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Drawing of children

Children and Women Left Behind in Labour Sending Countries: an Appraisal of Social Risks

Author(s): R. Cortes

The present paper analyzes whether and how permanent international migration reduces or increases vulnerability and risk of children in left-behind households. It is based on secondary data sources regarding country evidence and case studies. It examines country reports from the UNICEF-UNDP initiative, and policy and academic literature on migration.

The research shows that migrant mothers' households differed from those with migrant fathers; the former relied more often on extended family members which took care of the left-behind children more often. In migrant households with migrant mothers, children were more often in charge of other family members rather than the father. The evidence on changes in traditional gender roles and women's empowerment is still limited for arriving to general conclusions; case studies in countries where women have limited access to work outside their homes show that migration by itself does not change prevailing power relations. But there are also examples of increased independence of these women.


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