United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Promoting Informed Policy Dialogue on Migration, Remittance and Development In Nepal
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Migration from Nepal is not a new phenomenon, but it has been on the increase in recent years, with the majority of flows consisting of low-skilled migrants moving to Malaysia or the Middle East for temporary work contracts in such fields as construction and domestic work. Nepal is heavily dependent on this remittance inflow, with money sent home representing almost a third of the gross domestic product. By far, the remittance inflow exceeds other financial inflows. But an important global discussion regarding the complex relationship between migration and development is ongoing. Along with the positive, migration certainly has a hefty share of negative impacts on development at the micro, meso and macro levels. Simultaneously, development can lead to more migration. To look at migration and development within the Nepali context, the International Labour Organization commissioned the Institute for Integrated Development Studies to investigate the complexities between the two dynamics.

This report presents the findings of a survey conducted with 421 remittance-receiving households, six focus group discussions with 74 returnee migrants, eight informant interviews with relevant stakeholders and a mapping of good practices from across the world (all work conducted in 2015).The analysis of that material thus discusses possible ways that Nepal can maximize the positive developmental impacts of migration.

Some key findings:
- More than half of the migrants in the study went abroad through employment agencies and 36 per cent through agents. Government channels were used in just 1 per cent of cases.
- On average, a migration journey costs a migrant worker approximately 150,000 Nepali rupees (NPR), or $1,372, which was more than the annual household income of NPR27,281 ($1,165) in the 2010–11 fiscal year (FY) (CBS, 2011).
- Owing to the high costs (compared with average household income), an overwhelming majority of households (87 per cent) took a loan to finance the foreign employment journey.
- Four out of five migrants secured their loan from a local moneylender, friend or relative, some of whom charged higher interest rates than banks or finance companies.
- The average interest rate for a loan to finance migration was 35 per cent.
- The surveyed Nepali migrant workers earned an average of NPR29,927 ($273) per month while abroad.

The main challenges upon return were identified as a mismatch between the skills acquired abroad and domestic needs and capacities and the inability to realize a business plan upon return. Approximately one in three returnee migrants was considering remigration. Based on this study, the main challenges limiting the positive development implications of migration in Nepal were identified as: (i) a limited banking network and a large proportion of an “unbanked” population; (ii) high levels of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy; (iii) poor and inadequate infrastructure; (iv) limited human capital; (v) high migration costs; and (vi) a lack of policy and institutional coherence on topics relevant to migration.

Conclusions and recommendations:
Without addressing some of the major development challenges facing Nepal, efforts to channel remittances or mobilize diasporas will have limited to no impact if the general environment is not considered. While migration does offer development potential, it is important that attention to migration and development does not come at the expense of broader development goals and complements rather replaces these efforts. Thus, government efforts to develop physical infrastructure (such as roads and electricity), combined with the development of education (for example, through an improved technical education and vocational training system) should underpin the more specific recommendations.
#ILO #Migration #Remittance
Publisher:
ILO ,   (2016 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Keywords:
LABOUR CONTRACTS, MIGRATION POLICY, INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION, BRAIN DRAIN, EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, FREE CHOICE OF EMPLOYMENT, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR STANDARDS, RIGHT TO WORK, WORKERS' RIGHTS, WORKING CONDITIONS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ECONOMIC POLICY, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, LABOUR LAW, LABOUR MARKET
Thematic Group:
 ILO : International Labor & Labor
Thesaurus:
12.04.00  -  Labour Relations
Reference Link:
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