The captivity of migrants is now part of the public policies undertaken by European countries to curb the mobility of foreigners on their territories. Although this migratory captivity takes place in states that call themselves democratic and respectful of human rights, it nevertheless highlights a policy of inhospitality towards otherness. Even if the detention centers for migrants in which families, women and children are confined are not prisons in the legal sense of the term, they are nevertheless constitutive of contemporary carcerality. They show that the inability of human beings to hold official documents that justify their right to move within rich countries is punishable, or convertible into unfreedom. 

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Alice Gerlach is a senior lecturer in Criminology, in the School of History, Philosophy and Culture at Oxford Brookes University. She completed her Dphil (PhD) at the Centre for Criminology, Oxford University in 2018 and has remained as a research associate of the Centre since. Alice conducts research in the Criminology sub-field of Border Criminology, which is the intersection of immigration control and criminal justice systems. 


Catherine Woollard took up the position of Director of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles in 2016. ECRE is a pan-European alliance of 108 NGOs in 39 European countries working to defend the rights of refugees and displaced persons in Europe and in Europe’s external policies. ECRE’s work covers litigation, advocacy and communications. From 2008 to 2015, she was the Executive Director of EPLO, the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, a Brussels-based network working on peace and security. Previously, she managed international programmes and advocacy at Conciliation Resources, Minority Rights Group International and Transparency International. She has also worked for the UK civil service, as a lecturer in political science, and as a consultant advising governments, international organisations and NGOs. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in law and political science.


Denis Samnick is an academic assistant and junior researcher at the IOB. He holds a Master's degree in Political Sociology from the University of Douala in Cameroon, and an Erasmus Mundus Master's degree in Intercultural Mediation: Crises, Conflicts and Civil Society, obtained simultaneously at the University of Lille (France), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal) and Babes Bolyai University (Romania). His research topics focus on prison governance, armed violence and urban crime in Central Africa.