Working Paper T29. Independent North-South Child Migration in Ghana: The Decision-Making Process.


This working paper explores the reasons for the phenomenon of independent child migration from the North to the South in Ghana, looking particularly at how the decision for the child to migrate is made, and who is involved in the process. Most of the findings of the research focus on what children themselves think and say about the decision-making processes and their experiences.

The working paper attempts to answer a number of questions, such as: What are the influences at play behind the decision for children to migrate from northern to southern Ghana? Who are the main players in the decision-making process? To what extent does the decision to migrate depend on the child? What role do parents and other relations play in the process? What resources are available to facilitate the migration? What are children's views on their migration experience?

The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 provides a historical overview of internal migration in Ghana, and Section 3 outlines the methodology used for data collection. The fourth section looks at the demographics and characteristics of the sampled child migrants. The fifth section constitutes the core of the paper by looking into the process of decision-making, and in particular into the reasons for migration and the main players in the decision making, as well as into the children's migration experience and the resources that are available to them to facilitate their own migration. Section 6 deals with the views of the child migrants on migration. Section 7 briefly discusses two important risks that are attached to North-South independent child migration in Ghana, namely, the means used for travelling and the abandonment of schooling. The final section concludes and provides some policy recommendations that build on the findings of this paper.


WP-T29, Sussex, UK, DRC on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, 38 pp.

Working Paper T29. Independent North-South Child Migration in Ghana: The Decision-Making Process.

Published 1 January 2009