30.07.2015 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

QUERY: The Right to Education for Migrant Children - Policy Recommendations and Best Practices


Please respond by 25 August 2015: gym2013unesco(at)gmail.com

Children are the most unrecognized and vulnerable groups among internal migrants, migrating alone or with their families. Migrant children often lose access to basic entitlements, miss out on schooling and are subject to health and security risks. Child migrants forgo critical inputs necessary for their physical, psychological and intellectual development during their formative years. This has an irreversible impact on their emotional and cognitive development. 

Migrant children – currently estimated at 15 million (Daniel 2011; Smita 2011) - are among the most educationally marginalized in India. More than 5 years after the promulgation of the act, the right to education (under the Right to Education Act, [RTE] 2009) of migrant children still remains highly compromised:  seasonal and temporary migration results in disruption of regular and continued schooling of children, adversely affecting their human capital formation and contributing to the inter-generational transmission of poverty.

Why is education critical to the issue of distress seasonal migration? Because the window of opportunity that children of migrant families have is very small. They get drawn into labour early, and are usually full-fledged labourers by the age of 11 or 12. They face a life of hardship and a sense of displacement right from infancy. They are subjected to hazardous travel between villages and work sites, and a life of severe depravation at the latter. Girl children endure many more deprivations than boys. They receive less nutrition and less care than boys, and often have to do double the work, at work sites as well as at home (Smita 2007. Locked Homes, Empty Schools – the Impact of Distress Seasonal Migration on the Rural Poor). 

Query: Policy Recommendations and Best Practices to Ensure Right to Education for Migrant Children

In the context of the current consultations for a New Education Policy (NEP) and the current negotiations on labour reforms, it is of vital importance for migrating children that their specific needs are understood, addressed and incorporated into a coherent policy discourse. We are therefore encouraging development practitioners, education experts and policy makers to respond with their research or/and field experiences to suggest tangible policy recommendations and share best practices on How to Ensure the Right to Education for Migrant Children.

The Consolidated Reply, based on all responses received, will be distributed during the National Consultation on Children and Internal Migration in India, co-organized by Aide et Action and UNESCO with the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, on 22-23 September 2015 in New Delhi

The Consolidated Reply, duly acknowledging your contribution, will also be shared through our networks, websites and GYM mailing list of experts. 

We look forward to an engaging discussion and concrete examples.

To download the QUERY, click here

To respond please write to: gym2013unesco(at)gmail.com. You can also log on to our portal and submit your responses under the discussion forum at http://www.solutionexchange-un-gengym.net/


With thanks and appreciation:

Marina Faetanini, UNESCO/GYM Team

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