Child Migration in Africa

Iman Hashim and Dorte Thorsen


Drawing on the experiences of children from rural Burkina Faso and Ghana, this book looks at the circumstances of children's voluntary migration and their experiences of it.
Child Migration in Africa explores the mobility of children without their parents within West Africa. Drawing on the experiences of children from rural Burkina Faso and Ghana, the book provides rich material on the circumstances of children's voluntary migration and their experiences of it.

Their accounts challenge the normative ideals of what a 'good' childhood is, which often underlie public debates about children's migration, education and work in developing countries. The comparative study of Burkina Faso and Ghana highlights that social networks operate in ways that can be both enabling and constraining for young migrants, as can cultural views on age and gender appropriate behaviour.

The book questions easily made assumptions regarding children's experiences when migrating independently of their parents and contributes to analytical and cross-cultural understandings of childhood.  Part of the groundbreaking Africa Now series, Child Migration in Africa is an important and timely contribution to an under-researched area.

Author Bio

Dorte Thorsen is a visiting research fellow at the department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading.

Iman Hashim is a Research Fellow at the Department of International Relations, Istanbul Kulutur University. 

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction: Interrogating Childhood and Migration 
  • 1. Contexts of Migration 
  • 2. Choosing to Move: The Reasons of Rural Children's Migration
  • 3. Journeys and Arrivals: Introductions to New Social Worlds
  • 4. Navigating Migrant Life: Processes of Constructing Identities
  • 5. Moving On


'A timely, comprehensive and engaging book which illuminates the diversity and challenges of understanding processes of children's migration.'
Samantha Punch, University of Stirling

'Without either romanticising children's resilience or disregarding their agency, this book places children's voices and views at the centre of a careful and cogent analysis of children's independent migration in West Africa.'
Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham

'This impressive work will serve as a foundation for further research that examines the extent to which these narrative accounts generalize beyond the voices found by these authors.'
Eric Edmonds, University of Dartmouth

'A vivid portrait of people's lives within households and villages of Burkina Faso and Ghana.'
Gianna Giannelli, Associate Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Law, University of Florence


Publication Date: 10 February 2011
160 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848134560
Hardback: 9781848134553
eBook ePub: 9781780321196
eBook PDF: 9781848134577
eBook Kindle: 9781780322353

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