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Children on the move: Unsettling narratives of care, childhood, and migration "crisis"
Migration is increasingly treated as a political and existential crisis within "receiving" countries, a phenomenon linked to rising xenophobic nationalism and enhanced border securitisation. As a result, migration regimes often set limits on care entitlements and children experience processes of everyday bordering in their encounters with education, health, social care, and even humanitarian groups as they seek and provide care. In popular discourse and much academic scholarship, migration is treated more generally as a crisis for children, viewed as essentially traumatising because of assumptions that 'good childhoods' are sedentary periods of dependency on local kin. Yet, migration scholarship makes clear that mobility is a part of the human condition, and that it is the conditions under which such movement is controlled, disciplined, and framed that cause politicised precarity for forced migrants. Equally, some children's movements, particularly those involved in South-South migration, aren't recognised within crisis narratives and these silent stories are also of interest. In this project, we ask: How is care recognised, understood, constrained, fractured, and practiced in the context of a multiplicity of "migration crisis" narratives? How do diverse understandings of care and childhood come into contact, conflict with, and/or amplify each other and "migration crisis" narratives? What are the diverse and diffuse effects of the intersections of care, childhood, and "migration crisis" narratives for children living in migrancy in diverse global contexts? Funded by UCL Grand Challenges
1 Researchers
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
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