Vulnerability, Protection, and Agency:

Spanger, M. (Participant)

Activity: Attending an eventConference organisation or participation

Description

Migration is presenting a challenge to migration practitioners, policymakers and academics given the manifestation of extra-territorial approaches, increased reliance on technology, and weakening of accountability for violations of rights. Migrants are increasingly limited in accessing rights and in receiving protection from harm when fleeing, both en route and upon arrival. The phenomenon of irregular migration, often organized by human smugglers, foments vulnerability. Legal and operational structures result in discriminatory treatment, detention, and deportation, signaling what Boaventura de Sousa Santos characterizes as “abyssal thinking”. The majority of migrants and displaced persons actually remain within their own countries or regions in Africa and Asi, thus we also seek understanding of the consequences of internal migration/displacement and “trapped migration” e.g. the Rohingya exodus, the Syrians, and Ukrainians.

A juxtaposition is the articulation of migrants’ agency, relating to their journey, drive to seek protection and regular status, and survival. Their agency is both strengthened and weakened by the use of technology and social media, modes of travel, smuggling and use of migration brokers, the migration industry (detention, biometrics, security), transnational remittances.

Finally, we consider the complex situation of the asylum bureaucracies; there are disagreements among and within Ministries of Justice, Immigration Boards, Immigration Judges and regular case workers as to the legality or morality of regulations and policy implementation. There are tensions regarding limited accountability of state and non-state actors acting in a official capacity as well as the negative and positive impact on the agency of migrants. Migrants have mixed experiences communicating with interpreters, police, caseworkers, and other actors.
The lack of an international refugee law court has resulted in a flood of cases being presented to human rights courts and committees at the universal and regional levels resulting in increased fragmentation without attaining normative clarity.
Period23 May 201825 May 2018
Event typeConference
LocationOslo, Norway
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Keywords

  • migration
  • border control
  • human trafficking
  • crime