Return, Weak Reintegration, and Remigration: A Study of Nepali Migrant Workers

Author(s): Sadikshya Bhattarai, Jeevan Baniya, Sanjit Shrestha, Prasansa Thapa, Rajib Neupane, Dogendra Tumsa, Sita Nepali & Sita Mademba

Year of Publication: 2023

Published by: CESLAM

The issue of reintegration carries utmost importance for Nepal due to the temporariness of labour migration from the country. The popular destination countries such as the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Malaysia have restrictive policies for integration into host societies, resulting in the need for Nepali migrant workers to either return home and reintegrate or keep re-migrating. The problems with reintegration in Nepal was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which precipitated the return of migrant workers. The concept of reintegration has not been addressed substantively by Nepal’s legal and policy framework prior to the introduction of the Reintegration Programme (Operation and Management) Directives for Returnee Migrant Workers, 2022. However, the lack of specificity in the directive and the nascency of programmes have meant the questions regarding Nepal’s reintegration regime persist. Against this backdrop, this study was conducted to understand the situation of and challenges in the economic and psychosocial reintegration of Nepali migrant workers. The study used a mixed method consisting of a survey with 109 returnee migrant workers (RMWs) and a literature review of relevant publications as well as law and policy documents. The research participants were identified from the database managed by Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC) and included returnees who had faced distress in the destination countries.

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