Mich "Problematising the migrant-refugee distinction "

CHAIRE HOOVER Louvain-La-Neuve

06 décembre 2022

12h45 - 14h00

Zoom & D.305

Mardi intime de la Chaire Hoover par David Owen

Problematising the migrant-refugee distinction (co-authored with Natalia Cintra and Pia Riggirozzi)

Taking up the case of Venezuelan women migrants in South America, this paper focuses on elucidating the ethical problems raised by the refugee-migrant binary in terms of its conceptual form and practical import.


It identifies ways in which even the relatively wide construal of refugeehood in the Cartagena Declaration and even the relatively open character of the region to forced movement do not adequately address the case of Venezuelan women fleeing, for example, the collapse of maternal health systems at either a conceptual or practical level. To address this problem, we argue for the pertinence of Aleinikof and Zamore’s advocacy of a protection regime framed in terms of the concept of the necessary fleer, but we re-articulate the normative grounding of this figure in terms of a commitment to dignity in ways that are consequential for how we understand the concept and its practical implications.