Emic Perspectives on Brokering International Migration for Construction from Bangladesh to Qatar
Taslima Sultana, Mirza
Haque, Kazi Nurmohammad Hossainul
Reza, Md. Selim
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This paper presents an emic perspective on the drivers and outcomes of migration brokerage through a study of low-skilled migrant construction workers from Chapainawabganj – a district in the north-west of Bangladesh – travelling to Qatar. The paper problematises assumptions underlying dominant discourses on the relationship between migrants and brokers by showing the differences in migrants’ own perspectives on brokerage and the way in which the migrant welfare and humanitarian organisation narratives frame the process. The paper draws on interviews with migrants back in Bangladesh who were either on holiday before returning to Qatar again or who had completed a period of migration there and had returned home for good. It also draws on interviews with brokers in Chapainawabganj and Dhaka. The research on which this paper is based sought to understand why Bangladeshi men continued to migrate through brokers for construction work, despite all the efforts to discourage this practice. It also aimed to understand how migrants view the process themselves in terms of exploitation, hardship, success and failure and how closely this corresponds to the way in which it is conceptualised by outsiders. Finally we attempt to convey the long-term view that migrants take on the process in order to provide a different perspective on the costs and risks, as well as the benefits, of migration through brokers.
Rights holderUniversity of Sussex
- Working Papers