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The role of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) is not sufficiently studied in the dynamics of social movements nor are the actions of civil society organisations. Nevertheless, WHRDs of migrants in Mexico are essential in defence of human rights and in providing psycho-legal assistance, especially for the most unprotected populations, such as migrants in immigration detention and people who have been victims of crime in transit through Mexico. Moreover, WHRDs’ work contexts and activist trajectories are closely related to migration policies. Mexico has historically been a point of origin for migration to the United States. However, it has become a country of transit, return, and destination in the last 20 years. Therefore, there is a great diversity of origins and trajectories of WHRDs. We analyse the life trajectories of five migrant WHRDs to show how the process of becoming an activist and the distinct forms of activism in the migrant’s rights movement in Mexico are highly influenced by the growing criminalisation and restrictive immigration policies both in Mexico and the United States.



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