Based on years of archival research, primary interviews and observations across myriad sites including schools, homes and courts in Puebla, Mexico, New York City, and south Texas, this chapter places children’s migrations into a socio-historical context so that this phenomenon can be better understood as a byproduct of seemingly endless US (and foreign) interventions. Largely subsumed into accounts of adult and family migration where minors were assumed to simply be ‘luggage’ or following their parents, the trickles of independent teenage migrants that came before today’s waves have mostly gone ignored. Entitled to economic and physical security with and away from their families, these youths have actively responded to the ebbs and flows of interventions in their countries by immigrating for nearly a century; today’s Mexican and Central American teenage migrants are simply making the old new again.
In this chapter I will provide an overview of the global data on child migration, and explore how and why children travel in the regions covered by the various contributors to this book. At the outset, I acknowledge that data on international migration is not particularly precise or reliable. Statistics in many regions are scarce or non-existent, so that numbers are generally based on estimates. Specific data on child migration is even more difficult to come by. According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) in its Global Trends Report 2015, only a few countries supply refugee data disaggregated by age. In 2015, data disaggregated by age was available for 21.2 million people only, which represented 33 per cent of the estimated global number of refugees. In this chapter I draw heavily on the ground-breaking report prepared by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2015, Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Refugee and Migrant Children, which represents a laudatory effort to compile all of the data then available on the topic of children on the move around the world.
Agnes Olusese, Shamm Petros and Edwin Odhiambo Abuya
Humanitarian emergencies and displacement usually leads to disruption of families, which augments the vulnerability of children, exposing them to increased risks of sexual and labor exploitation, abuse and violence as they are separated from their care-givers. Kenya receives a significant number of refugees annually with a sizable portion being unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). In Kenya, a lack of sufficient and well-monitored alternative care options results in gaps that allow for the abuse and exploitation of refugee UASC, especially in urban areas where regulation by agencies is not as strict as it is in refugee camps. UASC in urban areas are largely cared for by non-profit and non-governmental organizations involved in child protection, with the government playing a minimal role. Unlike UASC in camp settings, UASC in urban settlements are marginalized by policy and social tensions, resulting in limited access to livelihood and protection services. Alternative care-givers are generally unverified, unmonitored and spread out all over the peri-urban areas, which complicates supervision and reporting efforts. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) plays a coordinating role with refugee children but their oversight is mainly on activities undertaken by implementing partners. Refugee children who end up in informal arrangements are not regularly supervised and are easily exploited and abused by their care-givers.
Since Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997, the direction of urban planning has been constantly adjusted and adapted to the aspirations of society. In the early days after the reunification in 1997, the administration continued the practice of government-led formulation of blueprints for the future with economic development as the focus. The advent of the new millennium has been accompanied by a strong civic consciousness. The public have attached unprecedented importance to the conservation of historic buildings, the preservation of collective memories and the inheritance of cultural values. Long-term planning of the city also took into account a number of factors, such as air quality, noise, visual impact on both sides of Victoria Harbour, building heights and public space. The development in rural areas, with the goal of redistributing the urban population, was also constrained by calls to improve urban life.
Mary Anne Kenny and Maryanne Loughry
This chapter considers the procedures used where there are disputes about the chronological age of an unaccompanied or separated child seeking asylum. The chapter considers how age is interpreted in terms of what it means to be a ‘child’ in the legal, social and cultural sense. Current methods of age assessment in different countries are considered against the international human rights framework. The chapter proposes a different approach to the contested area of age disputes that recognizes young people’s ‘transition’ into adulthood and posits that agencies and governments should provide support and services on the basis of assessed needs and vulnerabilities of the individual rather than on an assessed chronological age.
This chapter explores the phenomenon of legal transfers in the area of immigration detention and their impact on child migrants. It uses as a case study the apparent borrowing of these regressive immigration control measures between the United States and Australia. It also examines the subsequent spread of progressive case management alternatives to detention (ATD) models.
Within the scholarly and policy discourses on the regulation of child labour in China, the focus has been on the period of rapid industrialization since the opening up and reform of China’s economy in recent decades. However, there have been very few studies that have situated the evolution of China’s legal framework to address child labour issues in a historical context. This chapter fills this important void by examining how child labour practices were regulated in imperial China and the development of laws from the nineteenth century onwards that sought to address what was perceived by society as the worst forms of such practices. These historical insights aim to shed light on the social, economic and cultural factors that have shaped the quest to end child labour in the world’s largest industrializing economy. At the same time, the country’s rapid industrialization and urbanization over the past three decades have seen new social problems arising from mass rural-to-urban migration that create particular risks of child labour for children of rural migrant workers.
The Political Economy of Regional Infrastructure
Colin Lizieri and Daniel Mekic
There is a growing awareness in urban social science of the importance of commercial real estate as a medium by which large cities are embedded within global capital networks. This trend is most pronounced in the office markets of international financial centres and has become more marked with increasing globalization of commercial real estate. Nuances of market processes can be lost in over-simplistic categorizations such as ‘international financial capital’ or ‘property developers’. Diversity in the nature of office investors leads to substantial differences in the motivations for building international portfolios and in impacts for the cities concerned. This chapter provides a detailed examination of the City of London office market, drawing on a unique database tracing office ownership over some 40 years. The changing tides of ownership, from predominantly local domestic to over 60 per cent non-UK owned in 2014, are linked to transformations of the City of London economy.
Canada has no national policy to take care of separated refugee children . . . Separated refugee children seem to fall into the gap between federal responsibility for immigration and provincial responsibility for youth protection.1 The Committee [CRC] urges the State party to bring its immigration and asylum laws into full conformity with the Convention and other relevant international standards and reiterates its previous recommendations (CTC/C/15/ Add.215, para. 47, 2003). There are many examples of children and youth who travel alone or with friends, separated from parents or legal guardians, to reach a safe place such as Canada in order to escape danger in their home country.3 According to recent estimates, as many as 3,000 unaccompanied children arrive in Canada seeking refugee status every year.4 Sometimes the children are orphans, or have become separated from their parents due to war or civil unrest. Sometimes the parents (or one of the parents) are the source of danger to the child. Some young people have fled their homes due to abuse by a parent or relative and they cannot obtain effective protection from the authorities in their own country. Children may be victims of illegal trafficking groups or may be targeted for kidnapping in order to extort money from parents or relatives who have travelled abroad to seek employment. Sometimes very young children are sent out of the home country by their parents with friends or relatives or with paid agents, in order to save the life of the child due to serious dangers facing the entire family in the home country, or in the country of first asylum.5 Although there is no single explanation for the fact that children are crossing international borders on their own, it is very clear that such children constitute an extremely vulnerable group of migrants that require special measures of protection.