Research Theme: Transnational Families
Mobile children: the effects of migration on children who circulate
Migrant children circulate between their parents’ origin country and the host country more than is acknowledged. Studies on migration tend to focus on parents’ mobility yet part of parents’ maintenance of transnational linkages includes traveling back and forth to their country of origin with their children during school vacations as way to familiarize their children with their origin culture and family members. Home visits can become longer than anticipated, extending beyond the school vacation period. In addition, some children are ‘sent back’ by their parents, with or without their consent, to be re-educated when a parent feels that the child is misbehaving. Finally in cultures where child fostering is commonly practiced, such as in many parts of West Africa, migrants foster children from the extended family but then are faced with a legal system in the receiving country that does not recognize this form of fostering and children are at times forced to return home. These processes create children who circulate. This project investigates the effects of circulation on children’s lives according to a) the children’s own perceptions; b) parents’ perceptions, and; c) school assessments. The focus will be on effects relating to educational and emotional well being outcomes. The project is multi-sited as it will follow children between The Netherlands and an African country.
Project leaders: Valentina Mazzucato (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Hildegard Schneider (Faculty of Law). Other UM participants: Melissa Siegel (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance & UNU-MERIT), Lies Wesseling (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences). Societal partners: Spirit, Dutch municipalities, Dutch schools.