Migration and mobility

Children relocate for a variety of reasons, sometimes along with their families and sometimes on their own. Children may move on their own for education, often when they start secondary education, where the school may be located at some distance from their home. Some children go to live with relatives in town, while others, particularly in India, move to a residential hostel attached to a government school. This creates challenges for families when the children are no longer at home and able to help with certain tasks (such as help in the fields or around the house) or when they return home because they do not learn these skills in the hostel. And in places like Peru and Ethiopia, the relocation of children from poorer to better-off households (often from rural to urban areas) is a long-standing tradition in response to family crisis, parental death, acute poverty, and the desire for child companionship.

Migration also affects children if one of their parents moves, perhaps to work in the city or even to work abroad. If the children stay behind they can experience long periods of parental absence, but may also benefit from remittances sent home.

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