Children left behind by parental migration in the context of Tajikistan
Migration and Children: Reflections on Voluntary and Forced Migration
Tajikistan is one of the top ten countries in the world most dependent on the remittances sent home by migrant workers. The continuity of labour migration, mostly to the Russian Federation, raises important questions and concerns about the general wellbeing of the left behind children. Children left behind are worthy of study in their own right, because they are often the most affected due to their relative immaturity and lack of social power in Tajik society. Using a child-centred ethnography, this study provided these children with an opportunity to express their feelings and understanding and to help us see the many ways they experience parental absence and their lives with the extended family. Being left behind in Tajikistan has become ‘naturalized’; as a result, the hardships faced by the children become invisible. The results of this study reveal that these experiences are influenced by the gender of the child. If girls were more open to expressing their feelings to me, boys, on the other hand, were influenced by traditional and stereotypical views of masculinity where expressing feelings is not ‘manly’. Girls' are subject to excessive amounts of household chores as well as taking care of other children in the household. The findings of my research show that children experience abuse of various forms, along with withdrawal, insecurity and loneliness. Yet, they also showed the potential for resilience in the face of adversity using many ways to cope with their situations, such as crying to feel better, using school as a safer space away from home, social networking and spending time with friends/neighbours.
Classificação Fields of Science and Technology
- Ciências da Educação - Ciências Sociais
- Sociologia - Ciências Sociais
- Outras Ciências Sociais - Ciências Sociais
- Antropologia - Ciências Sociais