Invitation to Public Lecture By Dr. Delali M. Badasu, Dr.Thomas Yeboah, Mrs. Abena Anobea Asare And Joha I.Braimah




The Underside of the Free Movement within the ECOWAS Bloc: Vulnerabilities and Policy Dimensions of Children on the Move

Dr. Delali Badasu, Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana
Dr. Thomas Yeboah, Center for Trust Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University
Mrs. Abena Anobea, Director at the Human Trafficking Secretariat under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP)
Mr. Joha I. Braimah, Free the Slaves Ghana Country Director, Doctoral Candidate in Migration Studies, University of Ghana


The ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol was enacted to facilitate intra-regional mobility and promote socio-economic development in the West African sub-region. It has an instrument titled ‘ECOWAS Support Procedures and Standards for the Protection and Reintegration of Vulnerable Children on the Move and Young Migrants’. While studies have examined different aspects of the free movement of persons and goods as well as the associated implementation challenges, little is known about the mobility trajectories of young people and children in the sub-region, including the complex underlying factors that shape their migration motives, opportunities and vulnerabilities as well as the policy dimensions of their movement. Drawing on different research works and experiences, this presentation focuses on three main inter-related issues on the movement of the young people/children within the context of free movement regime in West Africa.  First, with reference to the migration infrastructures concept, we examine the different migration patterns of young people and the complex interplay of natural and demographic factors, social networks, and human agency, among other factors that account for the movement of young people within, out and into Ghana under the ECOWAS free movement regime. Second we examine the trafficking of children as a consequence of child migration and sustained socio-cultural practices such as child fostering. Ghana is often described as a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. This means victims of trafficking, both adults and children are in the mix of the huge numbers of migrants within the country and in the sub region. Thirdly we examine the legal documents, laws and policies on migration that directly or indirectly affect young migrants. We suggest that current knowledge and perspectives regarding free movement in the ECOWAS Bloc largely exclude the dynamics of the movement of young people. While there are various migration-related policies to protect young people, there is no single comprehensive policy to facilitate, promote and protect the migration of young people with respect to the dynamics of child migration. We suggest the need for revision of existing legal frameworks and the development of innovative policies and interventions that take into consideration the dynamics of the movements, characteristics of the young people/children and the different actors involved in this migration stream instead of the simplistic and ad hoc approaches.

Date: Wednesday 10 April, 2019
Venue: University of Ghana, International House, Centre for Migration Studies, Seminar Room (3rd floor)
Time: 2:00 PM