Perhaps the most common theme in our discussion has been the need to include children’s direct experience in efforts to gather evidence on child migration. Too often only the most shocking stories of migrating children come to our notice. Joselyn’s story is not sensational, but if you pay close attention you will pick up valuable insights into the challenges and risks that affect even the simplest aspects of her life: going to school, celebrating family milestones, making friends, loneliness.
Children left behind when parents migrate are often the forgotten face of the child migration story. Facing separation from one or both parents for years at a time they can be transferred from home to distant communities and back again. They may be able to benefit from extra wages sent home, but they face higher vulnerability to risk in all aspects of development.
Joselyn’s emotions spill over in this video, especially when she speaks about her father who is working in the United States. When she sat for the interview she was at home, with her mother, a local government social worker and other family members. She insisted on telling her story out of a desire to speak on behalf of many for other children like herself, in hopes of making things better for them.
Special Note: When children are involved in research, measures should be taken to ensure their rights are fully protected. For more details on ethical research involving children in humanitarian situations read our recent publication: What we know about ethical research involving children in humanitarian settings