"Dilemmas" of Migration Governance: A Case Study of Nepal

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:45 PM
Room: 313+314
Distributed Paper
Uddhab Prasad PYAKUREL , School of Arts, Kathmandu University, Lalitpur, Nepal

The labor market is complex in every society. Along with one's movement from one place to another, his/her life becomes vulnerable. Though migrants are to be treated not as workers but as human beings with human rights, reports state that labour migrants have been facing a lot of problems not only in receiving countries but also in their own soil. Generally, labour-sending countries in Asia are confronted with the dilemma between “promotion” and “protection”. In the face of bleak employment prospects at home and the economic gains from foreign exchange remittances, countries would like to see expansion in overseas migration of national workers. At the same time, they cannot turn a blind eye to the rampant abuses of basic human rights suffered by their nationals abroad. Nepal, being one of the newly emerged countries in sending its labour force to the international market, especially in Asia, has been one of a witness of such dilemma. On the one hand, it exports its labor in order to take some pressure off local unemployment. On the other hand, it has to deal with exploitation and even death situation of its citizens as the recent case of Qatar shows.

Within this background, this paper explores the reasons behind Nepal's reluctance not only to put the labor migration in its policy priority but also to sign/rectify the UN Convention. In other words, examining the link between political ideology of major political parties in Nepal, and its reflections in introducing government policies including the labour migration policies are major two aspects of this paper. In-depth interviews of policy makers and leaders working on the related fields, and analysis of  labour migration related policies and programs, and election manifestos of major political parties will be the major sources of data to be used in this paper.