Nepal - Malaysia corridor: research findings booklet

In recent years, the contribution of Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia has been significant. Nepal receives almost a third of its Gross Domestic Product from remittances. In 2018, Nepali migrant workers sent home USD$8.1 billion, making it the 19th biggest beneficiary of funds sent by migrants around the world, according to a report released by the World Bank. For Nepali workers, Malaysia has been the top destination for labour migration since 2008 when the government started keeping records of labour migrants. In 2019, Nepali mission in Malaysia reported around 500,000 Nepalis living in Malaysia. A total of 4.23 percent labour permits were issued in 2018/19 for Nepali migrants who sought to work in Malaysia (IOM, 2019). Malaysia continues to rely heavily on foreign migrant labour. About 14 percent of its workforce is populated by workers of various nationalities, amounting to approximately 1.5 million workers (Department of Statistics Malaysia, 2020). Many Nepalis are employed in manufacturing, services, agriculture and plantation, as well as construction (Immigration Department Malaysia, 2020). Like so many other foreign migrant workers in Malaysia, numerous Nepali migrants have to cope with harsh working conditions, exploitation and human rights abuses on a daily basis as they endeavour to provide for their families back home. Their particular narratives and experiences as human beings and as important contributors to the Malaysian and Nepal economies are not well documented nor appreciated.

The Nepal-Malaysia Corridor focuses on three major research themes (“Work Packages”):

  1. Work Package One (Gender Inequalities) examines the gendered nature of migration and mobility.
  2. Work Package Four (Migrant perceptions, knowledge and decision-making) examines how these elements shape migrant subjectivities and how they evolve over time in the migration experience.
  3. Work Package Five (Intermediaries) examines the facilitation of migrant recruitment and mobility along the Nepal-Malaysia corridor.

The attached booklet provides preliminary findings primarily from the Malaysian end of the Nepal-Malaysia corridor. Click below to download a summary of the work packages and their research.

Summary of findings from the Nepal-Malaysia corridor

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