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Embodied Borders: The Ethical Dilemmas of Alternatives to Immigration Detention

Embodied Borders: The Ethical Dilemmas of Alternatives to Immigration Detention
15 Devonshire Place, Larkin Building room 200
Time: Apr 24th, 12:00 pm End: Apr 24th, 2:00 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, South Asian, Sociology (FAS), Political Science, Ethics, Diaspora/Transnational, Canada, Anthropology (FAS), 2000-
Ethics at Noon seminar with Robyn Sampson, Swinburne Institute, Australia

Ethics at Noon with Robyn Sampson

“Embodied Borders: The Ethical Dilemmas of Alternatives to Immigration Detention”

Abstract: This paper will analyse subtle yet significant developments in state bordering practices identified during work into alternatives to immigration detention and consider the ethical implications of these developments. Robyn draws attention to an emerging practice in Australia, Belgium and Hong Kong in which immigration detention is no longer solely a site of confinement but is also interpreted as a legal status which permits the individual migrant to reside in the community with freedom of movement while a migration issue is resolved. Through this status, she argue, individuals carry the border with them into the community of the nation. Sampson proposes the term embodied borders to encapsulate this (re)location of the border on to the bodies of migrants who are physically present but legally absent from the territory. She contends that the regulated use of this official non-presence highlights a departure from the traditional territory-sovereignty nexus. Further, such bordering policies, while exclusionary, do not result in a homogenous form of exception produced by sovereign authority alone. Rather, bordering involves dynamic and responsive forms of differentiation being lawfully produced and enacted in specific contexts by multiple actors. Such developments introduce new ethical dilemmas in the area of migration.
Dr Robyn Sampson is a Research Fellow at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research in Melbourne, Australia. Dr Sampson has a long-standing interest in issues of migration management, border control and forced migration. She is most well known for her research on alternatives to immigration detention, which was conducted in collaboration with the International Detention Coalition. That research has now been presented to over 50 countries and used by several governments, including Japan, Thailand, the Netherlands, Mexico and the United States, to develop alternatives to detention in their context. She has previously conducted research on the settlement of refugee youth in Australia, the impacts of long-term immigration detention post-release, and the deportation of refused asylum seekers who are seriously ill. Dr Sampson holds a PhD in Politics from La Trobe University.
Friday April 24, 2015
12 noon – 2:00 pm
Room 200, Larkin Building
15 Devonshire Place
Centre for Ethics
University of Toronto
6 Hoskin Avenue
Toronto, Ontario  M5S 1H8
T: 416-978-6288
F: 416-946-8069
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