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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More