For centuries, Uganda’s north-eastern region of Karamoja has been inhabited primarily by pastoralists whose livelihood system is built upon protecting and providing for their livestock. Within this context, basic survival for many Karimojong households has historically meant regularly migrating with their cattle in response to changing climatic and geographic conditions. This study is rooted in the idea that child migration from Uganda’s Karamoja region to the country’s urban centres is part of a larger adaptive livelihood strategy employed by various Karimojong groups during intense periods of cultural and economic change and duress. 

As part of a broader effort to understand the nature and causes of child migration from Napak and Moroto districts, IOM conducted a survey of over 700 households in 2012 designed to: (a) measure the prevalence of outmigration and, specifically, the rural–urban outmigration of children; (b) identify the major push and pull factors contributing to child migration; and (c) provide insight into the perception of and attitudes towards child migration among vulnerable communities. The overall objective of the survey was to contribute to research on child migration from Napak and Moroto, with the specific goal of identifying potential areas of intervention. 

Table of contents: 
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Household Composition and Prevalence of Outmigration
  • Characteristics of Children Living Outside of the Household
  • Secondary Analysis: Household
  • Characteristics for Rural–Urban Migrant children
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendices: Survey Tools