Notions of Rights and Entitlements Among Peruvian Female Workers in Chile

by Claudia Mora (Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile) and Nicola Piper (Arnold Bergstraesser Institute at Freiburg University, Germany)

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Migration flows from Latin America to North America and Europe have been subject to much scholarly interest and its feminization has also been noted.  Yet intra-regional migration flows in its gendered form have been subject to relatively little research. In the case of Chile, the country was known for several decades mainly as a country of emigration. However, since the 1990s and the end of the dictatorship, there has been an increasing influx of migrants, especially Peruvians.  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.​
In this article we will discuss 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, we aim 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.  We conducted fifty in-depth interviews 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., & Piper, N. (2011). Notions of Rights and Entitlements Among Peruvian Female Workers in Chile. Diversities, 13(1), 5-18. Retrieved [todaysdate] from
Diversities • Volume 13, No. 1, 2011
Female Migration Outcomes: Human Rights Perspectives
Guest Editors: Nicola Piper and Amber French
ISSN-Print 2199-8108
ISSN-Internet 2199-8116