Bare Life of Unaccompanied Children: A Critique on the Human Rights State-Centrism and the Right to Asylum in Sweden
Abstract: The question of asylum seekers and refugee rights is one of the main examples which reveals the paradox of the citizen rights and human rights. This thesis aims to analyse the U-turn asylum policy of Sweden regarding unaccompanied minors from a critical perspective in this regard. Generally, studies in the area of asylum policies are mostly concerned about technical issues and the application of normative existing human rights norms and concepts such as Refugee Convention, UNHCR guidelines, the best interests of the child, etc. However, in this research, by application of “What is the Problem Represented to be?” to the policy (including the temporary amendment to Sweden’s Alien Act, its procedures and practices), I try to extract assumptions and problematic issues of the policy. Then, based on the Hanna Arendt’s and Giorgio Agamben’s analysis and critique on human rights, I discuss the policy, its practice and the role of the state as the sovereign which creates by its very nature the state of exception.The results of the analysis suggest that the unaccompanied children as a group of asylum seekers are reduced and put by the U-turn policy and practices to their bare lives and the zone of indistinction. According to this, in conclusion, I provide some remarks on the issue and possibilities that this understanding of the issue would provide for changes.
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