Bhabha, Jacqueline. Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2014).
The summer of 2014 saw an influx of the presence of central american unaccompanied children at the border between the United States and Mexico. With this the status of children’s rights and migrant’s rights began to grab attention on a global scale. As the rights of Latin American children continue to be challenged and processed through the United States Immigration Courts System, the intricacies of child migration are slowly coming to light. It is these intricacies Jacqueline Bhabha analyses in Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age.
In Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age, Bhabha provides an in depth look at the circumstances of child migrants in the 21st century. Bhabha looks through the lens of personal narrative, statistics and research to analyze the complex reasons for child migration and consequences for the high rate of child migration in the world today. In Part I, Bhabha looks at Family reunification as a motivator for child migration. She analyses the rights of children to be reunited with their families, the psychological strain there is on children of migrants and the policies and systems in place to help child migrants seeking family reunification. Part II looks at child migration through the lens of exploitation. In perhaps the most heartbreaking part of the book, Bhabha studies the rights of children being trafficked and the rights of children moved for war. Through personal narratives and data Bhabha suggests solutions to this problem is not merely fighting forms of prosecution but “child migrants need to be viewed as agents whose aspirations are relevant to institutional decision making.” (p.10) Part III looks at what happens after child migrants get to their destination and the “battle for refugee protection” in conjunction with the recent spike in child migration advocacy and litigation. Bhabha delves into the depths of the issues surrounding child migration, as well as provides insight into the global scale of child migration. Bhabha recognizes the hurdles to solving these issues as child migrants fall under international, and domestic law, as well as laws pertaining to migrant’s rights and children’s rights.
Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age successfully recounts the broad subject of child migration by covering the reasoning for migration and also the political, legal and psychological hurdles that come along with child migration. Although thorough, Bhabha does little to suggest practical and institutional solutions to the issues of child migrants. Additionally the solutions that are presented seem to be too grandiose to accomplish.
Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age aids with research into the current issues surrounding unaccompanied child migrants on the US-Mexico border, by giving context and information on the struggles of child migrants and the reaction of the political system at large to child migration. Bhabha helps in giving a look at the particulars of international law regarding children’s rights and migrant’s rights, as well as providing insight into the difficulties a migrant child may face.
Tags: Children, Children’s Rights, Migration, child migration, Family Reunification, Immigration, violation of human rights, immigration reform, 2000s