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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 7c
Mobility of the Highly Skilled in Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s economy is highly dependent on the export of human resources and concomitant earnings of foreign exchange. Changes in the global labour market have increased the importance of the migration of skilled and educated people. The markets for skilled and professional workers are not only limited to the Gulf and the Southeast Asian countries; they are also to be found in developed countries of the North. The overwhelming bulk of Bangladesh’s international workforce is constituted by semi-skilled and unskilled labour in the Gulf region and Southeast Asia. Bangladesh is now facing stiff competition from new entrants such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal in this traditional market. Under such conditions Bangladesh government is trying to diversify its international labour force and develop strategies to send skilled and professional workers abroad.

In doing so the government and the private sector need access to quality research on potential markets. They also require information on the comparative advantage of Bangladesh in accessing the professional and skilled market. Nursing is one of the areas of skilled migration in which Bangladesh has been participating for quite some time. Nurses from Bangladesh have migrated to the Gulf region and to Southeast Asia. The government of Bangladesh plans to have a bigger presence in this market. Currently there is a restriction on migration of semi- and unskilled women. The government argues that promotion of migration of nurses is reflective of its commitment to safe migration of women. The aim of this study is to explore the prospects and constraints of promoting migration of nurses from Bangladesh.

Key Research Questions

What is the market potential for Bangladeshi nurses in developed countries, the Gulf region and in Southeast Asia?
What is the quality of training of nurses provided by public and private sector institutions in Bangladesh?
Is training commensurate with demand for skills in receiving countries?
What is the legal framework currently in operation in Bangladesh concerning migration of nurses?



Key Theme(s)
Health and Education

Type(s) of Migration
Skilled Migration

Bangladesh / South Asia


Ron Skeldon

Salahuddin Aminuzamman (RMMRU)

Key Activities


Brainstorming sessions and internet exchange towards developing a common theoretical and methodological framework.

2. Interviews with health sector officials and training institutions in Bangladesh, returnee nurses and immigration officials in diplomatic missions of potential destination countries.
3. Web searches for information on market needs for nurses in developing countries.

Key Outputs

Working paper
Contribution to workshops on professional mobility in Dhaka and Accra
Content for local media


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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs