Informal child migration and transnational networks of care

Cecilie Øien (Fafo)
Esben Leifsen (University of Oslo)
Cecilie Øien
Esben Leifsen
Wills 3.33
Start time:
19 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The workshop will explore the conditions for anthropological research with and on children in a time when the child as a social, analytical and bureaucratic category occupies an increasingly significant place in public discourses and policies.

Long abstract:

Informal networks of care constitute a social and cultural potential for children and adult caretakers who are involved in informal and illegal migration within and into Europe. Informal child migration, child circulation and social models of informal kinship care are phenomena that have been studied extensively by anthropologists in other parts of the world through the study of kinship, economy and gender. The now well-established migration of people from Asia to Europe, the opening up of Eastern Europe and its economic transformation in the 1990s, and the current influx of labour migrants from Latin America together with the more established African diasporic populations from former colonies constitute migration trends that (re)introduce the issues of informal child migration, informal kinship care and transnational networks of care to a European context. <br/>In anthropological research on children the focus is often on the child as a member of social networks and groups, whereas in rights discourses and policies s/he is normally defined as an individual, following the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Papers should explore some of the following issues: What impact do children's rights discourses have on anthropological research on children? What are the implications of widespread normative approaches to the child for this kind of research? What are the limits to methodological relativism in anthropological research on children? And what about the ethical issues related to working with and on children - have they changed and can there be any standard guidelines? <br/>Both ethnographic and theoretical contributions are welcome.