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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 5b
Replacement Seasonal Labour Migration in Sylhet, Bangladesh

Building closely upon research carried out in the 1980s/1990s in Sylhet, North East Bangladesh, this research, rather than focusing upon one social category in isolation (e.g. 'the landless'), aims to show how different forms of migration are linked, both economically and in terms of the ways in which households and individuals calculate risks and benefits. The context is one in which prolonged out-migration, primarily to the UK, but also to the Middle East, the US and Far East, has been the norm since the 1960s. As a result, local property prices and wages are far higher than in surrounding, non bideshi (overseas migrant) districts of Bangladesh. In turn, agricultural and domestic workers migrate into the area from poorer regions to take advantage of the increased employment opportunities and higher wages. This research will focus in particular on women and child migrants.

Key Research Questions

What are the organisation and dynamics of different types of internal migration into areas of overseas migration in Sylhet, and how is this linked to international migration?
How do poverty and vulnerability, as well as perceived opportunities affect decisions to migrate into areas of overseas migration from elsewhere in Bangladesh?
To what extent is the distribution of the costs and benefits of internal migration gendered?


  Key Theme(s)
Links between Migrations
Gender and Generations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods

Type(s) of Migration
Internal Migration

Bangladesh / South Asia


Ron Skeldon

Katy Gardner (Sussex)
Zahir Ahmed (Bangladesh)

Key Activities


Ethnographic fieldwork in Sylhet, building on existing ethnographic engagement in this area.

2. Data analysis.
3. Synthesis and comparison of findings with project 5a.

Key Outputs

Desk report on links between international migration from Sylhet and replacement internal migration

field report and local media content
Final report


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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs