Home About the DRC Research Partners Publications News/Events Links Contact us
  More About or or

> All research projects

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 and
South Asia




Project 3b(1)
The North-South Migration of Children in Ghana

Internal migration has been one major process of population distribution in Ghana, particularly north-south migration. While conscious efforts were made to develop the forest and coastal belts for the production of minerals, cash crops and timber products for export facilitated by the creation of ports and harbours on the coast, the north was by and large ignored. More recently, liberalisation and economic reforms have seriously affected northern agriculture, primarily though the removal of fertiliser subsidies. The consequence of this uneven development has been that the north has constituted a major source of labour supply for the industries and agriculture in the south, reflecting the impoverishment in the north and the relative buoyant urban economy in the south.

One dominant migration stream from north to south is that of female adolescents, moving largely towards the cities of Accra and Kumasi, not always with positive outcomes for the migrants. Young migrants adopt diverse survival strategies, and away from support from their home communities and families, are exposed to both physical and reproductive health risks.

This study will examine the characteristics of contemporary migrants and investigate the impact of migration on the vulnerability of young migrants at destination. It will analyse the reasons stated for their decision to migrate, and provide policy suggestions on who the current wave of north-south migration might be made to work for the country’s and migrants’ advantage.

Key Research Questions

Dot What categories of persons are involved in the current spate of north-south migration flows and how significant are young female migrants in these flows?
Dot In what respects is young migrants’ vulnerability exploited to their disadvantage in destination areas?
Dot How can the benefits to migrants be maximised, and risks minimised, especially in respect of their reproductive and health rights?



Key Theme(s)
Gender and Generations

Type(s) of Migration
Child Migration

Ghana / Africa


Ann Whitehead

John Anarfi (ISSER),
Stephen Kwankye (RIPS)

Key Activities


Review of literature as preparation for a methodological workshop on child migration; surveys and case studies in Accra and Kumasi, tracing the trajectories of migration from origin to destination or vice versa; analysis of findings

Key Outputs

A report on patterns of migration in Ghana

A presentation of research at workshop on intergenerational distribution of costs and benefits of migration and at other relevant seminars/conferences

Working papers on the costs and benefits of migration and/or on decision making processes and/or health issues leading to contributions to edited volume on autonomous child migration

Policy workshop in Ghana if some outside funding can be obtained


  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
MDW Site design: Meta Design Work Ltd.
With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs