This event was originally published via the United Nations University Centre of Policy Research. Find the original post linked here.

Migration profoundly affects the lives of children – both those who move and those who do not. The phrase “left-behind children” is often used to refer to children who remain in their home country when their parents migrate to another country; and can also be applied to children whose parents have migrated internally.

Existing research tends to focus on the difficulties facing children left behind by their parents, arguing that despite improved family economic conditions, these children experience a care deficit which has a negative impact on their long-term development and may even lead to situations of exploitation.

This roundtable provides an opportunity to learn about new research and analysis that challenges this dominant policy and practice narrative. Researchers from the Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ) Hub will advocate for the term “stay back,” which better encapsulates the ways in which migration forms a part of household strategies aimed at improving children’s educational and other opportunities, and call for a rethink of policy responses to reflect children’s realities and their agency.

Roundtable objectives

The roundtable will showcase the findings of MIDEQ’s research with children in migrants households in the Global South and on developing policies and practices that respond appropriately to the needs and capabilities of children. The focus will be on:

  • Strengthening support for children who stay back and securing children’s basic social and economic rights as recognized by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Reducing the stigma experienced by stay back children and parents who migrate, and
  • Centring the rights of children who stay back in policy discussions on labour migration and migration management.

Date and time

24 July 2023, 14.00–16.00 CET (GMT+2)


The event will be held online.


The roundtable is aimed at UN agencies, Member States, NGOs, civil society organisations, academia and others working with, or responding to the needs of, children in migrant households in the Global South.


The event is organised by UNU-CPR in partnership with MIDEQ Hub and Positive Negatives.


Professor Heaven Crawley, Head, Equitable Development and Migration, UNU-CPR and Director, MIDEQ Hub.


Dr Anita Ghimire is co-investigator with the MIDEQ Hub for the Nepal–Malaysia corridor and research team leader of the Nepal Institute for Social and Environmental Research (NISER).

Dr Gabriel Sangli is a researcher with the MIDEQ Hub on childhood inequalities in migration in Burkina Faso and researcher at the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population at the Université Joseph KI-ZERBO.

Dr Meron Zeleke is a researcher with the MIDEQ Hub in Ethiopia and associate professor at Addis Ababa University Center for Human Rights.

Rawan Rbihat leads the MIDEQ Hub’s research in the Jordan–Egypt corridor and is a researcher at the Information and Research Centre, Jordan.