Debt, Reintegration and Socioeconomic Sustainability of Migrants’ Households

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31 Mayo 2022

Debt, Reintegration and Socioeconomic Sustainability of Migrants’ Households

This study determines four main market inefficiencies – namely information asymmetry, private formal and informal recruitment sector’s monopoly of power, limited access to the formal financial sector and limited access to justice – that are affecting the migration process for Bangladeshis and the ways in which these inefficiencies are all interrelated and feed into each other, thereby amplifying their respective negative impact on the overall migration process.  

At the core of migrants’ indebtedness is the lack of information about their rights, the migration process, the available services and judicial redress. Not knowing about the official channels of migration pushes them to intermediaries who charge exorbitant fees. Thus, Bangladeshi migrants resort to taking out high-interest loans from moneylenders, resulting in indebtedness. When faced with fraud or improper job placement, migrants do not seek legal help, again due to lack of information on existing remedies. 

The magnitude of migrants’ widespread indebtedness requires a major overhauling of the migration process at the origin of this unsustainable debt and proper implementation of the existing policy and laws specifically targeting the returnee migrants to resolve the existing structural failures affecting the migration process. These failures drain the resources of migrants who spend most of their remittances to repay the loans incurred to finance the migration costs, making it hard for Bangladeshi migrants and their families to invest the remittances instead in productive sectors in the local economy.

  • Foreword
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary
    • 1. Introduction
      • 1.1. Background of the study
      • 1.2. Objective of the study
      • 1.3. Methodology and design
      • 1.4. Data collection tools
    • 2. Literature review
      • 2.1. Household wealth and migration
      • 2.2. Migration and youth unemployment
      • 2.3. Migration skills and literacy levels
      • 2.4. Access to reliable information and pre-decision awareness
      • 2.5. Migration costs and recruitment channels
        • 2.5.1. Recruitment channels
      • 2.6. Recruitment of female migrants 
      • 2.7. Loan contribution to the migration costs and debt
      • 2.8. Types of fraud 
      • 2.9. Access to justice
        • 2.9.1. Alternative dispute resolution
        • 2.9.2. Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training complaint mechanism
        • 2.9.3. Civil society organizations and legal support
      • 2.10. Literature review conclusions
    • 3. Survey findings
      • 3.1. Demographic and socioeconomic profile of migrants
        • 3.1.1. Age, gender and marital status
        • 3.1.2. Education
        • 3.1.3. Employment status and income before migration
        • 3.1.4. Migration status of the respondents
        • 3.1.5. Employment status and income of returnees
        • 3.1.6. Household composition and income
        • 3.1.7. Household income and remittances
        • 3.1.8. Household self-perception of its economic status
      • 3.2. Migration experiences
        • 3.2.1. Migration channels
        • 3.2.2. Occupation category and remuneration in the country of destination
        • 3.2.3. Awareness of the migration process
        • 3.2.4. Awareness of the contractual elements of migration
    • 4. Migration costs
      • 4.1. Recruitment costs
      • 4.2. Borrowing costs and the limited access to the formal financial system
      • 4.3. Loans and their contribution to the total migration costs
        • 4.3.1. Cost and benefit considerations
      • 4.4. Impact of the recruitment fees and borrowing costs on the household income
        • 4.4.1. Household debt and migration
    • 5. Migrants’ access to justice and redress mechanisms
      • 5.1. Fraud endured by migrants
      • 5.2. Reintegration of migrants and socioeconomic sustainability of migrants’
      • households
      • 5.3. Debt restructuring and relief through mediation
        • 5.3.1. Large-scale debt relief intervention for insolvent migrants
    • 6. Conclusions
    • 7. Recommendations
  • Glossary
  • Annex
  • Bibliography