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CES Dissertation Workshop

Family Passports: Migration and Child Trafficking in the 1920s


March 23, 2018
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Goldman Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
March 23, 2018
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Goldman Room, Adolphus Busch Hall

In the 1920s, the League of Nations promoted the standardization of passports. This paper will point out that the modern passport regime has not exempted children since its inception. At the same time, it has distinguished them from adults: children were not necessarily assured the right to hold a passport of their own; children could be included in the family passport of their parent, more exactly, that of their father. The system of family passports, however, remained not criticized for most of the 1920s, when various actors discussed the desirable role and format of passports and other travel documents. At that time, humanitarians often supported the mandatory use of travel documents that would safeguard women and children against human trafficking. This paper will suggest that the system of family passports seemed useful to them as they addressed child protection in the context of family assistance.

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