Children as Individuals: Assessing Their Rights in the Context of Global Migrations

The central thesis of Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age argues an  interesting position. Rather than treating children as subservient dependents of  adult migrants, Jacqueline Bhabha makes a compelling case for examining them  individually. In many cases, their needs differ starkly from their parents’, and they are  especially susceptible to an entirely different collection of dangers. The text is  skillfully layered with a legal history of the field, and to maintain its accessibility, the  author takes pains to include anecdotes that illustrate “small,” day-to-day tragedies.  A particularly tragic example follows the travails of a Somali woman whose efforts to  bring her children to Ireland were obstructed by bureaucratic incompetence. Despite a pair of issues that surfaced infrequently—specifically, a rare reliance on oversimplified examples and an overreliance on Western policy—Child Migration is a  very accessible, well-grounded introduction to the hazards facing child migrants.

Andrew Burns
February 01, 2015

A Review of Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age by Jacqueline Bhabha (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), 392 pages