Humanitarian Reason in the Shadows. Transit Migration Politics and Human Rights Defenders in Mexico

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Despite the high degree of complexity that marks the migratory flows transiting the country they have historically been perceived as labour and voluntary migrations and used in the production of “illegality”. “Illegality” demarcates and ‘invisibilises’ individuals eligible for protection. Incidents such as death, rape, kidnappings and other types of abuse faced by transit migratory flows across borders and Mexican territory have brought about a debate on protection through a resurgence in appeals based on human rights for migrants. Protection has still not been clearly delineated for the undocumented and seems to be eclipsed through the criminalisation of migration. These humanitarian appeals and other forms of emerging humanitarian aid dynamics are occurring outside the refugee protection regime. The purpose of this paper—based on extensive qualitative research in shelters in Mexico, inclusive of in-depth interviews with human rights defenders and migrants—is to delve into better understanding humanitarian reason within the context of transit migration politics. More generally I also seek to better understand the relationship between humanitarian reason and the undocumented migrant situation and its potential impact on the category ‘humanity’.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 31
Publication categoryResearch
EventNoLARNet Conference 2016: Latin America Research for a Troubled World - Grand hotel Terminus, Bergen, Norway
Duration: 2016 Aug 312016 Sep 2


ConferenceNoLARNet Conference 2016
Internet address

Total downloads

No data available