Together with our partner organisation POURAKHI, we address the issue of migration in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, as a starting point for international migration and as a destination for returnees. In many cases illegal migration leads to human trafficking with catastrophic impacts for the affected population. Therefore we aim making labor migration more secure in order to diminish the negative effects of unsafe migration.

The topic of labor migration is firmly rooted in Nepalese history: since the 18th century, Nepalese people have been looking for work abroad. The green and open border between India and Nepal as well as the cultural and linguistic similarities increasingly favor the migration movement. But they also benefit equally the work of traffickers and smugglers. Migration began as a male phenomenon, though nowadays women are increasingly moving out of their homes too. Low educational opportunities, few prospects for the future and low social recognition - the lives of Nepalese women are characterized by many difficulties. It is therefore hardly surprising that women are increasingly choosing to leave their homeland. In the search for better working and living conditions, they are promised higher wages and better educational opportunities abroad. However, this occurs only in the rarest cases. Often the reality is different. Nepalese women work abroad mostly as domestic workers under precarious working conditions. Discrimination, violence and abuse often characterize the women's everyday lives. This makes the migration experiences of those affected in many cases a torture. Their experiences often lead to psychic damage and complicate social reintegration. The majority of women cross the borders by illegal channels. Without information about their rights, without sufficient information about the migration process and without knowing the language in the country of arrival, they depend on the mercy of smugglers and human traffickers.  

Support and promote safe migration

Our partner organization Pourakhi was founded in 2003 to work for the concerns of Nepalese migrant women workers. Initially focused largely on female immigrant women, Pourakhi is now increasingly working with male migrants too. Meanwhile the organization has become one of the most important civil society actors in the country working on the promotion of safe migration. "Pourakhi" means "independent" and "self-determined" and this characterizes also the main goal of our cooperation: Returned migrants should regain their self-confidence in order to find their way back to a self-determined and regular everyday life. Pourakhi supports migrants and relatives through education and counselling activities throughout the migration cycle. These include legal advice, the reception of returned people in shelters, psychosocial counseling and reintegration assistance. Since 2012, we have been working with Pourakhi, successfully building Migration Information Centers at various locations. Possible migrants are offered information and advice as well as legal support for safe migration with the aim of sensitizing and strengthening migrants for their rights.

Strengthen returnees

Migrants often return home helplessly. The contact with relatives is partially broken off, they own rarely financial reserves and are partially traumatized by their experiences. Pourakhi provides first aid to affected women in an emergency shelter and helps them return to their families. The shelter provides free sleeping facilities, meals and medical care if needed. In addition to working with migrants, we also focus on working with direct relatives of migrants. Through targeted training, they are taught to deal economically and sustainably with the remittances of their family members from abroad.


Project information:

Project: Minimization of unsafe and forced migration of Vulnerable Women and men in Kathmandu District of Nepal and promotion of migrants rights in Nepal

Implementation areas: Kathmandu District

Partner: Pourakhi

Target Group: Potential and returnee migrants


- Establish Migrant Information Service Centers

- Trainings for a sustainable use of remittances

- Information and consulting service

- Improvement of socio-economic situation of potential victims and survivors of Human Trafficking

- Lobbyism and advocacy

Implementation period: 2017-2019

Budget: 72.000 Euro p.a.

Donor: BMZ



House No. 26, Makhamali Marg
Dharapati, Maharajgunj
G.P.O. Box 7647
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-(0)1-4370697
Emergency Hotline: +977-(0)1-9849135206

Web: www.pourakhi.org.np