IES Migrations Series: Family Separation Lessons from Europe's Past
From Pamela Hunsinger
Europe has a long history of family separation, which includes both violent immigration control and advocacy against these discriminatory practices. In this panel, scholars who have researched abusive procedures in gendered immigration control in Britain, Germany, Netherlands, and the lands of the Ottoman Empire presented their studies. Building on her previous work on the British visa officials in London and the Indian subcontinent, as well as her vigorous campaign against such practices, Jacqueline Bhabha (JD, MSc, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of Research at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights), delivered her paper “Lessons learnt, forgotten or ignored? Family Separation in Europe and Beyond.” In her talk “Family Separation as a Tool for Genocide: A Look at the 1915 Ottoman Armenian Case,”
Lerna Ekmekçioğlu (McMillan-Stewart Associate Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) analyzed the context and consequences of the Ottoman government’s gendered and familial policies during the process of ‘undoing the Armenian family.’ Finally, in her paper “The Trauma of Family Reunification: Hidden Jewish Children in Holland after World War II.” Diane L. Wolf (Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis) focused on the trauma experienced by many hidden children after the war, and how their trauma coalesced around family reunification.