Alternation call for papers 2019

Theme: Migration, Youth and Children

Issue Editors: Prof Herbert Moyo & Dr. Beatrice Okyere-Manu


Human beings are mobile entities, and in recent years we have experienced large movements and migrations of people in different parts of the world.

Many people across the world are migrating, motivated by socio-economic, religious, political and/ or environmental factors.

The United Nations estimates that there are about 244 million international migrants and 740 million internally displaced (intra-national) migrants at present. (Cf.


Reasons Why People Migrate

People migrate for complex reasons, such as:

  • to seek opportunities for the improvement of incomes, education, job opportunities, and economic advancement and general well-being;
  • to join family members who have already migrated, in the quest for job, and career security, upward mobility, and intellectual advancement;
  • to escape from different forms of religious persecution, social, political, economic and general cultural marginalisation, threats, and discrimination;
  • to flee regions characterised by militarised violence, or endemic ethnic conflicts, with the resultant collapse of infrastructure as well as educational and municipal, social systems, and social services;
  • to move away from political, economic, and religious conditions that cause personal, and social hurt/ harm, insecurity and general instability with regard to living conditions, living prospects, and prospects for the future improvement of living and socio-cultural conditions, and general hopes for the advancement of the quality of life;
  • to dissociate from forms of factional and sectarian intimidation, coercion, and oppressive and exploitative systems, often perpetrated by, or involving paramilitary hegemonies; and
  • to move away from disaster areas, due to environmental degradation, endemic seasonal droughts, and the effects and impacts of globalisation and global warming.

In fact, suffice to say that there are many drivers of migration, even though, in some cases they may be only temporary, ranging from some months to a decade or more. Many, though, are more-or-less permanent, in the ever-increasing stresses and strains that social groups experience locally, ranging from the continuing and lasting effects and impacts of different forms of globalisation and marginalisation, or local strife, conflicts, and disorder.

Such drivers will change proportionately, and also with regard to their diverse impacts, over the coming decades. How, and that they will impact and influence people's decisions about where they want to live, or move to, for the reasons outlined above, will not.

Rather, the opposite, may be the case, and within another decade or more, we may end up with many more displaced people than the approximately 1 billion people currently. (The UN website above indicates that migrants or displaced populations increased with 41% since 2000.)


The Focus on Children and Youth

In the process of migration, it is assumed, that it is especially children and youth that are caught up in the dynamics of the migration of their parents and/ or guardians. Children are often also separated from their parents (one or both parents) during processes of migration, due to the un-coordinated, if not chaotic nature of migration, or because of international statist or nation-state conditions and agreements.

Children and youth that happen to travel with their parents may experience the same challenges experienced by adults. Sometimes, due to them being children and youth in the growing up stages of their lives, they may experience these migrations as quite unsettling, as well as psychologically, socially, and religiously disconcerting, if not confusing, and bewildering.

Some may end up in the receiving country as undocumented illegal residents, while some will be well documented usually aligned with the registration processes their parents have to go through.

Such children – whether legal or illegal – may also experience forms of hospitality and/ or forms of alienation and even xenophobia in their receiving communities.

There are also many cultural dimensions with their accompanying dynamics, that impact children and youth in their host countries, and all these impact their lives for better or worse, and that, for most, the rest of their lives.

This special issue of the Alternation journal seeks to then interrogate the various forms of the articulation of the impact(s) of migration on children and the youth.

There is a need for thorough research on the issues mentioned above.

An important outcome of the research will be that it will indicate both the hopes and aspirations, but also the stresses and strains that not only lead to decisions to migrate, but also as to what migrant children and youth experience in their new countries of adoption, and settlement. It will also open up possibilities for intervention in areas of conflict and stresses and strain – if not in their countries of origin, then their new, and adopted countries.

The research may also be importantly used for actual contextually-focused research, that may also give rise to possibilities for qualitative interventions.

Accordingly, it is also to be noted that this Call for Papers, invites research which has been and are being done on Migration, Children, and Youth from inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary perspectives and approaches.

As indicated above, these may span the socio-economic, political, religious, cultural, but also legal, and ethical realities of migration.

It is also suggested, and it would be informative, if most papers would actively engage the perspectives of children and youth themselves.

It may also engage the issues concerning how host communities are being prepared for the hosting of immigrant families including children and youth?

What are the experiences of migrant children and youth?

What are their stories, views, reflections, but also hopes and aspirations?

This special issue then seeks to deepen our intellectual engagements and scholarly understandings of how migration affect and impact children and youth.


Suggested Topics

  • Children and Youth who migrate in families, or alone: what particular rights should unaccompanied and separated children have? How should they be treated in the context of border controls, and statist and nationalist systems and agreements?
  • Children and Youth who are left behind; many children are left behind, when parents of families migrate, most often with another family member or friends: How does migration impact them?
  • Children and Youth differ from adults in some important aspects, although their migration experiences are similar: In what respects are the theories and claims about adult migration applicable to children, and vice-versa?
  • The Migration experiences of Children and Youth: Are child and youth experiences and perceptions of migration special, and different from adults, and do these justify special treatment? Are children always, as the UNICEF claims, the most vulnerable group?
  • Do individual states have obligations towards migrating Children and Youth, especially when it comes to socio-cultural integration, citizenship or access to education and health care?
  • Is Youth and Child migration also a problem for global justice, and, if it is, how does, and should social, as well as legal justice matters impact the migration of Children and Youth?
  • Youth and Child migration is closely connected to a vast range of injustices: war, poverty, exploitation, desertification, social discrimination, and even persecution and expulsion. What are the most significant factors that impact the migration of Children and Youth, and how could caring communities cater for them, in both their home and host countries?
  • Also, how do national and international organisations deal with those children who are unable to migrate in their searches for better lives and living conditions, and remain stuck in their conditions of threat, insecurity, and deprivation?
  • African Communitarian thinking and child, and youth migration: Are there any social systems, and actual social interventions evidence with regard to this focus, and if there are, how do they function, how could they be enhanced, and augmented?


Some seminal sources

Goodwin-Gill, Guy 1996. Protecting the Human Rights of Refugee Children: Some Legal and Institutional Possibilities. In Doek, J., H. van Loon & P. Vlaardingerbroek (eds): Children on the Move: How to Implement their Right to Family Life. The Hague: Nijhoff. Available on Google Scholar, at:

Nicholson, Caroline 2005. A First Call on Available Resources for Child Refugees in South Africa. De Jure 28/1. Cf.

UNHCR. 1994. Refugee Children: Guidelines on Protection and Care. Available at:

Amongst many specialist research sources, please also feel free to access,

  • The Open access sources on Google, at: as well as:

  • The Open Access sources on Google Scholar at:



Interested contributors are encouraged to submit their abstracts to the Alternation guest editors of this special edition. Prof. Herbert Moyo ( and Dr. Beatrice Okyere-Manu (

Abstracts for papers should include:

  • A succinct title
  • A brief abstract (± 200 words)
  • Author/s name/s 
  • Author/s institutional affiliation
  • Contact details


Time frame (10 May – 31 December 2019)

  • Friday 10 May 2019 Deadline for submission of abstracts
  • Friday 31 May 2019 Final date for decisions on abstract
  • Friday 30 August 2019 Final date for submission of paper
  • Friday 30 August to Thursday 31 October Peer review process
  • Friday 8 November 2019 Submission of final edited paper
  • Tuesday 31 December 2019 Publication



Alternation is a fully accredited, peer-reviewed South African Department of Higher Education and Training journal. It is edited by Prof J.A. Smit, former Dean and Head of School, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, and published at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, on an Open Access platform. All articles are subject to peer-review by at least two independent peer reviewers. All articles that pass the review process, and that are accepted for publication, will be published online, at:  

The Alternation homepage is available at:




Guidelines for Contributors, and Alternation Style


Manuscripts must be submitted in English (UK). If quotations from other languages appear in the manuscript, place the original in a footnote and a dynamic-equivalent translation in the body of the text or both in the text.


Contributors must submit one computer-generated copy of the manuscript to the editor(s). The computer-generated copy must be in Word for Windows, and must have an Abstract and Keywords. It must also be submitted in the Alternation style. 


Manuscripts should range between 5000-10000 and book reviews between 800-1200 words. However, longer articles may be considered for publication.


Attach a cover page containing the following information: The corresponding author's full name, address, e-mail address, position, department, university/ institution, and telephone/ fax numbers. A brief summary of the biodate of all authors must be attached too.


Maps, diagrams and posters must be presented in print-ready form. Clear black and white or colour digitised photos (postcard size) or diagrams in pdf or jpeg may also be submitted.


Use footnotes sparingly. In order to enhance the value of the interaction between notes and text, we use footnotes and not endnotes.


Authors may use their own numbering systems in the manuscript.


Except for bibliographical references, abbreviations must include full-stops. The abbreviations (e.a.) = 'emphasis added'; (e.i.o.) = 'emphasis in original'; (i.a.) or [...] = 'insertion added' may be used.


The full bibliographical details of sources are provided only once at the end of the manuscript under References. References in the body of the manuscript should follow the following convention: Mkhize (2017:14) argues .... or, at the end of a reference/quotation: .... (Ngwenya 2017:20f).


The surname and initials of authors as they appear in the source must be used in the References section.


Review articles and book reviews must include a title as well as the following information concerning the book reviewed: title, author, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, number of pages and the ISBN number.


In the text as well as the References, all book, journal, newspaper and magazine titles must be in italics.


The format for the References section is as follows:


Journal article by one author

Fulela, B. 2008. Checking the Post: Derrida and the Apartheid Debate. Alternation 15,2: 11 – 37. Available at: (Accessed on 08 May 2017.)


Journal article by two authors

Mkhize, N. & N. Ndimande-Hlongwa 2014. African Languages, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), and the Transformation of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Higher Education. Alternation 21,2: 10 – 37. Available at: (Accessed on 08 May 2017.)


Book by one author

Moran, S. 2009. Representing Bushmen: South Africa and the Origin of Language. Rochester: University of Rochester Press. (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, Book 38.)


Book by one editor

Smit, J.A. (ed.) 1999. Body, Identity, Sub-cultures and Repression in Texts from Africa. Durban: CSSALL.


Book by two editors

Dhunpath, R. & R. Vithal (eds.) 2012. Alternative Access to Higher Education: Underprepared Students or Underprepared Institutions? Cape Town: Pearson Publishers.


Chapter in an edited book

Smit, J.A. & J. van Wyk 2001. Literary Studies in Post-apartheid South Africa. In Zegeye, A. & R. Kriger (eds.): Culture in the New South Africa after Apartheid. Volume 2. Cape Town: Kwela Books & History on Line.


Translated book

Foucault, M. 1977. Discipline and Punish. Sheridan, A. (trans.). New York: Pantheon.


Online resource

Jansen, J. & P. Vale (Co-chairs.) 2011. Consensus Study on the State of the Humanities in South Africa. Status, Prospects and Strategies. Pretoria: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Available at: (Accessed on 08 May 2017.)