The changing face of circular migration in Bihar

Project Active since Firms and Entrepreneurship

Scholars estimate that 100 million Indians ‘circulate’ between their villages of origin and multiple destinations in search of livelihoods. This project implemented two surveys and group discussions with male and female migrant workers in ten localities of origin and ten destination localities to understand the multiple facets of migration within and outside the Indian state of Bihar.

Researchers found that the overwhelming proportion of migrants is male labour migrants. Results show labour migrants are inhibited in their mobility by a restrictive social protection regime that hinges on sedentary, rather than portable public entitlements. Furthermore, labour migrants are politically disenfranchised due to migrants’ voting rights being tied to their villages of origin.

Researchers call for policymakers to take into consideration the rights of people on the move and to conceptualise and implement portable social policy.