Today saw the latest publication on the health and well-being of migrant workers by BU staff. The paper ‘A survey of health problems of Nepalese female migrants workers in the Middle-East and Malaysia’ was published in the Open Access journal BMC International Health and Human Rights . The paper is based on data collected by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Pourakhi (Nepal).
Pourakhi, meaning self-reliant in Nepali, was established in 2003 to advocate for the rights of women who returned to Nepal after having worked abroad. The current Chair Manju Gurung is co-author on our paper.
Since 2003, Pourakhi has established a number of programmes around pre-employment, pre-departure, employment and post arrival support. In 2009, it opened a Shelter Facility to provide a safe space for women who returned to Nepal and were not able to rejoin their family and community. Pourakhi recognized that many women who returned from abroad had been victimized abroad and needed to seek relief from the government. In order to provide assistance to these women, In addition, Pourakhi established programmes to empower women after they return to Nepal from foreign employment. More specifically, Pourakhi established a financial literacy programme to educate women and an in business skills.
Pourakhi has been instrumental in ensuring that the voices of migrant women workers are heard and reflected in national policy and law. Additionally, it has successfully lobbied the government to ratify a number of international laws needed to protect the rights of female migrant workers.
Although Pourakhi began as an organisation by and on behalf of women, it has recognized that all migrant workers have the right to safe migration. Therefore, Pourakhi now assists both woman and men in all stages of the migration process.
The other two Nepali-speaking co-authors are Prof. Padam Simkhada from Liverpool john Moores University, who is also Visiting Professor in Bournemouth University’s Faculty of Health & Social Sciences and Dr. Sharada Prasad Wasti who is working for the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, Washington, DC in the USA.
- Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen, E.R., Gurung, M., Wasti, S. (2018) A survey of health problems of Nepalese female migrants workers in the Middle-East and Malaysia, BMC International Health & Human Rights 18(4): 1-7.