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Bina D'Costa

Former Specialist (Former title)

Bina’s research interests span migration, children and conflict, gender, human rights and justice. She has undertaken studies on refugees, stateless communities and IDPs, and has provided inputs and technical advice to Human Rights bodies, UN agencies and NGOs. Most recently, she has served in UNICEF’s Rohingya Emergency Response Team in Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh. Her publications include books- Cascades of Violence: War, Crime and Peacebuilding Across South Asia (co-authored with John Braithwaite, ANU Press, 2018); Children and Violence: The Politics of Conflict in South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2016); Children and Global Conflict (co-authored with Kim Huynh and Katrina Lee-Koo, Cambridge University Press, 2015); Nationbuilding, Gender and War Crimes in South Asia (Routledge, 2011, 2013); Marginalistation and Impunity: Violence against Women and Girls in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTC and IWGIA, 2014, 2016); and Gender and the Global Politics of the Asia-Pacific (co-editor with Katrina Lee-Koo, Palgrave, 2010). Prior to joining UNICEF, she was an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs at the ANU. Bina has held visiting fellowships at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva (2012-14); the Refugee Studies Center, Oxford University (2011-12) and the Global Justice Center, New York (2008). Bina has also served as the Asia Rapporteur for the Asia-Europe 55 member states ASEM global meeting on Children and Human Rights in 2017.
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Current times are characterized by unprecedented migration levels: millions of people are on the move worldwide. Thus, understanding why people decide to migrate is a major goal of policymakers and international organizations, and migration has become a prominent issue on the global research agenda. Traditional migration drivers can be divided into reasons to leave (‘push’ factors) and reasons to migrate (‘pull’ factors), and include income deprivation, dissatisfaction with public services and institutions in the home country, conflict and war, climate change, and social networks abroad. In this paper, we focus our attention on children’s well-being as a potential migration driver. We investigate it by using the Gallup World Poll, a repeated cross-section dataset of a survey conducted in more than 150 countries from 2006 to 2016. We estimate the association between planned and intended migration and children’s perceived well-being using logit models with standardized coefficients, robust standard errors, and year and country fixed effects. Estimates reveal a positive and statistically significant association between child-related concerns, migration intent and plans. In particular, the probability of individuals having migration intent and plans increases where they report lower levels of satisfaction with child-related issues, as measured by the Youth Development Index, an index driven by indicators of respect for children and satisfaction with the education system. Moreover, children’s well-being affects more individuals living in households with children than those without. Finally, migration is a child- and youth-related phenomenon: young individuals would like to migrate, and plan to do so, more than older individuals.


Sara Burrone; Bina D'Costa; Goran Holmqvist

Drawing on Europe’s experience, this brief provides a cross-country comparative overview of inequality affecting children in the migration pathway, who are often described as 'children on the move'. Following a brief overview of the policy and practice in relation to various categories of refugee and migration children in Europe, it reflects on the performance of the countries with regard to Target 10.7 of the SDG.


Emilia Toczydlowska; Bina D'Costa


Gender Justice and (In)security in Pakistan and Afghanistan (2016)

Bina D'Costa
Postcolonial studies, 2016-12, vol. 19 (4), pp. 409-426 .


30.6 million new internal displacements in 2017, children are among the most vulnerable (17 May 2018)

This week, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) launched its 2018 Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID 2018), which pr ...

Children and migration decisions: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll (16 Nov 2017)

Migration is a major human phenomenon that has accompanied civilization since the origins of mankind. ...


The Role of Research on Migration: Insights on Migrants’ Experiences with Bina D'Costa

The Role of Research on Migration: Insights on Migrants’ Experiences with Bina D'Costa



Gender and Global Politics in the Asia-Pacific

Palgrave 2009


Children and Violence. Politics of conflict in South Asia

Cambridge University Press 2016

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