Join our research community or add your papers and other resources to our database.
Start sharing

Drawing of children

Exploring children's experiences of migration: movement and family relationships

Author(s): A. Whitehead P. de Lima S. Punch

This briefing paper highlights the main themes emerging from a recent ESRC seminar to explore the ways that children’s migration impacts upon their family relationships and vice-versa, whilst also considering the similarities and differences in experiences of children from across the world. The briefing argues that the ways that child migrants are labelled in policy shape their experiences and can include or exclude children, and that differences in how childhood and young adulthood are defined, between origin and destination communities, can have implications for their support. Moreover, children can, and do, play a role in migration decision-making and are not passive victims of adults’ decisions. The briefing paper covers a range of issues, including the terminology surrounding child migration; complex concepts of ‘place’ as they relate to child migration; the importance of social networks; and the role of communications technologies in maintaining family relationships. The briefing paper concludes with reflections on the future research agenda in the area of child migration and family relationships.

Back to previous page

Document information

Author(s): A. Whitehead P. de Lima S. Punch


Centre for Research on Families and Relationships


July 2012

Main theme(s):

Children Left Behind Independent Child Migration Migration with Families

Sub-theme(s): Internal South - North South - South

Download file:

Click here

Keywords: Child mobility Children's Agency Decision-making Family Identity Policy discourse


Document Conference paper