This paper arises out of preliminary findings from a set of research projects being carried out at the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty (Migration DRC) at Sussex University. This research examines children who migrate without their parents or guardians in developing country contexts, focusing mainly on children who migrate within a specific country or, if across borders, to neighbouring countries, which effectively comprise a linked labour market within a region. The projects, which are located in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, India and Ghana, are not designed as comparative case studies on a single template. Hence this paper gives an overview of analytical ideas and approaches which are adopted in only some of the work. The Migration DRC research seeks to understand the motivations and aspirations of child migrants, but this means going beyond the simple assertion that children have agency. In this paper we explore how children exercise agency within particular sets of social relations, notably those within the family. We also draw attention to limitations on children's exercise of agency.
Whitehead, A.; Iman M. Hashim; Iversen, V. Child migration, Child Agency and Intergenerational Relations in Africa and South Asia. (2005) 42 pp.