Internal and international migration are increasing, largely due to globalization and conflicts. According to the International Organization for Migration’s 2018 World Migration Report, there are 244 million international migrants. A larger number of people—740 million—are internal migrants. There were 31 million international child migrants in 2015. Three out of five migrant children are from Africa and Asia (UNICEF, 2017), and they are a diverse population. Some children migrate with their parents or other adults, and others migrate independently. Some are born to migrant parents in receiving countries, and others are left behind by migrant parents. Also, high migration rates involving children and youth have been reported among African communities (Karagueuzian and Verdier-Chouchane 2014; UN 2013). For instance, as of December 31, 2016, Nigeria had 1,955,000 internally displaced persons (IDMC, 2018). Ghana has also established several refugee camps to respond to the needs of migrants fleeing wars in neighbouring countries. While there is an emerging literature describing the challenges of African migrant children and youth in the Global North, there is a paucity of information regarding the wellbeing of displaced children and youth in African countries, where displacement tends to exacerbate existing health and social challenges. In the Global North, there are limited intervention studies and comparative policy analysis to improve the wellbeing of African child migrants. Also, limited data have been collected from children themselves. Despite the vulnerability of African migrant children, we found limited research that has examined the commonalities of African migrant children in diverse countries. It is crucial to have a network focused on providing knowledge to improving global policies and practices related to the health of African migrant children.
Goal and Objectives
The African Child and Youth Migration Network seeks to develop and mobilize knowledge to improve policies and practices that will contribute to the wellbeing of African migrant children and youths across the globe. The objectives of the network include:
- develop knowledge to improve the well-being of African child and youth migrants;
- engage in international research collaboration on the well-being of African child and youth migrants;
- disseminate knowledge to improve the well-being of African child and youth migrants;
- mentor, train and build the capacity of students and early career researchers who are interested in the well-being of African child and youth migrants;
- engage and collaborate with vital stakeholders to improve the well-being of African child and youth migrants;
- explore ways that an international research partnership and network can contribute to improving the lives of African migrant children and youths.