Experiences and Coping Strategies of Nepalese Labor Migrants Prior, During and After Their Stay in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries
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This thesis explores the experiences and coping strategies of Nepalese labour migrants prior, during and after their stay in the six economies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In all three phases, migration dynamics like migration decisions, migrant networks, migration trajectories, transnational practices and post return transnationalism are primarily sought after. This thesis maneuvers the experiences and practices that have affected the life of migrant workers in receiving node, and the aspiring migrants, returnees and non-migrant counterparts in the sending node of the migration system. I have administered semi-structured and unstructured interviews as the core data collection technique. I collected primary data from aspiring migrant workers in Nepal, GCC countries and returnees who returned to Nepal after their brief stay in GCC countries. My respondents are mixture of all categories of migrant workers who are engaged in skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled sectors. Additionally, secondary data was sourced online which included reports from governmental, non-governmental organizations and various other scholars and researchers. These data connect, reconnects, strengthens and supports the findings of my data collected from an interview. The push-pull model on migration is the main theoretical construct used in this study. However, it is also supplemented with other relevant theories to cover other dimensions that this research seeks to explore. Using such theoretical models, I identified how migration decision comes as a consequence of both relative deprivation and absolute poverty depending on the socioeconomic background of the migrant workers. I discuss how transnational network of migrants play an indispensable role in smooth facilitation of migration process and several other modes of transnational practices connecting destination and home country affiliates. Despite the prevailing temporary labour regime in GCC countries, Nepalese migrant workers have been prolonging their residence applying several strategies, most prominent being renewing the work contract. Relative to those who stay behind, Nepalese migrant workersix obtain good economic rewards. Nevertheless, their tendencies of returning to home country, re-migration and likelihoods of circular migration have also been explored in this thesis. Although the inflow of social and economic remittances in home country has stimulated material aspect of modernity, there is also a cost of it, implying uncertainties and vulnerabilities of workers mainly in semi-skilled and unskilled sector.