Here is the video of our 1 June 2020 webinar, “Migrant rights? From policies to politics in a post-Covid era“, hosted by the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) and featuring Don Flynn, Adam Hanieh, Heaven Crawley and Eleonore Kofman. Details below. We will publish texts of some of the talks and other posts relating to the event in this section of our website.
In the years around the turn of the millennium it seemed conceivable that a rights-based approach to immigration policy might be adopted by the leading liberal democracies. Initiatives promoted by the United Nations and the World Bank linked migration to development. An International Convention on the Rights of Migrants and their Families gained support among some governments and an annual Global Forum on Migration and Development brought the UN affiliated nations into discussions about the practical measures that might be taken to move in this direction.
The actual history of immigration policy, in the UK and elsewhere since this time has gone in a very different direction. Many of the pre-existing rights that assisted immigrants become established in new countries have been badly eroded, with the framework for policy having taken the track of ‘hostile environment’ in the UK and closure on asylum protection for refugees across the rest of Europe.
What lessons are to be learnt from the earlier failure to advance a rights-base for immigration policy? How will the current economic crisis impact on the rights of migrants? What might emerge for the rights agenda from the confused haze of Brexit and the Covid virus? Has public reaction to the hostile environment scandal opened up space for an intersectional mobilisation in support of the rights of migrants?
These and other questions are considered by a panel of discussants consisting of Don Flynn, Adam Hanieh, Heaven Crawley and Eleonore Kofman and co-chaired by Nira Yuval-Davis and Rachel Humphris.