Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title How Migration into Urban Construction Work Impacts on Rural Households in Nepal
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://migratingoutofpoverty.dfid.gov.uk/files/file.php?name=wp27-adhikari-deshingkar-2015--how-migr​ation-into-urban-construction-work-impacts-on-rural-households-in-nepal.pdf&site=354
The research draws on interviews with rural-urban migrant construction workers in Kathmandu
as well as with families of construction workers, other migrant labourers and non-migrants in
two contrasting villages in the Karve district in Central Nepal and Saptari district in the Terai.
Interviews at destination show that migrant construction labourers are poorly educated, not
organised and vulnerable to exploitative working conditions at the hands of agents and
employers. Despite tough working conditions and high expenses in the city, a majority of
migrants remitted money to their families. Remittances were used for a variety of poverty
reducing and social status enhancing purposes. Interviews at origin showed how social
structure and factors related to class, gender and ethnicity influenced the necessity and ability
to participate in migrant construction work. Households with construction migrants and
households with other types of migrants (labourers) were better off than non-migrants, and
subjective assessments by the migrants, their families and others in the village community
suggest that migration had led to positive changes. Expenditure figures also show that there are
significant differences between spending on education by migration status and type. In both
villages, construction migrants spent more on education than other migrants and non-migrants.
Women’s control over remittance spending differed by ethnicity, with Tamang women
belonging to indigenous hill communities having more control over household finances
compared to Madhesi women in the Terai. The paper explores the reasons for these observed
differences and offers lessons for policy in the area of migrant support.

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