Children's Work and Independent Child Migration: A critical review
Innocenti Working Papers 2009-19
Date of Publication
IRC Stock Number
This review considers the evidence from child labour research that is relevant to understanding independent child migration for work. Three factors are relevant: first, migration for work is one of the many possible alternatives for child time allocation. The methodological and analytical tools used in the study of child labour are thus applicable to this study. Second,independent child migration for work will be reduced by factors that improve alternatives to migration. Child labour at home is one possible alternative to migrating. Thus, influences on child labour will affect independent child migration by altering the pressures that push children into migration. Third, the issues that arise in understanding why employers use children are also relevant to understanding what factors pull children into migration. In existing data resources, two methods are used to identify independent child migrants: the roster method and the fertility survey method. The roster approach identifies migrants by enumerating residents in sampled households. As such, it measures migrants in destination areas and misses children that are difficult to locate, especially those who migrate out of country. In the fertility survey method mothers account for the status of all of their children. This is useful for identifying origin areas for the migrants but is uninformative about the current condition of the child migrant. Stronger data collection efforts are necessary to better measure the extent of working independent child migrants and understand both the source and the living conditions of independent child migrants.
child trafficking /
unaccompanied children /