Migration and mobility

Children and young people relocate for a variety of reasons, sometimes along with their families and sometimes on their own. Children may move on their own for education, often when they start secondary education, where the school may be located at some distance from their home. Some children and young people go to live with relatives in town, while others, particularly in India, move to a residential hostel attached to a government school. This creates challenges for families when the children are no longer at home and able to help with certain tasks (such as help in the fields or around the house) or when they return home because they do not learn these skills in the hostel. And in places like Peru and Ethiopia, the relocation of children from poorer to better-off households (often from rural to urban areas) is a long-standing tradition in response to family crisis, parental death, acute poverty, and the desire for child companionship.

Migration also affects children if one of their parents moves, perhaps to work in the city or even to work abroad. If the children stay behind they can experience long periods of parental absence, but may also benefit from remittances sent home.

Latest research: Mobility and migration

Patterns and Drivers of Internal Migration
Patterns and Drivers of Internal Migration Among Youth in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam
Working paper
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Does Parental Migration Really Benefit Left-behind Children?
Journal Article
The Time and Place of Children’s Migration Aspirations in Peru
Journal Article
Child Work and Mobility
Book / chapter
Should Parents Work Away from or Close to Home?
Working paper
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Educational Aspirations, Social Mobility and Independent Child Migration among Populations Living in Poverty
Journal Article
Why does Child Trafficking Policy Need to be Reformed?
Journal Article
Youth Transitions through Education and Migration in Peru
Journal Article

Research Countries