Time to look at girls: adolescent girls migration and development

What are the constraints and opportunies linked to migration for adolescent girls ? How do they affect their capacity to choose and to act to determine their future opportunities ?


The research explores the links between migration of adolescent girls and development in the Global South through a holistic approach that contextualises adolescents’ and young women’s agency, choices and migration experiences. More migrants move within their own region than migrate to North countries. This mixed-method and multi-sited research focuses on adolescent girls who migrate internally and internationally from Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Sudan. By considering different geographical realities, the research will explore variation in the impact adolescent girls’ migration has on their own lives, on their families and communities, and potentially on the social development of countries with different development scenarios.

The research fills an existing gap in knowledge about the reasons adolescent girls migrate and their aspirations and experiences. It will provide insights into their agency and capacity to choose, their future opportunities, as well as constraints and how these are shaped contextually.The project will feed into the global campaign “Destination Unknown” recently launched by Terre des Hommes (TDH) who is a project partner. The research will contribute to global policy debates by producing policy relevant analysis, data and recommendations.


  • Gender and migration
  • Youth
  • Generations
  • Development
  • Agency
  • South-south migration


  • Anthropology
  • Development
  • Human rights


International Organizations

  • International Organization for Migration

NGOs, States or other institutions

  • Terre des Hommes (TDH) Lausanne
  • Terre des Hommes International Federation
  • Aparajeyo Bangladesh
  • ARBAN Association for the Realization of Basic Needs, Bangladesh
  • Girl Hub, Ethiopia

Relevant Countries

  • Bangladesh
  • Ethiopia
  • Sudan


This project, started in 2013, has been completed.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Katarzyna Grabska
Graduate Institute Geneva

Chowdhury Abrar
Principal Member
Royal University of Dhaka

Marina de Regt
Principal Member
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Mirela Shuteriqi
Principal Member

Gervais Appave
Associated Member
IOM International Organisation for Migration

Jacqueline Barrin
Associated Member
Graduate Institute Geneva

Md Kamal Uddin
Associated Member

Alessandro Monsutti
Graduate Institute Geneva

Balghis Badri
Principal Member
Ahfad University for Women

Nicoletta Del Franco
Principal Member
Terre des Hommes

Ann Whitehead
Principal Member
University of Sussex

Wahida Banu
Associated Member

Jerome Elie
Associated Member

Ignacio Packer
Associated Member