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The educational rights of asylum-seeking and refugee children within the neo-liberal state and inclusive schools in the UK

Arnot, Madeleine and Pinson, Halleli and Candappa, Mano (2013) The educational rights of asylum-seeking and refugee children within the neo-liberal state and inclusive schools in the UK. In: Human Rights in the Field of Comparative Education. Comparative and international education, 1 (1). Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Rotterdam, pp. 13-29. ISBN 9789462091504

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Abstract

In the age of globalisation states exercise their power through the control of their physical and material borders, which has implications for the symbolic spaces of citizenship and belonging. Those seeking asylum are trapped within such spaces, not able to traverse the borders of hospitality and membership. Asylum-seeking and refugee children are defined as ‘a migrant first and a child second’ yet, as children, they carry rights to education and protection under the 1989 UNCRC. In the context of neo-liberal economic policies which define those ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving’ (Sales 2002) of protection, educational institutions become one of the few sites promoting human rights and ‘personhood’. This paper indicates what happens when asylum-seeking and refugee children cross these territorial and symbolic borders into liberal democratic educational systems. It reports the findings of a recent study of the ethico-political conditions affecting asylum-seeking and refugee children in the UK, contrasting inhospitable immigration policies that deny these children’s human rights with inclusive schooling approaches (Pinson, Arnot and Candappa, 2010). Teachers’ responses to such hostile agendas by drawing on child-centred approaches or on more radical interventions on behalf of the refugee child challenge these government actions. The paper raises the question about how the tension between the strong and weak aspects of the neo-liberal state has considerable significance for these young people’s lives.

Item Type: Book Section
Controlled Keywords: Refugees & Asylum seekers; Human rights; Citizenship; Belonging; Inclusive schooling, Diversity, Schools and Teaching, Society
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 03:26
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:50
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