Announcing: Jha, Dilip Kumar and John Walsh, “Seasonal Labour Migration from a Rural
Nepalese Village,” paper presented at the ICGBE International Conference 2013
(First Hotel, Bangkok, June 21-22nd, 2013).
This paper investigates seasonal migration of villagers in poor, rural households in VDC-Dekaha, Mahottari in Nepal. Seasonal migration for work is often their principal source of income and so moving to India to work in agricultural activities in rural areas or factory work in large cities is a widespread and almost compulsory phenomenon. The length of time that they can stay and the income that they can earn is not known in advance and the workers must find whatever work is available after they arrive in their location. The migrants are males over the age of 14, while women generally remain in the village to provide domestic and emotional labour. This paper reports on research conducted by direct observation of a rural Nepalese household as part of a larger research project involving mitigation of poverty in the country. Interim findings aree presented and some implications drawn for future investigation.
Keywords: migration, Nepal, poverty, rural households
The paper on Nepalese migrant workers by Dilip Kumar Jha and myself has been accepted (without revisions, apparently) by the International Journal of Business and Globalisation at Inderscience. Here is the abstract:
An Exploratory Study of Nepalese Migrant Workers in Thailand: Initial Conditions and Disappointing Outcomes
This paper describes exploratory qualitative research among Nepalese migrant workers in Thailand, based on a series of more than 60 personal interviews. The research followed a qualitative method with a semi-structured agenda aimed at encouraging respondents to explore issues of importance to themselves and their colleagues. The research indicated significant differences between skilled and unskilled workers and that the difference between skilled and unskilled relied almost entirely upon class differences in the caste-intensive sending society. There are some possibilities for business development in Thailand but these are reliant upon negotiating the currently significant differences between documented and undocumented migrants. It is not clear that this can be achieved under current conditions even though the Thai government is seeking stable supply of semi-skilled workers for the next decade.
Keywords: business development; capitalism; documented workers; entrepreneurialism; globalization; illegal migration; labour migration; Nepal; Thailand.
In other news, the Oknha Mong paper now appears on the website of the same journal as a forthcoming paper, while the Bangkok street vendors paper with the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography has gone to the publisher for final production.
Migration is a response to the uneven development of the world – that is, the fact that different kinds of opportunities are available in different places. Both push and pull factors act so as to encourage people to move to different places in order to try to take advantage of the different opportunities available.
Read the full article here.
Migration means the movement of people from one place to another: sometimes the migration involves crossing an international border and sometimes it takes place within a single country. Sometimes the migration is voluntary and sometimes it is involuntary. Involuntary migration is usually an example of human trafficking, which is related to slavery, although it can also happen when the borders themselves change.
Read the full article here.
I’m due (floods permitting) to fly to Singapore tomorrow to present:
Walsh, John, “Migration in the Para-State Regions of the Mekong Region: Between the National and International Realms,” paper to be presented at the workshop Crossing Borders, Traversing Boundaries: Bridging the Gap between International and Internal Migration Research and Theory (Asia Research Institute, NUS, Singapore: October 13th-14th, 2011).
As Chinese investment in the Mekong Region (Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand) has increased, some of the geographical space occupied by new projects has come to be considered, more or less officially, to have become delinked from the rest of the sovereign territory of the state. The first example of this was the Maoist strategy of certain ethnic minority groups in Myanmar who have created what are effectively parallel states within the official state, together with the paraphernalia of rival state governance. The second example involves cash economy semi-legal operations such as the Poipet casino on the Thai-Cambodian border, in which a form of cowboy capitalism is operated by extra-judicial individuals and groups. The third example is the occupation of land in northern Laos and around Mandalay in northern Myanmar, where the density of international operations means the major players in this sector become empowered to make state-level decisions when the official state lacks the capacity or willingness to intervene or to uphold the rule of law. These para-state areas offer a conjunction between national and international migration as workers are drawn to the emergent industrial and service sector activities within them and contend with an absence as much as a multiplicity of labour protection regulations and regimes. Influential local leaders and organizations tend to shape the conditions of work and the means of hiring and dismissing workers with little regard to external norms. This paper examines through the use of thick description of existing events and observations the ways in which new and mostly porous borders have been created in addition to official state borders and the implications these have for the migration patterns and aspirations of workers. This provides a link between the national and the international realms of migration.
The full text should be on line after the conference begins. If anyone is really desperate to see the paper before that, then kindly let me know and I will see what I can do.
At the end of the Second World War, Myanmar [then known as Burma] was the richest country in the Mekong Region, albeit that a substantial portion of that wealth was managed by and for the colonial British masters. Now, after decades of predatory misrule by the military junta, Myanmar has become the poorest and most miserable countries not just in the Mekong Region but the whole world.
People who want to learn about how to improve Myanmar’s financial situation may choose to look into information via www.financedegreeonline.org.
Read the full article here.
This is the abstract for the paper named in the title to this post and written by Sittichai Anantarangsi and John Walsh. Notification has arrived that it will be published in the NIDA Development Journal, Volume 49, No.2 (April-June, 2009):
The issue of labour migration in Thailand has been an important one for many years. People move to work for a variety of reasons and provide a high level of remittances for people who remain behind. Migrant flows are generally two-way, insofar as people often move on a temporary basis and are prepared to return home if circumstances are right. Labour migration helps solve problems of mismatch of supply and demand in a dynamic labour market and economy but also has many social consequences as well. Family break ups, risk-taking behaviour and pressure on public services are phenomena commonly associated with migration, while brain drain, discrimination and intensified inequality are related issues which need to be addressed by government. Thailand’s economy is changing as it has matured from a low cost factory economy to a midway point towards eventually becoming an advanced economy. However, the current position is one which requires careful government to assure that the economy progresses in the desired way. To achieve this requires understanding of the motivations and aspirations of migrant labour in Thailand and appropriate evidence on which to base policy to encourage the inculcation of skills in the labour market and to provide incentives to encourage social mobility as well as geographical mobility. This research study draws upon a quantitative study of 399 migrant workers in Bangkok and its vicinity with a view to recording baseline information about why people have moved, under what circumstances they will move again and what issues surround the labour migration observed.
For enquiries about access to the full version of the paper, please email me.