Project 1a Social Protection of Temporary
Work Migrants in Bangladesh and India
Summary This project focuses on Bengali speaking temporary work
migrants and their families from rural areas in Murshidabad in West
Bengal and from North Western Bangladesh. In West Bengal, poor migrants
take up seasonal employment in commercial rice production or in
brick kilns and construction work. In Bangladesh, temporary work
is found in rural and urban areas. This research will involve fieldwork
in the sending communities of migrants to explore how families left
behind respond to the absence of the temporary worker. It will also
follow migrants to their temporary workplaces to examine the risks
and hazards they face.
West Bengal and Bangladesh share much in terms of culture and agro-ecological
systems, but they have very different political histories, which
have created very different polities and policy regimes. This allows
for a comparison of the contribution that states, NGOs and voluntary
and community associations make, or could make to the social protection
of migrants and their families in contrasting policy environments.
Key Research Questions
What are the effects of the absence of
the migrant, for example on food security, physical security,
increased vulnerability to illness, or on relations between
genders and generations?
How are local social relations negotiated
and maintained to provide loans, food and physical security
for families left behind?
What risks and dangers are associated with
Internal Migration for migrants themselves?
How do migrants and their families seek
to reduce these risks?
What is the relation between the local state,
NGOs and other relevant organisations and migrant workers and
To what extent could the state and NGOs
do more to facilitate safe migration and enable migrant workers
and their families to better protect themselves from the negative
consequences of Internal Migration?