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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 4c
Internal migration and remittances in Bangladesh

Internal and international migrations are key livelihood strategies for many in Bangladesh. Since the late 1990s various studies have been conducted on remittance patterns of Bangladeshis who migrate overseas. Remittances of internal migrants play an almost equally important role in sustaining individuals and their households. However, so far hardly any research has been conducted that deal with patterns, flows and utilisation processes of remittances of internal migrants.

This research makes an analysis of remittance flows of two groups of internal migrants -- domestic workers and rickshaw pullers in Dhaka city. The preliminary findings on domestic workers show that they are mostly women. They represent various age groups including children. They are paid very low salaries and no standardised wage structure is followed. Work and living conditions are generally poor. A large segment does not enjoy any private space. An overwhelming majority remit their full earnings. Remittances are hand carried by mostly male members or by the migrants themselves when they go home on holiday. During the initial years remittances are mostly used for maintenance of the family. After a few years a section of the remittances begin to be spent on home repairs and purchase and mortgage of land. Interestingly, the purchased assets are usually in the name of male family members. These migrants work as facilitators for further migration from rural areas.  The major policy thrust would be to argue for domestic work as wage employment, with an entitlement to minimum wage and fixed working hours.

Key Research Questions

Who takes the decision to migrate? How is information on migration secured? How do migrants secure work in the urban areas?
What are their salaries/income and other entitlements? What are the mechanisms used for negotiating wages?
Are they subjected to abuse and violence?
What are the general patterns of remittances? What methods do they employ? What is a migrant's role in decision-making within the family?
What are the major policy reforms that may be advocated?



Key Theme(s)
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods

Type(s) of Migration
Internal Migration

Bangladesh / South Asia


Ann Whitehead

Tasneem Siddiqui (RMMRU)

Key Activities

1.  Designing the research.
2. Literature review.
3. Selection of field work sites.
4. Conducting field work.
5. In-house seminar.
6. Data processing.
7. Writing report.
8. Final presentation.

Key Outputs

A 60-page report

4-page policy briefing
Policy advocacy through seminar and workshops, particularly targeting the Ministry of Labour


  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
MDW Site design: Meta Design Work Ltd.
With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs