Child Migration in Africa

About the Book

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, by drawing parallels with children's migration in Latin America and Asia, 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.

Praise for the Book

'This well-written research-based text offers fascinating insights into the complexities of children's migrant experiences in West Africa. Based on ethnographic research in the rural sending communities as well as interviews at the migrant destinations, Hashim and Thorsen use indepth empirical examples in order to place children's accounts at the centre of their analysis. 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. Original, intelligent and accessible, it adds significantly to current academic and policy debate on childhood, migration and mobility.' – Prof Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham

'In trash dumps, brothels and other sites where children toil in the worst forms of child labor, it is not unusual to encounter a preponderance of children who have migrated outside their family support networks. This study is an important early contribution in the nascent literature aimed at understanding independent child migration . It provides voice to independent child migrants in West Africa. The diversity of experiences is thought-provoking. 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.' – Prof. Eric Edmonds, University of Dartmouth

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