Every child matters? Ambivalences and convergences in migration management and child protection in Albania

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Abstract

Research on the intersection between migration management and child protection is limited and, yet, contradictions between these two domains and ambivalence in the area of child migrants’ rights across the developed world have already been highlighted. Based on fieldwork with policymakers and service providers in Albania, a middle-to-high income country with a significant history of emigration, this paper aims to shed light on the interaction of these institutional and policy domains and the impact they have on professional practice. The State’s impact on migrant children’s rights at domestic level is affected by the resourcefulness of its system of social and child protection. This key factor appears to affect the work of professionals on the ground and ultimately mean a variety of categories of child migrants have limited access to child protection services. Professional practice in this context highlights the need to include material dimensions – the resources needed to realise child protection on the ground - in its definition, and to consider the impact of multi-scalar influences on service providers’ work. The two domains of migration management and child protection appear to converge in the case of unaccompanied minors (UAMs). In turn, stateless, returned migrant children and those from very disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds are overlooked, giving rise to unequal access to state support. Nonetheless, an overall disjuncture appears in the context of transnational child protection, due to the rigid focus on nationality as a precondition for state support.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalChild Care in Practice
Early online date27 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • migration management
  • child protection
  • child migration
  • professional practice
  • Albania

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