Category Archives: Developing Countries

New Article: The Economic Dimensions of Family Separation

New Article: Stephen Lee, The Economic Dimensions of Family Separation, 71 Duke L.J. 845 (2022). Abstract below:

Migrants in the United States experience varying degrees of harm related to family separation. This article focuses on the economic dimensions of these harms by focusing on transnational remittances, a topic that has generated significant scholarly attention. Within this story, remitters are pitched as heroes and remittances are held up as a critical, market-based solution for solving global poverty. Of course, this picture is incomplete. This account ignores remittance-sending countries and provides only a narrow account of law. This Article focuses on anti-money laundering policies, an important set of U.S. laws that regulate the remittance economy. Examining remittances from this perspective shows that anti-money laundering and antimigration policies form a joint project that regulates the relationship between migrants and their family members. While antimigration laws inhibit migrant mobility, anti-money laundering laws create uneven opportunities for transferring wage earnings to family members left behind on their journey. Recognizing the connection between these areas of the law leads to the Article’s broader contribution: identifying different ways that the law exacerbates or mitigates the economic harms related to family separation. Specifically, anti-money laundering policies help structure the conditions in which migrants engage in expression of affinity across borders, thereby showing the intertwined nature of economic and physical harms within transnational families.

New Book: “A War on Global Poverty: The Lost Promise of Redistribution and the Rise of Microcredit”

9780691206332New Book: Joanne Meyerowitz, A War on Global Poverty: The Lost Promise of Redistribution and the Rise of Microcredit (2021). Overview below:

A War on Global Poverty provides a fresh account of US involvement in campaigns to end global poverty in the 1970s and 1980s. From the decline of modernization programs to the rise of microcredit, Joanne Meyerowitz looks beyond familiar histories of development and explains why antipoverty programs increasingly focused on women as the deserving poor.

When the United States joined the war on global poverty, economists, policymakers, and activists asked how to change a world in which millions lived in need. Moved to the left by socialists, social democrats, and religious humanists, they rejected the notion that economic growth would trickle down to the poor, and they proposed programs to redress inequities between and within nations. In an emerging “women in development” movement, they positioned women as economic actors who could help lift families and nations out of destitution. In the more conservative 1980s, the war on global poverty turned decisively toward market-based projects in the private sector. Development experts and antipoverty advocates recast women as entrepreneurs and imagined microcredit—with its tiny loans—as a grassroots solution. Meyerowitz shows that at the very moment when the overextension of credit left poorer nations bankrupt, loans to impoverished women came to replace more ambitious proposals that aimed at redistribution.

Based on a wealth of sources, A War on Global Poverty looks at a critical transformation in antipoverty efforts in the late twentieth century and points to its legacies today.

News Coverage: Jobs, Houses and Cows: China’s Costly Drive to Erase Extreme Poverty

News Coverage: Keith Bradsher, Jobs, Houses and Cows: China’s Costly Drive to Erase Extreme Poverty, N.Y. Times, Dec. 31, 2020.

New Article: The New Migration Law: Migrants, Refugees and Citizens in an Anxious Age

New Article: Hiroshi Motomura, The New Migration Law: Migrants, Refugees and Citizens in an Anxious Age, 105 Cornell L. Rev. 457 (2020).

Once every generation or so, entire fields of law require a full reset. We need to rethink basic premises, ask new questions, and even recast the role of law itself. This moment has come for the law governing migration. Seasoned observers of immigration and refugee law have developed answers to core questions that emerged a generation ago. But their answers often fail to engage coherently with the daunting challenges posed by migration in this anxious age. To try to do better, I undertake four inquiries. In isolation they may seem familiar, but I combine them here in new ways to find a path forward.

News Coverage: The Rich Love India’s Lockdown. For the Poor It’s Another Story.

News Coverage: Ruchir Sharma, The Rich Love India’s Lockdown. For the Poor It’s Another Story, N.Y. Times (May 30, 2020).

News Coverage: Microloans, Seen as Salvation for Poor Women, Trap Many in Debt

News Coverage: Rana F. Sweis, Microloans, Seen as Salvation for Poor Women, Trap Many in Debt, N.Y. Times, Apr. 8, 2020.

New Blog Post: The hypocrisy of Trump’s immigration agenda is getting harder to ignore

New Blog Post:  

New Report: Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context

New report: Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context (September 2018).

Summary below:

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur examines the issue of the right to
housing for residents of informal settlements and the commitment made by States to
upgrade such settlements by 2030. Nearly one quarter of the world’s urban population
lives in informal settlements or encampments, most in developing countries but
increasingly also in the most affluent. Living conditions are shocking and intolerable.
Residents often live without water and sanitation, and are in constant fear of eviction.
Past approaches have been premised on the idea of eliminating “slums”, often
resorting to evictions and relocating residents to remote locations on the outskirts of
cities. The present report proposes a very different, rights-based approach that builds
upon informal settlement communities and their inherent capacities. It understands
informality as resulting from systemic exclusion and advances a set of
recommendations for supporting and enabling residents to become full participants in
upgrading. The recommendations have their basis in international human rights
obligations, particularly those flowing from the right to housing, and cover a number
of areas, including the right to participation, access to justice, international
cooperation and development assistance, environmental concerns, and business and
human rights.

The report reaches some simple but urgent conclusions: the scope and severity
of the living conditions in informal settlements make this one of the most pervasive
violations of human rights globally. The world has come to accept the unacceptable. It
is a human rights imperative that informal settlements be upgraded to meet basic
standards of human dignity. Recognizing this, and mobilizing all actors within a shared
human rights paradigm, can make the 2030 upgrading agenda achievable.

New Op-Ed: We Were Making Headway on Global Poverty. What’s About to Change?

New Op-Ed: Bill & Melinda Gates, We Were Making Headway on Global Poverty. What’s About to Change?, NYTimes.com, Sept. 22, 2018.

News Coverage: Trump poised to cut all US funding for key UN Palestinian refugee programme

News Coverage: Peter Beaumont & Oliver Holmes, Trump poised to cut all US funding for key UN Palestinian refugee program, TheGuardian.com, Aug. 31, 2018.