It is largely known that refugee children and particular those separated by their parents (unaccompanied refugee minors) are at great risk of developing a range of mental health problems because of their past experiences and current living circumstances. Yet, little is known on how those problems evolve over time and how these possible evolutions are associated with the current living conditions in the host country. In the presentation, we will present a longitudinal follow-up of a large group of unaccompanied minors in Belgium, looking at how past trauma and current living stressors impact their emotional wellbeing. As such, critical questions can be raised on how current migration policies might put those groups at (even) great(er) risk of developing (or increasing) mental health problems through a detrimental impact of the daily stressors associated with their concrete living contexts.
Feminised precarity among onward Latin American migrants in London
As Europe faces the prospect of the emergence of increasingly turbulent forms of mobilities as diverse groups of migrants arrive, settle and move on, the issue of onward migration is ever more important. Onward migration refers to the multiple destinations, steps and routes undertaken by migrants that are not predetermined and encapsulate numerous migration trajectories. This presentation contributes to the burgeoning debates around the nature of onward migration and the ways in which it is often underpinned by various forms of precarity. It explores the specifically feminised nature of onward precarity from a holistic spatio-temporal viewpoint that encompasses analyses at departure and along the migrant trajectory. Drawing empirically on the experiences of onward Latin American migrants (or OLAs) who have ended-up in London, the presentation develops the notion of “feminised onward precarity” to capture how all migrants, but especially women, experience precarious living and working conditions that reflect the devaluation and exploitation of migrant workers. It emphasises the inherent feminisation processes within these mobilities that become more intersectional as people move and their identities evolve and reconfigure. While “feminised onward precarity” focuses on precarious and exploitative working and living conditions, it also acknowledges some opportunities for migrants to develop their “resilience” and “reworking” tactics within wider structures of exploitation through their mobility. For women in particular, it shows how there have been some openings for rupturing gendered power geometries, even if these are only possible at the individual rather than structural or collective level.
Plenary Session Friday, 20 September 2018, 13.40-15.20 Room: HS 101
When confronted with the normative issues of migration, two basic intuitions come to mind: the solidarity intuition and the stability intuition. The solidarity intuition, usually defended by cosmopolitans, builds on the moral universalism of human rights. Prominent proponents, like Joseph Carens, think that significant global inequalities render closed borders morally illegitimate. Others argue that open borders would be the most efficient means to eradicate poverty. The stability intuition, as reflected in the works of Walzer and Miller, refers to the need of stability for functioning liberal democracies. From this perspective, states are obliged to help the poor but not by opening their borders. Following Thomas Christiano, it will be argued that both perspectives can be integrated within a non-ideal cosmopolitan framework: the lack of a just world order can justify border controls to eventually advance human rights. This framework, however, brings up problems of political judgment and political compromise when facing the competing claims of residents and migrants. The presentation ends with a conceptualization of this particular issue by drawing on the notion of political cohesion and the work of Arvishai Margalit.
Poverty and Migration through the Lens of Atlantic World History: Slavery or Marronage?
In the US, the UK and Australia since the millennium, there has been a revival of antislavery activism, led by NGOs and activists who claim that some 40 million people around the world are currently trapped in “modern slavery”. Their campaigns, which make rhetorical use of Atlantic World slavery and the struggle for its abolition, have influenced policy, with the UK and Australia introducing Modern Slavery Acts, and the UN including the elimination of “modern slavery” as a target in its Sustainable Development Goals. This paper looks critically at the discourse of “modern slavery”, paying particular attention to the ways in which it pathologises and criminalises subsistence strategies used by the poor, and irregular migration from global south to north, while deflecting attention from the structural factors that impoverish and immobilise many people in the global south. It then asks whether a focus on histories of marronage (the process of extricating oneself from slavery) might provide a more useful starting point for those concerned to promote the human rights and extend the freedoms of migrants in the contemporary world.