Accepted paper:

Anthropological knowledge and advocacy to help migrants


Vijay Prakash Sharma (National Institute of Rural Development)

Paper short abstract:

Anthropological knowledge on migration needs to be shared with the policy makers because of lack of data, migration is largely invisible and ignored by them.

Paper long abstract:

Internal mobility is critical to the livelihoods of many people, especially tribal people, socially deprived groups and people from resource-poor areas.There is a large gap between the insights from macro data and those from field studies.What data are available attest to the substantial and growing scale of internal seasonal migration. In one district of the rice-producing belt of West Bengal, the flow of seasonal migrants, drawn from tribals, Muslims and low castes, exceeds 500,000 people. Migrants are disadvantaged as labourers and labour laws dealing with them are weakly implemented. Poor migrants have very little bargaining power. Most migrant labourers are also employed in the unorganised sector, where the lack of regulation compounds their vulnerability. They are largely ignored by government and NGO programmes. This paper discusses how anthropological knowledge can be used to address the problems related to migration in conjunction with the government and civil society in order to build a strong government and NGO foundation and to aid government planning. This will help the government and civil societies to introduce new strategies for control of illegal migration. A case study from Indian state will be discussed for replication elsewhere.

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Can anthropology work for migrants? Anthropology (-ists) at work in charities and NGOs