On April 24 2019, Júlia Zomignani Barboza, researcher of the Brussels Privacy Hub, presented her PhD topic in three minutes during the pre-selections of the VUB’s PhD Cup. The PhD Cup allows VUB PhD candidates to present their work to a broader audience, which requires them to use their public speaking skills to explain their PhD topic in laymen’s terms. During the pre-selections for researchers in the human sciences, Júlia presented her research on undesirable but unreturnable migrants.
‘Undesirable but unreturnable’ is a category of migrants that are considered a threat to national security, either because of past criminal activities or involvement with armed or terrorist groups (therefore, undesirable), but that countries cannot send back as they might be subjected to gross human rights violations in their country of origin (thus unreturnable). As a solution to this situation, Júlia is proposing a balancing test to find the right balance between the rights of migrants and national security, which should impose the least amount of limitations to the rights of migrants that is necessary and proportionate to mitigate the threat they pose. She will then look at whether countries strike such balance in practice.
Júlia’s presentation and the relevance of her research awarded her a place in the finals of the PhD Cup, which will take place on May 27. In the meantime, she will record a short video about her PhD topic for the ‘Science Figured Out’ project.