The panel sheds light on child mobility in historical and geographical perspective. Contributors will give contextualised knowledge and theoretical and conceptual perspectives of child mobility, and explore how local understandings of these harmonise with international conventions and discourses.
Child mobility has been and is used as a survival strategy for economically disadvantaged populations in search of new opportunities, but also to explore the world. International migration and evolving transnational lifestyles and livelihoods have given a new significance to child mobility, bringing forth a diversity of spaces and localities of childhoods and notions of upbringing. In this context, children have gained more attention as independent actors with capability and will to perform and engage in those social and material relations that define, determine or restrict their subsistence. In recent years governmental and intergovernmental institutions, and child right advocacy organisations have paid attention to irregularities of child mobility practices, labelling independent child migration as intrinsically rights violating and alarming phenomena in contemporary process of globalisation. Thus, mobility, in particular between countries of those who lack wealth and power, tends to be associated with exploitation, and in global discourses frequently conflated with human trafficking. The panel aims to shed light on the cultural, social and economic context of child mobility in historical and geographical perspective. Contributors should offer contextualised knowledge and theoretical and conceptual perspectives of child mobility practices. The lives of children on the move without the company of one or both of their parents will be examined with reference to their own point of view, that of their parents or guardians, local community and national state. How do child mobility practices, as well as local understandings and rationalisations of these, harmonise with global policy, international conventions and discourses?