Seminar Series Hilary 2013

International Migration and Human Rights: Critical Research and Policy Perspectives

Thursdays 14.00 - 15.30
Seminar Room, Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford

Convened by: Martin Ruhs, COMPAS and OUDCE, and Cathryn Costello, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford and COMPAS Associate

This seminar series questions the relationship between international migration and human rights commitments. Some migration issues are commonly framed in terms of human rights, such as the protection of refugees, family reunification and the protection of the victims of trafficking. Human rights norms and ideals are also frequently invoked to challenge states’ harsh treatment of migrants, in particular detention, albeit with limited success. Yet, in other contexts, state sovereignty appears to be given great sway, and the connections between international migration and human rights are less apparent.

The series aims to re-examine familiar issues in a new light, and open up new frontiers in the interaction between international migration and human rights.   The series will bring together speakers from a wide range of disciplines (law, politics, economics and sociology) working on the theoretical, normative and empirical dimensions of these issues.

The seminars will address the following (and many other!) questions:

How do human rights commitments constrain and shape states’ policies on different types of international migration? How do human rights commitments limit states’ border control prerogatives, the power to control entry and power to deport?
Why do so few countries ratify the UN’s 1990 Convention on the Rights of Migrant workers? What explains the large gap between the rights of migrants stipulated in international human rights law and the rights that most migrants experience in practice?
What are the pitfalls of human rights law and discourse for migrants? Do they serve to legitimate the status quo, masking injustice? Or do they present a transformative opportunity?
Is there a tension between nation states’ openness to labour immigration and the rights that migrant workers are granted after admission? If so, what are the implications for international and national policy debates about labour migration and migrant rights?
How is the notion of ‘being illegal’ to be reconciled with states’ duties to respect and protect the human rights of all on people on their territory?
Does human rights protection inevitably pit courts against democratic legislatures and governments jealous to maintain administrative discretion in immigration policy?   Are judges running amok in protecting migrants from removal? Or should they go further and develop a human right to regularisation? Should security of residence be recognised as a human right?


17 January

In Defense of the Migrant Workers Convention: Standard Setting for Contemporary Migration

Bernard Ryan, University of Kent

24 January

Trafficking and the protection of human rights. Full of sound and fury, but what does it signify?

Bridget Anderson, COMPAS, University of Oxford

31 January

Integrating the human rights of migrants into the global governance of migration: the 2013 High-Level Dialogue and beyond

Pia Oberoi, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

07 February

Border Regimes and Human Rights

David Miller, University of Oxford

14 February

Do Human Rights Treaties Help or Hurt Asylum-Seekers?: The U.K. Case

Stephen Meili, University of Minnesota

21 February

The Right to Work of Irregular Migrants

Virginia Mantouvalou, UCL

28 February

The Price of Rights. Labour immigration policy and the rights of migrant workers

Martin Ruhs, CONTED and COMPAS, University of Oxford

07 March

Security of Residence as a Human Right, or How Courts Should Regularise those Migrants Who are Here to Stay

Cathryn Costello, University of Oxford

Climate Migrants

Hilary 2022

Gender, Love and Migration

Michaelmas 2021

Special Guest Seminars

Trinity Term 2019

In Discussion with Gulwali Passarlay

MSc. Student-led Series

Four one-off seminars

Trinity Term 2018

Beyond Impact?

Hilary Term 2018

person finding a way out

Refugees and the Economy

Michaelmas Term 2017

Talking Oxford

Trinity Term 2017

Migration Research – where next?

Michaelmas Term 2016

Wellbeing and Migration in the UK

Michaelmas Term 2015

Arrival Cities

Michaelmas term 2014

Borders of the welfare state

Trinity term 2014

Boundaries of Freedom

Hilary term 2014

Rethinking Migration

Trinity term 2013

Migration Journeys

Seminar Series Michaelmas 2012

Everyday multiculturalism

Seminar Series Trinity 2012

Gender, Migration and Citizenship

Gender, Migration and Citizenship

Seminar Series Michaelmas 2009

Immigration and Low-wage Labour Markets

Immigration and Low-wage Labour Markets

Seminar Series Hilary Term 2009

Migration, Welfare and Inequalities

Migration, Welfare and Inequalities

Seminar Series Michaelmas Term 2008

Migration and Cultural Production

Migration and Cultural Production

Seminar Series Trinity Term 2008

Critical Epistemologies of Migration

Critical Epistemologies of Migration

Seminar Series Hilary Term 2008

New Trends in Contemporary Migration

New Trends in Contemporary Migration

Seminar Series Michaelmas Term 2007

Perspectives on African Migration

Perspectives on African Migration

Seminar Series Trinity Term 2007

States and Emigrants

States and Emigrants

Seminar Series Trinity Term 2006

Racism and the new immigration: theories and practices

Racism and the new immigration: theories and practices

Seminar Series Michaelmas Term 2005

The Anthropology of Migration and Multiculturalism

The Anthropology of Migration and Multiculturalism

Seminar Series Trinity Term 2005

Contemporary International Migration – Key Issues

Contemporary International Migration – Key Issues

Seminar Series Hilary Term 2005