Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Research report on children’s independent migration from northeastern to central Ghana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
URL http://www.childmigration.net/files/hashim_05_child_mig_north_0408.pdf
This report discusses the findings of research carried out in Ghana with independent child
migrants1 and the parents of child migrants. The research was carried out between May and
July of 2004 and aimed to build on research conducted with children in 2000-2001 in a farming
village in the north-east of Ghana (see Hashim 2004)2. One of the findings of the earlier
research was that relatively large numbers of children from the village were living and/or
working outside the village without their parents. For instance, at the time of a survey on
migration in March 2001 it was found that, out of a population of 447 children (257 boys and
190 girls3), some 77 children (41 girls and 36 boys) had migrated out of the village without their
parents. This represented 15% of the child population and half of the 96 households in the
village reported having a migrant child. Forty-eight children (18 boys and 30 girls) were also
living in the village away from their immediate family. A survey of under 18 year-olds found also
that a further 17 children (9 boys and 8 girls) had in the past been independent child migrants,
and of course this is likely to be much higher since only those under the age of 18 were
surveyed (ibid.).
In contrast to the manner in which independent child migration is generally presented in the
policy literature as primarily a negative phenomenon (either because it is the outcome of
disastrous situations, such as poverty, war and famine, or because it is assumed to result in the
increasing vulnerability of children to economic exploitation, dangerous working conditions or
abuse) (see Hashim 2003) the earlier research found that children were frequently positive
about their migratory experiences as this afforded them the opportunity to develop important
relationships or skills, and/or to earn an income over which they had a relative degree of
autonomy over (Hashim 2004). However, the issue of migration was an unexpected outcome of
the initial fieldwork. As a result only some children who had migrated into the village and some
of those who had returned were interviewed in 2000-2001. The purpose of this research was to
build on what was found then in two ways. Firstly, the aim was to explore in greater detail the
nature of the processes involved in migration.

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