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Why human rights fail to protect undocumented migrants

Noll, Gregor LU (2010) In European Journal of Migration and Law 12(2). p.241-272
Abstract
In this article, I depart from the factual difficulties of undocumented migrants to access a state’s protection mechanisms for avowedly universal human rights. I relate this aporia to two competing conceptions of territorial jurisdictions. Drawing on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Migrant Workers Convention, I separate the sphere of the political community (the polis) and that of the household (the oikos) in developing a political theory of undocumented migration. It rests two central tenets: one is a tributary transaction between sending state and host state, in the course of which the undocumented migrant worker is offered without conditions attaching, yet with the hope of remittances flowing in return. This offering... (More)
In this article, I depart from the factual difficulties of undocumented migrants to access a state’s protection mechanisms for avowedly universal human rights. I relate this aporia to two competing conceptions of territorial jurisdictions. Drawing on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Migrant Workers Convention, I separate the sphere of the political community (the polis) and that of the household (the oikos) in developing a political theory of undocumented migration. It rests two central tenets: one is a tributary transaction between sending state and host state, in the course of which the undocumented migrant worker is offered without conditions attaching, yet with the hope of remittances flowing in return. This offering relates to the oikos, which makes available a limited degree of protection under labour law. The second is a contractual form of submission by the undocumented migrant worker, which is structurally analogous to the master-slave relationship developed in Hobbes’ defense of war slavery. This is related to the polis, which denies all meaningful political activity to the undocumented migrant (as reflected in the denied right to found labour unions). Finally, drawing on Werner Hamacher’s work, I analyse how human rights are intrinsically related to a position of privacy, which escalates into a form of isolation under the structures producing undocumented migrants. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
slavery, undocumented migrants, international law, human rights, folkrätt, public international law, undocumented migrant, mänskliga rättigheter, polis, oikos
in
European Journal of Migration and Law
volume
12
issue
2
pages
241 - 272
publisher
Brill Academic Publishers
external identifiers
  • wos:000277062100006
  • scopus:77956384014
ISSN
1388-364X
DOI
10.1163/157181610X496894
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f4669128-9048-4819-8bdf-1933fa8d767d (old id 1545462)
date added to LUP
2010-02-17 16:54:48
date last changed
2018-06-17 03:15:44
@article{f4669128-9048-4819-8bdf-1933fa8d767d,
  abstract     = {In this article, I depart from the factual difficulties of undocumented migrants to access a state’s protection mechanisms for avowedly universal human rights. I relate this aporia to two competing conceptions of territorial jurisdictions. Drawing on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Migrant Workers Convention, I separate the sphere of the political community (the polis) and that of the household (the oikos) in developing a political theory of undocumented migration. It rests two central tenets: one is a tributary transaction between sending state and host state, in the course of which the undocumented migrant worker is offered without conditions attaching, yet with the hope of remittances flowing in return. This offering relates to the oikos, which makes available a limited degree of protection under labour law. The second is a contractual form of submission by the undocumented migrant worker, which is structurally analogous to the master-slave relationship developed in Hobbes’ defense of war slavery. This is related to the polis, which denies all meaningful political activity to the undocumented migrant (as reflected in the denied right to found labour unions). Finally, drawing on Werner Hamacher’s work, I analyse how human rights are intrinsically related to a position of privacy, which escalates into a form of isolation under the structures producing undocumented migrants.},
  author       = {Noll, Gregor},
  issn         = {1388-364X},
  keyword      = {slavery,undocumented migrants,international law,human rights,folkrätt,public international law,undocumented migrant,mänskliga rättigheter,polis,oikos},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {241--272},
  publisher    = {Brill Academic Publishers},
  series       = {European Journal of Migration and Law},
  title        = {Why human rights fail to protect undocumented migrants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/157181610X496894},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2010},
}