Migration and Children
This paper provides a general overview of migration patterns in Latin America by focusing on the role of remittances on child wellbeing. The paper primarily looks at migration in terms of destinations and reasons to undertake migration. It suggests that migration in Latin America and the Caribbean is mainly driven by economic and political reasons and can be classified into three major categories: internal migration, intra-regional migration that takes place within the regions bordering with Argentina, Venezuela and Costa Rica - these being the main destination areas, and international migration. Considering the impact of remittances on human development, the paper argues that remittances constitute an increasingly important source of external financing in Latin America and the Caribbean, with growing economic and social impact at the national, community and family levels. For children, remittances can provide greater educational opportunities. However, the absence of parent(s) effectively increases the probability that children will not receive adequate care and protection. Moreover, it can also imply the loss of important role models, which can have a significant psycho-social impact often leading to feelings of abandonment, vulnerability and loss of self-esteem. The paper concludes that in the short term, it is necessary to improve migration policies and mechanisms in order to effectively protect the rights of migrants and their families. However, a more sustainable approach must address the underlying social and economic inequalities that force people to migrate in search of better opportunities.