Livelihoods, Social Protection and Intergenerational Equity
in Migration from Bangladesh to the Gulf
Summary This project seeks to examine the
interrelationship between poverty, social protection and international
migration in Sylhet, North East Bangladesh. The context is one in
which sustained overseas migration (predominantly to the UK) has
had a dramatic effect upon the local economy. The visible success
of overseas migration as an economic strategy has led many economically
marginal households to struggle against all odds to get a foothold
in work abroad.
Rather than examining well-established transnational households,
whose members are now largely reunited in Britain, this study will
focus upon poorer households who are struggling to gain access to
irregular migration to the Gulf. Many households are prepared to
gamble their livelihoods, by selling land, for the chance to migrate.
However, they may never remit enough to cover the costs of migrating.
Others are cheated by unscrupulous brokers and lose land this way.
For those that do successfully migrate, their absence has a variety
of implications for the women, children and older people left behind.
For example, young wives of Gulf migrants are often considered vulnerable
to abandonment. The sustained absence of the younger generation
may have negative repercussions on ageing parents and other vulnerable
household members. These negative effects may be further magnified
as economically marginal households are often smaller and lack local
Key Research Questions
What are the livelihood implications of
economically marginal households' attempts to migrate overseas?
What are the effects on families left behind?
How does the position of the family in local
social relations affect their ability to deal with new vulnerabilities?
What are the gendered and generational implications
of this migration flow?
What is the experience of migration of men
from economically marginal households?
What are the social protection issues for
What are the barriers to better social protection
for migrants and their families?