Ph.D. researcher (September 2016 - 2021) and junior lecturer
Criminology I (module: introduction to criminology)
Crimiinology II (module: theoretical perspectives)
Criminology III (module: supevision of undergraduate dissertation)
Research areas: Child justice, international child rights, armed groups, recruitment and use, transitional justice, access to justice, and victimology.
Ph.D. project: Justice for children? A socio-legal study on Colombia's responses to children associated with armed violence (2021)
The aim of the thesis were to examine how criminal justice policy practices arose and persist in light of the international victim-centred legal framework for children associated with armed groups. The study explored the gaps between how children are treated in law versus empirical practices of criminalisation in a particular domestic setting (Colombia), which has been riddled by internal armed conflict and hybrid forms of violence. The study centred around how judicial and other actors in Colombia experience policy reform and how they perceive the boundaries of victimisation and criminalisation in relation to children associated with armed violence. The research incorporated insights from youth justice studies on transformation and entrenchment in criminal justice, and various (and difficult) conceptions of victims from victimological studies, especially from the contexts of armed conflicts and peacebuilding. The study employed the qualitative method of interviews with state and government officials, judicial practitioners, and various other organisational actors as well as analyses of relevant policy documents and reports. This research increased our knowledge of criminological and socio- legal processes pertaining to children involved with different types of armed actors, including smaller community-based armed groups like gangs. The main conclusions concerned the various complexities surrounding the process of children being recognised as victims in light of common criminalisation practices. The paradoxes inherent to the victim-offender overlap are central to our understanding of entrenched and unsettled practices with regards to children in the peacebuilding and the criminal justice systems.