LAC Main Seminar Series: Citizenship inequalities and birth tourism industry in Latin America: the case of Brazil

Conveners: David Doyle and Felipe Krause, University of Oxford

Speaker: Svetlana Ruseishvili, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil


Migration policies worldwide are characterised by the securitisation of borders, the restriction of safe migration routes, and the erosion of international refugee protection regimes. In response, more individuals are considering acquiring additional citizenship as a form of insurance against potential political and economic instability in their home countries while also viewing it as a means to ensure greater freedom of international mobility.

Among the various methods of acquiring a second passport, birth tourism stands out as a distinctive practice. This involves pregnant women travelling to another country to give birth to their children, thus securing citizenship for them through the birthright principle of “right of soil” (jus soli). In recent years, Latin American countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile have emerged as popular destinations for transnational childbirth.

This presentation will showcase the findings of ongoing research on birth tourism of Russian women in Brazil and will explore the emerging migration industry that sustains this practice.

Keywords: birth tourism; strategic citizenship; inequalities; international mobility; Brazil


week 6 svetlana

Svetlana Ruseishvili is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil, and a visiting fellow at the Department of Sociology at LSE.

In Brazil, Svetlana holds the Sergio Vieira de Mello UNHCR Academic Chair for refugees and leads the InterMob, an interdisciplinary research group on mobilities and migration. She is also an Associate Editor of Contemporânea Journal of Sociology, a highly ranked Brazilian academic journal.

Her research focuses on migration and asylum policies, migrants’ incorporation in mid-sized cities, and strategic citizenship in Brazil and South America.