Transnational abductions and transnational responsibilities? The politics of ‘protecting’ female Muslim refugees abducted from Spain
This paper proposes the importance of examining not only how and when diasporas are mobilized by political brokers, but also which members of diasporic populations are strategically engaged both according to their own characteristics (including their age) and the nature of their diasporic hosting context. It explores how Sahrawi refugee children and youth in the Algeria-based Sahrawi refugee camps, Cuba, Syria and in Spain have been mobilized by their political representatives (Polisario), asking why particular cohorts of youth have been actively encouraged to promote and protect ‘the Sahrawi cause’, while other members of the diaspora have not. Drawing on a framework that facilitates comparison both within and across cases, the paper argues that a combination of factors influence the extent to which the Polisario is able and interested in activating the support of Sahrawi children and youth, including the characteristics of the students themselves, their position within the respective host contexts, and the space and resources available to the Polisario/SADR in each location.