Adolescent girls and migration in the developing world

Adolescent girls and migration in the developing world

Migration is transforming our world: by the end of this decade, most developing countries will have more people living in cities than in rural areas. Most migrants are in their early to mid-20s. Substantial numbers of adolescent girls are also on the move. Because of their age and gender, migrant girls are especially vulnerable to risks such as exploitative employment. But more evidence is needed on how to maximise migration’s benefits and minimise its risks for adolescent girls.

This policy brief provides a summary of key findings and recommendations from the the Population Council report, Girls on the Move: Adolescent Girls & Migration in the Developing World, from their Girls Count series. By providing a road map for policy makers and programme planners, the report focuses on the need to increase the visibility of migrant girls, reduce their vulnerability, and realise their full potential.

Main recommendations include:

  • prepare and equip girls before they migrate - with knowledge of their rights, life skills, IDs, and other portable assets

  • reduce the risk of trafficking and exploitation by connecting girls with safe places to stay and trusted individuals and by building support networks

  • ensure health and education services are sensitive to age, sex, and migration status

  • prepare girls for success

  • design girl-only approaches to reach domestic workers, child brides, and sexually exploited girls

  • develop qualitative and longitudinal studies to shed light on migrant girls’ experiences

  • maximise the benefits of migration by increasing adolescent girls’ visibility in policy and advocacy



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