Ongoing and concluded PhDs

PhD researcher or student information

Francesca Tassinari

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Discipline: Law

Degrees BA: Law Degree at the University of Granada (Spain) and Master's Degree in Law at the University of Ferrara (Italy)


Official Master in International and European High Studies at the University of Granada (Spain)

Master's Degree in Migration Law at the University of Granada (Spain)

PhD Research Information

Biometrics, Migrants and Human Rights
States’ Security Policy threatening migrants’ human fundamental rights

Brief description:

The EU's policy management of external borders has been subject to important developments in recent years due to mixed migratory flows for which it has been necessary to seek answers by controlling the entry of migrants and asylum seekers. These mixed flows and the humanitarian crisis that have accompanied them have once again put into question the way in which effective management of migratory flows to the territory of the European Union and their compliance with the basic instruments of regulation is carried out. from the human rights. The tightening of border controls suffered a drastic advance in the wake of the New York attacks of September 11, 2001 and the implementation of the anti-terrorist policy adopted by the United States. From then on, the need to maintain public order and to preserve national security began to be felt also in the territory of the EU, until it became a priority with the outbreak of the "migratory crisis" in the Mediterranean.
For this reason, the European Commission is launching a series of legislative initiatives aimed at improving the border controls of the Schengen Area. From there, the search for reliable mechanisms that could include the identification of refugees and migrants through the obtaining of verified, certain and useful information to identify potential suspects that could pose a danger to the internal security of the States. These requirements are met with the introduction of systems aimed at reading, storing and exchanging the so-called "biometric data", already present since the creation of the Schengen Information (SIS II); the EURODAC System and the Visa Information System (VIS).
Today, the European Commission, on the one hand, looks at the implementation of identification systems for migrants and refugees at the borders and in their respective countries of origin too (i.e. the recast of the SIS II as well as the so called Return Directive; the European Travel Authorization System (SEAV); the Entry and Exit System (EES)). On the other hand, the European Commission contemplates the development of a Common Identity Repository (CIR) capable of interconnecting all currently existing databases under an unique source, the eu-LISA.
However, we can not ignore that the collection, conservation and eventual dissemination of the "sensitive data" collected in border controls, can seriously damage the rights and freedoms of the people affected.In particular, data protection and the protection of the fundamental human rights of migrants and refugees will be taken as a point of reference in international and European legal frameworks. This is the position also adopted by the European Protection Data Supervisor.


The main research hypothesis insists on the disproportionate and invasive nature of the identification mechanisms through the collection of biometric data of migrants, in relation to the declared purposes of the competent European institutions, as well as by the countries considered safe with the that the EU has put in place cooperation projects for the joint management of borders, or relocation of border controls. n this sense, I will examine the timeliness, technicality and danger of the use of biometric data collection control systems, without the EU having previously determined, clearly and precisely, the limits within which such operations can be carried out. The adaptation of the periods of conservation of the collected biometric data and the existence of a high risk of dispersion of these data will also be studied, due to the interchangeability of the information collected in the different entry systems of the migrant population. And finally, I will be checked if the systems developed and designed by the EU are coherent with the international and European legal framework of protection of migrants' human rights. In the first place,I focus on the EU sources of derived law: basically, the regulations and directives issued on immigration and data protection. Secondly, I will interpret those legal instruments in the light of the European original law, made up of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: at this stage, I will able to delimit the competence of the EU in the matter of migration and in the management of external borders, as well as The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU of the same legal nature. With regard to the protection of the fundamental human rights of migrants, within the EU will be a necessary reference the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Convention of the Council of Europe, as well as the Charter of Human Rights of the United Nations. I will then examine the Council of Europe and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, a fundamental point of reference for the development of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Complementary, International hard and soft Law will be take into account: the recently adoption of a Global Compact on Migration (the first intergovernmental agreement on migration) aims to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic way.

Keywords: Data, Human Rights, Migrant

Language(s) of writing: English, Spanish

Country: Spain

Home University:

University of Granada


Public International Law and International Relations

Supervisor: Teresa Fajardo del Castillo
Start date: 04-04-2018
(Expected) date of completion 04-04-2021
PhD current status: PhD Ongoing
PhD research funded by: University of Granada
Name of grant: FPU Scholarship
Added to catalogue on: 26-12-2018

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