Yesterday Kolitha Wickramage, Chesmal Siriwardhana and Sharika Peiris released a great policy brief on the health and welfare of children left behind by moms and dads who migrate from countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam to work in Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia.
Released by the Migration Policy Institute on October 1, 2015, Promoting the Health of Left-Behind Children of Asian Labour Migrants: Evidence for Policy and Action (Migration Policy Institute 2015) includes a solid human rights law framework that balances the rights of children with the right of parents to migrate, cites fascinating (and seemingly rare) studies of nutritional and mental well-being of left-behind children (with surprising outcomes based on cultural and policy maker attitudes) and highlights effective policies in some migrant sending nations. One of the issues the paper sheds light on is the stress on migrants' parents and husbands who are left behind to hold the family together when moms migrate for work - as well as the pressures placed on the entire family when moms return home after suffering an injury or abuse while working abroad.
All in all, a great read with a lot of things to think about in just a few pages. Clearly more studies about the health and welfare outcomes for children and family members left behind are needed, as well as creative policies at the local, national and regional level. Definitely check out this paper!