This paper explores the experiences of children who migrate without their parents or guardians in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ghana and India. It first argues that in contrast to the manner in which much independent child migration is often assumed to entail a rupture in family relations, this has to be established and cannot be assumed. The discussion in section 3 points to four main thematic areas that are then taken up in the rest of the paper. Section 4 presents evidence on the intra-household negotiations that precede migration. It illustrates the bargaining strategies that prospective migrants deploy vis-à-vis their parents and looks at the factors that parents and children take into account. Section 5 explores the diverse ways in which education is implicated in the inter-generational contract and is linked to child migration. Section 6 looks at the maintenance of the inter-generational contract in the context of child migration, while Section 7 is a culminating discussion that looks at constraints on the child's exercise of agency in relation to migration.
Working Paper WP-T24, Sussex, UK, DRC on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, 46 pp.