Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Public Health

pp 919-921

Migrant Children

  • Liane SchenkAffiliated withCharité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Young migrants; Children and adolescents from migrant families


The term “migrant children” comprises children and adolescents (adolescence) whose life situation is shaped by their own experience of migration, by that of their families or by the status of belonging to an (ethnic) minority. Thus the children and young people have either migrated themselves or belong to the following generations. Their position in the life-cycle and the migration process is associated with special challenges and coping strategies that can have an impact on their health and health care behavior.

Basic Characteristics

Migration: A Cross-Generational Process

Migration may place its own particular imprint on the life-worlds of children and adolescents, both when they themselves are migrants or born into following generations. Seldom the decision to migrate is taken by one single individual; generally it is a project embraced by the whole family, a collective decision affecting ...

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