Foreign employment has been a significant motivation for labor migration by offering alternative livelihood opportunities. The massive flow of female labor migrants post earthquake opting to go abroad has subsequently increased the vulnerability resulting from displacement and lack of access to basic services due to following irregular channels. Hence, Nepal has reported several instances, specifically cases of abuses, exploitation, injury, and deaths, which signals unsafe migration. Female labor migration is a growing serious concern in Nepal. In order to fulfill our organizational mission, we felt that it was necessary to promote awareness to this problem. With the support of our funding partners, IOM and UN Women, we were able to create different activities in order to bring more attention to this pressing issue. The activities we developed to bring awareness to the issues surrounding female labor migration was a community based folk and Gandharva song competition, a youth focused debate program, an information sharing at mothers group level, airing public service announcement (PSA) and spreading Counter Trafficking (CT) and safe migration related awareness messages.
The theme for the community based folk and Gandharva song competition was held on 1st November in Dhading and 4th November in Sindhupalchowk district on safer migration of women for foreign employment in order to reduce human trafficking and to motivate income generating activities in their community. This program was designed to disseminate key messages through a powerful and popular means reaching out to a wider group that has more social acceptance.
Inter school debate competition was held on 3rd November in Dhading and Sindhupalchowk districts. The topic for the inter school debate was an in-depth examination of the pros and cons of women migration. There was a passionate engagement from the audience and informed topics presented by the student debaters.
The information sharing was held on 29th October & 4th November in Dhading and 27th and 29th October and 6th November in Sindhupalchowk districts which promoted a sense of community, created an opportunity to share, informed women on safe migration, and encouraged income generating activities in their communities. It also presented the opportunity for women migrant workers to share their experiences and lessons learned. This created the space for the sharing of traumatic experiences with others, who may have also encountered similar situations abroad, in order to facilitate a community of support based on shared experiences.
PSA is being aired in different radio station of both Dhading and Sindhupalchowk districts in both Nepali and Tamang languages.
As same, safe migration related awareness messages (for bulk SMS ) have been developed and these messages are being forwarded to around 300 peoples through cell phones.