Law at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The title for her doctoral thesis is: “Establishing responsibility for causing displacement: An inquiry into the role of ‘Displacing Third States”. Kathryn is also a Teaching Associate at Bristol University Law School, the Managing Editor of The International Community Law Review, and a Research Affiliate of the Refugee Law Initiative. Prior to starting her doctoral research, she worked in International Development for 6 years whilst completing her GDL in 2013 at BPP Law School and an LLM with distinction in International Human Rights Law at QMUL in 2015.
Janna WesselsChair of Public Law and European lawPlanned destitution: Socio-economic deprivation and as a policy tool to control migrationThe increased use of social and economic exclusion as a policy tool with a view to
managing certain groups of ‘undesirable’ migrants, is one of the major trends in European
asylum policy. Migrants with a precarious legal status are subject to policies of ‘planned
destitution’ which respond to various intersecting policy aims, ranging from pushing those
present on territory to leave, deterring future arrivals, and creating classes of exploitable people
serving certain needs of the economies. The use of destitution as a migration management tool
generates acute tensions within host states between immigration laws and policies and human
rights protection. This paper explores Human Rights law's role in the unravelling of such
A Guiding Principle of the Global Compact for Migration is non-discrimination and protection of
the human rights of all migrants, regardless of status. More specifically, with regards to socio-
economic rights, Objective 15 of the GCM commits States to ensuring safe access to basic
services to all migrants, regardless of their status. Against this backdrop, the paper argues that
States must respect a human rights-based socio-economic subsistence level derived from the
right to human dignity in combination with the rights laid down in universal and regional human
rights instruments, including ICESCR and the European Social Charter. Accordingly, in order to
be in line with international law, migration control cannot resort to planned destitution.
Janna Wessels is Assistant Professor at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Previously, she was postdoc and senior lecturer at the University of Giessen, where she continues to hold a part-time research position. Prior to that, she worked as Research Associate for an international comparative project on gender-related harms in refugee law, based at University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia and University of British Columbia, Canada. Janna received her PhD in refugee law from the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney and the Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (joint degree). She holds a Master of Science in Forced Migration from the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University and Master-level degrees in social sciences from the University of Münster, Germany, and in European Studies from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (“Sciences Po”) Lille, France. Janna is particularly interested in feminist/queer theory as well as critical legal theory approaches to human rights and migration law and policy. Next to the Horizon 2020 project ‘PROTECT – The Right to International Protection’, her current research projects include the Mercator Foundation funded project ‘Human Rights challenges to European Migration Policy (REMAP)’. Her monograph entitled The Concealment Controversy will be published with Cambridge University Press in June 2021.
Sara Schmitt & RaphaelUniversity of StuttgartMedia and Migration. How international protection is covered in public discourseInternational protection is a highly salient and contested issue discussed in all forms of media. Determining which topics are dominant in the media discourse makes it possible to draw conclusions about the importance of migration-related issues and positions towards these in politics and society. For this purpose, we are using massive repositories of media data in a quantitative manner with tools stemming from Natural Language Processing to model opinion shifts in regard to the recognition of human rights in the European public sphere. We show the distribution of different political cleavages present in the media data, how it shifts over time and how it is shaped by real-world events such as the European elections or the signing of the Global Compacts for Refugees and of Migration. Our findings contribute to efforts of understanding public discourse and, in particular, to reveal how opinions emerge regarding a polarized issue like international protection.Sara Schmitt is a research assistant at the Department of Computational Social Science at the University of Stuttgart. She has a background in international and European political science. Broadly speaking, her research interests lie in the area of migration policy, policy change, politicization and how discourses affect different actor groups’ perceptions of political and social issues. Methodologically, she is particularly interested in the possibility provided by computational methods to analyze large amounts of text. Raphael Heiko Heiberger has a background in sociology. Currently, his main research focus is within the emerging field of Computational Social Sciences (CSS). The goal of CSS is to apply computational methods on social phenomena like the emergence of economic crises, media discourses, or inequality. The field combines various aspects of social sciences, such as Social Network Analysis (e.g., network dynamics, statistical modeling), Natural Language Processing (e.g., topic models), and Machine Learning (predictions).
Dario MazzolaUniversity of BergenSeizing the Compacts:The Clash of Political and Normative Discourses Over the Global Compacts on Migration and RefugeThe two Global Compacts were drafted and presented in a changing, conflictual, and polarized international political environment, and their implementation – or lack thereof – will be strongly conditioned upon the same or ensuing collisions and evolutions. In my paper, I reconstruct the characterizing assumptions of the main discourses over the Compacts - and migration and asylum issues more generally - on the planes of politics and political theory, and highlight how each of them might attempt at exploiting the depoliticizing and ambivalent balance enshrined in the two documents. The principal aims of the paper are to unveil the open-endedness of the process initiated with the Compacts, including perspective developments which might realistically be at stake, and to discuss the significant mismatch between theorical and political discourses together with their implications. I hold Bachelor’s and Master’s in Philosophy from the University of Pavia. During my Master’s, I studied migration issues at the Northern Arizona University, and obtained a degree in Human Sciences at IUSS Pavia. My PhD (2018) is in Moral and Political Theory, from the University of Milan. My thesis was entitled The Migrant Crisis and Philosophy of Migration: Reality, Realism, Ethics. I have been a visiting PhD fellow at the Institute of Citizenship Studies of the University of Geneva. I collaborated with the University of Bergamo and lectured Social Philosophy at a private higher-education institute in Milan. Since 2020, I am a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway, Department of Comparative Politics, and PROTECT’s Executive Scientific Coordinator. My field of specialization is Migration Theory, and I am developing a multidisciplinary approach based on Political Theory, Political Sciences, and Ethics of International Relations.
Pierre-Georges VanWolleghemUniversity of Bergen Explaining variation in refugee recognition rates: the role of Refugee Status Determination architecturesTwo asylum seekers fleeing persecution from the same country may end up in a very different situation if refuge is sought in country A or in country B. Discrepancies in the matter have dire consequences for asylum seekers and cast shadows on the ability of the international protection apparatus to protect them. This article investigates the reasons why refugee recognition rates vary from country to country. Earlier studies have shown that granting protection does not necessarily reflect the situation of individual claimants in origin countries. However, they remain inconclusive as to what actually explains their cross-country variation. We posit that variation in recognition rates stems from the procedural diversity of Refugee Status Determination (RSD) structures, i.e. the legal and administrative machinery that transforms asylum claims into positive or negative outcomes. Evidence is drawn from the application of quantitative methods to original dataPierre Van Wolleghem holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Milan, Italy. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Bergen, Norway, where he carries out research on refugee status recognition and occupies the function of Executive Scientific Coordinator for Horizon 2020 project PROTECT. His research interests revolve around European Union policies relating to migration and asylum, social policies, and quantitative methods. His publications touch on various subjects such as policy implementation, integration of migrants, and income support schemes. He has previously worked for the Italian National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies (INAPP), a public research centre attached to the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, and for ISMU Foundation where he worked as a researcher and consultant on migration and integration questions.
Danilo Di Mauro, Iole Fontana, Daniela IrreraUniversity of Catania Managing new forms of vulnerability: the contribution of Italian civil societyThe paper focuses on the impact of Italian CSOs in the development of protection policies and
measures at the EU level.
It combines a theoretical framework based on the roles of CSOs' influence on  the multilevel
governance of protection as well as the perception of vulnerability, in terms of categories, norms
and measures, with an empirical analysis aiming at emphasizing both attitudinal and behavioral
aspects of Italian CSOs. At the attitudinal level we observe some key dimensions of perceptions,
along with priorities and favored approaches on policies. They include saliency, trust in institutions,
opinion on rule of law, as well as policy preferences about the responsibility to protect
and vulnerability. At the behavioral level, we draw the main CSOs activities for the implementation
of the Global Compact of migration and the Global Compact of refugees. The analysis shows both
distinct patterns referred to the peculiarities of the Italian case and promising paths for further
research at the EU level.
Danilo Di Mauro is assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Catania.  His main
research interests include European integration, public opinion, Italian politics and democracy. 

Iole Fontana is a senior post doc research fellow at the Department of Political and Social
Sciences, University of Catania. Her research focuses on asylum and migration politics and policies
in the European Union, in Italy, and in the Mediterranean, on human insecurity and migration, as
well as on human smuggling phenomena.
Daniela Irrera is associate professor of International Relations, at the Department of Political and
Social Sciences, University of Catania, where she serves as deputy director for internationalization
and research, and visiting professor of Political Violence and Terrorism at the OSCE Academy,
Bishkek. Her research focuses on non-state actors’ influence on global politics, both positive
(NGOs and social movements) and negative (organized crime groups and terrorists).
Craig Damian SmithRyerson (CERC)Power Politics and the Refugee Compact in Central America: Host states, containment, and the absence of international resettlementThe Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) and Nicaragua is experiencing rapidly-accelerating displacement crises. Driven by gang violence, weak states, endemic poverty, and environmental pressures, almost one million people have been displaced in the last decade. 400,000 have fled to neighbouring states, and an additional 500,000 further abroad in the Americas, with significant impacts on migration, border, and asylum politics. In response, the international community partnered to implement the Global Compact on Refugees’ (GCR) Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, through a regional plan under the Spanish acronym MIRPS. Official discourse frames it as a novel avenue for responsibility-sharing. In contrast to other regions, MIRPS has a narrow focus on host state development and financing mechanisms to foster refugee livelihoods, local integration, and asylum capacity-building. It all but ignores international resettlement or complementary pathways as durable solutions. The paper uses an IR lens to argue regional policy options are stymied by its historical construction as the U.S. sphere of influence. Allied states have deferred to or been coerced into supporting these interests. Taken together, global governance for Central American displacement amounts to containment policies. It explores the impacts of containment, particularly market incentives for irregular migration, upstream effects on border and asylum policies, and prospects for additionality as envisaged in the GCR. Craig Damian Smith is a Senior Research Associate at the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University, Toronto and a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University. He earned his PhD in Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2017. From 2017 to 2020 he was the Associate Director at the Global Migration Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. His research is situated at the intersection of International Relations and Migration Studies, with a focus on irregular migration systems, borders, and asylum. From 2017 to 2020 he conducted a first of its kind research project on the emergence of irregular migration to Canada, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. His current SSHRC project looks at the effects of legal aid on access to justice for refugee claimants.
Jona ZyfiUniversity of Toronto The impact of the GRC and GMC on assessing vulnerability: preliminary findings of fieldwork in CanadaThis research is a part of the PROTECT WP4 fieldwork which analyzes how the impact of the GRC and GCM is perceived by governance and non-governmental actors, as well as people entitled to international protection. This presentation will focus on the preliminary findings of 16 interviews conducted with governmental and civil society representatives in Canada from November, 2020 to July, 2021. The preliminary data analysis explores 1) how key actors involved in the protection regime understand and apply the notions of vulnerability and special needs 2) how networks of actors collaborate to address and reduce identified vulnerabilities and 3) the impact of the GRC and GMC in the implementation of Canadian regulations and policies in practice. Ultimately, our preliminary fieldwork reveals a chasm between Canada’s official response to the GRC and GMC and their implementation “on the ground”.Jona Zyfi is a doctoral student at the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies and a Junior Fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto. Her PhD research explores the impact of technology in immigration and refugee processes. In 2020 Jona was awarded a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship and is a past recipient of the SSHRC Top 25 Storyteller Award, the Barbara Frum Memorial Award in Canadian Scholarship, and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. She is a research assistant for a project examining private refugee sponsorship in Canada, the PROTECT project which studies the impacts of the United Nations’ Global Compacts, and a project exploring the securitization of borders. Jona also serves as the Student Director of the Canadian Association of Refugees and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS), co-hosts the academic podcast Criminologia, and volunteers as an English-Albanian interpreter for refugee claimants in Toronto.
Zainab Abu AlrobRyerson UniversityCanada’s Institutional architecture of asylum determinationThe fact that different states deploy correspondingly different institutional architectures and procedures to determine asylum is widely known. This research is conducted under WP3 which maps differences in asylum determination in PROTECT’s main settings – the EU, Canada, and South Africa – including by historical and statistical examination and assesses which ones are the most conducive to the enforcement of human rights and the right to international protection. This presentation will provide an overview of Canada’s institutional architecture of asylum determination. It will also analyze the role of the Global Compacts, civil society, courts, governments, and international organizations in asylum assessment and the implementation of best practices.Zainab is a PhD Candidate in Policy Studies at Ryerson University, Toronto. She holds an MA in Global Governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo. She is currently involved in research projects examining the impact of border security measures on the rights of irregular migrants and the right to international refugee protection in Canada. She also conducts research on refugee settlement, resilience, and integration. Zainab is the founder and lead editor at the Migration Initiative, hosted at Ryerson, and a member of the IMISCOE Standing Committee Methodological Approaches and Tools in Migration Research at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands and the International Public Policy Association.