Labor Migration, Child Health and Mortality in Rural Mozambique

Boaventura Cau, Arizona State University
Arusyak Sevoyan, Arizona State University

Labor migration may influence the ability of households to care for their children. Despite large-scale internal and international labor migration in Sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about the effect of labor migration on child health and childhood mortality in origin areas. Using data from a survey of 1,680 women married to migrants and non-migrants conducted in rural areas of southern Mozambique in 2006, this study examines differences between households of migrants and households of non-migrants in under-5 mortality and child health. Preliminary results show that father’s current migration has a net negative effect on child survival, while cumulative migration experience, on the contrary, positively affects child survival. The analysis of selected health indicators also suggests that children of current migrants may be disadvantaged. We provide explanations for these complex patterns in terms of economic, social and gender implications of contemporary male labor migration for the well-being of non-migrating household members.

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Presented in Session 42: Migration and Child Well-Being