Illegal migration leads to exploitation of women: study

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 06, 2010 16:50 hrs

Poverty, landlessness and unemployment are pushing larger number of Indian and Bangladeshi women to different countries through illegal channels and subjecting them to exploitation and sexual harassment, a new study said here Friday.

The study titled 'Gender dimensions of international migration from India and Bangladesh: Impact on the families left behind' found that majority of women, who emigrate illegally, were subjected to isolation, low remuneration, exploitation and sexual harassment by their employers.

It analysed the socio-economic background of migrant families, the condition of migrants in destination countries and the problems faced by their families back home.

The study found that women migrants are younger than the male ones. 'Though the official age for migration is 25 years for Bangladesh and 30 years for India, more women have been found migrating to various countries below their minimum age limit.'

'We are trying to derive the cause for illegal migration amongst women below 30. This needs to be curbed because this is the strata subjected to harassment by their employers,' said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research.

The study also lists policy recommendations for the development of migrant families.

'The passports of illegal migrants are confiscated by their employers which blocks their way to go back home. We suggest the embassies to have special complaint cells where victims of such illegal migrations can be heard. Women should be made aware about the language of the nation they are travelling to,' she added.

The favoured destinations for migration include the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the study said.