Social Science Baha

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Report on Labour Migration, Its Socio-Political Impact Released

14 March 2017
The Kathmandu Post

A report on socio-political impact of labour migration and remittance economy was released in the Capital on Monday.

Peter Malnak, mission director at the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), released the report titled “Labour Migration and the Remittance Economy: The Socio-Political Impact”, which is based on a study carried out in the five districts by the Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility at Social Science Baha.

The districts where the study was conducted are Panchthar, Dhanusha, Nawalparasi, Kaski and Kailali, according to a press statement issued by Social Science Baha. The study was funded by USAid under the Combatting Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) project which is being implemented by The Asia Foundation.

“Findings from the study indicate that migration has generally been economically beneficial for migrant households but it has also played an important role in further facilitating broader socio-

political changes already underway in Nepal,” says the report. “The study also found that while migration has benefited migrant households, the costs and benefits of migration vary by caste/ethnicity, class, and region.”

The report attributes the change in relations between the poor and landless and landed patrons over the years to various political changes and socio-political movements in the country. “And migration has played an important complementary role in providing migrant households with the economic means to consolidate those changes,” says the report.

The report also sheds light on how male migration impacts women-positively and negatively.

“Male migration has had both empowering and disempowering effects on women and their position in the household,” it says. “Some women have experienced greater responsibility and autonomy in everyday household decision-making, increased mobility, and exposure to the outside world. At the same time, it has also prevented women’s participation in the public sphere since the absence of their husbands adds to the many more responsibilities women already have.”

The report has also made some recommendations. “Migration takes place within a broader social, economic, and political context and not in isolation from these processes,” it says. “Since migration is simultaneously an intrinsic part of social transformation and also a major force reshaping community and social relations, research on migration needs to be embedded into fundamental questions exploring the major processes of social transformation taking place.”


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