Migration and Child Labour: Exploring Child Migrant Vulnerabilities and Those of Children Left-behind

Author : Hans Van De Glind | 2010
Published By: ILO

The working paper attempts to describe the correlation between migration and child labour by reviewing secondary data of migrant children with or without their families, and children left-behind by their migrant parents. Within a context of migration of close to a billion people - both internally and across national borders - the paper describes how in particular some forms of seasonal family migration and independent child migration create extreme vulnerabilities to child labour. While the findings are not unanimous, it further points at a range of studies that confirm that remittances have contributed to prolonging education and reducing child labour. The paper observes that governments’ migration policies need to be balanced with their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO Conventions on the Minimum Age for Employment, No’s 138 (1973) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour, No. 182 (1999), to ensure that the rights of children, including migrant children, are protected, including the right to be free from child labour. A range of policy considerations are offered, including in the world of work. The paper recommends amongst others that part of the governance of internal migration be focused on ensuring safe migration for decent work for children above the minimum working age, rather than stopping it. It also recommends measures to improve protection in the workplace, including through expanding youth migrant worker’s ability to form self-help groups and access, join or associate with trade unions. The paper concludes that despite the growing body of evidence with regard to the effects of migration on children, there remain significant knowledge gaps and the correlation between migration and child labour needs further analysis.

URL : http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1683&context=globaldocs

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