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Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh / South Asia




Social Protection

Social ProtectionSocial protection is an emerging field of interest in development policy, as a core element of the objective to halve world poverty by 2015. Recent work at IDS (Sussex) has helped to refine what we understand as social protection – here, we conceive it quite broadly to refer to all measures that assist individuals, households, and communities to better manage the income and other risks that create and perpetuate vulnerability. This definition moves away from the traditional safety-nets agenda of the late 1980s and early 1990s that focused primarily on social assistance and welfare programmes, to include preventive and promotive intiatives that constitute ‘springboards’ out of poverty and into productive livelihoods. Social protection can include risk management actions taken by migrants and migrants’ families themselves and services and measures provided by the state, NGOs and other organisations.

The link between migration and social protection is twofold. First, migration is often in itself a social protection measure – in other words, members of poor households may migrate in response to low incomes, food insecurity or external shocks in order to protect the household. However, in addition, migration may also create new social protection needs for those who migrate and for those who are left behind.

To date, the Centre has undertaken some pilot research in Ghana with migrant workers in the country’s pineapple-growing sector, as well as in-depth research in Bangladesh and India (see Internal Migration). Building on this, a major new piece of empirical work is planned for 2006-07, which will look comparatively at the social protection mechanisms developed by internal migrants in Ghana, and Ghanaians working abroad in Nigeria and the UK. This will be linked to a set of other regional case studies funded by the World Bank and DFID. This will enable a comparative study to be set up that will focus on Malawians in South Africa and the UK.


  Key Projects
  1a: Social Protection of Temporary Work Migrants in Bangladesh and India

1b: Livelihoods, Social Protection and Intergenerational Equity in Migration from Bangladesh to the Gulf

1c: Social Protection of Workers in Global Agriculture: the case of the Ghana pineapple sector

1d: Portability, Access and Reciprocity: Social Protection Regimes for Migrants


Social Protection and Internal Migration in Bangladesh: Supporting the Poorest (BP9)

Social Protection of Migrants from the Global South: Protection gaps and Strategies to 'Self-insure' (BP14)

Child Migration, Child Agency and Inter-generational Relations in Africa and South Asia (WP-T24)

Migration and Social Protection: A Concept Paper, Dec 2003 (WP-T2)

  A workshop on migration and social protection is planned for early in 2007.

  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs