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Human Rights and (Im)mobility: Migrants and the State in Thailand


Migration and human rights stand in ambiguous relation to each other. Different, at time contradictory, conceptions of human rights in the context of migrant labour in Thailand reveal the paradoxical role of the state and the law in the protection of migrants’ rights. The state is held accountable for the protection of the human rights of migrants residing in its territory, even as it at the same time creates the conditions that may result in those migrants’ exclusion from protection. Examination of this exclusion in the particular case of Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand and their efforts to enact what Hannah Arendt called “the right to have rights” reveals the chaos of human rights praxis in everyday migrant life.

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