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Children and Migration in the CEE/CIS countries July 2007, Sofie.

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Presentation on theme: "Children and Migration in the CEE/CIS countries July 2007, Sofie."— Presentation transcript:

1 Children and Migration in the CEE/CIS countries July 2007, Sofie

2 Impact of remittances and migration on children, families and communities in Albania Institute for Economy, Finance and Business February, 2007

3 Country context 2005 ________________________________________________ Population (in million) 3.142 Children under 15 years old (in thousand) 820 GDP per capita ( current USD) 2,664 Unemployment rate (%) 14.1 Poverty rate (%) $ PPP 2.15/day 18.5 Estimated number of migrants abroad (in thousand) 750 Remittances (as % of GDP) 14 _________________________________________________

4 Goal of the study: Understanding social impact that migration and remittances have on children left behind Objectives: - analyze and describe the impact of remittances and migration on child well-being (physical and emotional) - providing of policy recommendations vis a vis the improvement of social assistance and social care system

5 Methodological Tools - Desk review of existing documents on migration for Albania and other countries - Conduction of focus group discussions with children aged 10-14 years old - Conduction of focus group discussions and in depth interviews with care givers (mostly mothers), schoolteachers, community health practitioners, social administrators and local leaders.

6 Geographical coverage: Selection of 14 municipality /communes in north, south and center with high level of migration abroad. Consult draft report with key stakeholders

7 Main findings

8 Patterns of external migration Massive external migration within a short period – 750,000 Albanians or 1/5 of total population has left country and is living abroad Migration is a survival strategy against poverty and unemployment Economic 74 percent, Social-cultural, politic, other reasons 26 percent

9 Patterns of external migration Migrants are mostly male of age group 20-40 years According geographical areas: migration abroad is phenomenon concentrated in poor mountain areas, rural areas and border areas with Greece. Migration is high among unemployed people, rural people and high skilled workers (77 percent) as they find jobs in accordance with their qualification.

10 At household level: Poverty reduction. LSMS Study in 2002 Income poverty incidence among household with migrant member is lower that other households 12 percent compare to 31 percent) Remittances represent 13 percent of total income Economic impact of external migration

11 At national level: Remittances play an important role in Albanian economy Remittances made the largest source of foreign exchange, constituting 14 percent of GDP that was greater than combined value of exports and foreign direct investments in that year. Improved employment as remittances are invested in starting new businesses Increased human capital as migrants learn new skills and work practices

12 Impact of external migration on children left behind –a neglected issue - Information gaps - Insufficient policy responses

13 What we know about children left behind in Albania Number of children left behind has decreased thanks to improvements on migration policies (legalization of illegal emigrants, reconciliations of migrant families and creation of conditions for migration of the entire family) - in 1990 - 3 percent of migrants, migrated with family, - in 1995 - 31 percent of migrants abroad live with their - family, - in 2006 – 58 percent

14 Mho migrates, father, mother or both? Who cares for children? Migration of one parent is dominant form – mostly fathers migrate However there are children whose both parents have migrated. Most of migrants children live with their mothers; less with grandparents, even less with relatives (uncle, aunts, cousins) and very few in childcare institutions.

15 Does migration of parents have impact on children well-being? Positive impact: Reduction of income poverty Income poverty incidence among household with migrant member is lower that other households (group discussions) Economic difficulties are reduced thanks to the remittances received. Improved consumption patterns

16 Positive impact on physical well-being of children Improvement in food consumption patters, housing condition and access to basic services (such running water and sanitation), have improved data on malnourishment and child diseases. Community health practitioners state that in families with a migrant member the incidence of malnourishment, diarrhea, and chronic respiratory diseases is lower.

17 Positive impact on child education Schoolteachers and caregiver state that remittances have improved access to better education for longer and have reduced child labor. School abandonment rate in obligatory school is low (about 2 percent) and is higher among poor children. Chance for attending education beyond obligatory school is higher among migrants children – many of them participate in private courses improving knowledge in difficult school subjects like math, learn foreign languages or improve computer skills.

18 Negative impacts Divorces has increased Girls migrate to escape domestic violence Girls migrate for a better life without having the rights information, being risked of exploitation and prostitution Cases of homicide due to honor

19 There are migrant children that work and has abandon the school - in households where remittances either are inexistent or insufficient to guarantee the basic living conditions. We do not know how many they are? Where they live? What help them stop working and be back to school? Are all migrants' children lucky?

20 Are all migrants children lucky? Migrant children left in child care institutions – suffer severe emotional problems. Small number of institutionalized children is due to strong family ties or insufficient capacities in child care institutions?

21 Parent migration produce emotional crises on children left behind Character of child, child age, substitute care, frequency of communication with migrant parent - are determinants that affect social and emotional well -being of children left behind. Does mother or extended family fill the vacuum left by migrant parents? Teachers and care givers (in group discussions) report some emotional and behavioral changes. Some migrant children feel angry, confused, lonely and unloved. No study tackle that problem.

22 Do children left behind enjoy child rights Children have the right to grow up with their parents and keep personal relations - this is difficult for migrant children. Admistrative barriers for family reconciliation's prevent many children from this right. Number of family reconciliation have increased, but still many children are in waiting lists. Different difficulties in communication with family left behind is producing family breakdown. There are migrant parents who disregard obligations toward their children (including phone communication and personal contacts)

23 Policy responses A. Social Policy mechanism: Children left behind are not yet considered as a vulnerable group. No social policy or strategy to protect them exists. Actual social assistance legislation do not support children left behind with economic difficulties Lack of structures and expertise at community level to tackle emotional problems of families and children left behind Lack of facilities to increase frequency of communication with internet or email.

24 Policy responses B, Migration Policy Legalization procedures Labor migration Family reunification

25 Critical issues Bridging agendas among institutions (donors and government) Capacity development of research institutions Raising awareness of media on the critical issues related to migration Budget?

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