Posts Tagged immigration detention

Call for Papers: International Workshop ‘Expanding the penal landscape: The immigration detention phenomena’

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019



Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto (Canada)


April 20-21, 2020

Call for papers

Coordinator: Ana Ballesteros Pena (University of Toronto, Canada & University of A Coruña, Spain)

Scientific Committee: Ana Ballesteros Pena (University of Toronto, Canada & University of A Coruña, Spain), Prof. Mary Bosworth (University of Oxford, United Kingdom), Prof. Jose A. Brandariz (University of A Coruña, Spain), Prof. Elisa García España (University of Malaga, Spain), Prof. Kelly Hannah-Moffat (University of Toronto, Canada) & Prof. Audrey Macklin (University of Toronto, Canada).                                                              

Over the last few decades, we have witnessed the proliferation of practices of migration control. These include the creation, reinforcement and development of borders; the multiplication and diversification of practices and spaces of detention; the implementation of different initiatives of supervision and control of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers before detention and after release; the use of violent practices of push-backs, strategies of containment, and spectacles of transporting migrants and asylum seekers; the prosecution of organizations and individuals supporting migrants and asylum seekers; and the amplification of deportation practices. At the same time, both people on the move and the organizations and citizens supporting them have accumulated knowledge and developed strategies to resist, manage, and overcome the aforementioned attempts to constrain human mobility. This multiplicity of practices is being analyzed from within various disciplines including, but not limited to sociology, political science, anthropology, legal geography, criminology, and migration studies.

Some of these analyses have identified the punitive nature of migration enforcement practices but these processes are frequently characterized as outside the field of “punishment”. Scholars such as Hannah-Moffat and Lynch (2012) have pointed to the need to expand “definitional boundaries of the category of ‘punishment’” (Hannah-Moffat and Lynch, 2012: 119). According to them, these boundaries “tend to neglect a number of questions about what constitutes punishment in diverse settings, and are limited in their ability to explain on-the-ground punitive practices, particularly in contexts that challenge traditional understandings of the penal realm” (Hannah-Moffat and Lynch, 2012: 119). In this vein, Bosworth, Franko and Pickering (2018: 35) argue that the term “punishment” should be fundamentally adjusted so as to include the proliferation of “bordered forms of penality” (Bosworth, Franko and Pickering, 2018: 46). Others have studied the racialized, gendered, and (post)colonial character of border and/or migration control and immigration detention (Bosworth, Parmar and Vázquez, 2018).

This international interdisciplinary workshop provides an opportunity to reflect, both conceptually and empirically, on the explosion of penal and punitive forms and consequences of border and migration control practices in the Global North and South.

We seek contributions on the following topics, amongst others:

  • Immigration detention, including pre- and post-detention practices
  • The role of different actors in the immigration detention complex
  • Agency and resistance of different actors involved in detention, supervision, and other forms of border and migration control
  • Border control mechanisms
  • Other exclusionary practices against migrants and asylum seekers
  • Spatial practices of detention, containment and exclusion
  • The impact of gender, race, and (post/neo)colonialism in practices of border control and/or immigration detention
  • Emergent places of detention and containment: informal settlements, hotspots, temporary reception centers and the like.

Confirmed keynote speakers are: Prof. Yolanda Vázquez, Associate Professor of Law, College of Law, University of Cincinnati (United States) and Prof. Leanne Weber, Associate Professor of Criminology, School of Social Sciences, Monash University (Australia).

This interdisciplinary event will be of interest to scholars from criminology, sociology, social policy, law, human geography, anthropology, political science, and psychology. Early career scholars are encouraged to send abstracts. Attendance is free. We have limited funds available to cover travel and accommodation for junior participants outside Canada.

Please email your proposal (250 words maximum) to the coordinator by 23:59pm (GMT-4) on 6 December, 2019 at

We aim to publish the papers discussed in this international workshop as a special issue of a journal.  If you are interested in putting your work forward for consideration, please indicate this in your proposal.

Information about acceptance will be sent by 17 January, 2020.

The workshop is part of the European Commission funded project Governmigration: Governing irregular immigration through detention. Discourses and practices from an interdisciplinary approach, under the scientific program Horizon 2020 within Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Actions. It is sponsored jointly by the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto (Canada) and the ECRIM Research Group, Faculty of Law, University of A Coruña (Spain).

Workshop Detention practices, criminalization of migrants and border control in Canada

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019


















[ENG] On May, 12-13, the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies of the University of Toronto hosted the workshop ‘Detention practices, criminalization of migrants and border control in Canada‘. This academic meeting was co-organised by the ECRIM and the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies within the framework of the project Governmigration: Governing irregular immigration through detention. Discourses and practices from an interdisciplinary approach. The event was coordinated by Ana Ballesteros under the academic supervision of Kelly Hannah-Moffat and Audrey Macklin. The project is funded by the European Commission under the scientific program Horizon 2020 within Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Actions and jointly implemented by both academic institutions.


thumbnail_17Alison Mountz

On Sunday, May 12, the workshop was opened with Alison Mountz from the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Laurier University (Canada), who presented a paper called ‘Safe haven in Canada: border ‘crises’ and political futurities, or sleepwalking with the elephant’. Her talk draws on the Island Detention Project to discuss where and how three global trends – externalization, detention, and the erosion of access to political asylum – converge in the borderlands.


Audrey Macklin 2Audrey Macklin

Audrey Macklin (University of Toronto, Canada) also focused on spaces on detention by presenting a paper entitled ‘State of containment’ in which she analyzed the transformation of countries of the global South into detention sites for states of the global North.


Leah MontangeLeah Montagne

Leah Montagne (University of Toronto, Canada) examined a number of instances of what appears to be retaliation or revengeful immigration arrest and deportation proceedings in her paper  ‘Revenge, retaliation and resistance: exploring immigration enforcement under the Trump administration’.


thumbnail_14Sarah Turnbull

Sarah Turnbull, from Birkbeck, University of London (UK), argued that the experience of incarceration extends beyond the detention centre walls and into the British community in presenting her paper entitled ‘Beyond detention: Detainability, deportability, and precarity in the community’.


Idil Atak 2Idil Atak

We closed the first day with two talks. First, Idil Atak, Ryerson University (Canada), examined the evolving institutional setting and processes that define the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) enforcement policy and its consequences for asylum seekers in Canada in her paper ‘Policing Canada’s refugee system and the Canada Border Services Agency‘.

And, finally, Aviva Basman, Assistant Deputy Chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Immigration Division for Central Region (Canada), explained in her paper ‘Adjudicative Culture Change at the IRB’s Immigration Division’ the changes that are taking place in the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).


thumbnail_2Delphine Nakache

The second day of the workshop was opened by a paper presented by Delphine Nakache, University of Ottawa (Canada), entitled ‘The length of time in Canada’s immigration detention regime: why the current system needs to be changed’. In this paper, Prof Nakache compared the Canadian situation with that of other states and discussed why the current Canadian detention system is legally and morally wrong.


thumbnail_12Molly Joeck

To continue with the legal approach, Molly Joeck, University of British Columbia (Canada), explored the legal framework of immigration detention in Canada by analysing detention as a law enforcement practice placed at the intersection of migration law and criminal law.


Hanna Gros













Hanna Gros

In the first session of the afternoon, Hanna Gros, University of Toronto (Canada), presented a paper entitled ‘Immigration Detention: Criminalization without Foundational Safeguards’ in which she questioned the criminal justice safeguards protecting foreigners confined in immigration detention centres.


thumbnail_15Sharry Aiken

The workshop continued with Sharry Aiken, Queen’s University (Canada),  who in her paper ‘Detention Abolition in the “Hard Cases”’ reformulated the case for detention abolition as both a practical and reasonable policy response to the challenges raised by human mobilities in the decades ahead.



Salina Abji

Salina Abji, University of Toronto (Canada), with her paper ‘Criminalizing Survivorship: Advancing feminist intersectional approaches to immigration detention in Canada’, shifted the analytical spotlight to consider the effects of the contemporary crimmigration system on migrant women survivors of gender-based violence.


thumbnail_5Graham Hudson

Finally, the workshop was closed by the presentation made by Graham Hudson (Ryerson University, Canada) who, with his paper ‘Law, Bureaucracy and Jurisdiction: Policing Non-Status Migrants in Ontario’, shared the results of a socio-legal study into the policing of non-status migrants in Ontario.









This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 796197