Patterns in Foreign Employment and Vulnerability of Migrant Workers

This paper explores the relationship between labour migration and the risk of HIV infection. It is based on reviews of existing policies, legislation, and strategies related to foreign employment and HIV/AIDS prevention and control; interviews with relevant stakeholders including government officials, returnee migrant workers, human rights activists and recruitment agents; and the outcome of a workshop on pre-departure, post-arrival and re-integration of migrant workers. The study indicates that since a majority of foreign migrant workers are men living abroad without their spouses, they are likely to engage in sexual activities with other partners. This increases their vulnerability to STDs and HIV/AIDS which is further exacerbated by peer pressure and cultural taboos surrounding STIs. The author also indicates how women migrant workers become vulnerable to trafficking and HIV/AIDS because of their illegal or irregular channels of migration. While pointing towards the problems and prospects of foreign employment, the paper also provides recommendations for pre- and post-departure measures; re-integration experience of migrants; and policy and legal reforms.

Gurung, G. 2003. Kathmandu: Nepal Institute of Development Studies.


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