Facilitating Journeys: The role of intermediaries in labour migration process from Nepal

What happens after the decision to migrate for work has been made? What steps do prospective migrants take, where do they obtain information and what services do they seek? This infographic is based on qualitative research amongst migrant workers that examines the wide range of intermediaries that workers encounter in their migration journey.

More than 400,000 Nepali men and women travel for employment abroad each year. With about one in three households receiving remittances from migrant workers, labour migration is a well-established livelihood strategy for households in Nepal. To maximise its benefits for workers and their home communities, the ILO works alongside workers’ organizations, government bodies, and the recruitment industry to promote fair recruitment practices processes in and between selected countries of origin and destination, in order to relieve the burden of migration costs from workers and ensure transparent and safe processes from departure through to return and reintegration.

As part of its Integrated Programme on Fair recruitment (FAIR), a global programme supported by the Swiss Development Cooperation, the ILO in Nepal commissioned a study amongst prospective and returning migrant workers to document their experience and in particular their interaction with various intermediaries that are involved in the migration process. Qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews with 32 men and 9 women migrant workers, originating from 5 provinces, that were either abroad or had recently returned to Nepal.

This infographic illustrates the collection of narratives from migrant workers and builds a picture of their experiences after deciding to migrate. Who do workers interact with as they prepare their journeys? Where do they gather information? How do they prepare for interviews and who supports the processing of job applications and contracts? How are visas obtained, and where do workers receive orientation and training? What costs do these various services amount to? Furthermore, what network of intermediation and support do workers connect with one they have reached their destination? And, finally, who do workers turn to settle outstanding issues upon return to Nepal?