This article is concerned with the precarious employment situations of migrant youth and the supportive role of social networks. It draws on interviews conducted with 30 young migrants in Accra, Ghana. The empirical findings reveal that the precarious nature of young people’s employment manifests in the uncertain nature of work, exploitation by clients and employers, as well as low and irregular income. These lead to socioeconomic hardships such as not being able to meet basic needs. The article further demonstrates how social networks strengthen young migrants’ agency through the provision of financial resources that allow them to navigate hardships. However, exploitative practices are also inherent within these networks and this article exposes these, alongside the demonstrable benefits. Provision of financial support for rural young people to further their education, enforcement of laws within the informal sector and support for migrants’ networks would help improve the situation.
Bibliographical note© 2017 The Author. IDS Bulletin © Institute of Development Studies | DOI: 10.19088/1968-2017.128 This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International licence, which permits downloading and sharing provided the original authors and source are credited – but the work is not used for commercial purposes. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode
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- Economic survival
- Head porters
- Informal sector
- Social injustice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development