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Child migration from the rural northeast Albania Aida Orgocka, PhD University of New York Tirana.

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Presentation on theme: "Child migration from the rural northeast Albania Aida Orgocka, PhD University of New York Tirana."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child migration from the rural northeast Albania Aida Orgocka, PhD University of New York Tirana Partnerë për Fëmijët

2 Albania A European country that lost its mystery grip to the developed world in the early nineties when it shed off its isolation policy; Bad press especially due to mass exodus When one thinks of Albania and migration, more likely one may bring to mind...

3 Migration from Albania Not a new concept Family migration Male migration Child migration a relatively new phenomenon

4 Overview of the presentation Context and definitions The perceived extent of the phenomenon of unaccompanied child migration in the rural northeast Albania Children’s own attempts to migrate Children’s future intention to leave Albania and the modalities of this decision Awareness campaign

5 The invisibility of Albanian children as economic migrants Unlike Albanian adult migration, the phenomenon has received scant attention in research. Lack pronounced also in policy documents and migration management programmes designed and implemented by the Albanian government and international organizations in Albania Reports and anecdotal evidence on trafficking of children; Contractual work to evaluate family living conditions of children that have migrated; Very far from understanding the meanings and social contexts of children’s moving to work

6 Definitions A child defined as anyone between the ages of 0 and 18; ‘Economic child migrants ’ meaning any child who migrates particularly for work (Huijsmans, 2006).

7 Study areas Descriptive study of household needs and child migration in the rural areas of northeastern Albania rural areas of northeastern Albania Most depressed areas in the country; 40% children Poor school services Poor health and social protection services

8 The survey A face to face survey of 1500 adults and children on household needs and migration of children. I report on the data collected in face to face interviews with 805 children. Under 10 years (25% male and 21% female) years (50% males and 50% females) years (25% male and 29% female) Administered in February – April Over 95% of the children in the age groups of under 10 and between years of age in school Close to 85% of children in the age group of in school. Access only to children that live in the stated area and those that had attempted to migrate seasonally.

9 Being a child in northeastern Albania Albanian legislation adopts the CRC definition of the child and foresees that it is under the state legal remit to provide for a child schooling until the age of 16. Hard work beyond the developmental capacities of the child is banned until 16 years of age. However…

10 Being a child in northeastern Albania Children in northeastern Albania have interdependent lives: They themselves do not consider themselves as independent of household economy; They are socialized from early on to contribute to this economy long hours at times at the expense of other activities determined as appropriate for their age, such as education and leisure. Children in rural northeast are economically indispensable and largely involved in the family’s household economy.

11 Chidren’s work activities by age and gender Under 10 years old years old15 – 18 years old MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale Tending herds37%52%43%65%23%60% Tilling the land9 %3 %18%10%57%34% Producing dairy10%46%10%78%18%89% Caring for fruit trees 21%9%46%23%71%30% Fetching water48%82%64%89%62%93% Fetching wood29%19%64%22%84%32%

12 Children’s belief to help with family income Under 10 years old years old15 – 18 years old Family has sufficient income MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale Yes50%85%100% No9 %3 %18%10%57%34% Perhaps10%46%10%78%18%89% Given unemployment and lack of opportunities, migration abroad is seen as a way to boost household income

13 Perceived extent of the phenomenon of child migration in the rural northeast A significant number of children knew of children that have left the area; More children, and particularly males, in the age group of years knew such children Had migrated to Italy (77%), Greece (62%), and the UK (27%).

14 Sharing of experiences Experiences are shared between children that have migrated and those that have not, especially in the age group of years in both genders

15 Sharing of experiences Types of jobs that bring income begging (62%) working in other people’s homes (82%) Help agents with migration

16 Children’s own attempts to migrate Of the total sample, only 64 children (16 females and 48 males) reported having attempted to migrate seasonally and work across the border; Primarily years old

17 Brief profile of migrant children A considerable number of children that had reported having been hungry also reported that they had migrated for work, age group years of age (21%) age group of years (12%) under 10 years of age (8%). None of the children had his/her own room and lived in crowded households Close to 70%, irrespective of age, were sharing a bed with sibling.

18 Help and income While the family members helped support children to migrate, a significant number of children had been helped by their peers. This was particularly emphasized in the age group of years (80%) and years (77%). Begging brought income for more younger children, while domestic working brought income for more children in the age group of years old.

19 Children’s intention to leave Albania and the modalities of this decision In a different village in Albania In a different city in Albania In a different country MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale Under 10 years old 0% 4%0%9%5% years old9%6%3%0%33%17% 15 – 18 years old 16%0%14%3%62%18%

20 Migration – a family affair

21 Family that will help Father will helpMother will helpOlder sibling will help MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale Under 10 years old 86%57%4%0%9%5% years old 9%6%3%0%33%17% 15 – 18 years old 16%0%14%3%62%18%

22 Giving money to help

23 How will migration happen? Only a minority of children in the age group of years and years[1] shared how migration would happen.[1] About 2% in each group reported that their parents would pay someone to help them go across the border. Close to 2% of the children in the age group of years shared that they would apply for studying abroad. About 10% of the children in the age group of years old and 3% in the age group of years were intending to find false papers. Asked how they would cross the border, only 2% of the years old would go across the mountains, while the others would use the plane or ferry-boat. [1][1] This is a very small base and thus needs further exploration

24 From findings to action Child migration happens and will continue to happen in depressed areas of Albania. Albeit small base, the survey suggested that children are prone to illegal migration and will place energies into engaging into such action through false papers. Whether children migrate independently or facilitated by other people, parents and children need to be informed of the consequences of illegal migration.

25 Rural northeastern Albania


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