Research Reports



Labour migration is crucial for Nepali households and the national economy, providing vital income. However, despite the economic benefits of labour migration, migrant workers often encounter significant challenges pre-migration, in destination country and after returning home undermining their wellbeing and rights. Among the various challenges migrant workers face, imprisonment, their access to justice in destination country and at home and difficulties in economic and psychosocial reintegration after return remains crucial ones, making them unable to fully realize the benefits of their migration abroad. Focusing on migration of Nepali workers to Malaysia, this study seeks to examine the situation regarding access to justice of migrant workers imprisoned in Malaysia and their economic and psychosocial reintegration upon return to Nepal. This study was conducted using mixed method consisting of a review of existing policies, data and publications, an analysis of 758 individual cases of imprisonment in Malaysia registered between 2020 and 2023 recorded at the Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC), in-depth interviews with migrant workers, and key informant interviews.

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Click here to view the the Grip of Challenges in PDF format.

A substantial number of Nepalis are migrating abroad every year in pursuit of decent work and higher wages. While migration has brought significant benefits for many migrant workers and their families as well as the country of origin and countries of destination, many of them regularly face human and labour rights violations. As a consequence, Nepali migrant workers are less likely to fully realise the potential benefits from labour migration. In this context, the main objective of this study is to understand the situation of the process of recruitment of Nepali migrant workers, decent work in the country of destination, and the challenges and issues they face during the migration process. Mixed methods were used to conduct the study, consisting of a review of existing data and publications on labour migration and analysis of quantitative and qualitative administrative data collected by Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC). It included analysis of 15,340 cases of 22,148 individuals which were registered at PNCC between 2014 and 2022. Click here to read the full report in PDF.

Migrant workers, including Nepali labour migrants, are among the most affected by the health and economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has further exacerbated the migrant worker’s access to justice which was already a significant challenge before the pandemic. This study looked at the impact of COVID-19 crisis on Nepali migrant workers in four major destinations - Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Additionally, the situation of access to justice of migrant workers in destination countries and at home and the reintegration experience of returnee migrants was examined. The study used mixed method consisting of literature review, survey and in-depth interviews with current and returnee migrants as well as key informant interviews to collect information on the impact of COVID-19 on Nepali migrant workers. The key findings from the analysis of the data are presented below. Click here to read the full report in PDF.

Reintegration constitutes an essential element of the labour migration process. Most labour migration, especially from low-income countries, is characterised as ‘temporary’.1 This temporariness of labour migration necessitates the reintegration of migrant workers in their home countries. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) defines reintegration as, ‘the re-inclusion or re-incorporation of a person into a group or process, e.g. of a migrant into the society of his or her country of origin or habitual residence’.2 The sustainability of the reintegration of migrant workers is determined by three parameters as defined by IOM: ‘economic self-sufficiency, social stability within their communities and psychosocial well-being that allow them to cope with (re)migration drivers’ Click here to read the detailed report in PDF.

The brief discusses the recruitment process undertaken by Nepali migrant workers and analyses the effectiveness of various laws, policies and restrictions enforced by the government of Nepal. It is based on data gathered by PNCC during the registration of grievances by migrant workers at the organisation, comprising a total of 15,340 cases since 2014. Click here to read the full report in PDF.