Impact of labour migration on children that are left behind.

 

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Original query:

English

Original Query: Ilhom Akobirshoev, UNICEF - Tajikistan

The UNICEF Tajikistan Office is planning to commission a thematic study on the impact of labour migration on children that are left behind. The study is expected to build on the existing studies as well as surveys of the target groups and fill the gaps about children's experiences of the impact of labour migration on different aspects of the their well-being (e.g. access to health and education, child labour exploitation, vulnerability to abuse, human trafficking, prostitution, delinquency, suicide and depression, etc) as well as short and long-term consequences for children’s transition to adulthood and their future socioeconomic attainment.

I would appreciate if you could let me know of your experience with this topic, if such thematic study has been carried out in your respective country offices, and will appreciate receiving reports and contacts for consultant institutions that were involved in such studies.  

Français

Question originale: Ilhom Akobirshoev, UNICEF - Tadjikistan

Le bureau de l’UNICEF au Tadjikistan prévoit de commander une étude thématique sur l’impact de la migration de main-d’œuvre sur les enfants laissés au pays. L’étude doit s’appuyer sur les études existantes et sur des enquêtes effectuées sur les groupes cibles, et combler les lacunes au niveau de l’impact de la migration de main-d’œuvre sur les divers aspects du bien-être des enfants (à savoir, accès à la santé et à l’éducation, exploitation du travail des enfants, vulnérabilité aux abus, traite des êtres humains, prostitution, délinquance, suicide et dépression, etc.) ainsi que des conséquences à court et long terme sur la transition des enfants vers l’âge adulte et leurs réalisations socioéconomiques futures.

Je vous serais obligé de bien vouloir me faire part de votre expérience en la matière, si de telles études thématiques ont été menées à bien dans vos bureaux de pays respectifs, et vous serais gré de bien vouloir me faire parvenir des rapports ainsi que des contacts dans les institutions consultatives qui ont participé à de telles études.

 

Responses received:

Responses were received, with thanks, from:

1.          Seung Bok Lee and Rhea Saab, UNICEF, USA

2.          Xiulan Zhang, School of Social Development and Public Policy Beijing Normal University, China

3.          Christian Skoog, UNICEF, Mauritania

4.          Seung Bok Lee and Rhea Saab, UNICEF, USA

5.          Dejana Popic, UNICEF, Nepal

6.          Tom Olsen, UNICEF, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

7.          Sonia Gill, UNDP, Jamaica

8.          IOM, Tajikistan

9.          Mai Dizon-Añonuevo, Atikha, Philippines

10.      Shyama Salgado, ILO, Sri Lanka

11.      Nisha Arunatilake, Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka

12.      Margaret Walton-Roberts, International Migration Research Centre, Canada

13.      Peter Beat Gross, UNICEF, Botswana

14.      Cezar Gavriliuc, Child Rights Information Center, Moldova

15.      Alexandra Yuster, UNICEF, Moldova

16.      Dina Sava, Second Breath/HelpAge International, Moldova

17.      Cezar Gavriliuc, Child Rights Information Center, Moldova

18.      Federica Marengo, Association ALC, France

19.      Rossella Celmi, IOM, Italy

20.      Dr. Titilola Banjoko, Africarecruit/Findajobinafrica.com, UK

21.      Shyama Salgado, ILO, Sri Lanka

22.      Ding Bagasao, ERCOF, Philippines

23.      Isaac Ampofo, Richbone Initiative Foundation, Ghana

24.      Andrew Samuel, Community Development Services, Sri Lanka

25.      Shyama Salgado, ILO, Sri Lanka

 

Summary of responses:

Summary of Responses: Français > 

The psychological repercussions of being left behind have clear and grave consequences on the children of labour migrants.  Vulnerability to exploitation, (sexual) abuse, child labour, trafficking, depression, decreased performance in school, dropping out of school and behavioural problems are only a few outcomes.  It is important to focus on these because to some, according to the 2008 UNICEF report entitled “The Impact of Parental Deprivation on the Development of Children Left Behind by Moldovan Migrants”, it is still a prevalent view that remittance flows from parents automatically lead to improvements in family wellbeing.  This is not always the case.  Although labour migration can lead to improved chances of survival and poverty alleviation and altogether economic advantages compared to others (Children and International Migration, 2008 Bryant and Impact of migration in the Caribbean and Central America, 2006 UNICEF), the 2008 UNICEF report concluded that there is an urgent need for local stakeholders (in this case in Moldova) to develop their capacity to address more comprehensively the non-economic needs of children who are deprived of parental care.  UNICEF came to the same conclusion in its 2006 report on the impact of migration in the Caribbean and Central America stating that human development policies must be adjusted to the reality of migration and should improve the links between economic development strategies (often seeking to maximize remittances) and social development to offset the negative impact of migration.

In order to offset these outcomes, several best practices have been demonstrated thanks to our responses.  Initiatives taken by the Atikha, an NGO in the Philippines, and the EU-UN JMDI worked on developing modules on value formation, information and capacity building for children of overseas Filipino workers as well as creating teacher training and school based programmes addressing the social cost of migration.  IOM Italy is also working hand-in-hand with local authorities in Ukraine, thanks to the Italian-Ukrainian Observatory, to develop psychological and educational training for teachers in Ukraine.  Due to the likeliness of children left behind in Sri Lanka to take part in child labour, the ILO has created a tool for teacher training on child labour.  This is part of ILO’s IPEC (International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour) initiative and includes teachers’ identification of vulnerable children.  This teacher training is summarised in a manual, which is translated into local languages in order to ensure clarity of instruction.  The ILO-Turin Centre is a good point of contact for more information on this initiative. 

The feminization of migration, that is, the phenomenon that more women than men are migrating (for example, 65% of migrant workers originating from the Philippines are females according to a study done by IOM Indonesia entitled “Malaysia-Philippines remittance order”) has lead to initiatives which link the mothers’ experiences abroad with the counteracting of negative consequences on their children’s development.  For example, Atikha, conducted a study funded by the Canada Fund-Gender Equality Fund on the feminization of migration and impact on the children left behind.  The results can be found in a 2002 published book called “Women Migration and Reintegration”.  IOM Italy is working on a project to reduce the distance between Ukrainian mothers and their children by training mothers to use IT communication tools such as Skype. 

The JMDI and CRIC Moldova have created a leaflet for migrant parents and migrant-children left behind called “My child is home alone”.  The leaflet, distributed in France in French, Romanian and Bulgarian gives practical advice to parents on how to offset negative effects of their leaving.  It discusses how to approach departure, how to regularly keep in touch with children, remittances, the relationship between parents and the child’s caretaker, etc.

 


 

Français

 Résumé des réponses:

Les enfants des travailleurs migrants laissés au pays subissent des répercussions psychologiques évidentes et graves en raison de leur situation. Ils sont entre autres exposés à la vulnérabilité  à l’exploitation, aux abus (sexuels), au travail, à la traite, à la dépression, à la chute des performances scolaires, à l’abandon scolaire et à des problèmes comportementaux. Il est important de se pencher sur ces questions, car, selon le rapport de l’UNICEF « L’impact de la privation parentale sur le développement des enfants laissés au pays par les migrants moldoves », il est toujours largement considéré que les flux de transferts de fonds émanant des parents mènent automatiquement à des améliorations du bien-être de la famille. Or, cela n’est pas toujours le cas. Bien que la migration de main-d’œuvre puisse en effet amener à une amélioration des chances de survie et à l’atténuation de la pauvreté, et, au final, à des avantages économiques par rapport aux autres (Les enfants et la migration internationale, 2008 Bryant et Impact de la migration dans les Caraïbes et l’Amérique centrale, 2006, UNICEF), le rapport 2008 de l’UNICEF a estimé urgent que les parties prenantes locales (en l’occurrence en Moldova) renforcent leurs capacités à faire face de manière plus complète aux besoins non-économiques des enfants qui sont privés de soins parentaux. L’UNICEF est arrivé à la même conclusion dans son rapport de 2006 sur l’impact de la migration dans les Caraïbes et en Amérique centrale, indiquant que les politiques en matière de développement humain doivent être adaptées à la réalité de la migration, et améliorer les liens entre les stratégies de développement économique (visant souvent à maximiser les transferts de fonds) et de développement social, pour contrebalancer l’impact négatif de la migration.

Plusieurs meilleures pratiques visant à contrebalancer cette situation ont été mises à jour dans les réponses que nous avons reçues. Les initiatives prises par l’Atikha, une ONG des Philippines, et l’Initiative conjointe Commission européenne-Nations Unies pour le développement et la migration (ICDM), ont visé à élaborer des modules sur la formation de valeur, l’information et le renforcement des capacités à l’intention des enfants de travailleurs philippins vivant à l’étranger, ainsi qu’à créer des formations d’enseignants et des programme scolaires traitant du coût social de la migration. L’OIM de l’Italie travaille également main dans la main avec les autorités locales de l’Ukraine, par le biais de l’Observatoire italo-ukrainien, en vue de mettre en place une formation psychologique et éducationnelle pour les enseignants d’Ukraine. Les enfants laissés au pays du Sri-Lanka ayant de fortes probabilités d’être amenés à travailler, l’OIT a créé un outil pour la formation des professeurs sur le travail des enfants. Cette initiative s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’IPEC (Programme international pour l’élimination du travail des enfants) lancé par l’OIT, et comprend l’identification des enfants vulnérables par les enseignants. Cette formation des enseignants est résumée dans un manuel, qui est traduit en langues locales en vue d’assurer la clarté des instructions. Le Centre de l’OIT à Turin est un bon point de contact pour obtenir de plus amples informations sur cette initiative. 

La féminisation de la migration, c’est-à-dire le phénomène en vertu duquel plus de femmes que d’hommes migrent (par exemple, 65% des travailleurs migrants originaires des Philippines sont des femmes, selon une étude effectuée par l’OIM Indonésie intitulée « Ordre de transfert de fonds Malaisie-Philippines »)  a mené à bien des initiatives qui lient l’expérience des mères à l’étranger et le fait de contrebalancer les conséquences négatives de cette situation sur le développement de leurs enfants. Atikha, par exemple, a réalisé une étude financée par le Canada Fund-Gender Equality Fund on the feminization of migration and impact on the children left behind. Les résultats peuvent être consultés dans un ouvrage publié en 2002 et appelé « Femmes, migration et réintégration ». L’OIM Italie travaille à l’heure actuelle sur un projet visant à réduire la distance entre les mères ukrainiennes et leurs enfants, en formant des mères à l’utilisation des outils de communication TI tels que Skype.

L’ICDM et le Comité chargé de l’examen de la mise en œuvre de la Convention de Moldova ont élaboré une brochure à l’intention des parents migrants et des enfants de migrants laissés au pays appelée « Mon enfant est seul à la maison ». La brochure, distribuée en France en français, roumain et bulgare, donne des conseils pratiques aux parents sur la manière de contrebalancer les effets négatifs de leur départ. Elle traite de la manière d’aborder le départ, de maintenir en permanence le contact avec les enfants, des transferts de fonds, de la relation entre les parents et les personnes qui prennent soin de l’enfant, etc.

 

Comparative experiences:

 Français >

  • Caribbean – Due to the high degree of mobility in Caribbean societies, especially from women and mothers to North America and the UK, Caribbean children are highly affected by migration and constitute a vulnerable group.  They risk losing the right to education and health, experiencing indefinite periods of separation from their parent(s), depression, low self-esteem which can lead to behavioural problems, poor academic performance, abuse and exploitation.  This threatens their long term well-being and development.  In Jamaica specifically, these children are called “barrel children”.  Contact: Tom Olsen, UNICEF Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and Sonia Gill, UNDP Jamaica 
  • Moldova – The Child Rights Information Center has been working on the topic of children left behind since 2005.  In a joint report by UNICEF and CRIC entitled “The Situation of Children Left Behind by Migrating Parents” it was found that children left behind in Moldova are vulnerable to drug abuse, dropping out of school, precocious sexual relationships, socially undesirable behaviours and feeling insecure, lonely and sad.  After parents’ departure, these feelings are multiplied and it is difficult for these children to express their emotions non-aggressively.  Sometimes school efficiency decreases as support and encouragement from parents is lacking.  In other cases school performance increases as a reward for the childrens’ parents working and earning money abroad.  Generally, living conditions of the migrant’s children improved due to the parents’ opportunities abroad.  Consequently, migrants’ children associate their future with life abroad, together with their families.  At a local level, the community institutions are not concerned with the situation of migrants’ children because they are considered more a privileged category than a vulnerable one.  Additionally, according Dina Sava points to a lack of resources available to families and specialists dealing with children left behind.  This is based on a study carried out by HelpAge Moldova entitled “Grandparents and grandchildren: impact of migration in Moldova”.  Contact: Cezar Gavriliuc, Child Rights Information Center, Moldova and Dina Sava, Second Breath/HelpAge International 
  • Ukraine – IOM Italy is studying the migration wave from Ukraine to Italy.  Most Ukrainian immigrants are female and this greatly impacts the families they have left behind.  The separation from their mother has adverse affects on the psychological well-being of children.  A project that IOM Italy is implementing, entitled “Capacity building action towards Ukrainian local institutions for the empowerment of migratory and social-educational policies on behalf of children, women and local communities”, will deal with the cultural and social integration of women in Italy,  mothers’ perceptions of the phenomenon of children left behind and counteracting negative effects on children.  As best practice, IOM has developed psychosocial modules for teachers in order to strengthen their educational skills in dealing with children left behind by proposing creative laboratories and sports activities for classes in Ukraine.  Additionally, mothers are being trained to use Skype and other IT communication tools in order to better keep in touch with life in Ukraine, including their children.  Contact: Rossella Celmi, IOM Italy

Expériences comparatives

  • Caraïbes – En raison du haut degré de mobilité des sociétés caribéennes, notamment des femmes et des mères vers l’Amérique du nord et le Royaume-Uni, les enfants caribéens sont fortement touchés par la migration et constituent un groupe vulnérable. Ils risquent de perdre le droit à l’éducation et à la santé, étant confrontés à des périodes indéfinies de séparation de leurs parent(s), à la dépression et à une faible estime de soi, qui peuvent mener à des problèmes comportementaux, à de faibles performances scolaires, à l’abus et à l’exploitation. Cela menace leur bien-être et leur développement à long terme. En Jamaïque, ces enfants sont appelés « enfants canons ». Contact: Tom Olsen, UNICEF Barbade et Caraïbes orientales et Sonia Gill, PNUD Jamaïque
  • Moldova – Le Centre d’informations sur les droits des enfants travaille sur le thème des enfants laissés au pays depuis 2005. Un rapport réalisé conjointement par l’UNICEF et le CRIC intitulé « Situation des enfants laissés au pays par des parents migrants » a montré que les enfants laissés en Moldova sont exposés aux abus de drogue, à l’abandon scolaire, aux relations sexuelles précoces, à des comportements sexuellement indésirables et à un sentiment d’insécurité, de solitude et de tristesse. Après le départ des parents, ces sentiments se trouvent démultipliés, et il est difficile à ces enfants d’exprimer leurs émotions sans agressivité. Parfois, l’efficacité scolaire diminue, en raison d’un manque d’appui et d’encouragement des parents. Dans d’autres cas, les performances scolaires augmentent, les enfants voulant récompenser leurs parents qui travaillent et gagnent leur argent à l’étranger. Généralement, les conditions de vie des enfants des migrants se sont améliorées grâce aux opportunités saisies par leurs parents à l’étranger. En conséquence de quoi, les enfants de migrants associent leur avenir à la vie à l’étranger, en compagnie de leurs familles. Au niveau local, les institutions communautaires ne sont pas préoccupées par la situation des enfants de migrants, car ils sont davantage considérés comme une catégorie privilégiée que vulnérable. En outre, Dina Sava souligne le manque de ressources disponibles pour les familles et les spécialistes s’occupant des enfants laissés au pays. Elle s’appuie sur une étude menée à bien par HelpAge Moldova, intitulée « Grands-parents et petits-enfants : impact de la migration en Moldova ».  Contacts: Cezar Gavriliuc, Centre d’informations sur les droits de l’enfant, Moldova et Dina Sava, Second Breath/HelpAge International
  • Ukraine – L’OIM Italie étudie la vague de migration venant d’Ukraine. La plupart des immigrants ukrainiens sont des femmes, et cela a des conséquences importantes sur les familles qu’elles ont laissées derrière elles. La séparation de leur mère a des conséquences négatives sur le bien-être psychologique des enfants. Un projet actuellement mis en œuvre par l’OIM Italie, intitulé « Action de renforcement des capacités en faveur des institutions locales ukrainiennes pour l’autonomisation des politiques migratoires et socio-éducationnelles au nom des enfants, des femmes et des communautés locales », traitera de l’intégration culturelle et sociale des femmes en Italie, de la perception des mères par rapport au phénomène des enfants laissés derrière elles et des effets négatifs compensateurs sur les enfants. En tant que meilleure pratique, l’OIM a mis en place des modules psychosociaux pour les enseignants, en vue de renforcer leurs compétences éducationnelles pour ce qui est de s’occuper d’enfant laissés au pays, en proposant des laboratoires créatifs et des activités sportives pour les classes en Ukraine. En outre, les mères sont en train d’être formées à l’utilisation de Skype et d’autres outils de communication TI en vue de rester en contact plus étroit avec la vie en Ukraine, y compris avec leurs enfants. Contact: Rossella Celmi, OIM Italie
 

Related resources:

Articles shared:

 Children and Women Left Behind in Labour Sending Countries: An Appraisal of Social Risks, UNICEF 2008 - The paper examines the project reports and the migration literature seeking to identify the links between permanent international migration and children’s rights in left-behind households. It focuses on the role of migration and remittances on improving the livelihoods of children in migrant households, and on broadening their capacities for full participation in society.

 Remittances and Children's Rights: An Overview of Academic and Policy Literature, UNICEF 2007 - This review of academic and policy literature deals with the social impacts of remittances in developing countries combined with information from the country reports from four UNICEF field offices (Ecuador, Mexico, the Philippines and Syria). There is a lack of research on the impacts of remittances on children and children’s rights, and the available studies that do exist rely on qualitative research, mostly through case studies, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. This paper found that migration and remittances are closely linked and that field reports and several anthropological case-studies signal a range of negative effects from migration on children and adolescents, although the data is not sufficient to draw conclusions.  The results regarding gender equality and remittances are ambiguous. Because of these gaps, the paper calls for future research focusing on gathering empirical data on the social impact of remittances.

 Increasing the Impact of Remittances on Children’s Rights, UNICEF 2008 - This report is based on the contributions from the speakers at the Workshop on Independent Child Migrants. The objective of the workshop was to stimulate debate and research on independent child migrants, to provide an opportunity for researchers and policy makers to exchange views on the independent migration of children and to identify gaps in evidence required to formulate policies.

 The Effects of Parent’s Migration on the Rights of Children Left Behind, UNICEF 2008 - This study focuses on children left behind by their parent(s) working overseas and how their rights are addressed in the absence of one or both parents. The study uses proxy measures to examine the effects of parental migration in satisfying the rights of left-behind children. The study finds that while children of migrants are able to join academic organizations and extra-curricular activities, an overwhelming majority of these children are not protected against economic shocks.

 The Impact of Parental Deprivation on the Development of Children Left Behind by Moldovan Migrants, UNICEF 2008 - Vulnerable children -- especially those deprived of parental care -- constitute a specific risk group. Yet until recently, the magnitude of this issue was underestimated in Moldova. Official authorities were more concerned with traditional protection issues and caregivers and parents tended to be complacent, believing that remittance flows automatically lead to improvements in family well-being.

 The Impact of Migration on Children in Moldova, UNICEF 2008

 The Impact of Migration and Remittances on Communities, Families and Children in Moldova, UNICEF 2008 - The aim of this paper is to arrive at a better understanding of the impact of migration on children and families left behind in selected countries. The emotional impact of migration on children has been given scant attention in analyses and discussions on the topic. This paper reviews existing documentation on erosion of family structures and relationships, psychological distress, adoption of risky behaviour and increased vulnerability to violence, abuse and exploitation. These issues illustrate the importance of designing public policies both in countries of origin and receiving countries to address the impact of migration on child welfare. However, there are a number of gaps in knowledge and data, and more work needs to be done to fully understand the impact of migration on children to better guide public policy.

 For Better Implementation of Migrant Children’s Rights in South Africa, UNICEF 2008 - This report outlines the situation facing children who migrate across international borders to South Africa. There is lack of capacity for intervention with child migrants in South Africa. Many of the migrant rights organizations that exist do not specifically address the rights of children and many children's organizations lack the knowledge on migrant children's rights to intervene effectively. Access to rights is almost entirely facilitated by NGOs in South Africa with migrant children having very limited direct access to government departments and services. This report makes recommendations for intervention by the United Nations Children's Fund and other partners for strengthening migrant children's access to basic rights in South Africa.

 Fact-Sheet on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Migration and Children’s Rights, UNICEF 2009

 Fact-Sheet on the Economic Crisis and Migration, Remittances and Children Left Behind, UNICEF 2009

 Children, Adolescents and Migration: Filling the Evidence Gap, UNICEF 2009

 The Impact of International Migration: Children Left Behind in Selected Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, UNICEF 2007 - The aim of this paper is to arrive at a better understanding of the impact of migration on children and families left behind in selected countries. The emotional impact of migration on children has been given scant attention in analyses and discussions on the topic. This paper reviews existing documentation on erosion of family structures and relationships, psychological distress, adoption of risky behaviour and increased vulnerability to violence, abuse and exploitation. These issues illustrate the importance of designing public policies both in countries of origin and receiving countries to address the impact of migration on child welfare. However, there are a number of gaps in knowledge and data, and more work needs to be done to fully understand the impact of migration on children to better guide public policy.

 International Migration and Human Rights: Challenges and Opportunities on the Threshold of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Global Migration Group 2007 - This report, produced by the 14 member agencies of the Global Migration Group (including UNICEF), examines the legal framework underpinning the human rights of migrants and highlights the importance of human rights in the migration and development discourse. The report seeks to provide guidance for adopting a human rights-based approach to migration management by offering a comprehensive outline on existing definitions, the international legal framework and the challenges faced by different migrant groups, including children.

 South-South In Action Newsletter, Summer 2009

 South-South In Action Newsletter, Fall 2009

 Situation Report on International Migration in East and South-East Asia: Regional Thematic Working Group on International Migration including Human Trafficking, 2008 - the joint UN Regional Working Group on Migration led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) put together a regional report on migration to which UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office contributed a chapter on children and migration including the analysis of children left behind with the case study from the Philippines.

 Children and International Migration, John Bryant 2007

 The Impact of Migration on Children in the Caribbean, UNICEF 2009

Abandoned Wives of Tajik Labor Migrants, IOM 2009 - This baseline study investigates problems associated with abandonment, at least in economic and emotional terms, of these wives and the vulnerabilities it creates. It also provides evidence that the phenomenon exists in significant numbers. The key findings show that these women live in extreme poverty; they lack assistance from the government, international organizations, and the local community; and their physical and mental health is vulnerable as they are defenseless against famine, crime, and abuse.

In The Absence of Their Men: The Impact of Male Migration on Women by L. Gulati, Sage Publications 1993

Male Migration to Middle-East and the Impact on the Family - Some Evidence from Kerala by L. Gulati, Economic and Political Weekly 18 1983

Migration and the Rights of Children in Moldova, UNICEF 2008

The Situation of Children Left Behind by Migrating Parents, Child Right’s Information Center 2006

Emotional Intelligence in Children: The Situation of Migrants’ Children in Moldova, UNICEF 2007

Grandparents and grandchildren: Impact of migration in Moldova, Second Breath/HelpAge International 2008

Articles shared in French:

 Impact social des transferts de fonds des Marocains résidant à l’étranger: Une revue de littérature, UNIFEF 2008 - This report reviews the main publications on the social impact of the remittances on women and children in Morocco, comparing them with the international theoretical and empirical literature. The areas for which the impacts are studied are poverty, education, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, nutrition and health, access to information and the media, and gender. It will be a matter of reporting all of their contributions and limitations of the various texts studied, both in terms of methodological and theoretical approaches and in terms of results and policy recommendations.

 Articles shared in Spanish:

 Niñez y Migración en el cantón Cañar, UNICEF 2008 - Los efectos de las migraciones sobre la salud psico-social y el desarrollo de ninos, ninas y adolescentes, constituyen objectos de estudio de enorme interes en la perspectiva de la gneracion de politicas pulicas adaptadas y pertinentes, focalizadas hacia la mejora del bienestar de las familias. A pesar de la importancia de la realidid emigratoria para el Ecuador, la generacio de investigaciones acerca de la reestructuracion de los roles intrafamiliares y los imaginarios sociales causados por procesos de movilidad humana, ha sido mas bien escasa. Poco conocemos aun sobre el surgimiento de afecciones y patologias ineditas, la mutacion de patrones de comportamiento, habitos y consumo en los familiares de personas migrantes; y en general, acerca de su impacto en el cambio social y el desarrollo humano.

 Links shared:

 Human Rights, Children and Migration Database - which contains a compilation of excerpts from the concluding observations of UN Human Rights Committees (CEDAW, CAT, CESCR, CMW, CRC, and HRC) related to children, human rights and migration from the past decade (2000-2009).  This interactive tool aims to highlight the standards established by UN Human Rights Committees concerning the rights of children in the context of migration.

 

Responses in full:


1. Seung Bok Lee and Rhea Saab, UNICEF, USA

Dear Mr. Akobirshoev,
 
Thank you very much for your message. We are committed to supporting your work in Tajikistan on the impact of migration on children and families left behind.
 
You will find below a number of relevant UNICEF publications on the issue of children left behind that have been produced in collaboration with UNICEF field offices and partners, as well as a brief overview of the work of UNICEF Policy and Practice on migration.
 
We very much look forward to working with you and please do not hesitate to come back to us should you need any further information.

 

Best regards,

Seung Bok Lee
Policy, Advocacy and Knowledge Management
Social Policy and Economic Analyses Unit
Division of Policy and Practice, UNICEF HQ

Rhea Saab
Social Policy Specialist / Migration Focal Point
Policy, Advocacy and Knowledge Management 
Social Policy and Economic Analyses Unit
Division of Policy and Practice, UNICEF HQ

Global reports:


·    Children and Women Left Behind in Labour Sending Countries: An Appraisal of Social Risks (2008)
·    Remittances and Children's Rights: An Overview of Academic and Policy Literature (2007)
 
Country reports:

Philippines
·    Increasing the Impact of Remittances on Children’s Rights (Revised 2008)
·    The Effects of Parent’s Migration on the Rights of Children Left Behind (2008)

Morocco         
·    Impact social des transferts de fonds des Marocains résidant à l’étranger: Une revue de littérature (2008)
 
Moldova         
·    The Impact of Parental Deprivation on the Development of Children Left Behind by Moldovan Migrants (2008)
·    The Impact of Migration on Children in Moldova (2008)
·    The Impact of Migration and Remittances on Communities, Families and Children in Moldova (2008)
 
Ecuador          
·    Niñez y Migración en el cantón Cañar (2008)
 
South Africa   
·    For Better Implementation of Migrant Children’s Rights in South Africa (2008)
 
Fact-sheets on the impact of the financial crisis on migrants and their families:


·    Fact-Sheet on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Migration and Children’s Rights, October 2009
·    Fact-Sheet on the Economic Crisis and Migration, Remittances and Children Left Behind, October 2009
 
Data on international migrant children and adolescents:


·    Children, Adolescents and Migration: Filling the Evidence Gap, October 2009

Overview of UNICEF Policy and Practice work on migration:
 
UNICEF Policy and Practice (DPP) has been engaged in policy research and operational work on the impact of migration and remittances on the rights and wellbeing of children, adolescents and women. UNICEF DPP has been supporting a number of field offices on migration issues (including Albania, Moldova, Morocco, Philippines, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Jamaica and South Africa) and is working closely with UN agencies, governments and civil society organizations to advocate for the protection of the rights of migrants and their families in countries of origin, transit and destination.
 
In order to improve the statistical data on migration, UNICEF DPP with support from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (SU/SSC) has developed a survey instrument based on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) to gauge the effects of international migration on migrant sending households. Pilot surveys have been conducted in Ecuador and Albania and an expert meeting was held in December 2009 to review the results.
 
In addition, UNICEF DPP and SU/SSC have been collaborating with UN/DESA to develop estimates of the global stock of international migrant children and adolescents within the United Nations Global Migration Database (http://esa.un.org/unmigration). Disaggregated by age and gender, these estimates will be essential in understanding the patterns of the migration of children across the world and to formulate coherent policies regarding migrant children in receiving countries. A poster highlighting currently available estimates of migrant children and adolescents was distributed at the 2009 GFMD in Athens (see above).

 


2. Xiulan Zhang, School of Social Development and Public Policy Beijing Normal University, China

Dear Ilhom,

Our team has conducted several studies on the impact of labor migration on children left behind. Please find a summary report here. Please note that this report is a preliminary study, and it is a summary, but I thought it would be useful to share. We would appreciate to receive comments from our colleagues in the Network on this summary report.

This report gives a description of the development condition of migrant children, left-behind children and street children, aiming at informing society, families and schools of the difference and problems existing in the development of children from different groups, drawing their attention and triggering some changes in their conception, attitude and behavior. The final goal was to improve the developing environment for children and in this way to improve their development. Therefore, the basic thought of this research was to give a description of children’s present development condition and reveal the favorable and unfavorable factors in their development by making investigations into their developing condition and environment.

Best regards,

Xiulan Zhang, PhD
Dean and Professor
School of Social Development and Public Policy
Beijing Normal University, China


3. Christian Skoog, UNICEF, Mauritania

Dear Ilhom,

As part of the Maastricht course back in 2006 I was part of a group who did a paper on the impact of migration in the Caribbean and Central America. Please find this paper here.

For your quick reference, here is the paper abstract:

ABSTRACT

The aim of this paper is to arrive at a better understanding of the impact of migration on children and families left behind in selected countries. The emotional impact of migration on children has been given scant attention in analyses and discussions on the topic. This paper reviews existing documentation on erosion of family structures and relationships, psychological distress, adoption of risky behaviour and increased vulnerability to violence, abuse and exploitation. These issues illustrate the importance of designing public policies both in countries of origin and receiving countries to address the impact of migration on child welfare. However, there are a number of gaps in knowledge and data, and more work needs to be done to fully understand the impact of migration on children to better guide public policy.

Best wishes and good luck,
Christian Skoog
Representative
UNICEF Mauritania


 

4. Seung Bok Lee and Rhea Saab, UNICEF, USA

Dear Colleagues,

It is great to see so many resources being shared on this issue of labor migration and its impact on the children left behind!

Complementing the original query and our initial response, we thought that the following resources would be helpful in looking at migration, human rights and development issues.

Human Rights, Children and Migration Database
The Human Rights, Children and Migration Database, developed jointly by UNICEF and the Human Rights Center of the National University of Lanus, is a compilation of excerpts from the concluding observations of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies related to migration and children's rights from 2000-2009. The database is organized by key issues and is searchable by subject, year, country and committee.

International Migration and Human Rights: Challenges and Opportunities on the Threshold of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
This report, produced by the 14 member agencies of the Global Migration Group (including UNICEF), examines the legal framework underpinning the human rights of migrants and highlights the importance of human rights in the migration and development discourse. The report seeks to provide guidance for adopting a human rights-based approach to migration management by offering a comprehensive outline on existing definitions, the international legal framework and the challenges faced by different migrant groups, including children.

South-South in Action Newsletter
Published by the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (SU/SSC) and MediaGlobal, the South-South in Action newsletter aims to promote a better understanding of the current situation in South-South and triangular cooperation and to seek concrete solutions on issues.

• The Summer 2009 issue features an article on the joint initiative of UNICEF, UN/DESA and UNDP SU/SSC to improve the evidence base on children affected by migration. See pages 3-5.

• The Fall 2009 issue highlights the UNICEF-SU/SSC policy work on children and families left behind. See pages 5-6.

 Best,

Rhea Saab

Social Policy Specialist / Migration Focal Point

Social Policy and Economic Analyses Unit

Policy, Advocacy and Knowledge Management Section

Division of Policy and Practice, UNICEF

 


 

5. Dejana Popic, UNICEF, Nepal

Dear Ilhom,

very briefly, last year the joint UN Regional Working Group on Migration led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) put together a regional report on migration to which UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office contributed a chapter on children and migration including the analysis of children left behind with the case study from the Philippines. You can find this report here.

Here at the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) we are now preparing to do a similar regional report together with the same working group for South Asia.

Please also find the following resources:

- Children and International Migration
- Meeting Minutes, Regional Thematic Working Group on International Migration, Including Human Trafficking
- Draft Proposal: Situation Report on International Migration in South and South-West Asia

Warm Regards,
Dejana

Dejana Popic
Social Policy Specialist
UNICEF ROSA
Kathmandu, Nepal


 

6.  Tom Olsen, UNICEF, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

Dear Colleagues,

Please find here a report from the Caribbean on this topic, entitled "The Impact of Migration on Children in the Caribbean," prepared by the UNICEF Office for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean (August 2009).

For your quick reference, please see this report's Executive Summary below.

Have a nice day and relaxing week-end.

Cheers,

Tom

Tom Olsen
Representative
UNICEF Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

Executive summary

Caribbean societies have a high degree of mobility, exporting the largest proportion of its constituent population in percentage terms, in the world (1). In many English speaking Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the number of migrants per population outnumbers by ten the world's average figure. Over the past four decades, the Caribbean region has lost more than 5 million people (UN Population Division, 2003) to migration and an average of 40 percent of its skilled labour force (2). Migration in the region includes internal (rural-urban), intra regional as well as extra regional migration. National migratory patterns and trends however are complex and diverse depending on culture, economic factors and human development as well as the countries geographical position (3). These mobile societies place children at risk and jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of migrant children as well as children left behind by one or both parents who have migrated.

All children have the right to care and protection. Violations of these rights do however occur worldwide and are often unrecognized and underreported, creating massive barriers to the development and well being of children. Children, in the same manner of their parents, are rights holders and are entitled to the wide set of rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC) (1989) such as: (a) the right to develop to their full potential; (b) enjoy his/her own culture and identity; and (c) care and protection while separated from his/her parents should only be in the best interest of the child. However, the reality is that children in the Caribbean are significantly affected by migration. They risk losing the right to education, health, as well as long and sometimes indefinite periods of separation from their parent(s).

Children left behind (4) as well as migrant children (5) constitute a particular vulnerable group. The impact of parents' migration on children can be devastating as it threatens the long-term well-being and development of Caribbean adolescents into adulthood. Children affected by migration face several challenges in terms of education and health care as well as various psychosocial problems. Many children left behind suffer from depressions, low self-esteem which can lead to behavioural problems, and at increased risk of poor academic performance as well as interruption of schooling. Particular to migrant children is the access to health and education, especially when they are undocumented. Birth registration could also form an obstacle, especially for the Haitian population residing outside their country. Additionally migrant children and children left behind are at a higher risk and more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including sexual abuse as well as child labour and trafficking.

In addressing the various impacts of migration on children, there is a need for more concerted efforts in research and data collection in order to understand the complexity of the situation and share this information for the development of efficient and effective policies to minimise these impacts. A region-wide social protection policy should be developed to cater for all children and their families irrespective of their status. The ongoing negotiations on the Protocol on Contingency Rights (6) at CARICOM should be compliant with the CRC and will beinstrumental for Governments to protect their citizens and children in host countries as well as to guarantee the fulfilment of parental duties for children left behind.

(1) Reis, 2008, Country Assessment Report: Dominica, UNICEF Internal Document
(2) IMF 2006, Emigration and Brain Drain: Evidence from the Caribbean, WP/06/25
(3) IOM, Exploratory Assessment of Trafficking in Persons in the Caribbean Region, 2005, p.9
(4) Children left behind throughout this document will mean children that are left behind by one or both parents who have migrated
(5) Migrant children throughout this document will mean children who are migrating with one or both parents, with a relative or caregiver, or unaccompanied (without any parent, relative or caregiver)
(6) Contingent Rights are rights to which the principal beneficiary, spouse and dependents are entitled in the host country under the condition that the principal beneficiary has moved to exercise one or more of the right on establishment, provision of service and movement of capital


7. Sonia Gill, UNDP, Jamaica

Dear Colleagues,

The subject of the impact of labour migration on children is a well-studied topic in Jamaica, in light of the large number of adult heads of household, usually female, who migrate to North America and the UK in search of employment opportunities.

The phenomenon has even been given a name in the academic literature; these children are described as "barrel children" in reference to the usual method by which their absentee parents ship supplies home for their care.

A leading researcher in the field is Dr. Claudette Crawford-Brown, who is based at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus in Jamaica. Her research includes the work, "The impact of migration on the rights of children and families in the Caribbean", which highlights the plight of the 'barrel children' of Jamaica.  It also examines problems of emotional deprivation, attachment and loss, child shifting and multiple separations and unifications that characterise migrant families and that challenge policy-makers and social work practitioners in both country of origin and host country.

UNICEF Jamaica has also assessed this factor as it relates to Jamaican children.   As noted in the UNICEF report on the State of the Nation's Children, "Migration of parents who seek more lucrative employment abroad has had a negative impact on Jamaican children. Some children are left in the care of strangers, neighbours or even older siblings who are still children. These so-called "barrel children" are left without parental guidance or adult supervision and with access to significant material resources in the form of cash remittances and barrels of clothing and toys sent by absentee parents."

UNDP Jamaica, under the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative, is the focal point for three projects, one of which focusses specifically on the needs of households affected by the departure of a migrant labourer.  The specific objective of the project is to reduce the negative impact of migration on multi-generational households in Jamaica by increasing their access to information, services and entitlements and reducing their socio-economic exclusion. More information on the project Mitigating the Negative Impact of Migration on the Multi-generational household in Jamaica is available here.

Best regards,

Sonia

Sonia Gill
ARR and Programme Advisor, Governance, and
EC-UN JM&DI Focal Point
UNDP Jamaica


 

8. IOM, Tajikistan

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the IOM study which is mentioned in the UNICEF concept note - the "Abandoned Wives of Tajik Labour Migrants." This represents the first ever study undertaken in Tajikistan on the situation of abandoned wives, and is hopefully of use to colleagues envisioning other similar activities.

The target group of the IOM study are Tajik labour migrants' wives who have been abandoned by their husbands. This study investigates problems associated with the abandonment - especially in economic and emotional terms - of these wives and the vulnerabilities it creates. It also provides evidence that this phenomenon exists in significant numbers.

The key findings show that these women live in extreme poverty; they lack assistance from the government, international organizations, and the local community; and their physical and mental health is vulnerable as they are defenseless against famine, crime, and abuse.

In case you have any further questions regarding the study please contact us any time at iomdushanbe@iom.int

With best regards,

IOM Tajikistan
22-a, Vtoroy Proezd, Azizbekov street -
Dushanbe 734013, Tajikistan
Tel. (+992 37) 221 03 02; 227 49 96; 227 05 81; Fax: (+992 37) 251 00 62

 


9.    Mai Dizon-Añonuevo, Atikha, Philippines

Hi!

Atikha, a non-government organization in the Philippines has been working on the social cost of migration on the children left behind.  We have conducted a study on the feminization of migration and impact on the children left behind which was funded by Canada Fund-Gender Equality Fund.  The findings of the research is contained in the book we published in 2002, Women Migration and Reintegration

We have developed modules on value formation, information and capacity building for children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other interventions, such as teachers training program and school based program on addressing the social cost of migration, which is part of our initiatives supported in the EU-UN JMDI [here].  UNICEF featured our intervention on the children of OFWs during the GFMD in the Philippines.

Let me know if you are interested to know more about the study and interventions of Atikha.

Mai Dizon-Anonuevo

- [Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiatives, Philippines]


10.    Shyama Salgado, ILO, Sri Lanka

You could possibly refer to the following organisations/individuals:

1.       Mr Gerald Lodwick

Deputy General-Secretary

The National Workers Congress

10 Council Mawatha,

Dehiwela, Sri Lanka

Tel: +94-773-29-85-85

 

2.       Ms Ramani Jayasundera

Independent Consultant

Tel: +94-777-51-44-11

 

3.       Ms Shyamala Gomez

msgomez@sltnet.lk

Tel:+94-777-281-977

 

Hope this helps.

Best,

Shyama


11.   Nisha Arunatilake, Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka

Dear Ilhom Akobirshoev,

I am a researcher in Sri Lanka.  Recently we conducted a study using existing data to assess the impact of migration on the welfare of the household using semi-experimental methods.  In this study we also looked at things such as investments in health and education, participation in education and also some health indicators.  If information was available we could have easily looked at the impact of migration on other health and education factors as well.

Regards,

Nisha Arunatilake           

- [Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka]


12.   Margaret Walton-Roberts, International Migration Research Centre, Canada

You may be interested in the work of Leela Gulati who looked at the experiences of women in Kerala:

Gulati, L. (1993) In The Absence of Their Men: The Impact of Male Migration on Women. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

Gulati, L. (1983). "Male Migration to Middle-East and the Impact on the Family - Some Evidence from Kerala." Economic and Political Weekly 18, 52-5: 2217

Regards,

Margaret Walton-Roberts, Associate Professor

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Director, International Migration Research Centre,

Book review editor, Canadian Geographer

Wilfrid Laurier University

75 University Avenue W.,

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5

Phone: 519-884 0710 extn 2263

Fax: 519- 725 1342

http://www.wlu.ca/


13.   Peter Beat Gross, UNICEF, Botswana

Dear all,

It's really interesting how migration patterns can be so gendered, with female migration--for example in Jamaica, China, possibly the Philippines and other countries--and in Tajikistan, where the original question came from, it is almost entirely male.

Has it something to do with childcare availability back home, the nature of the job market abroad, or other cultural factors? Tajiks tend to work a lot in the construction industry in Russia and possibly Ukraine and so on. In terms of 'women's jobs' such as nursing and housekeeping, maybe the market is not so good, and perhaps crowded with more local staff. 

It would be interesting to do an international study of the impact of migration on children depending on whether it's the father or the mother who leaves - though trying to extract cultural factors out of it too might be quite difficult. A meta-analysis would be possible but that would have to be fed by a number of local studies which would have to be quite similar - which makes it a huge piece of work.

Best,

Peter Gross
Social Policy Specialist
UNICEF Botswana


14.   Cezar Gavriliuc, Child Rights Information Center, Moldova

Dear all,

It's really interesting how migration patterns can be so gendered, with female migration--for example in Jamaica, China, possibly the Philippines and other countries--and in Tajikistan, where the original question came from, it is almost entirely male.

Has it something to do with childcare availability back home, the nature of the job market abroad, or other cultural factors? Tajiks tend to work a lot in the construction industry in Russia and possibly Ukraine and so on. In terms of 'women's jobs' such as nursing and housekeeping, maybe the market is not so good, and perhaps crowded with more local staff. 

It would be interesting to do an international study of the impact of migration on children depending on whether it's the father or the mother who leaves - though trying to extract cultural factors out of it too might be quite difficult. A meta-analysis would be possible but that would have to be fed by a number of local studies which would have to be quite similar - which makes it a huge piece of work.

Best,

Peter Gross
Social Policy Specialist
UNICEF Botswana


15.   Alexandra Yuster, UNICEF, Moldova

Dear Ilhom,

Thanks for your message.  We have done some work on this here in Moldova, mainly with local institutions.  Please find here two relevant documents:

- Emotional Intelligence in Children: The Situation of Migrants’ Children in Moldova

- The Situation of Children Left Behind by Migrating Parents

Best,

Alexandra

Alexandra Yuster

Representative

UNICEF Moldova

 


16.   Dina Sava, Second Breath/HelpAge International, Moldova

Dear Ilhom,

As part of the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), consortium partners Second Breath and HelpAge International / Moldova office, had previous experience with children and older people left behind by migration. In 2007-2008, HelpAge Moldova implemented a short-term project (9 months) in two regions:

- Balti town, through the implementing partner organisation Second Breath, and

- Lapusna village in Hincesti, partner organisation Women's Club "Speranta" ("Hope").

The recommendations and findings of the above-mentioned project were reflected in a publication "Grandparents and grandchildren: impact of migration in Moldova", in English, that you can find here (the 10th in row) and a leaflet "Grandparents care for Grandchildren", in Russian and Romanian (the 12th in row).

For the ongoing project within the JMDI, we plan to conduct a study on the impact of migration on multigenerational households in Moldova and a guide for older carer, that we will be able to share with the final results of the project.

For contacts, we can refer the HelpAge International office in Tajikistan, Zaro Kurbanbekova, zkurbanbekova@helpageinternational.org, Project Manager.

For any other queries, please feel free to contact us.

Dina Sava

Project Officer

Second Breath / HelpAge International

57/1 Banulescu-Bodoni Str.,

ASITO Building, of. 431 & 433

Chisinau, MD-2005, Moldova

Tel + /373 22/ 225098    Fax + /373 22/ 224672   Mobile + /373/ 686 14910

E-mail: dsava@helpageinternational.org

 


17.   Cezar Gavriliuc, Child Rights Information Center, Moldova

Dear Colleagues,

Child Rights Information Center in Moldova works on the field of children left behind since 2005. Please find here some research I have in English, but you can ask UNICEF Moldova and IOM Moldova to provide you with additional information.

We also developed support materials for children, parents and professionals working with children. The material for parents is adapted and translated to French.

Let me know if some of these are useful.

Best regards,

Cezar

CHILD RIGHTS INFORMATION CENTER

E. Coca str., 15

MD-2008 Chisinau

Republic of Moldova

Tel./Fax: (373-22) 71 65 98, (373-22) 74 78 13, (373-22) 744 600

e-mail: ciddc@yahoo.com

www.childrights.md

 


18.   Federica Marengo, Association ALC, France

Dear All,

Concerning this specific issue, I would like to call your attention on the activities of CRIC, a Moldovan NGO working with Moldovan children left behind and with teachers and other professionals who are in contact with children in order to help them when one or both parents are abroad. They have already done a study on this specific issue, “The situation of children left behind by migrating parents”. You can have more information on their website or contact them directly.

We are working with CRIC on a project funded by EC-UN Joint Migration & Development Initiative (JMDI) (project Mv-150) “Support for children and parents in migration”.  In the framework of this project we are working on a guide for parents and training for professionals in contact with children in the country of origin (Moldova) and with parents in destination country (France). For more information on the activities in France, please do not hesitate to ask me more or visit our website

Best regards,

Federica Marengo,

Project officer

========================

Association ALC - Dispositif National  Ac.Sé

15, boulevard du Parc Impérial

06000 Nice - France

Numéro indigo: 0825 009 907

tél.: + 33 4 93 37 12 09    fax: + 33 4 93 97 87 55

site web: www.acse-alc.org

 


19.   Rossella Celmi, IOM, Italy

Dear Colleagues,

As IOM Italy we are implementing the project “Capacity building action towards Ukrainian local institutions for the empowerment of migratory and social-educational policies on behalf of children, women and local communities”.

In the last decade, the migration wave from Ukraine to Italy is highly increasing, the Ukrainian community in Italy is mostly composed by women, between forty and fifty years old, employed as care assistants of elderly people and domestic workers by Italian families.

The impacts on households in the country of origin are rather complex and articulated: many of these women leave children and families in their country of origin. The distance of mothers affects the psychosocial well-being of children. Moreover the project is including also cultural and social integration of women in Italy and mothers’ perceptions of the phenomenon of children left behind.

The project is promoting a synergic involvement of local and central authorities of both countries (Italy and Ukraine) thanks to the Italian-Ukrainian Observatory, an institutional table working on an integrated intervention to support institutions and local public services in Ukraine in the development of policies and measures able to counteract the negative effects of migration of women on children left behind and more generally on the entire local community.

The project intends to take action on the following three levels: capacity-building of local institutions; empowerment of Ukrainian women in Italy; psychosocial and educational training for teachers in Ukraine.

We are following an institutional component in Italy and in Ukraine to sensitize local institutions about women migration and the impact on the community left behind; at the end of the project we will draft an agenda of cooperation between the two states.

We developed psychosocial modules for teachers in order to strengthen their educational skills in dealing with children left behind; as best practice, we proposed creative laboratories and sport activities for classes in Ukraine; we will train mothers at distance in Italy in using Skype and IT communication tools in order to reduce the distance from Italy to Ukraine.

Let me know if you are interested to know more about our project.

Regards,

Rossella

Rossella Celmi

Psychosocial and Cultural Integration Unit Coordinator

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Via Palestro 1, 00185 Roma

Tel: + 39 0687420967 ext. 48 

http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/italy


20.   Dr. Titilola Banjoko, Africarecruit/Findajobinafrica.com, UK

Very valuable comments, I will say it is multi-factorial and dependent on the context within the sending and receiving countries and route of entry, i.e. legal or illegal.

For example, visas are most likely to be issued to women as opposed to men as the women will most likely return back home to the family. Whereas if the breadwinner is given a visa he is most likely going to bring his family over a period of time.

From the professional diaspora registrations at our website [http://www.africarecruit.com] there are more men than women. Is this linked to legal entry?

Political activists fleeing persecution are more often men.

The job opportunities linked to visa's/entry in receiving countries tend to act as a magnet and define, e.g. housekeeping, construction, nanny, nursing.

 -       Dr Titilola A Banjoko, Africarecruit/Findajobinafrica.com, UK

 


21.   Shyama Salgado, ILO, Sri Lanka

Hi, I think it’s a great project.  The ILO has a tool that is used for teacher-training on child labour.  As you know the vulnerability, of children left behind by migrant workers, to child labour always looms heavily over them.

Under the ILO's IPEC (International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour) initiative in Sri Lanka a few years back we used this tool to help teachers identify such vulnerable children, inter alia.  We translated the manual into the local languages for clarity of instruction.  It may be useful for you to get in touch with the ILO-Turin Centre and get technical inputs from them to strengthen/enrich your programme.

Best,

Shyama

Shyama Salgado, ILO Sri Lanka

 


22.   Ding Bagasao, ERCOF, Philippines

Dear all,

I am sorry not to be able to participate actively in these discussions. I suddenly have a lull in presently hectic work, and would like to share some thoughts.

In a conference last week in Davao sponsored by the IOM, where we presented our findings on our joint research with them on the Malaysia-Philippines remittance corridor, the point was again made about the feminisation of migration in the Philippines, where around 65% of migrant workers originating from the Philippines were female. This means that an equivalent percentage of spouses left behind are husbands, who are now performing a dual role of father and mother at the same time. It’s a life changing role reversal but is critical to how the children left behind grow up with the mother absent.  I know this because I was in that situation myself once before. Some experiences I have heard turn out positively, some go the opposite negative way. I am not sure which situation is prevalent.

I think there should also be studies looking into this, perhaps there are already some. Concerns of children left behind are important but then I feel there should also be programs seeking to empower left behind spouses (whether male or female) cope with the additional responsibility.

Best regards,

Ding Bagasao

Economic Resource Centre for Overseas Filipinos (Ercof), Philippines

 


23.   Isaac Ampofo, Richbone Initiative Foundation, Ghana

This  is  a  very  important  issue  that  needs  to  be  tackled with more attention.   There  have  been  so  many  problems  with Embassies and High Commissions  refusing  visas to applicants based on the fact that they will not  return  to  their  home  country  after their short stay stated by the applicants.

This statement sometimes has very huge impacts on genuine applicants who have good intentions of returning back to their home country after their visit.

Since these Embassies and High Commissions refuse these applicants and then put refusal stamps in their passports, the applicants decide to change all their information again, i.e. their passports, birth certificates, etc.

Now on the main issue, women are likely to been given visas at Embassies and High Commissions from my own research and point of view rather than men.   Also I think consular officials have the perception that women are more likely to come back home to care for their children as children are seen as closer to their mothers rather than their fathers.

Again,  mothers  or  women  are  more likely to get vulnerable jobs such as prostitution,  carrying  hard  drugs on them, etc. to make quick money with the  intention  of  sending  it home to care for their children and to give them the best education they never had.

I think something seriously should be done on this.

Isaac Twumasi Ampofo

Executive Director, Richbone Initiative Foundation

P.O Box TA 216, Taifa Accra, Ghana

Tel: +23321401724     Fax: +233-21-401724

E-mail: info@rbifoundations.org

Isaac.ampofo@rbifoundations.org

Website: www.rbifoundations.org

 


24.   Andrew Samuel, Community Development Services, Sri Lanka

I do agree with Ding Bagasao on the importance of developing interventions for children and spouses left behind. If I may add to this discussion, we have realised that there are concerning malnutrition issues among infants and children growing up in our country. There is also a school dropout rate among primary schoolers in the country.

Sri Lanka is also a big labour exporting country, predominantly to the Gulf. Considering that Sri Lanka's labour migration stock in the past has been that over 70% were migrant domestic workers, which trend has somewhat reversed to about 50% in 2008, the question we'd like to ask and investigate is if migration has been a contributory factor to malnutrition and primary school dropouts in the country.

We've flagged these issues to ILO and UNICEF and our organisation is willing to explore and verify these concerns and see if there is a co-relationship through a formal research process.

Perhaps this is something you too can explore and perhaps a joint research model could be developed for advocacy and action.

Best,

Andrew Samuel

Community Development Services (CDS)

Sri Lanka

 


 

25.   Shyama Salgado, ILO, Sri Lanka

Dear Andrew and other friends,

Yes ILO is very interested, particularly in the link between school dropouts and migrant workers and perhaps we should take the research a trifle beyond this to find out the link between these particular school dropouts and child labour as well.  It is also a concern of the ILO constituents in Sri Lanka.

We are presently supporting the GOSL to draft a road map to meet their 2016 commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and this aspect is worth our time and energy.  Apart from this, mainstreaming child labour into the responses in respect of migration challenges, given that the policy framework addresses this aspect, is also something worth pursuing in Sri Lanka.

Best,

Shyama

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to all who contributed to this query!

If you have more information that you would like to share with the network on this topic, please send it to: m4d@groups.dev-nets.org

Access the M4D discussion forum here

Learn more about the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) at:

www.migration4development.org

 

This Consolidated Reply is based on exchange and communication by members of the Communities of Practice and reflects personal views of Members.

The views expressed here cannot be taken to reflect the views of the EU, IOM or the United Nations, including UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR and ILO, or their member states.

 

Comments

Oliver Hudson wrote

Further resources

SMC has conducted two research projects on the issue of the children left behind.

One was published in Sojourn, vol. 13 (2) 1998. The other is entitled Hearts Apart and can be found on the website of the Scalabrini Migration Center (www.smc.org.ph).

Graziano Battistella

Scalabrini Migration Center