News / Asia

Child Immigrants Challenge Host Countries

Children of foreign workers gather in a park in Tel Aviv, Israel. (file photo from 2010)
Children of foreign workers gather in a park in Tel Aviv, Israel. (file photo from 2010)
TEXT SIZE - +
Dave DeForest
Children are affected by migration on multiple levels. Some accompany a parent in looking for a more prosperous or safer life.  Others may be left behind by migrating parents.  Children sometimes migrate alone.  

In all cases, the countries in which young migrants arrive are faced with problems.  “That has both economic and social, as well as political dimensions,” according to Kathleen Newland of the Migration Policy Institute.

While the exact number of migrant children is hard to determine, estimates range from tens to hundereds of millions worldwide.

Besides their need for basic care and nurture, immigrant children pose unique challenges for receiving countries, which have to decide how and to what extent migrant youngsters should be integrated into their societies.  Most nations have a policy for dealing with these issues.

“I think some are more intentional about it than others,” Newland said, “I think in many countries there is an assumption that entry into the public school system will do the job of integration.”

Newland said whether “integration” means eventual citizenship and societal acceptance differs from country to country.

“There are some countries that assume from the ‘get go’ [from the beginning] that child immigrants are here to stay,” she said. 

But not all of them have the welcome mat out. She cited the Persian Gulf countries as examples of those that do not.  

“You have a lot of countries that have labor-migration programs that don’t permit people to bring their families and that’s a very deliberate policy to avoid long-term settlement,” Newland explained.

Not all immigrant children come voluntarily.  Some are forced to move because of war or natural disasters.  Newland said agencies have to scramble to get services to children of forced migrants.

“In recent years there has been much more of an emphasis on education in emergencies by the international community,” she said.

For young children who find themselves in other countries without their parents there is the danger of human trafficking.

“They are extremely vulnerable—they’re vulnerable to trafficking—they’re vulnerable to exploitation—to injury,” Newland said.

Newland said a bright spot in the issue of immigrant children is that the plight of these children is becoming better known.

“The humanitarian agencies and NGOs--I think many of them are really ‘stepping up to the plate’ and are trying to focus particularly on the needs of children with things like education in emergencies, psycho-social services that are age-appropriate and that are reaching  some of these kids,” she said.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid