Escaping Violence, Seeking Freedom: Why Children in Bangladesh Migrate to the Street

45 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011

See all articles by David Hulme

David Hulme

University of Manchester - Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM)

Alessandro Conticini

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 1, 2006

Abstract

In Bangladesh, as in many developing countries, there is a widespread belief amongst the public, policymakers and social workers that children 'abandon' their families and migrate to the street because of economic poverty. This dominant narrative posits that children whose basic material needs cannot be met within the household move to the street. It ignores and avoids the growing evidence that this is not the case. This paper explores this argument through the analysis of detailed empirical research with children in Bangladesh. It finds that social factors lie behind most street migration and, in particular, that moves to the street are closely associated with violence to, and abuse of, children within the household and local community. These findings are consistent with the wider literature on street migration from other countries. In Bangladesh, those who seek to reduce the flow of children to the streets need to focus on social policy, especially on how to reduce the excessive control and emotional, physical and sexual violence that occurs in some households. Economic growth and reductions in income poverty will be helpful, but they will not be sufficient to reduce street migration by children.

Keywords: Bangladesh, social relations, childhood poverty, migration, urban areas, violence, household surveys

Suggested Citation

Hulme, David and Conticini, Alessandro, Escaping Violence, Seeking Freedom: Why Children in Bangladesh Migrate to the Street (February 1, 2006). Chronic Poverty Research Centre Working Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1757948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1757948

David Hulme (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) ( email )

Manchester M13 9GH
United Kingdom

Alessandro Conticini

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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