Entrapment Processes in the Emigration Regime: The Presence of Migration Bans and the Absence of Bilateral Labor Agreements in Domestic Work in Nepal

Ayushman Bhagat


This Article offers an integrated analysis of the combined effect of the presence of migration bans and the absence of BLAs in domestic work in the emigration regime of Nepal. It identifies, acknowledges, critiques, and contributes to the critical literature highlighting entrapment processes in labor relations and immigration regimes by demonstrating the presence of such in the emigration regime. Drawing on the empirical findings of a participatory action research (PAR) project conducted in Nepal, the Article demonstrates how restrictive emigration policies and practices entail entrapment processes constitutive of the existing historical, cultural, gendered, racialized, and classed constraints impacting the lives of Nepalese citizens. The Article contributes to the critical literature that seeks to advance migrants’ rights, arguing that experiencing, encountering and escaping entrapment processes in the emigration regime impacts their agency when navigating immigration regimes and labor relations. This contribution advances the existing efforts to establish oft-ignored emigration regimes as important epistemological sites of research, theorization, and intervention.

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