It was around 9:00pm on September 11. After a day’s hard work, some of the 10 workers living in a makeshift house next to a large construction site in Malaysia’s Cyberjaya were preparing food while others were either having meals or chatting before going to bed. Suddenly, they heard the sound of four to five […]
In a world where populist anti-immigrant narratives dominate, the diverse composition of football teams in the World Cup in Russia did not go unnoticed. Players of foreign origin including former refugees and children or grandchildren of immigrants, especially in the winning French team, stole the show. In Doha, Nepali workers busy building the infrastructure for […]
For many Indians, the term “Gulf nation” symbolises hope, a sign of good life and prosperity. Gulf countries attract Indians in large numbers, especially from Kerala. But sadly, the ground reality that has emerged paints a different picture altogether — with reports of workplace harassment, “horrible bosses” and difference in culture, many Indians are quitting […]
Thousands of Bangladeshis are facing risks of arrest and deportation from Malaysia as its rehiring programme, launched two years ago to legalise undocumented workers, ends today. The risks have been heightened also as the new Malaysian government, which came to power last month, has recently decided to cancel work permits of the migrants employed for […]
Sharmeen (not real name), 35, of Munshiganj, returned from Saudi Arabia on May 24, five months after she had gone to the kingdom for work. “My husband is not accepting me. He asked why I did not send money and why I returned home,” she told this correspondent on June 6. Sharmeen proceeded to recount […]
Every day, Rehana Khatun had to toil for hours for a family of 12 near Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Despite this, she was not properly fed and allowed to sleep for more than four hours. Sometimes, the 35-year-old had stomach ache because of her gastrointestinal problems. But she was too afraid to complain […]
Female domestic workers in Lebanon cannot visit families back in Nepal because of a travel ban that prevents them from returning to well-paying jobs. Along with horror stories of abuse of female domestic workers, housemaids from Nepal here have a different worry – they cannot go back home for holidays because a Nepal government ban on female migrant […]
The Kotaraya quarter of the Malaysian capital comes alive on Sundays when Nepali migrant workers gather here to celebrate their hard-earned day off. The neighbourhood has over 65 Nepali restaurants, shops, remittance and travel agencies selling airline tickets catering to the Nepali diaspora population. A lot has been said about Nepali migrant workers propping up […]
When 26-year-old Nasir Khan went to Saudi Arabia to work as a taxi driver, he found no shortage of customers. One day, however, when Khan picked up a passenger in Riyadh’s blistering heat, the customer refused to pay him. When Khan insisted on his money, the man stabbed him and fled.
Over the last few days, this series has been exploring the issues surrounding labour migration from Sri Lanka, particularly the north. Here are the personal life stories behind the phenomenon. The people living in the post-war north, who feel impelled to migrate for socio-economic reasons.