DAO, Ktm Redg. No. 386/073
PAN No. 605503975
SWC Affiliation No. 44709
Email:  info@f-law.org

Federation of Labour Welfare
Labour Migration

Labour Initiative

The Initiative is producing detailed policy recommendations on how the Nepal should rethink its labour policy in the light of what is known about the economic impact of labour—bearing in mind the current context of the economic crisis, growing income inequality, the competition for highly skilled labours and demographic and technological change on Nepal.

Map of Nepal

Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in the Himalayan mountain range in Asia with a population of 29018803 in 2016. It is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and largest city. The country has an area of 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 sq. mi), making it the world's 93rd largest country by area.

Migration Initiative

The initiative tries to address these issues through goals; promoting accountability and transparency in the immigration procedure, working towards establishing justice and equality among the migrants that all human beings deserve the same rights and dignity, and promote respect of all people in forced or voluntary migration, in their individuality and diversity.

Welcome to Federation of Labour Welfare

Migration of workers is a human phenomenon which has historical roots and wider implications.  The search for the source of survival or quest for Eldorado, the blissful life, has ever remained the inspiring and the dovetailing force of migrations within countries or of trans-migration. Migrations have economic genesis but resulting socio-political cultural ramifications. Indeed, mingling of different cultures has had positive consequences as well as placing strain on the culture and life of the upcoming society affected in either way by migration.

In economic parlance, migration is perceived as when a person is engaged or likely to engage in a remunerative activity in a place of which he is not a native or national.   

Migration is an important feature of human civilization. It reflects, human endeavour to survive in the most testing conditions both natural and man-made. Migration in India has existed historically, but, in the context of globalization and opening up of the world economy it has assumed special significance for the country and the society. As a consequence of historical and economic factors, there are serious income disparities, agrarian distress, inadequate employment generation, vast growth of informal economy and the resultant migration from rural areas to urban, urban to urban and backward to comparatively advanced regions in the most appalling conditions.
Migrants form the largest part of Nepal's mostly belong from vast unorganized work sector. Their entry into the labour markets is marked with several endemic disadvantages. Devoid of critical skills, information and bargaining power, migrant workers often get caught in exploitative labour arrangements that forces them to work in low-end, low-value, hazardous work. Lack of identity and legal protection accentuates this problem. The hardships of migrant workers are especially magnified when state boundaries are crossed and the distance between the "source" and "destination" increases. Migrants can also become easy victims of identity politics and parochialism.

Despite the vast numbers of migrant workers, the policies of the Nepalese state have largely failed in providing any form of legal or social protection to this vulnerable group. In a continuous state of drift, migrants are left out of the scope of state provisions at both ends - the "source" and the "destination". The urban labour markets treat them with opportunistic indifference extracting hard labour but denying basic entitlements such as decent shelter, fair priced food, subsidized healthcare facilities or training and education. They are also usually out of bounds of government and civil society initiatives, both because of being "invisible" and for their inability to carry entitlements along as they move.

Causes of Migration

Migration in Nepal is mostly influenced by social structures and patterns of development. The development policies by all the governments since Independence have accelerated the process of migration. Uneven development is the main cause of migration. Added to it, are the disparities, inter regional and amongst different socio-economic classes. The landless poor who mostly belong to lower castes, indigenous communities and economically backward regions constitute the major portion of migrants. In the very large tribal regions of Nepal intrusion of outsiders, settlements by the outsiders displacing the local tribal people and deforestation also played a major role in migration. Hence, the rural people from the downtrodden and backward communities and backward regions such as Achham, Bajhang, Kaliot, Humla, Mugu, Doti, Jumla, Bajura, Rukum, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Rolpa, Baitadi, Salyan, Mahottari, siraha, pyuthan, sindhupalchok, Baglung, Gorha, Ilam, Parbat,Morang,Jhapa  travel far afield seeking employment at the lowest rungs in construction of roads, irrigation projects, commercial and residential complexes, in short, building the “shining” around the world. The pull factors of higher wages caused external migration to the Middle-East countries by skilled and semiskilled workers. Migration of professionals such as engineers, medical practitioners, teachers, managers etc. to developed countries constitutes another dimension of migration which we call “brain-drain”.

Conditions of Migrant Labour

In terms of employment, construction is the largest employment sector in India after agriculture. Most of the employees in construction are migrants. The working hours are from sunrise to sunset. The working day for women often stretches from 14 to 16 hours, combining house work and work on site where women are paid Rs. 200-500 a day while men are paid Rs.1000-1500. Masons earn up to Rs. 1000-1500 a day. Work places are unsafe. Workers have no social security, compensation for injuries, access to drinking water and health care. Nepal has the world's highest accident rate among construction workers. A recent study by the International Labour Organization shows that 165 out of every 1,000 workers are injured on the job.