Article

Relative Success of Male Workers in the Host Country, Kuwait: Does the Channel of Migration Matter?

Article

Relative Success of Male Workers in the Host Country, Kuwait: Does the Channel of Migration Matter?

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Abstract

A survey of 800 South Asian males employed in skilled or unskilled jobs in Kuwait showed the channel of migration to be a highly significant factor of migrant success. About 34% moved through friends/relatives and 50% through recruitment agents. Multivariate analyses indicate that those who came through friends/relatives earned a higher salary, found the job to fit their expectation, and were happier than those who came through agents, but more of the former came on an Azad visa which may be illegal. Personal networks are likely to encourage additional future migration and are very difficult to regulate through government initiatives.

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... There is no doubt that Government policies in sending as well as receiving countries have played a central role in initiating and regulating migration to the Gulf in the form of formal institutions and legal rules. However, several studies have shown that personal networks have played very important role in perpetuating migration (Banerjee 1983, Nair1992, Mahmood 1992, Khan 1991, Nair 1991, 1998, Shah 199519982000. Hence, the role of informal networks consisting of relatives, friends or community members from the home country is now increasingly recognized as important channel for encouraging additional migration and aiding in the adjustment and sustenance of new migrants (Shah, 1999). ...
... Several studies have reported relatively more success, when migrants moved through personal networks of friends/relatives (Massey and Gracia, 1987, Gunatilleke, 1998, Shah 2000. Shah (2000) in a survey of south Asian migrants in Kuwait found that channel of arranging visa is important determinant of likely success in Kuwait. ...
... Several studies have reported relatively more success, when migrants moved through personal networks of friends/relatives (Massey and Gracia, 1987, Gunatilleke, 1998, Shah 2000. Shah (2000) in a survey of south Asian migrants in Kuwait found that channel of arranging visa is important determinant of likely success in Kuwait. Migrants from India and Pakistan were more successful than those from Bangladesh and Sri lanka due to access to more effective networks. ...
... TFWPs as a tool of selective and sector-specific industrial policy (as it is the case, 30 Also see Atipas (2000) for the importance of networks as a determinant of migration to Singapore; Shah (2000) for migration to Kuwait; and Massey and Liang (1989) for migration of the descendants of Braceros . 31 It is important to point out that the prolongation and expansion of TFWPs may, in fact, lead to highly desirable consequences for all sides. ...
... Such a visa has become known as an "Azad (free) Visa". In her study, Shah (2000) reports that about 15% of the 800 foreign workers interviewed said that they had come on such an "Azad Visa". An amnesty in 1997, allowing all foreign workers in illegal status to leave the country without being fined or jailed, encouraged 11,000 persons to come forth and leave the country (Shah and Menon 1999). ...
... However, as a share of GDP, Nepal receives the largest formal remittance inflows (16 per cent), followed by Bangladesh (9.0 per cent), and Sri Lanka (8.7 per cent) (World Bank, 2008). 6 Another important theme in migration research is the control of labour migration and the role played by recruitment channels in migration outcomes (Shah, 2000;Nair, 1992;Mahmood, 1992;Kuptsch (ed), 2006;Afsar, 2008). From a sample survey of 800 skilled and unskilled male workers working in Kuwait and drawn from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Shah (2000) determined that those who relied on friends and relatives to migrate earned a higher salary, found jobs that met their expectations, and had greater job satisfaction than those who migrated through private recruiting agencies. ...
... 6 Another important theme in migration research is the control of labour migration and the role played by recruitment channels in migration outcomes (Shah, 2000;Nair, 1992;Mahmood, 1992;Kuptsch (ed), 2006;Afsar, 2008). From a sample survey of 800 skilled and unskilled male workers working in Kuwait and drawn from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Shah (2000) determined that those who relied on friends and relatives to migrate earned a higher salary, found jobs that met their expectations, and had greater job satisfaction than those who migrated through private recruiting agencies. However, despite being considered as one of the most important human capital attributes, none of these studies included the migrants' health status in the model of explanatory variables. ...
Book
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In the era of the global market hundreds of thousands of women migrate every year to seek opportunities to get an income for themselves. Many leave family and dependent children behind whose lives are also changed. In this book research on the consequences of migration of women in South Asia is presented from many perspectives and also for different stakeholders. Special attention is given to the situation of the children left behind and their development. The research and the conclusions that can be drawn from it we believe to be useful to anyone interested in women´s issues, but in particular to policy makers at national and international level.
... Furthermore Massey et al. (1993) point out that continuation of migration is based on interpersonal ties through which networks are formed between former migrants and nonmigrants or migrants and non-migrants based on kinship, friendship and shared community of origin (Massey et al. 1993). Shah (2000), giving example of network, states that the network plays a significant role in selecting migration channel as well as in negotiating remuneration at destination. He argues that the person who migrates with friends and families make more income than who come through agents. ...
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Abstract Although about two-thirds of Nepalese families depend on agriculture as their major source of income, the agriculture is mostly rain-fed and it has been adversely affected by water hazards and the subsequent degradation of resources. Based on case studies from three different geographical regions in Nepal, this research examines how environmental factors cause decreasing crop production and push people to abandon agriculture and accept emigration for employment. The research findings suggest a chain of push factors starting from drought or erratic rainfall causing water hazards, which impacts on depletion of crops and livestock, losses in income and employment and increased human mobility and emigration. The paper argues that the Government of Nepal and development partners can be more effective in enabling agrarian families to cope with the water hazards and shocks by formulating pro-poor mitigation and adaptation policies and strategies, focusing both on ‘rapid-onset’ and ‘slow-onset’ water hazards. Keywords: Agriculture; Environment; Migration; Human mobility; Nepal; Water hazards
... Recent studies from Thailand and Vietnam also showed that migration reduced the rural income inequality through a balanced distribution of productive assets [31], and had a positive impact on poverty status [7]. Studies that analyzed the impact of migration on the well-being of the migrant households in the destination places concluded that the degree of success of migrant workers depend on human and social capital [32,33], the length of the migration period, the quality of working conditions, and the existence of social networks [34]. ...
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Urban migration unlocks new employment opportunities for rural dwellers in a productive manner. This study assessed the quality of employment of migrant workers, and its effect on rural households' welfare. To this end, we used primary data collected from the four major districts of Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, and Sialkot in Punjab, Pakistan. These data include 504 immigrant and non-immigrant families in rural areas, and 252 migrant workers in urban destinations. We use IV probit and two-step sequential estimation methods for the empirical analysis. The study provides new insights for migration in Pakistan. First, migrant workers are better off in their new urban settings in terms of improved incomes and living conditions, but their social protection status is still poor. Second, the results of the employment quality models show that migration is a successful strategy for rural households to improve the quality of their employment. In addition, the characteristics of migrants and native households affect the relative improvement in the quality of employment and migrants' conditions. Third, the results of the propensity score matching technique suggest that migration has a positive impact on rural households' income, and these impacts are more pronounced in large cities. Based on the findings, the study recommends that the government should invest in quality education in rural areas, and ensure that social security schemes are provided for migrant workers in urban areas.
... For example, a recent report from Human Rights Watch(2012:51) noted, "Qatar's sponsorship system remains one of the most restrictive in the Gulf region, leaving workers at the mercy of their sponsoring employers." 3 By law, migrants must have legal authorization to work any job other than the one designated by their sponsor, even though that job may not exist in reality(Shah 2000).4 The survey of low-income migrant laborers is described in detail in a separate publication(Gardner et al. 2013).5 ...
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Labor migrants in Qatar and neighboring states are regulated and governed by the kafala, or sponsorship system. By law, all foreign migrants are locked to a particular sponsor-employer for the duration of their stay. While the kafala has been a central feature in analyses of migration throughout the region, little attention has been devoted to the informal and widespread "free visa" system that has arisen in the shadows of the kafala. Through a mixed methods approach utilizing the region's first representative sample of low-income labor migrants, a focus group with "free visa" holders in the Ethiopian community, and a set of semi-structured interviews with Ethiopian migrants, this paper explores the experiences and perspectives of Ethiopian migrants in the "free visa" system in Qatar. The "free visa" is neither free nor legal, and it produces significant vulnerabilities for transnational migrants who work under this arrangement. While those vulnerabilities characterize the lived experience of "free visa" holders, many transnational migrants opt for the "free visa" in order to secure the freedom to choose their employer and abandon exploitative situations. We conclude that the "free visa" system can be understood as a byproduct of the strictures of the sponsorship system.
... Such studies seek to answer context-specific questions about who remits, how much, and the motivators and dynamics of remittances in both short and longer term. They explore issues such as why migrants remit (Lucas and Stark, 1985;Lianos, 1997;Lubkemann, 2005), including the impact of gender (Semyonov and Gorodzeisky, 2005;De la Briere et al., 2002), family lifecycle (Brown, 1998;Leinbach and Watkins, 1998), destination (De la Briere et al., 2002), level of earnings and other factors on remitting behavior; including specific considerations such as the relationship between recruitment channels and earnings (Shah, 2000). ...
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International migrant remittances have stimulated considerable interest as a development resource. This paper looks closely at the household-level dynamics of remittance flows and remittance usage, recognizing that the key actors in the remittances story are migrants and their households. Data are drawn from household surveys, focus groups and interviews with remittance recipients and returnees in three countries with substantial remittance inflows: Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The paper describes variations and patterns in migrant destination and work, remitting behavior, and the use of remittances in households, with attention to their larger implications.
... Furthermore Massey et al. (1993) point out that continuation of migration is based on interpersonal ties through which networks are formed between former migrants and nonmigrants or migrants and non-migrants based on kinship, friendship and shared community of origin (Massey et al. 1993). Shah (2000), giving example of network, states that the network plays a significant role in selecting migration channel as well as in negotiating remuneration at destination. He argues that the person who migrates with friends and families make more income than who come through agents. ...
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Full-text available
Although about two-thirds of Nepalese families depend on agriculture as their major source of income, the agriculture is mostly rain-fed and it has been adversely affected by water hazards and the subsequent degradation of resources. Based on case studies from three different geographical regions in Nepal, this research examines how environmental factors cause decreasing crop production and push people to abandon agriculture and accept emigration for employment. The research findings suggest a chain of push factors which start from drought or erratic rainfall causing water hazards which impacts on depletion of crops and livestock, losses in income and employment and increased human mobility and emigration. The paper argues that the Government of Nepal and development partners can be more effective in enabling agrarian families to cope with the water hazards and shocks by formulating pro-poor mitigation and adaptation policies and strategies, focusing both on ‘rapid-onset’ and ‘slow-onset’ water hazards. Key words: agriculture, environment, migration, human mobility, Nepal, water hazards
... Based on past experience, government policies will be faced with several constraints, many of which were mentioned above. Informal networks and channels that have played an important role in sustaining migration flows in the past (Shah, 2000) will continue to do so in future. Additional efforts might be made to curb the inflow of marginal and lessproductive workers, which may be offset by the continued prevalence of visa trading. ...
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The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) are demographically unique in several ways. Non-nationals now comprise 47% of the total GCC population; nationals are a minority in all countries, except Oman and Saudi Arabia. Thus, aggregated data including both nationals and non-nationals provide a highly misleading picture of the evolving demographic situation. This paper describes socio-demographic changes among GCC nationals from the 1970s to the present, and outlines the trends in outflows from the six major sending countries. It then discusses the implications of the socio-demographic transitions among nationals for future migration to GCC countries from Asian countries, taking cognizance of the existing labor force patterns of the indigenous population, as well as the migration policies of the sending as well as receiving countries.
... Second, the presence of relatives or friends facilitates women's adjustment to a new living and working situation. Networks of relatives and friends are vital for migrants' well-being in general (see Hagan [1998] and Shah [2000]), and for domestic workers in particular, because they often work in isolated situations (Beyene 2005;Hondagneu-Sotelo 1994). Relatives and friends can offer support and protection in times of trouble and assist with finding housing and employment. ...
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Based on anthropological fieldwork in Yemen, this article examines the relationship between gender, mobility, and il/legality in the lives of Ethiopian domestic workers. Studies about migrant domestic workers in the Middle East often focus on abuse and exploitation, making a plea for the regulation of women’s legal status. Yet legal migration does not automatically mean that women gain more rights and become more mobile; regulation may also entail more control. The relationship between method of entry and legal status is not fixed, and the boundaries between legality and illegality are often blurred, with women moving in and out of il/legality and legal organizations following illegal practices, and vice versa. Gendered state policies and practices also affect women’s space for maneuvering, and attempts at regulation may further restrict rather than increase their mobility.
... can be an integral party to migrant exploitation by arranging visa trading. The migrants in many Asian countries end up in high levels of indebtedness resulting from exorbitant interest rates accrued from loans obtained from money lenders to finance the move and buy the work visa (Rahman, 2015;Shah, 2000). ...
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Prior to the COVID‐19 Pandemic, the Gulf region was home to ~29 million foreign residents, an estimated 20–40% of whom were residing there in an irregular status. Most of them had skilfully devised strategies to survive in this irregular situation, with friends and relatives acting as essential support networks. The COVID‐19 Pandemic suddenly disrupted this well‐established social order. This article outlines the lived experiences of 26 irregular migrants residing in Kuwait when the Pandemic occurred. Twelve of our interviewees were planning to leave in response to the amnesty declared on 1 April, while 14 were planning to stay or were uncertain. Network support continued to provide an essential element in enabling their survival. Intermediaries such as kafeels (sponsors) were often unavailable or unwilling to provide assistance. The health and welfare of irregular migrants require special policy attention since they now face an enhanced risk of being apprehended and deported.
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The world is experiencing one of the largest movements of people in history with 65 million people displaced by conflict in 2015, the majority of which were from Asia. This book brings a deep engagement with individuals whose lives are shaped by encounters with borders by telling the stories of a poor Bangladeshi women who regularly crosses the India border to visit family, of Muslims from India living in Gulf countries for work, and the harrowing journey of a young Afghan man as he sets off on foot to Germany. The international and interdisciplinary work in this book contributes to this moment by analyzing how borders are experienced by migrants and borderlanders in South Asia, how mobility and diaspora are engaged in literature and media, and how the lives of migrants are transformed during their journey to new homes in South Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe.
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Full-text available
The world is experiencing one of the largest movements of people in history with 65 million people displaced by conflict in 2015, the majority of which were from Asia. This book brings a deep engagement with individuals whose lives are shaped by encounters with borders by telling the stories of a poor Bangladeshi women who regularly crosses the India border to visit family, of Muslims from India living in Gulf countries for work, and the harrowing journey of a young Afghan man as he sets off on foot to Germany. The international and interdisciplinary work in this book contributes to this moment by analyzing how borders are experienced by migrants and borderlanders in South Asia, how mobility and diaspora are engaged in literature and media, and how the lives of migrants are transformed during their journey to new homes in South Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe.
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Labor Migration from Pakistan to the Middle East and Its Impact on the Domestic Economy. Two parts
  • Gilanii
  • . M Khanf
  • Iqbalm
Role of Social Networks in Migration To Kuwait Among South Asian Males.” Paper prepared for presentation at the regional meeting of the IOM/UNFPA project on Emigration Dynamics in Developing Countries
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The Role of Networks and Community Structures in International Migration From Sri Lanka.” Paper prepared for presentation at the regional meeting of the IOM/UNFPA project on Emigration Dynamics in Developing Countries
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“Bangladesh Return Migrants from the Middle East: Process, Achievement, and Adjustment.”
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“Explanations of Migration,”
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“The Role of Networks and Community Structures in International Migration From Sri Lanka.”
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“Asian Migration to the Arab World: Kerala (India).”
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The Economic, Demographic, Sociocultural and Political Setting for Emigration Sri Lanka Country Paper, prepared for the Mid Project Meeting of the IOM/UNFPA Project on Emigration in Developing Countries
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“Migrant Workers to the Arab World: The Experience of Pakistan.”
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“How Malaysian Migrants Pre-Arrange Employment,”
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“Emigration Dynamics in South Asia: Major Findings and Policy Recommendations.”
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“The Mobilization of Labor Migrants in Thailand: Personal Links and Facilitating Networks.”
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