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Daniela DeBono

Visiting Fellow (with International Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Swedish Research Council)

Daniela DeBonoEmail: daniela.debono@eui.eu
Tel. [+39] 055 4685 984






Biographical Notes

Daniela DeBono Ph.D. (Sussex) is Marie Curie COFAS Fellow at the Global Governance Programme. She is also Senior Lecturer in International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER) at the Department of Global Political Studies, Malmö University (Sweden). Daniela is the country expert for Malta at the EUDO Citizenship Observatory, and the Country of Origin contact person for Malta for the Rights in Exile Programme, an international resource for legal aid for refugees.

Her main research interests lie in the migration-human rights nexus, and reflect her interdisciplinary training in anthropology, sociology, human rights and migration studies. She has published on the contemporary Euro-refugee crisis, migrants’ experiences of deportation from Sweden, on irregular migration and human rights in Malta, co-edited a special issue on irregular migration in southern Europe and a series of reports on citizenship. Her PhD, awarded from the University of Sussex (UK) sought to identify the cultural and socio-political aspects of Maltese culture which hinder the adoption of human rights within the irregular migration field.

Daniela has also lectured at the University of Sussex, the University of Connecticut in London and the University of Malta. She has held full time managerial positions with the Maltese Commissioner for Children’s Rights, the Maltese National Commission for Persons with Disability and Caritas Malta. And has worked on a voluntary basis with the Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, Initiatives of Change International, the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council, the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission, the Young Christian Workers and the National Youth Council.


Research Project

Daily encounters at the border: reception in the EU and irregular migrants arriving by sea

Alongside the increase in EU border control and securitisation, there are efforts by the European Union (EU) and its Member States to mainstream human rights principles in external border control and in the construction of fair asylum systems. Indeed the safeguarding of the human rights of migrants is particularly important in situations where migrants are vulnerable, such as on the border. Reception is officially regulated by different sets of policies and procedures conducted within a few days or weeks from arrival, and which can include rescue at sea, immigration, reception/detention and asylum policies. Research has so far focused on the analysis of policy and institutions, but little is known of what happens on the ground. This project proposes to contribute by examining the reception of irregular migrants in Italy, Malta and Greece, Member States which lie on the two most important routes for irregular entry into the EU – the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Maritime routes. This study will generate a fine-grained ethnography of the everyday implementation of the reception activity on the ground by studying the interaction between two pivotal groups that shape and influence reception practices on the ground a) state and NGO officials, and b) migrants.