A living death: Zimbabwean migrants in the UK who are forced apart from their children

Madziva, Roda (2011) A living death: Zimbabwean migrants in the UK who are forced apart from their children. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.



This thesis is concerned with the lived experience of nineteen Zimbabwean migrants I interviewed in the UK who were forced apart from their children for a lengthy period of time by the UK immigration system. It explores the processes through which these migrants were rendered rightless in their country of birth where their government directly threatened their physical lives and how they were forced to migrate to the UK without their children in search of human rights and protection. However, upon arrival in the UK, these migrants' rightlessness was reinforced as the UK immigration and asylum law affords only the most minimal of rights to asylum seekers and other categories of forced migrants.

The thesis attempts to uncover the extent to which the Zimbabwean migrants were denied full access to human rights, especially the rights to legally remain, work and to be reunited with their children in the UK. It also seeks to show how, over a period of time, these migrant parents' selves fell apart; they lost total control of their own lives in the UK and witnessed the disintegration of the connections they had to their children, partners, parents, friends and other kin left behind. The thesis argues that to be afforded partial rights, that is, the right to continue to live and breathe (bare life) but not the right to legally belong and/or to exercise personal autonomy is to be condemned to a living death. By exploring the sufferings and dehumanization processes of the Zimbabwean migrants, the thesis seeks to reveal the gap between the UK's rhetorical commitments with regards to promoting and protecting human rights, and the actual practice of its immigration regime.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Becker, S.
O'Connell Davidson, J.N.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political refugees, Zimbabwe, parent and child, emigration and immigration, psychological aspects
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
ID Code:2893
Deposited By:Ms Valerie Airey
Deposited On:06 Nov 2012 09:40
Last Modified:06 Nov 2012 09:40

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