poor migrants seek greater economic security through seasonal
or temporary mobility: indeed, such migration has emerged as a
major livelihood strategy in many parts of the south (see Rural
Poverty and Livelihoods). However, employment in poorly paid
work often exposes migrants to hazardous circumstances, such as
abusive employers, illegality and exploitation by middle men,
and to danger, risk of injury and illness. Where families are
left behind, they may face a range of problems arising from the
loss of a critical productive member, which increases their vulnerability
in a number of ways.
The extent to which this kind of migration provides,
or could provide, a successful route to greater economic security
depends, first, on actions migrants and their families take to protect
themselves against new forms of risk and, second - and even more
importantly - on the degree to which the local and national state,
non-governmental organisations and community and voluntary associations
contribute to their social protection. Temporary work migrants are
often excluded from social
protection measures because they lack effective social citizenship
(as well as usually lacking either administrative or legal recognition).
Work under this theme so far has concentrated
on South Asia, and includes linked projects on rural-rural migration
in India and Bangladesh, and movement from Bangladesh to the Gulf.
In each, a predominantly qualitative and case-study approach has
been adopted, with the work led by local researchers, two of whom
are registered for doctoral studies. The Centre has also funded
an innovative ethnographic film project on migrant workers from
an Egyptian village who are working in Paris, and new work on migrant
domestic workers in Cairo is planned for 2006-07.