Working Paper T16. The Positives and Negatives of Children's Independent Migration: Assessing the Evidence and the Debates.
This paper is based on work on child migration in NE Ghana. The paper looks broadly at the positives and negatives of children's experiences of migration. It focuses on the dangers and pitfalls that independent child migrants reported, along with the perceived benefits and opportunities. The paper goes on to assess the manner in which independent child migrants are positioned in social policy and legal discourse, in light of children's own evaluations of their experiences, and argues that the two primary categories utilised in considering children's independent movement - fostering and trafficking - are not helpful in assessing the extent to which children are vulnerable, since these vulnerabilities emerge from the inherent insecurities, risks and dangers attached to the process of migration itself. In contrast the paper argues that, when assessing the costs and benefits of migration, it is important to listen to and take into account children's own perspectives, but that in doing so consideration needs to be given to the broader context of the children's situations that place constraints, at many different levels, on children's choices.
WP-T16, Sussex, UK, DRC on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, 35 pp.