Research Project

Criminalisation of asylum seekers in the UK

Principal Investigator
Dr Marija Jovanovic

Through community organising, Citizens UK enables local leaders to develop their voice and come together with the power and strategy to make real change. Citizens Essex is the local chapter of Citizens UK, with an alliance in Colchester and others developing in other parts of Essex.

This project will examine the impact of diminishing rights of asylum seekers in the UK and the criminalisation of seeking asylum. It will examine the human rights implications of the UK-Rwanda deal to deport people seeking asylum upon arrival to the UK. It will also explore the impact on human rights and living conditions of people seeking asylum in the UK, as well as legal and policy initiatives in relation to migration and asylum. Students working in this project may focus on the situation in Essex and will analyse international human rights standards and standards in Refugee Law, as well as comparative law and practice.

Applications are now open. Find out how to apply.

Project description

How to apply

If you want to join the module-based projects of the Human Rights Centre Clinic in 2023-24, please submit your application by Monday 9 October at 9am to Please send your application documents in a single PDF file with the file name [SURNAME]_[First name]_HRCC application.

The application should include two elements:

  1. your CV (two pages maximum)
  2. a 400-word statement explaining why you want to join the Clinic and what you expect to learn from it. The statement should include your preferred three module-based projects in order of preference. We will do our best to accommodate your choices

Interviews will take place via Zoom during the afternoons of 10th and 11th October 2023. You will be allocated a time slot for a short conversation with the HRC Clinic Director and the Deputy Director. We will communicate the decision on 13 October 2023.


  • if you are taking part in any of the five module-based projects, you will also need to enrol in HU902 (Spring Term and two sessions in Autumn Term)
  • the process described above applies to module-based projects only, not to the stand-alone project on arbitrary detention, which follows its own application process and does not require you to register for HU902
  • you are free to apply to module-based projects and to the stand-alone project at the same time, but note that the module-based projects will require approximately 8-10 hours of your time per week from late October to the end of June on top of the coursework for all other modules. We recommend you do not overstretch your commitments.