Externalising hostipitality : reflections on the creation of a “Welcome Centre” in Kabul

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Externalising hostipitality : reflections on the creation of a “Welcome Centre” in Kabul

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Title Externalising hostipitality : reflections on the creation of a “Welcome Centre” in Kabul
Author(s) Keshavarz, Mahmoud ; Jansson, Sofi
Date 2013
English abstract
The one who stands by the door might invite us to get in and take refuge, but also her or his appearance by the door declares that s/he owns the house and can reject or expel us at any moment. Today States do not stand only at their own made territories and borders to welcome or reject our call for refuge, but they have also gained the power to “welcome” us in the place from where we flee. If hospitality, or in fact “hostipitality” as Derrida would say, has become a challenge for the so-called hosting country, now the host has decided to externalize it, to remove it from its own territory and welcome rejected unaccompanied asylum seeking minors back in their own country – in this case Afghanistan. In this presentation we would like to discuss how the creation of a welcome center in Afghanistan becomes possible and acceptable. We argue that this is yet another attempt by the Swedish authorities to enable deportation of children in a “humanitarian” way and to reduce the number of unaccompanied minors in Sweden. In the early 2000s in Sweden, we were given a portrayed image of asylum seeking parents whom in order to get a residence permit and to avoid deportation “poisoned their children and faked a condition of apathy”. In 2011 we saw the Migration Board commissioning a special issue of Bamse, the famous children’s comic strip, to depict deportation as a good and happy ending of the story. From our experiences of meeting Afghan unaccompanied minors through our engagement in an asylum seekers’ rights activist group, we have also witnessed the use of age assessments by the Migration Board as a way of making minors “adult enough” for deportation. The image of apathetic children faking their condition, the use of Bamse, age assessments and welcome centers is all part of an apparatus where the Rights of the Child can be easily violated without violating them.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note Migration and displacement in and from Afghanistan, Stockholm University, Stockholm,Sweden, 20-21 September 2013
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/16117 (link to this page)
Link http://www.socant.su.se/english/about-us/events/migration-and-displacement-in-and-from-afghanistan-1.137924 (external link to related web page)

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