Notions of Rights and Entitlements Among Peruvian Female Workers in Chile

Claudia Mora and Nicola Piper

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Migrants’ vulnerability and marginalization from mainstream society are enhanced by their labour conditions and by different forms of social stratification that capture and classify them in ways unfamiliar to them. These conditions, as well as their situation in the country of origin prior to emigration, also influence their sense of entitlement and their notion of rights. While most migrants consider they deserve to be treated with respect given ‘their human condition’, not all articulate an entitlement to human rights, and even fewer articulate an idea of rights beyond labour rights that they are (or think they are) not in a position to demand.

This article discusses the diverse notions of rights held by Peruvian migrants, linking their understanding and practice to a combination of the following factors: a) their social and cultural capital; b) the length of their stay in the host society; and c) their understanding of rights vis-à-vis their country of origin and destination. By addressing the literature on human rights and citizenship, it aims to develop a more comprehensive approach to migrants’ rights. This analysis is based on research carried out in Santiago de Chile between 2008 and 2009. Fifty in-depth interviews were conducted with Peruvian women workers and conducted a survey of the organizational landscape, interviewing key civil society informants.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Mora, C. and Piper, N. Notions of Rights and Entitlements Among Peruvian Female Workers in Chile. Diversities. 2011, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 9-18, UNESCO. ISSN 2079-6595.
www.unesco.org/shs/diversities/vol13/issue1/art1

About the authors:

Nicola Piper is Senior Research Fellow at the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut in Freiburg, Germany, formerly Associate Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research at Swansea University (UK). She has published extensively on gendered migration, migrant rights and global governance of migration. Among her latest publications are the edited volumes New Perspectives on Gender and Migration: Livelihoods, Rights, and Entitlements (Routledge, 2008), South-South Migration: Implications for Social Policy and Development (with Katja Hujo, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and the co-authored book Critical Perspectives on Global Governance: Rights and Regulation in Governing Regimes (with Jean Grugel, Routledge, 2007).
nicola.piper(at)politik.uni-freiburg.de

Claudia Mora holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and is currently a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile, where she conducts social research and teaching in gender and social stratification, migration, and globalization. Her latest projects have explored Latin American intraregional migration, specifically the labor market insertion of Peruvian migrants in Chile, social exclusion, and migrants’ citizenship.
cmora(at)uahurtado.cl

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