Nepalese Foreign Migration: Consequences of Armed Conflict

Nepalese Foreign Migration: Consequences of Armed Conflict

Graduate School of Osaka Jogakuin University (Graduate student)

Bastola, Susmita

Keywords: Armed conflict, migration, political instability, inequality


Introduction and purpose: Once the armed conflict formally ended, people did not stop leaving their country and migrants did not willingly return. Why? I argue that in case of Nepal the consequences of armed conflict are the leading factor of increasing the number of migrants. Political instability, lack of good governance and struggle to have better economic livelihood are some post-conflict features of Nepal which support migration. This study investigates with hopeful intention about how the aftermath of armed conflict is related with the increasing number of Nepalese migrants.

1. Background: Nepal has undergone ten years of armed conflict from 1996 to 2006, which directly and indirectly promoted both internal and international migration. In recent years, more than 6 million people migrated from Nepal, covers 20 percent of the total population, and more than half of the working-age population. The number of migrants intensified during the time of conflict and continued even after the end of armed conflict.

2. Consequences of armed conflict: Armed conflict caused the loss of 17,000 human lives and thousands of others were tortured, forcibly recruited, kidnapped and displaced from their place. Many people lost their jobs as industries, and agriculture-based small enterprises were forced to close. Besides, government and military officers, police, and teachers resigned from the jobs because of threats and torture, and this made them unable to return to their jobs even after the end of armed conflict. In post-conflict time, transitional political and economic stagnation and power-sharing among the different political parties lead the country towards the complex perplexity which delays the process of addressing conflict related issues such as management of weapons and combaters, reconciliation and rehabilitation for needy people .

3. Armed conflict and migration: Nepalese politics and economy have undergone in dilemmas which left behind the people's expectations of justice, welfare, and equality. The priorities of national budget shifted for post-conflict management which did not invest to reconstruct infrastructure and create employment opportunities. Hundreds of thousand people became jobless because of the deterioration of agriculture production and diminishing the number of tourists which are the major backbone of the Nepalese economy and which have not yet fully recovered. The strikes and demos caused by the frustration of people are continues, so Nepalese people migrated to foreign countries in search of better economic and academic opportunities.

4. Conclusion: My research findings indicate that, the critical transitional post-conflict situation of the country led to the fragile uncertainty of better living conditions among people. People are migrating or intended to migrate because of the frustration, dissatisfaction and lack of justice, inequality and political instability which are the leading causes of unemployment and poverty.

5. References(partial list):

  • Adhikari, Deepak 2017. Ten years after war, Nepal ex-Maoist combatants turn to commerce (Deutsche Presse-Agenture, GmbH, Hamburg, Germany)
  • Department of Foreign Employment of Nepal 2015. Labour Migration for Employment. A Status Report for Nepal: 2015/2016
  • Jason,Miklian 2009. Post-Conflict Power Sharing: The Case of Nepal (PRIO South Asia Briefing Paper #2,International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO))
  • National Living Standards Survey 2011. Living Standard Survey Statistical Report Vol. 2 (Central Bureau of Statistics, National Planning Commission, Nepal)
  • Piya, Luni and Joshi, Niraj, Prakash 2016. Migration and Remittance in Nepal: A Review of the Push-Pull Factors and Socioeconomic Issues (Journal of Contemporary India Studies: Space and Society, Hiroshima UniversityVol.6: 41-53, 2016)
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