Border Policing: Gender, Human Rights & Security – Overview

This will be the first international study of border policing that examines women’s decision making in relation to border policing and aims to develop a more comprehensive understanding of unauthorised border crossing and its policing.

Policing the border has serious implications for national security and human rights concerns. Internationally the fastest growing group of persons undertaking extra legal border crossing are women although this differs by region and other markers.

It seeks to produce robust evidence capable of supporting a regulatory framework for border policing that is locally grounded and globally connected, adaptable to the changing gender dimensions of mobility, human rights and the future challenges of extra legal border crossing.

The evidence base has the potential to achieve more humanitarian and effective border policing policy and practice in promoting national and international security.

The central aim of this project is understand the impact of gender on unauthorised border crossing and border policing.

Project Goals

  1. Identify the gender related strategies used by border agents and officials to secure borders, including the gendered character of enforcement practices and gendered cultures of border policing agencies as they relate to unauthorised migrant women’s decisions to cross borders;
  2. Identify the common features in the border crossing decisions, experiences and strategies of unauthorised migrant women, including experiences of law enforcement practices at different locations and sites;
  3. Identify, test and apply new analytical approaches to regimes of regulation at the border by integrating theoretical concepts of social control (criminology) and statecraft (international relations);
  4. Compare and contrast Australian approaches to border policing to like countries: the USA and Italy.

Project Outcomes

Beyond the central aim of better understanding, the above goals will also have the following beneficial outcomes:

  1. A new knowledge base of migration management for extra legal border crossing.
  2. A robust evidence base for border policing that is locally grounded and globally connected, and adaptable to the changing gendered determinants of unauthorized mobility as well as future challenges of unauthorized mobility.
  3. A rich picture of local and international factors that push and pull unauthorized border crossing.
  4. A new theoretical understanding of social control and state craft
  5. Establish an international network of border policing scholars and practitioners that will lead a new generation of research knowledge around the regulation of borders.

Key project documents