News / Africa

Study Calls for Support for Adolescent Girl Migrants

The Population Council study found adolescent girls move from city to city. (The Population Council)
The Population Council study found adolescent girls move from city to city. (The Population Council)

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
The international NGO, the Population Council, recently released a report entitled Girls on the Move: Adolescent Girls & Migration in the Developing World.  It examined the experiences of adolescent girls who put themselves at risk while seeking new opportunities unavailable in their home villages and towns.  It said adolescent migrating girls, who are large in number but often overlooked, are more likely to stay within their own country, rather than leave for foreign destinations.

The study’s lead author, public health and social policy consultant Miriam Temin, said the research showed these girls are more likely to move from one urban area to another, often a nearby town, and then to a capital city.

“There’s a general perception that adolescent girls’ migration is bad. That is a problem that needs to be stopped or fixed.  And there has been a focus on the worst case scenarios, for example girls who are trafficked, who are absolutely in need of attention," said Temin, who added, "but what do we know about the much more routine types of migrant situations, which far outnumber those kinds of forced migrations and situations."

Temin explained the study found that adolescent girls who migrate domestically, are willing to leave home voluntarily -- based on the expectation they can improve their own lives and the well-being of their family.

“There is a general perception that migrant adolescent girls who move are forced to do so.  But, what we found is most girls are involved in the decision to move. They are exercising a degree of agency, they are exercising some choice, based on their assessment of the opportunities [to work] that await them versus the opportunities at home, ” said Temin. 

The lead author of the study, said, more often than not, the decision to leave is made by both the girls and her parents.

Once the decision is made, Temin emphasized the importance of having support and safety mechanisms in place before and after their departure.  And because the girls come from diverse backgrounds, it is important that there are a variety of ways that they can be helped.

Social support is especially important for girls who tend to be isolated - such as domestic workers, child brides and sexually exploited girls. Temin stressed the importance of having access to health services and other forms of support.

“The evidence finds that in general, traveling with an intermediary is helpful, and protects a child who is on the move,” she said.  

There are other factors to consider as well, before and during the process of leaving home, such as making sure the  girls have an adequate educational level before they embark on the journey, and they should also know what their rights are as a migrant. 

She said they should have, " full information about the migration process, and what might await them when they arrive, and that on arrival, they are integrated into their new communities.”

Temin noted governments should have a role in reducing barriers to migrant girls. Also, international organizations that mainly focus on international migration should include internal migration in their initiatives – to serve the needs of the large number of adolescent migrant girls as they make their journey to a new life, and adulthood.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid