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Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson

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Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson

In this introductory chapter we identify themes that will be carried throughout the book. We begin in section 2 with a discussion of the human rights challenges presented by children on the move, posing questions that our contributors will address as they build on the themes we identify. This is followed by an examination of obstacles that have been created to recognizing child migrants as rights bearers. After setting out in section 4 a brief outline of the book’s structure, the chapter concludes with some comments on global initiatives that have been made to address the challenges associated with mass migration, on the one hand, and of forced movement of refugees, on the other. We will argue that the uncertainty and risks facing the world in the new millennium certainly constitute problems – but they also offer opportunities for positive change. Four foundational principles inform our discussion of how states should respond to children on the move. The first is that childhood is unique in that the status of being a child is transitory and (absent disabilities) the capacities of children evolve as children age. Second, it follows that children require special protection and assistance, most particularly in their younger and adolescent years, if they are to develop and thrive. The third point is that procedural accommodations should be made for children in recognition of the physical and cognitive stages of their development. The fourth and final principle both flows from and unites the three that precede it. It is that the treatment of child migrants matters because it has long-term consequences – both for the children themselves and for their host communities.

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Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson

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Robin Wilson

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Robin Wilson

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Jacqueline Bhabha

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Benoît Mayer and François Crépeau

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Saskia Sassen

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Natalia Ribas-Mateos

This chapter examines the tangled question of continuity and change from the point of view of the observance of mobility. The diverse changes in Mediterranean mobility since the upheavals of January 2011 constitute a topic worthy of particular attention. However, an effort has to be made to comprehend the transformed understandings of continuity and change, which are sometimes found in sharp opposition to each other but which also find connections and relations between each other. This work brings at least five different questions together in dialogue: (1) the use of categories. Can the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘irregular migrant’ continue to be used as they were in the past? Globalization studies have suggested new challenges regarding the blurring of such categories. Agamben (1995) has also worked on differentiating the classic idea of the refugee from the question of human rights; (2) forms of continuity. Authors like de Hass and Sigona (2012) talk about a continuity: ‘it is rather unlikely that the revolutions will dramatically change long-term migration patterns’; (3) challenging borders. Authors working on EU borders have identified a rupture in how the Arab Spring has forced the regulation parameters of the EU’s internal borders to change (see, for example, the various programmes in Italy after the Tunisian upheaval); (4) forms of cross-border circulation. Authors working on the Syrian humanitarian crisis have shown how cross-border circulation enhances new humanitarian structure models, especially concerning Turkish borders; and (5) re-scaling. Do cities like Istanbul conform to the kaleidoscope of these post-2011 changes and continuities?
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Vincent Chetail