Emerging Scholars Colloquium with Salina Abji

March 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Location:A715 Loeb Building
Cost:Free
Audience:Anyone
Contact Email:soc-anthro@carleton.ca
Contact Phone:613-520-2582

Because Deportation is Violence Against Women!: Activism in Response to Precarious Migration and the Securitization of Women’s Shelters in Canada

In 2011, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued a national directive effectively allowing border guards to enter women’s shelters to investigate and deport “unauthorized” migrants. The policy was implemented despite significant protests from a national coalition of over 200 feminist and migrant rights organizations. In this presentation, I will share findings from my doctoral dissertation, where I analyzed the politics of state responsibility that are produced through such contestations over border enforcement within women’s shelters. State responsibility is a legal principle outlining the human rights obligations of states under international law, including women’s human rights to protection from gender-based violence. However, it is less clear to what extent a state’s obligations extend to women without legal status, who are not formally recognized by the state but who may nevertheless require access to shelter and support services. In my presentation, I’ll discuss two key framing strategies used by activists to prevent border authorities from entering women’s shelters, and the implications of these strategies for how we conceptualize gendered violence and women’s human rights. I’ll also present my analysis of the CBSA’s justification for entering women’s shelters, showing how the state’s use of securitized understandings of responsibility fundamentally undermine the human rights of all women in Canada, including those without status.