Nearly 16,000 Nepalis migrate to the Gulf and Southeast Asia every month seeking employment. Although there are no estimates but another large cohort also migrates to India in search of a livelihood. It is estimated that a full third (37%) of Nepalis in the age group 15-29 and a quarter (28%) aged 30-44 work outside the country (CBS 2011). Nearly half of all the country’s households have at least one member who is currently working abroad or was in the past (World Bank 2011). Remittances sent from abroad, which amounted to USD 5.8 billion in 2014, are believed to contribute nearly 30 percent of Nepal’s GDP (Nepal Economic Forum 2014).
Labour migration thus has had a defining role in Nepal’s economy and social fabric. But the effect of this large-scale movement is only slowly beginning to be felt by society at large. Research into the migration of particularly the youth from rural areas to the urban and beyond and also from urban centres to destinations abroad has only just begun in Nepal. This panel hopes to contribute to that effort by generating a better understanding of the kind of impact migration has on three different sectors in Nepal.