Independent child migration: mobilities and life course transitions

Thorsen, Dorte (2019) Independent child migration: mobilities and life course transitions. In: Bastia, Tanja and Skeldon, Ronald (eds.) Routledge handbook of migration and development. Routledge. ISBN 9781138244450 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Children’s independent migration in the global South has been linked with trafficking and harmful work since the millennium, prompting advocacy and development interventions concerning child protection. Without dismissing occurrences of exploitation and malpractice this chapter debunks some of the misconceptions surrounding adolescents’ labour migration. Drawing on qualitative studies in West Africa, the chapter provides evidence of how articulations of kinship and relatedness create opportunities to migrate and find work for rural adolescents, while also curbing their space to make independent decisions. Ideas about age- and gender appropriate work and needs for protection underpin the constraints that boys and girls experience respectively. However, the empirical material reveals that the permanence and depth of constraints depend on the socio-political constitution of the local labour market and on adolescents’ ability to navigate trans-local social relations. Through migration they negotiate a range of mobilities and transitions that contribute in different ways to social becoming. The chapter offers detailed insights into the ways in which intersecting mobilities shape adolescents’ lives to support their incorporation into a broader range of development initiatives, which are not premised on their rescue but on their roles as social and economic actors.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: child migration, gender, relatedness, development, trafficking, West Africa
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Migration Research
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0001 Geography (General) > G0149 Travel. Voyages and travels (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN370 Migrations of peoples (General)
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT0101 Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology > HT0201 City population including children in cities, immigration
Depositing User: Dorte Thorsen
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 13:10
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2019 13:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82536

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