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Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes
and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh and
South Asia




Project 1a
Social Protection of Temporary Work Migrants in Bangladesh and India

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 their families?
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?



Key Theme(s)
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection

Type(s) of Migration
Internal Migration

Bangladesh / South Asia


Ann Whitehead

Ben Rogaly (Sussex)
Deeptima Massey (Sussex)
Janet Seeley (UEA)

Key Activities


Ethnographic fieldwork in sending and receiving areas for temporary work migrants, building on existing ethnographic work in these regions.

2 Data analysis, synthesis and comparison of findings.

Key Outputs

Surveys of existing literature

Production of articles for local media
Field reports on Internal Migration in the two countries
Consolidated executive summary
Workshop on social protection in Dhaka
Doctoral training leading to DPhil
  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs