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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 3d
The Stranded Bihari Linguistic Minority in Bangladesh: Generational Perspectives

About half a million Urdu speaking people currently live in sixty-six camps spread all over Bangladesh. In the wake of the communal riots and the subsequent partition of the subcontinent in 1947 this group of people moved across the border of what then became the eastern wing of Pakistan. The creation of Bangladesh in 1971 put these people in a stateless situation. The community was branded as collaborators of the occupying Pakistani regime and thus were socially ostracized. A section of them integrated with the mainstream Bangladesh community; another remained in camps, claiming Pakistani citizenship and initially looked after by the International Committee for the Red Cross. The camp dwellers demanded repatriation to Pakistan, a demand that was not honoured by Pakistan.

This research will look into the perception of repatriation and reintegration of the camps-based Bihari people of Bangladesh. It will take into consideration the views of various age groups: the elderly (who experienced the 1947 partition), the middle aged (born during Pakistani period) and the young (born after Bangladesh was created).

Key Research Questions

Dot How do Bihari groups belonging to various age and sex groups meet the challenges of camp life?
Dot What are their sources of support and problems?
Dot Is the younger generation more favourably disposed to rehabilitation and reintegration in Bangladesh than the older generation who were keen to repatriate to Pakistan? Do such options have a gender dimension as well?



Key Theme(s)
Gender and Generations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods

Bangladesh / South Asia


Ann Whitehead

Chowdhury Abrar (RMMRU)
Mohammad Jalal Uddin Sikder (RMMRU)

Key Activities


Holding dialogues involving Bihari groups, the Bangladeshi civil society organizations and policy and opinion makers of Bangladesh highlighting the problems of the Biharis.

2. A field based research involving focus group discussions and survey questionnaires in the camps of Dhaka, Chittagong and Saidpur
3. Preparation of research report

Key Outputs

Policy briefing

Three dialogues at national level

A research report
A national conference on Biharis


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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs