(No) migrating for family care in later life: Senchishak v Finland, older parents and family reunification

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This article discusses the implications of family reunification policies for naturalised citizens and their older parents (usually mothers) in light of the illuminating case Senchishak v Finland from the European Court of Human Rights. As migration by parents wishing to join their adult children is usually motivated at least in part by considerations of care in old age, policies in many European states, including Finland, put strict limits on family reunification on the assumption that such migrants constitute a future economic burden to ageing societies and their already stretched public services. This article argues, firstly, that current policies rely on generalisations that disregard the nature of parental ties and dependency in families as well as the complex caregiving triad involving families, markets and the state and, secondly, that these policies contain largely hidden yet significant costs for citizens of immigrant background, especially women, giving rise to questions over their equality as citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-372
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Migration and Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • family reunification
  • transnational care-giving
  • ageing
  • older migrants

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