PROGRAM SNAPSHOTS

Labor Migration’s Impact Economically, Socially and Politically in Nepal

At Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport, young men and women snake through the international terminal, waiting their turn to begin what could be the world’s longest commute to work. More than 1,500 people depart the country in this way every day, mostly bound for temporary jobs as construction workers, domestic servants, or low-skill laborers in the Gulf countries and East Asia, cut adrift in a foreign land.

Watch a film chronicling the journey of Nepal’s Migrant Workers

Over the past decade, Nepal has seen a ten-fold increase in the number of migrant laborers leaving the country to work abroad, and the majority are youth. This phenomenon has led to the exodus of a significant proportion of the country’s working-age population, with the remittances that they send back home making up nearly a third of the country’s GDP. Despite the continual rise in the number of people migrating for foreign employment, there is little known about the impact foreign labor migration has on the social and political dynamics at the local level. The Asia Foundation recently developed Shuvayatra (Safe Journey), a safe migration tool for migrants, and conducted a new study examining the impact of labor migration economically, socially, and politically, and the transformation of society brought about by migration. Labour Migration and the Remittance Economy, was carried out in 10 locations in five districts with support from USAID and in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility at Social Science Baha.

Related locations: Nepal
Related programs: Economic Opportunity, Strengthen Governance
Related topics: Labor Migration