Harnessing the potential of migration into local development in Nepal

Date: Monday, March 21, 2016

Remarks by Gitanjali Singh, UN Women Deputy Representative on behalf of Kathmandu Migration Group, Kathmandu, Nepal

Honourable Member of the National Planning Commission, Secretaries of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and National Planning Commission, Distinguished guest on the dais, Senior Government officials, Kathmandu Migration Group (KMG) Members, ladies and gentleman,

Good morning and Namaste,

We are at an interesting crossroad in history, with an ambitious and transformative, global blueprint for sustainable development. 2030 is end date for discrimination and inequality. We need bold actions for inclusive development. It’s time to step up efforts. It’s time to harness the potential of human mobility to strengthen local development in Nepal.

As has been highlighted by previous speakers, globally, the importance of local authorities in developing and implementing migration and development policies and initiatives, as well as, in driving integration processes, is increasingly recognized. At the same time, the process of mainstreaming migration within policy design is increasingly perceived as key to addressing issues related to migration as well as in building on all the opportunities associated with it. Mainstreaming gender equality in local planning, budgeting and monitoring in Nepal offers important insights and lessons that should be reflected upon in efforts to strengthen mainstreaming of migration.

Migration is a choice. But the decision to migrate should not lead to hardship.

  • Migration governance at the local level must be well coordinated.
  • The right to information needs to be leveraged so that women and men can make informed decisions. Accurate migration data is critical to inform local level planning.
  • Financial and social remittances can build the adaptive capacity of households if supported by relevant institutional arrangements and policy provisions at the local level.
  • Internal migration and urbanisation are intrinsically linked and the multiplier effect, needs to be recognised as part of local planning.

Continuous dialogue, partnerships and coordination is key to delivering sustainable development results. No government agency, international agency or civil society group alone can hope to have an impact. The Kathmandu Migration Group looks forward to engaging in policy dialogues and stands ready to support the Government of Nepal. The KMG is committed to promoting joint policy positions, research and interventions and coordinating complementary efforts of key actors in Nepal.

Migration is one area where women are equally represented as men. As we have all witnessed, desperate migration often has a woman’s face. The contribution that migrant women make through their care-related labour is often undervalued, frequently under-priced and commonly occurs in precarious and insecure labour markets in many contexts. Migration can be a pathway to women's economic empowerment and autonomy, boosting their social status and promoting substantive equality. Well-coordinated migration governance, committed to fundamental rights and freedoms at the local level can contribute to the journey towards inclusive development, justice and dignity for all.

Thank you.