New Publication: how migrants use social media to raise human-rights claims

Jolt ESR Sara Creta has published a research article in the journal Media, War & Conflict. The article, “I hope, one day, I will have the right to speak”, examines how migrants used the official Facebook page of UNHCR Libya to protest their conditions and raise human-rights claims. Media, War & Conflict is an international, peer-reviewed journal that explores cultural, political and technological transformations in media-military relations, journalistic practices, new media, the arts, and their impact on publics, policy, and outcomes of conflict and warfare.

Sara’s research is situated at the intersection of digital migration studies, social movement studies and critical citizenship studies. It explores how people on the move (migrants, refugees) in Libya use digital media to raise rights violations and to challenge European Union (EU) polices and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) practices. To examine how digital media provide a ‘space of appearance’ for people on the move in Libya, her study presents a qualitative thematic analysis of 49 posts and 986 comments published on the official Facebook page of UNHCR Libya between January 2018 and January 2019. Major themes include criticisms of UNHCR services and EU policies as well as the raising of human rights issues surrounding detention and evacuation.

The findings contribute to a deeper understanding of how digital media enable people on the move to raise rights claims, contest official narratives and become active narrators of their individual struggles with the system of control and exclusion that is so deeply embedded in the discourse of securitized humanitarian care at Europe’s border. At the same time, it highlights how issues of digital access and communicative capacity influence visibility and self-expression in the digital space of appearances.

Media, War & Conflict is an international, peer-reviewed journal that explores cultural, political and technological transformations in media-military relations, journalistic practices, new media, the arts, and their impact on publics, policy, and outcomes of conflict and warfare.

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Funding

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This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska Curie grant agreement No 765140