Migration and mobility

Three in a horse-drawn cart

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

“A Stranger in All Places”; Patterns and Experiences of Children and Young People Moving From Their Home Communities in Ethiopia
Working paper
Front cover of Policy Brief 40 with image, title and text
“I Have a Plan to Go”: Why Children and Young People in Ethiopia Move Away From Home
Policy paper
Migration from rural to urban areas and vocabulary development cover
Migration from Rural to Urban Areas and Vocabulary Development
Journal Article
International Population study cover
Consequences of forced migration during early childhood on cognitive well-being in later childhood in Andhra Pradesh, India
Journal Article
Patterns and Drivers of Internal Migration
Patterns and Drivers of Internal Migration Among Youth in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam
Working paper
Image_Social Science and Medicine
Does Parental Migration Really Benefit Left-behind Children?
Journal Article
Migration: The Compas Anthology cover
Child Work and Mobility
Book / chapter
Educational Aspirations, Social Mobility and Independent Child Migration among Populations Living in Poverty
Journal Article

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