Sacrificing parents on the altar of children's rights : Intergenerational struggles and rights in deportability

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Sacrificing parents on the altar of children's rights : Intergenerational struggles and rights in deportability

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Sacrificing parents on the altar of children's rights : Intergenerational struggles and rights in deportability
Author Lind, Jacob
Research Centre Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM)
Date 2018
English abstract
State actors arguing for the rights of undocumented children often attempt to strengthen children's deservingness by portraying their parents as bad parents who put their children at risk. Through ethnographic observations in Malmö, Sweden and Birmingham, UK, this article shows how such demonization of the parents by the state is not reflected in the everyday life experiences of undocumented families themselves. While the state views the parents as putting their children at risk by ‘hiding’ them, the parents view the state as putting their children at risk by trying to deport them. The article discusses how parents act as ‘humanitarian agents’ responsible for caring for the children when state support to the deserving, rights-bearing child is limited by the notion of the deportable migrant child. These parental practices of unrecognized emotional labour are analysed as mother- work. The interdependent character of family life in deportability is highlighted through how children take on parental responsibilities as well and how stress and knowledge about their irregular situation is shared across generations. To conclude, the article argues that if one neglects the intergenerational context of undocumented children's rights, one risks marginalising the human rights of both children as well as adults.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2018.07.001 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Elsevier
Host/Issue Emotion, Space and Society;
ISSN 1755-4586
Language eng (iso)
Subject Undocumented migrants
Children's rights
Motherwork
Deportability
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/26221 Permalink to this page
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