The bureaucratic capture of child migrants: effects of in/visibility on children on the move

Rachel Humphris, Nando Sigona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


This article investigates the ‘bureaucratic capture’ of migrant children through three technologies of the state: labelling, data production and social services, illuminating the ways visibility and invisibility are constructed and managed in the context of restrictionist immigration regimes. Using the case of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, Roma children and undocumented children we examine how in/visibility is produced; for what purposes, and with what consequences. We demonstrate through the simultaneous broadcasting and disappearance of migrant children, bordering is reconstituted through various performances, rationalities and technologies of immigration governance. The article argues the notion of ‘best interests’ is drawn on when the state can define these interests in accordance with their political aims and resources. The set of cases taken together provide novel insights into how states reconcile conflicting logics and reveals how the implementation of the child rights regime prevents some children from actualising their rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1495-1514
Number of pages20
Issue number5
Early online date26 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • migration
  • in/visibility
  • borders
  • state theory
  • children


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