20 oct 2015
The migration of children in ACP countries: Of their own free will or involuntary?
Child migration is a complex phenomenon, which remains widely discussed among researchers and policymakers. The diversity of scenarios in which children are affected by migration hampers decision-making and affects the protection of children rights.
Children are frequently considered as vulnerable migrants, who are rarely involved in decisions taken for them and are often exposed to exploitation or abuse during the migration process. This background note highlights that, although this does occur, children can also be the actors of their migration experience, which can lead to significant improvements in terms of educational, health and employment opportunities. Children migration is not, therefore, necessarily a negative experience.
This background note considers the dynamics of child migration and the impacts it can have both on children migrating alone and with their families, as well as on those who remain in the country of origin, those born in the country of destination and those who return to their country of origin. Distinct experiences arise from these categories, which imply varying policy responses.