Title: Impacts of Parents' Cross-Border Migration on Children in Hlaing Bwe Township, Kayin State, Myanmar
Author: Naw Phoebe
Temporary cross-border labour migration of parents from Myanmar to other countries is often motivated by desires to provide economic opportunities for the family and educational opportunities for their children. This study is to find out the impacts on left behind families, children and community due to migration of parents in terms of socio-economic condition and children's access to education. The study area was in Ta Won Phan Ya village located in Hlaing Bwe Township in Kayin State, Myanmar. The study adopted both quantitative and qualitative methods. Survey method was used for quantitative technique. 1n-depth interview with children, caregivers and the community key informants and focus group discussion with children were applied as qualitative research techniques. Migration of parents has both positive and negative impact on the children, family and the community. The results from parents' migration show the 'improvement in family's socioeconomic status that faces poverty and has limited job opportunities by means of remittances. Remittances enable the families mainly solve the day to day living. Moreover, remittances contribute to maintain children's access to education and other well being of the family such as renovation of the houses repay debts and pay tax etc and perform meritorious deeds which are highly value in their tradition. In addition, with warm support from the caregivers, extended family members and the community, the children and members back home encounter no major problem. On the other hand, there are some downsides of migration. Remittance of parents can put children at risk if money is not being used correctly. Remittances are mostly seen as not being used in a productive way other than used for the consumerism. As a result, members' migration cannot be reduces besides will increase in numbers. Absence of parents makes children become less interest in education as children do not see education as a worthy investment as they see that parents can earn money abroad without obtaining any higher education. Besides, since majority of the productive workforce leave the village, there is stagnation in the rural economy and it can gradually decline in the near future. As migration is concern with lack of job opportunity, country's economic strategy should be review in order to reduce the unemployment of the citizens.
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