effect of migration on health and education outcomes for poor people,
particularly children, is an important dimension to evaluating the
costs and benefits of migration. Most accounts of the effects of
migration on health either assume that migration helps to spread
disease, and places migrants in unhealthy working or living environments,
or alternatively emphasises the undoubted negative effects that
the loss of skilled medical personnel has on the finance and functioning
of the health services in sending countries. Similarly, many accounts
of the effects of migration on education stress the risk that migration
leads to children being taken out of school.
However, some empirical work on these relationships suggests a
more nuanced picture. For example, some quantiatives studies studies
that examine the effects of migration specifically on children's
health by using national data from different parts of the world
have shown much more mixed mixed findings, with migrants benefitting
from access to better quality healthcare, and changing their healthcare-seeking
behaviour as a result. Similarly, it is not necessarily the case
the migrants abandon education – indeed, a major purpose of
migration for many households may be to raise funds to pay for the
education of children, whilst many children migrate specifically
in order to access better quality education.
To date, research in the Centre on health and education has been
limited, with small studies of the health-seeking and nutritional
behaviour of migrants in India and Egypt respectively, and a tentative
study on the relationship between migration and infant mortality
using national-level statistical data in Ghana. Similarly, our work
on education so far has emerged from a broader study of child migration,
rather than being an object of direct attention in itself.
Our intention is to seek to expand this work, notably through
two new projects on the educational consequences of migration in
Bangladesh and India, and through collaboration with WHO and others
on the issue of mobility of health professionals (see Brain Circulation).