Dear ASAP Colleagues:
We are pleased to circulate this Call for Presentations at a Roundtable Session that is being proposed for ASAP sponsorship at the 2016 American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings in Minneapolis in November.
The focus of the proposed roundtable is The Role of the Migration Industry in Support, Protection and Re-Integration of Labor Migrants and Refugees. See the abstract below for further details.
Practitioners and academics with experience working in/with/for organizations of the migration industry are invited and encouraged to participate in the roundtable. Specific questions to be addressed at the roundtable are provided in the abstract although other questions are welcome.
If you are interested in presenting, please send your name, affiliation, current e-mail address and a brief statement (no more than 150 words) regarding the nature of the question or issue you would like to address at the roundtable to: Marietta Baba at [email protected]. The deadline for submission of your statement is April 14, 2016.
Marietta Baba and Carla Dahl-JØrgensen
Proposal for a Roundtable:
The Role of Migration Industry Actors in Support, Protection and Re-Integration of
Labor Migrants and Refugees
The current migration crisis in Europe has focused the world’s attention on the important role of actors in the migration industry, initially defined by Hernandez-Leon (2008:155) as “the ensemble of entrepreneurs who, motivated by the pursuit of financial gain, provide a variety of services facilitating human mobility across international borders”. Not all actors in this field however are motivated by profit; some pursue humanitarian goals related to migrants’ human rights (Sorensen and Gammeltoft-Hansen 2013) while others play an active role in the incorporation and integration of migrants in the host society and in helping the migrants in maintaining transnational ties with sending countries (Garapich 2008: 737).
Once obscure and somewhat shadowy, the migration industry has emerged into the center of attention in the maelstrom of events that are defining this era. Yet this industry remains understudied and poorly understood, as are its interactions with migrating peoples and States (e.g., see Castles, de Hass and Miller 2014). A focus on the migration industry reveals a complex interplay among its varied actors, including those that are legally incorporated, those that operate outside the rule of law, those that are private sector, public sector, civil society based, or faith based. It is often “more than difficult” (ibid:18) to distinguish among actors working legally or illegally in a given situation. Today, these varied actors interact with one another, with States, international agencies and migrating peoples to produce the flows of migrants and refugees that stream across borders with more or less regard for policy.
The complexity of migration industry operations and the opportunities for entrepreneurship of all types have created an unprecedented situation that mitigates the risk of migrating for some categories of labor migrants and refugees, but places others at greater risk of exploitation, resulting in an increasing number becoming victims of forced labor, especially women and children who are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
In accord with a humanitarian theme, we propose a roundtable for the open discussion and sharing of ideas related to the varied roles of migration industry actors in the protection, support and re-integration of labor migrants and refugees, including those who have been exploited through forced labor such as sex trafficking and prostitution. Practitioners and academics with experience working in/with/for organizations of the migration industry are invited to participate in the roundtable and to address one or more of the following questions, or to propose their own question(s) for discussion:
• What are (or should be) the role(s) of different migration industry actors in protection, support and re-integration of migrants or refugees?
• Under what conditions have actors in the migration industry offered services that are different to or even in contrast with the State? Are there circumstances in which such migration industry actions should be reconciled with or accommodated to those of the State?
• Provide recent examples or case studies of ways in which migration industry actor(s) were substantively involved in a programmatic or policy change at the local, regional, national or international level(s) that focus on the support, protection and/or re-integration of labor migrants or refugees. What strategies were engaged to facilitate the development and implementation of this program or policy?