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Children of migrants

Migration A–Z


  1. Jennifer E. Glick

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm116

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Glick, J. E. 2013. Children of migrants. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Migration is a growing global phenomenon that impacts individuals, families, and communities. Although migration is often thought of as an adult activity, migration by children and youth is quite common throughout the world and is on the rise. The United Nations estimates that approximately 16 percent of all international migrants are under the age of 20, although this ranges considerably from a low of 11 percent in North America to just over 40 percent in Africa (UN 2009). One study comparing Argentina, Chile, and South Africa estimated that over one-quarter of all migrants are children under the age of 18 (Yaqub 2009). Children migrate for many of the same reasons that adults migrate; they move toward jobs or better education and away from poverty and conflict. In some cases, children are taken along as families migrate. Other children are in the lead of this migration, while still others follow subsequent to family members' migration. This essay considers the impact of all types of migration on young children and provides contemporary examples of children's participation in migration. The essay concludes with a review of some findings on the consequences of migration for children's health and education.


  • rights;
  • cultural diversity;
  • child labor;
  • assimilation and exclusion;
  • family;
  • globalization;
  • women