Research Report

Exploring Children's Experiences of Migration: Movement and Family Relationships



de Lima P, Punch S & Whitehead A (2012) Exploring Children's Experiences of Migration: Movement and Family Relationships. University of Edinburgh. CRFR Research Briefing, 61. Edinburgh: Centre for Research on Families and Relationships.

The focus on child migration is relatively new. Child migrants have been portrayed as lacking agency, passive victims of - at best - their parents' decisions - at worst - adult exploitation. Recent research evidence challenges this portrayal, revealing the diversity and complexity of children's experiences (e.g. Gardner, 2012; Hashim and Thorsen, 2011; Punch, 2009; Whitehead and Hashim, 2005). Migration features strongly on public policy agendas worldwide, resulting in an increase in research activity and literature focusing predominantly on labour migration and adults' experiences. This briefing paper highlights the main themes emerging from a recent seminar to explore the ways children's migration impacts upon their family relationships and vice-versa, whilst also considering the similarities and differences in experiences of children from across the world.

Children and young people; Demographic trends; Kin relationship / networks; Migration and mobility

Title of seriesCRFR Research Briefing
Number in series61
Publication date31/07/2012
PublisherEdinburgh: Centre for Research on Families and Relationships
Publisher URL

People (1)


Professor Samantha Punch

Professor Samantha Punch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology