Nepali Women’s Labour Migration: Between Protection and Proscription


  • Bandita Sijapati Social Science Baha, Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility
  • Joelle Mak Faculty of Public Health & Policy, Department of Global Health & Development, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Cathy Zimmerman Faculty of Public Health & Policy, Department of Global Health & Development, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Ligia Kiss Faculty of Public Health & Policy, Department of Global Health & Development, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine



With the increase in female migration, especially in the domestic sector, and accompanying reports of worker exploitation and abuse, labour-sending countries are grappling with the question of how to protect these workers. Drawing on a critical feminist policy analysis framework, this article analyses the policy and regulatory frameworks of Nepal related to female labour migration and examines their implications. Our analysis indicates that Nepal’s policy regime consist of a set of measures which are simultaneously liberal, protective and restrictive, and as such, they have not altered the structural conditions and economic reasons for women’s migration. Instead, women appear to be largely uninformed about government regulations, and most importantly, working conditions abroad are not affected by sending country policies, including the various migration bans put in place to protect women.


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How to Cite

Sijapati, B., Mak, J., Zimmerman, C., & Kiss, L. (2019). Nepali Women’s Labour Migration: Between Protection and Proscription. Migration Letters, 16(4), 611–624.