Falling between the cracks: How poverty and migration are resulting in inadequate care for children in Viet Nam’s Mekong Delta

Briefing papers
December 2014
Nicola Jones, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Dang Bich Thuy
While internal, rural-to-urban migration is responsible for much of Viet Nam’s recent economic growth, there has been little attention directed at the ways in which migration is intersecting with poverty to leave some children particularly vulnerable to exploitation and inadequate care. A complex household registration system, which serves to limit both legal migration and access to social services, means that many young migrants migrate illegally – and thus invisibly – and the children of migrants, whether they migrate with their parents or are left behind in the care of rural relatives, have difficulty accessing needed educational and health services.

Investigating the relationship between poverty, migration and children’s wellbeing, this briefing synthesises findings from one of three country case studies undertaken as part of a two-year Oak Foundation-funded programme of work which explored the potential for greater linkages between child protection and anti-poverty work in low- and middle-income countries.

The research draws on qualitative and participatory research methodologies to ascertain the drivers of migration, assess the key threats facing migrant and left-behind children, and explore the programming options that communities believe would better protect their children.