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Photo of Priscilla Solano. Private.

Priscilla Solano

Senior lecturer

Photo of Priscilla Solano. Private.

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


  • Priscilla Solano

Summary, in English

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’.


  • Sociology
  • Faculty Office

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Sociology

Conference name

NoLARNet Conference 2016

Conference date

2016-08-31 - 2016-09-02

Conference place

Bergen, Norway