In this series, we introduce the researchers of the Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives.

Mehrnoosh Farzamfar is a doctoral candidate in subproject 3, Migration and the narratives of Europe as an “Area of freedom, security and justice”. She has a background in law and her expertise lies in international law and especially in human rights law. As a doctoral candidate in law, Mehrnoosh focuses on the security aspects of migration and population movement, especially in the times of crisis.

Mehrnoosh has work experience in the fields of asylum seeking and refugee law with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This experience has inspired her to conduct further research on more critical issues within asylum seeking systems, such as the protection of victims of human trafficking and those who are at risk of being trafficked and individuals who might be expelled to torture or other inhumane and degrading punishments or treatments. After accomplishing double Master’s Degrees in international human rights law and public international and comparative law, she started her PhD at the Department of Constitutional Law at the Law Faculty, University of Helsinki under the supervision of Professor Tuomas Ojanen and Professor Reetta Toivanen. At the beginning of this year, Mehrnoosh joined EuroStorie, along with her PhD supervisor Reetta Toivanen.

In her current research, Europe will be Mehrnoosh’s main geographical area of study. In this regard, she applies a multi-disciplinary approach, combining law, political science and social science to examine the perceived tension between protecting the human rights of immigrants, as opposed to safeguarding the national security of states. In other words, she combines qualitative research, case analysis, legal dogmatic method as well as ethnographic research and interviews with different stakeholders such as policy makers, those who deal with immigrants; NGOs and human rights activists, and immigrants themselves.

Mehrnoosh emphasizes that European countries should conclude that now is not the time to get divorced from the EU. Instead, according to her, now – in times of trouble and crisis – is exactly the time that countries should stick together and strengthen the European identity and share the burden through solidarity. “People might tend to think that the answer would be to stick to nationalism; on the contrary, when there is a transnational problem, nationalism cannot be the answer.” The environmental crisis and immigration crisis are all international and transnational problems and thus cannot be solved only within national borders. In times like these, international and regional co-operation is more important than ever, says Mehrnoosh. She considers democracy, the rule of law and human rights as the pillars of liberal European societies; “however, after 9/11 attacks, these ideals have sometimes been violated in the name of national security.”

Mehrnoosh’s aim by the end of her PhD research is to come up with possible mechanisms to find reconciliation or to reduce the tension between the national security of the states and the human rights of individuals. Hoping to find a balance between the two concepts of migration and security, Mehrnoosh would like to come up with a research-based recommendation about migration for governments and policymakers – how to do it in the most sustainable and comprehensive way – and to minimize damage.

You can find Mehrnoosh Farzamfar's latest publications in Tuhat.