Migration Brokerage, Employment-recruitment Industry and the State in Nepal by Dr Tina Shrestha
Date : 27 Apr 2017
Time : 16:00 - 17:30
Venue : Asia Research Institute, Seminar Room
AS8 Level 4, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
National University of Singapore @ KRC


Dr Laavanya Kathiravelu, Division of Sociology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


My research focuses on migration brokerage infrastructure and the role of employment-recruitment and placement agencies mediating labor migration from Nepal to Malaysia. Drawing on my ethnographic fieldwork in employment-recruitment, or manpower, agencies and state agencies in Kathmandu, Nepal, this working paper examines how state regulation on labor migration is intimately tied to the emergence of migration brokerage. I argue that this overlap between the state-institutionalized mediation and everyday social process of brokering often draw upon familiar local discourse on bikas (development), sapana (aspiration) and kaam (employment). Moreover, central to this brokerage is the unresolved tension between the ever-expanding labor recruitment business and ethical concerns for the il/licit practices that are used to recruit people for employment overseas. This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion within ‘the migration industry’ and brokerage in Asia.


Tina Shrestha is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Asian Migrations Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University. Her doctoral research on Nepali migration and asylum seeking process in the United States has appeared in Studies in Nepali History and Society and in an edited volume Refugee Resettlement in the United States: Language, Policy, and Pedagogy. Her research at ARI focuses on brokerage and documentation in the employment recruitment agencies facilitating labor migration between Nepal and Malaysia.


Admission is free. We would greatly appreciate if you click on the "Register" button above to RSVP.

Contact Person(s)
Minghua TAY