Children and Migration: identities, mobilities and belonging(s)

9-11th April 2008
Venue: University College Cork, Ireland

Abstracts are invited for this international and interdisciplinary conference exploring childhood and migration.

While a wealth of research exists in the broad area of migration and childhood from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds, there are few opportunities to bring this together in an integrated forum. This conference aims to provide such a forum by focusing on the intersection of these research and policy areas, focusing on children’s own experiences and perspectives of migration, diaspora and transnationalism. One of the aims of the event is to facilitate a dialogue between academic, practitioner and policy-maker perspectives. It is hoped the conference will also be an opportunity to bring together related but distinct areas of research/policy, for example national dynamics of integration with transnational processes, and, children’s experiences of migration with the experiences of children and youth in ethnic minorities.

Therefore we welcome papers which explore all aspects of children’s migrations, transnational childhoods, diasporic childhood/youth, including internal and international migration, traveller and nomadic lifestyles, and return migration.

Papers using qualitative, quantitative and/or mixed methods approaches are welcome, particularly those using new participatory methodologies with children, as well as analyses of policy or practice.

We welcome papers or posters in the following and other related topics:

  • Comparative approaches to children’s experiences of different migration regimes, eg, children’s experiences of forced migration and asylum-seeking processes, children in labour migrant families, experiences of documented/undocumented status in different national contexts, children and internal migration, separated children
  • Children’s transnational experiences; transnational families and lifestyles (including families fragmented by international migration, as well as mobile global elites, and return migrant families)
  • Children’s perspectives on ethnic, migrant and other identities, and their experiences of racialisation, integration, and peer networks (across different social spaces such as home, school, neighbourhood, and public spaces)
  • Cross-cultural research methods and ethics in research on children and migration
  • Analyses of policy responses to the needs of migrant children and youth, including education policies and practices incorporating intercultural dimensions
  • Parenting in immigrant and ethnic minority families, children’s roles in migrant families, children’s participation in migration decision-making
  • We also welcome offers for participation in a plenary panel discussion on meeting the needs of migrant children. Participants would give a 5-10 minute talk on an aspect of policy, practice or experience at local, national or international scale, on which they wish to raise awareness and open a discussion. These could include short case-studies, policy critiques or models of best practice.

Keynote speakers:
Katy Gardner and Kanwal Mand (University of Sussex, UK)
Migration and the life-cycle: what the study of transnational children in London can tell us
Jill Rutter (Institute for Public Policy Research, UK) (Title to be announced)

The conference is supported by a Marie Curie Excellence Grant and is hosted by the Marie Curie Migrant Children Research Team, Department of Geography, University College Cork.

A limited number of bursaries for postgraduate students, unwaged and contract researchers will be made available (see details on website). Closing date for applications: 31st October 2007.

Deadline for submission of abstracts (max. 250 words) is 31st October 2007. Expressions of interest and offers of papers/posters are welcome prior to the deadline.

Abstracts, expressions of interest and enquiries should be sent to: Caitríona Ní Laoire, Migrant Children Research Team, Department of Geography, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Email: migrantchildren AT

Conference information available at:

Information on conference fees and registration will be made available on the website from 1st September 2007.

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