Children on the Move in Africa

Children on the Move in Africa

Past and Present Experiences of Migration

Edited by Elodie Razy, Marie Rodet


James Currey



A timely interdisciplinary, comparative and historical perspective on African childhood migration that draws on the experience of children themselves to look at where, why and how they move - within and beyond the continent - and the impact of African child migration globally.

Children in Africa are heavily involved in migration but we know too little about the circumstances in which they migrate, their motivations and the impact of migration on their welfare, on wider society and in a global context. This book seeks to retrieve the experiences of child migrants, and to examine how child migration differs from adult migration and whether the condition of childhood pushes individuals towards specific migratory trajectories. It also examines the opportunities that child migrants seek elsewhere, the lack of opportunities that make them move elsewhere and to what extent their trajectories and strategies are gendered.
Analysing the diversity and complexity of children's experiences of mobility in Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Sudan, Togo and Zambia, the authors look at patterns of fosterage, child circulation within Africa and beyond the continent; the role of education, child labour and conceptions of place and "home"; and the place of the child narrator in migrant fiction. Comparing different methodological and theoretical approaches and setting the case studies within the broader context of family migration, transnational families, colonial and postcolonial migration politics, religious encounter and globalization in Africa, this book provides a much-needed examination of this contentious and critical issue.

Elodie Razy is Associate Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Liege (FaSS). She is the co-founder and co-editor of the online journal AnthropoChildren: Ethnographic Perspectives in Children & Childhood. Marie Rodet is a Senior Lecturer in African History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). She is currently working on her second monograph on slave resistance in Kayes, Mali.

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May 2016
2 black and white, 5 line illustrations
255 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781847011381
Format: Hardback
James Currey
BISAC SOC047000, SOC002010, HIS001000
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Table of Contents

Preface - Benjamin N. Lawrance
Introduction: Child Migration in Africa: Key Issues and New Perspectives - Elodie Razy
Introduction: Child Migration in Africa: Key Issues and New Perspectives - PART I: CHILD MIGRANTS: BETWEEN VULNERABILITY AND AGENCY? - Marie Rodet
"An Ardent Desire to be Useful": Senegalese Students, Religious Sisters and Migration for Schooling in France, 1824-1840 - Kelly Duke-Bryant
Girl Pawns, Brides and Slaves: Child Trafficking in Southeastern Nigeria, 1920s - Robin Chapdelaine
"Bringing a Girl from the Village": Gender, Child Migration and Domestic Service in Post-colonial Zambia - Sacha Hepburn
"I Will Never Become a Crocodile but I am Happy if I Eat Enough": A Psychological Analysis of Child Fosterage and Resilience in Contemporary Mali - Paola Porcelli
Working as a "Boy": Labour, Age and Masculinities in Togo, c. 1975-2005 - Marco Gardini
Childhood, Space and Memory: Migrations of the Métis in Central Highland Madagascar - Violaine Tisseau
"We Were Mixed with all Types": Educational Migration in the Northern Territories of Colonial Ghana - Lacy S. Ferrell
India-South Africa Mobilities in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: Minors, Immigration Encounters in Cape Town and Becoming South African - Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie
Education, Migration and Nationalism: Mapping the School Days of the First Genderation of Southern Sudanese Nationalist Leaders, c. 1948-1972 - with Harjyot Hayer - Hannah Whitaker
Child Narration as Device for Negotiation for Space and Identity Formation in Recent Nigerian Migrant Fiction - Oluwole Coker


[T]ouches on many current themes in the literature of African childhood. Razy and Rodet's introduction does a particularly good job describing the state of the field, making it useful in classrooms . interrogating how migrant children have fit into various representations of the world enriches our understanding of contemporary social contexts and has the ability to expand the purview of African policymakers in the future. IJAHS

Elodie Razy and Marie Rodet have assembled an impressive range of contributions to this fascinating volume on African children and migration . in all, this is an impressive collection with a broad reach that will undoubtedly stimulate further much-needed work on African children and childhoods. The volume reaches across boundaries, both spatial and disciplinary. JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH