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IOM, Tribhuvan University Foster Academic Collaboration to Shape Discourse on Migration Management in Nepal
Kathmandu – IOM Nepal, in collaboration with the Tribhuvan University’s Central Department of Population Studies (CDPS) and the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security (MoLESS), launched on 6 February an academic forum to foster collaboration among educational institutions, policymakers and experts.
Aimed at shaping better migration management practices in Nepal, the forum, titled “The Academic Discourse on Migration Management,” delved into various aspects of migration, from Census findings to panel discussions on historical dimensions, offering valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of migration in Nepal.
The discussion shed light on the regional demographic disparities in Nepal. Additionally, it praised the establishment of the Migration School, a two-week programme organized by IOM and CDPS, which provides comprehensive education on migration and covers a wide range of thematic areas. The programme saw its first cohort of graduates in September 2023.
Attending the event, Helene Fors, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Nepal, underscored the prevalence of migration, indicating that there are approximately 7.4 per cent of Nepalese currently living abroad. “Academic Discourse is a key initiative in the times when Nepal is going through a major transformation in-terms of demographic shift. Meanwhile, migration has been a key determining factor for Nepali communities, affecting most of the households. Such discourse will help identify trends, shift and forecast major changes which will be crucial for policy and programme planning.”
On the other hand, Dr Kushum Shakya, Dean of Tribhuvan University's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, spoke about migration's pivotal role in Nepal’s demographic changes and socioeconomic development. She stressed how “Migration management is required at internal or international level to develop a planned approach to the development of policy, legislative and administrative responses to key migration issues.” She also touched upon migrants’ contribution to the national economy, recognizing that remittances have become a major contributing factor to increasing household income and to the national GDP. “In fact, remittances account for about 25% of the country’s GDP,” she added. Dr. Shakya concluded her intervention noting the increasing trend of female mobility, especially in occupations like domestic work.
During the panel discussion, experts explored migration's drivers and its historical dimensions. Dr Arjun Kumar Baral, Executive Director of the Centre for Economic Development and Administration of Tribhuvan University, led the attendees to take a glimpse at the ongoing research on returnee migrant workers and their economic impact. Moreover, Dr Shobha Shrestha from the Central Department of Geography of Tribhuvan University provided insights into migration from a geo-spatial and demographic perspective.
The discourse paved the way for further academic fora on migration management. The focus of the second discourse, whose date is currently being defined, will be on the "Future of Migration." Such discourses will help shape a more positive narrative on migration and facilitate humane and orderly human mobility for the benefit of all.
This initiative is supported by the IOM Development Fund.
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