Dr. Cristina Fernández Bessa, Dr. Colleen Boland and Dr. Diego Boza (from left to right)

On Monday the 30th of May 2022, Dr. Colleen Boland, postdoctoral researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, presented the CRIMIGRACAT project in a seminar on Migration and Penal Systems: an approximation, organized by the GESDI and the Public Law Observatory (IDP) at the Faculty of Law of the Universitat de Barcelona. The session was moderated by Dr. Diego Boza, Assistant Professor of Penal Law at the Universidad de Cádiz. Together with Dr. Colleen Boland, Dr. Cristina Fernández Bessa, PhD in Law and Political Science, and Senior Research Fellow and lecturer in Criminology at the University of A Coruña, also participated in the seminar.

Divided in two parts, the session began with a 30 minute presentation by Dr. Fernández Bessa on migration and criminology, specifically on the criminology of mobility, crimmigration and border punishment. Offering a comprehensive theoretical framework, Dr. Fernández Bessa explained how academia has dealt with crimmigration, understood as the confluence of migration and criminal law, and the multiple approaches that the literature has offered to tackle the issues of the criminology of human mobility, as well as punishiment and border-crossing.

Subsequently, Dr. Boland presented the project CRIMIGRACAT, on gendered crimmigration discourse and practices, analysing the case study of Catalonia (Spain) and multilevel governance potential. Also in a half hour presentation, Dr. Boland shared the scope of the project and explained its methodological design, consisting of semi-structured interviews with asylum-seeking women in Catalonia that can offer grounded, real experiences with crimmigration practices. The project aims at gaining a more coherent understanding of the gendered effects of crimmigration discourse and practices in Catalonia, contextualizing it necessarily within the wider national Spanish context, as well as relating it to EU frameworks, policies and possibilities.

Finally, the session concluded with a Q&A section, as attendees presented questions and insights to both experts in a fruitful debate.