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Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson
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.
Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson
Migration has been intensifying and diversifying since the 1990s. According to the United Nations International Migration Report, there were 244 million international migrants in 2015 – 10 per cent more than only five years earlier, in 2010 (international migrants are here defined as people living in a given country who are either foreign born or have foreign citizenship). Of these, more than two-thirds (71 per cent) lived in high-income countries, while the developing regions hosted 29 per cent of the world’s total international migrant population. Socio-economic transformations such as those induced and intensified by globalisation processes are usually drivers of increased international migration. They intensify grievances and opportunities that lead people to seek better living and working opportunities in distant lands while also facilitating transport and communication. This Handbook focuses on the dynamics that link migration and globalisation processes from economic, social, political and cultural perspectives, looking at the challenges that emerge for labour markets, welfare systems, families and cultures, and institutions and governance arrangements as well as norms. This introduction discusses in detail, and with reference to the relevant literature, the interconnection between migration and globalisation, and presents the structure of the Handbook.
We introduce our topic and provide an overview of the book. We posit a clear bias in U.S. immigration policy that favored entry from Europe and, notably, from Northern and Western European countries until the enactment of the Hart-Celler Act in 1968 (i.e., the Immigration Act of 1965). Only in recent decades have there been a significant increase in the number of annual immigrant arrivals and a considerable shift in the source countries and regions of immigrant arrivals to the U.S. towards Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean, and, to a lesser extent, Africa. We contend that many recent immigrant arrivals to the U.S. have entered a country that is quite culturally dissimilar from their countries of origin. However, through acculturation there has been a movement of U.S. culture away from that of the more traditional European immigrant source countries and towards the cultures of the more recent arrivals’ home countries.