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National and International Labour Migration
Rohner, Irene
Master's Thesis, University of Zurich, Switzerland Download
New Figures for Old Stories: Migration and Remittances in Nepal
Kollmair, Michael
"Labour migration and remittances are major economic mainstays for Nepal’s economy. However, there is still insufficient documentation on scale and significance of this process. Estimations of migration figures suggest that real numbers are several times higher than official statistics show. Therefore this article contributes to the emerging debate of the last years comparing latest national statistics with own empirical data. The paper concludes that the total numbers of migrants calculated by the authors closely corresponds with official statistics, while amount of remittances seems to be higher indeed, highlighting once more that labour migration and remittances are an important mainstay of Nepal’s economy." Migration Letters 2006, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 151-160 Download from: Migration Letters
Migration Patterns and Remittance Transfer in Nepal
Thieme, Susan
"International labour migration is a main livelihood strategy for many people in Nepal. This article analyses the migration process from the perspective of migrants and their non-migrating household members, exploring the institutional regulations that structure the organization of migration and the cash flows involved. The results are based on a case study conducted in Sainik Basti, Western Nepal, in 2002. The article shows that for different destinations there are specific ways of organizing migration. These country specific ways of organizing migration demand specific assets from prospective migrants and their household members and, therefore, influence their choice of destination. Savings are remitted back home mainly by carrying them personally or by using the hundi system. [...]" International Migration 2005, Vol. 43, No. 5, pp. 59–98 Available from: Blackwell Synergy
Migration – Addressing or Importing Risk?
Hamid, Hajira
"Migration across national borders is increasingly being seen as a strategy to alleviate poverty, to reduce vulnerability to crises and to support recovery once a disaster – be it a flood, an accident, or a business failure – has struck. This article aims to shed some light on the relationship between transnational migration, vulnerability and resilience. Whereas vulnerability relates to potential physical, social, economic and other damage, resilience means the capacity to survive, adapt to and bounce back from crisis and disaster (IFRC, 2004). The paper looks at migration on different levels, from individual women and men moving or staying back migrating or staying home, to the national level where aggregate population and remittance flows are counted." SDPI Research and News Bulletin 2007, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 3-6. Available from: SDPI
Nepal Migration Year Book 2011
Ghimire Bhattarai, Anita
The general objective of Nepal Migration Year Book 2011 is to provide factual, comprehensive and non-partisan data and analysis of the developments and trends of migration to, within, and from Nepal, and to put this into context. This volume covers the period of January-December 2011. More specific objectives are: - To review the general status and trends of migration for the stated period; - To account for national laws, regulations, plans and programs on migration; - To review efforts by both public and private sector to protect the migrants. Download book
"Should I buy a cow or a TV?"
Bichsel, Christine
International labour migration has become a strategy against poverty in many parts of the developing world. By remitting their earnings to the families they leave behind, migrant labourers have become a primary source of livelihoods for many of the world's poorest nations. The long-term consequences of this practice on local development are the subject of this study, based on reseach conducted in three rural communities in Mexico, India and Kyrgyzstan. NCCR North-South Dialogue 2005 Download
Transnationale soziale Netzwerke und Migration
Thieme, Susan
"Kann Migration zur Reduzierung von Armut beitragen? Immer häufiger betonen internationale Entwicklungsorganisationen die wachsende Bedeutung und das große Potenzial der Migration. Gleichzeitig hat sich die Migrationsforschung facettenreich weiterentwickelt und befasst sich unter anderem auch mit der Frage, wie Migrationshaushalte eine plurilokale Lebensunterhaltsstrategie meistern. Der Artikel zeigt Beispiele von Organisationsformen, mit denen Migrierende aus dem ruralen Nepal die Möglichkeit schaffen, in der Megastadt Delhi ihre Existenz zu sichern. Dabei wird ersichtlich, dass der Beitrag von Migration zur Existenzsicherung weit über die Bedeutung von Geldüberweisungen hinausgeht." Geographische Rundschau 2006, Vol. 58, No. 10, pp. Order from: Geographische Rundschau
"I am the Household Head now!"
Kaspar, Heidi
Kathmandu, Nepal Institute of Development Studies (NIDS)
Social Networks and Migration
Thieme, Susan
Based on existing research about the importance of migration, questions need to be raised about how Nepalese migrants live in receiving countries, what individual or structural backgrounds enable migrants and their families to benefit from migration, and what prevents them from doing so. How do migrants manage their daily lives, how do they gain access to resources, and what are their reasons for doing so? The principal aim of the study is to enhance understanding of the process of migration and its contribution to the livelihoods of people from rural areas in Nepal. It also aims to help develop interventions that will maximise the benefits of migration. NCCR North-South Dialogue, No. 15 Bern, NCCR North-South
Sustaining Livelihoods in Multi-local Settings
Thieme, Susan
"Worldwide, an increasing number of people are diversifying their income sources through migration. This mobility in most cases involves only parts of the family migrating, and this results in people's livelihoods taking on a multi-local dimension. Scholars have been studying this increasing mobility and multi-locality by applying either a livelihoods approach or one of transnational migration, but they rarely combine the two. However, one major criticism of both approaches is that they do not make the link to other existing social theories and do not therefore permit any fundamental analysis of the relationship between the subject and society, the power relations within a society and the changes human mobility effects to power relations. To address this criticism, I shall discuss existing innovative research and propose Bourdieu's Theory of Practice as a means to fill this theoretical gap." Mobilities 2008, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 51-71 Available from: Informaworld
Migration trends from Pakistan
Jan, Maqsood Ahmed
There are several forms of international migration from Pakistan towards many regions: North America, European Union states, Persian Gulf and East Asia. These forms of trans-border movement vary extensively over time and place of destination. Pakistan was also among the other countries that supplied work force to European progression towards industrialization in the 1950s. That trend changed in the 1970s when geo-political changes and economic configurations resulted in sharp decline in expatriate labor to Europe. Later that trend transformed into re-unification of immediate family members of settled migrant workers and immigration to North America. Migration to East Asia and specifically to Persian Gulf States is of more significance both in terms of numbers and the new pattern of return migration due to short contractual arrangements. Available from: SPDI
Patterns and politics of migration in South Asia
Barbora, Sanjay
Migration is an important social and historical reality in South Asia. In the past decade, migration from one country to another and internal migration (i.e. migration within a particular country) have assumed different dimensions for people in the region. Contemporary research on migration is placed in a spectrum that ranges from exponents of economic benefits at one end, to those who see migration as a security threat, at the other. This paper combines the work of three researchers and looks at the different political locations from which the South Asian subject is induced to move. It also discusses the economic and political implications that arise from these migration trajectories. Drawing on their research, the authors emphasise the need for understanding how migration is linked to a complex set of processes that reflect power relations in unequal societies. In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors; with an international group of co-editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis of Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia, pp. 313-328. Download
Migration, poverty, security and social networks: A Central American perspective.
Morales, A, Morales, A
This article provides a critical introduction to understanding the migration–poverty relationship from a different perspective, i.e. by focusing on the migration–livelihoods nexus from the point of view of social structures and people’s living conditions. The discussion presented here is based on analysis of different analytical approaches to migration in Central America and the Caribbean, developed within the framework of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR), an international research programme focusing on mitigating syndromes of global change. The present appraisal provides a broader explanation of the scope of relationships in the development of social life reproduction strategies, envisaging migration as an answer to problems of inequality and as a resource for poverty alleviation strategies, from a Central American perspective. In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis of Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia, pp 417-433. Download
Interlinkages between Internal and International Migration: A Case Study of Migrants from Bajhang in Dhangadhi, Far West Nepal
Poertner, Ephraim
In Nepal, poverty, unemployment, demographic developments and political turmoil during the Maoist insurgency have fuelled out-migration to foreign countries as well as internal migration in the recent past. Both internal and international migration phenomena are little researched components of the demographic dynamics in Nepal, despite their relevance for the country’s socio-economic and political development. The interlinkages between the two types of migration are even less understood, although it is assumed that they often influence one another. Evidence from research on migration in Nepal has revealed that internal migration can lead to international migration and vice versa. This study focuses therefore on such interlinkages between international and internal migration and aims at unveiling how internal migration and labour migration to India are interlinked in the case of a migrant community in the urban Terai. Abstract of Master Thesis at University of Zurich. Download
The forgotten forces: Role of migrants in post-conflict Nepal
Ghimire Bhattarai, Anita
In: Upreti BR, Sharma SR, Pyakuryal KN, Ghimire S. (eds). The Remake of a State: Post-conflict Challenges and State Building in Nepal. Kathmandu, South Asia Regional Coordination Office of the Swiss National Centere of Competence in Research (NCCR North-South) and Human and Natural Ressources Studies Centre (HNRSC), pp. 167-191. Download
Nepal Migration Year Book 2009
NCCR, North-South
Information on migration is very rare at present. People involved in research, planning as well as policy and advocacy demand it much. In view of consolidating information on migration, we first published Migration Year Book in 2006. It received very positive response. That encouraged us to publish similar Year Books in the following years continuously including additional information on students’ migration and other pertinent issues. This Migration Year Book 2009 is an outcome of it. This issue tries to include information on the undocumented labour migration leading to casualties and fraudulent cases. It also highlights the internal migration, migration between India and Nepal, and the Internally Displaced People within the country. We hope that this issue helps researchers, policy-makers, members of different political parties, students and general public.
Swiss Policy Actors in the Global Forum on Migration and Development 2011
Babel, Anna
The thesis explored how the main Swiss policy actors positioned themselves in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) 2011 under the chairmanship of Switzerland. The aim of the research was to identify the main policy actors in Switzerland who were active in the GFMD process 2011 and to disclose how they positioned themselves and what they contributed to the GFMD process and in return how the GFMD influenced the work of the main Swiss policy actors. Download
Experiencing space-time: the stretched lifeworlds of migrant workers in India
Thieme, Susan
In the relatively rare instances when the spatialities of temporary migrant work, workers’ journeys, and labour-market negotiations have been the subject of scholarly attention, there has been little work that integrates time into the analysis. Building on a case study of low-paid and insecure migrant manual workers in the context of rapid economic growth in India, we examine both material and subjective dimensions of these workers’ spatiotemporal experiences. Rogaly B, Thieme S. 2012. Experiencing space-time: the stretched lifeworlds of migrant workers in India. Environment and Planning A 44:2086-2100. doi:10.1068/a44493
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Where to return to? Rural-urban interlinkages in times of internal and international labour migration.
Thieme, Susan
In: Social Research Center (AUCA), editor. Kyrgyzstan Today: Policy Briefs on Civil Society, Migration, Islam, Corruption. Bishkek: American University of Central Asia, pp 108-113. Download Also available in Russian.
Nepal Migration Year Book 2010
Ghimire Bhattarai, Anita
The South Asia office of the NCCR North-South and the Nepal Institute of Development Studies have published The Nepal Migration Year Book 2010. The book provides data on various aspects of migration such as the different forms of migration, the number of migrants, and their remittances. Download book (PDF 3MB)
Report on Migration and Mobility Data Visualization Workshop
Thieme, Susan
Migration and development has become a topic of high interest especially in countries of the global South. With increasing interest, academia as well as policy makers identify the lack of high quality migration data as one major obstacle for forming policies and maximizing the benefits of migration. Next to data availability, a major challenge is to effectively represent, analyse and visualize large and highly dynamic datasets. The overall goal of the workshop was to support new insights into patterns of migration and interlinkages with development by screening and evaluating existing data of researchers within and outside the NCCR North-South and creating effective visual support to explore datasets and create knowledge that cannot be established by looking at raw data. Thieme S, Lautenschütz A-K (Eds.). 2012. Report on Migration and Mobility Data Visualization Workshop. Einsiedeln, Switzerland: University of Zurich, NCCR North-South. Download
Nepali Women and Foreign Labour Migration
Adhikari , Jaganath
The process whereby Nepali women migrate to foreign countries for work and the consequences of their migration, in terms of its impact on Nepali economy and society, are both poorly understood even though women's migration abroad is not a recent phenomenon. Indeed, women have been migrating on a seasonal, temporary, and permanent basis for more than two centuries. The research on which this report is based was conducted with a view to enhancing our understanding of the different aspects of women's foreign labour migration. The 'problems' associated with women's migration have been much emphasised by the media, but it is impossible to understand the phenomenon and to develop effective and appropriate measures and mechanisms to support women migrants if we do not have a comprehensive and reliable picture of women's migration as a whole and of its implications for Nepalese economy and society. The research reported here will help build such a picture. NIDS, 211 pp., Kathmandu: UNIFEM
Conflict Induced Displacement:
Upreti, Bishnu Raj
In Nepal, the ten years of armed conflict between the state and the C P N (Maoists) has uprooted thousands of people from their homes and communities. They are facing tremendous difficulties. The objective of this article is to analyze the status, trend and dilemmas faced by the IDPs, and to initiate a debate on the urgency of addressing the IDP issues. In: Pyakuryal KN, Upreti BR, Sharma SR, editors. Nepal: Transition to Transformation. Kathmandu: HNRSC, NCCR North-South, pp. 101-139. Download
Arbeiten beim grossen Nachbarn
Müller-Böker, Ulrike
Stellt die internationale Arbeitsmigration eine Chance für Nepal dar? Trägt sie zur Reduzierung von Armut bei? Können insbesondere arme Haushalte durch die Arbeitsmigration nach Indien ihren Lebensunterhalt sichern? Immer häufiger betonen internationale Entwicklungsorganisationen die wachsende Bedeutung und das grosse Potenzial der Migration. Gleichzeitig hat sich die Migrationsforschung facettenreich weiterentwickelt und befasst sich u.a. auch mit der Frage, wie Migrationshaushalte eine plurilokale Lebensunterhaltsstrategie meistern. Der Artikel zeigt Beispiele von Organisationsformen, mit denen Migrierende aus Far West Nepal die Möglichkeit schaffen, in der Megastadt Delhi ihre Existenz zu sichern. Nepal Information 99(2):70-73 Download
Where to return to? Rural-urban interlinkages in times of internal and international labour migration [In Russian].
Thieme, Susan
In: Social Research Center (AUCA), editor. Kyrgyzstan Today: Policy Briefs on Civil Society, Migration, Islam, Corruption. Bishkek: American University of Central Asia, pp 108-113. Download Also available in English.
Social Networks and Migration
Thieme, Susan
Münster, LIT-Verlag
Migration and Fertility Relationship
Omondi, Charles Ochola
"Migration patterns in Kenya in general differentially affect fertility levels, patterns and behaviour. For economically dynamic areas, out-migration and the associated spousal separation and differential sex ratios seem to be associated with falling fertility, though migration is not the only or even the principal factor involved. In lagging and/or peripheral areas, by contrast, the demographic effect of migration seems to promote high fertility by undermining some critical factors of fertility determinants and behaviour. Examples from Africa in general and Kenya in particular are invoked to examine and explain this important association between migration and fertility. Furthermore, the paper incorporates the geography of economic and social development to help understand the relationship between migration and fertility." African Population Studies 2003, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 97-113 Available from: Bioline
Migration Year Book 2007
North-South, NCCR
Although migration has played an important role in keeping the Nepalese economy from falling due to conflict, there is very little information about migration and its status, problems and challenges. NIDS has been trying to update those concerened about migration with this Migration Year Book 2007. This present volume aims to provide information on migration and related information including data analysis, current trends and issues relating to migrant workers. It reviews existing policy, regulations, plans and programmes which affect the migrant workers and the effort of government and private sector agencies to promote the prospects of overseas employment.
Livelihoods, institutions and migration in South Asia
Upreti, Bishnu Raj
In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis of Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern: Geographica Bernensia, pp 273-282. Download
Social networks and migration: Women's livelihoods between Far West Nepal and Delhi
Thieme, Susan
Although migration from Nepal has increasingly been the subject of research since the 1990s, there are very few publications about gender and migration in Nepal. We want to contribute to fill this research gap by presenting a case study of women’s livelihoods in the context of labour migration, both as migrants themselves and as women who remain in the villages. The migrants originate from Bajura district of the Far Western Development Region, where migration to India has been a common occurrence for several generations and the economy can be described as “agri-migratory” (Bruslé 2008: 241). The analysis sheds light on women’s individual aspirations as well as their position within their families and communities. It also explores how kinship networks and social capital shape women’s lives and whether migration facilitates social change. In: European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 35-36: 107-121. Download
Livelihood strategies in a marginal area of Nepal (Far West Nepal) with an emphasis on labour migration to India.
Müller-Böker, Ulrike
Labour migration to India is a very important livelihood strategy for people living in marginal areas of Nepal. How is this strategy embedded in the local context? Which institutions shape the migrants' everyday life in India? What are the opportunities to improve the crucial institutions for money transfer and money saving? These questions are on the research agenda of an ongoing project at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. In: Jones G, Leimgruber W, Nel E, editors. Issues in Geographical Marginality: Papers presented during the Meetings of the Commission on Evolving Issues of Geographical Marginality in the Early 21st Century World, 2001-2004. Grahamstown: Rhodes University. Download
Worlds of difference, different worlds: geographies of globalization
Backhaus, Norman
This article introduces current human geography research at the Department of Geography in Zurich around the notion of geographies of globalization. After mapping out a conceptual landscape of geographies of globalization as worlds of difference, three collaborative research areas are introduced which share a commitment to north-south-relations and a concern for processes of uneven development and fragmentation: «People: Migration», «State: Frontier» and «Economy: Geographies of marketization». The first studies the multi local connections and social spaces of migrants, the second explores the intricate relationship between state, territory and the question of where «the state ends» and the third is concerned with the emergence of market orders and their uneven spatial and social expansion. Keywords: globalization, flat ontology, migration, frontier, marketization. Backhaus N, Berndt C, Korf B, Müller-Böker U. 2012. Worlds of difference, different worlds: geographies of globalization. Geographica Helvetica 67(1-2):77-84. Available here: Geographica Helvetica
Land use strategies of migrant and non-migrant households in western Mexico
Portner, Brigitte
Master's Thesis, University of Bern, Switzerland Download
Land use changes and transnational migration
Hostettler, Silvia
PhD Thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) Lausanne, Switzerland For further information please contact the author