Migration, Development and Children Left Behind: A Multidimensional Perspective

Author : Rodolfo de la Garza | 2010
Published By: UNICEF

This report examines the relationship between migration and development from a multi-faceted perspective. It draws on original field research and an extensive review of scholarly and policy studies to examine how migration affects a society’s economic, social, political and cultural characteristics. This results in an analysis that encompasses the multi-layered impact of migration, i.e., its effect on the individual, the family and the sending community. Among the key arguments for adopting this approach is that conventional analyses that focus on economic factors such as remittances to the virtual exclusion of others greatly over-estimate the gains resulting from emigration and under-value the costs emigration imposes on the overall wellbeing of families left behind, and on sending communities in general. The report highlights how migration affects the lives of the families that migrants leave behind, which often changes how they are organized and function. International migration can lead to the absence of traditional cultural figures that frequently results in the breakdown of essential social norms and customs. It can also impose changes in the role of women and cause severe emotional problems for them and their children. Children may suffer discrimination resulting from the perception that they are better off than their peers because the remittances they receive give them improved access to goods and services. To better account for these phenomena, the report reviews current literature on how migration of one or both parents affects children left behind in developing countries.

URL : http://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/files/Postscript_Formatted__Migration_Development_and_Children_Left_Behind.pdf

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