Unpacking the magnitude and heterogeneity of the impacts of reverse migration in environmentally vulnerable locations in Bangladesh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This study focused on the international migrants who came home in the context of COVID-19 global crises. Due to workplace shutdown amongst few other reasons, about half a million Bangladeshi workers returned home during 2020-2022. Abrupt return and associated loss of income affected the migrant families’ food security, social protection and coping mechanism. This study explored return migrants in Noakhali, one of the top five foreign remittance recipient districts in Bangladesh. This coastal district is comprised of both low lying mainland and islands, which are frequently affected by natural hazards such as cyclone, flood and riverbank erosion. Primary data was collected at two consecutive stage. Firstly, a spatial distributions of return migrants was identified by local key informants. This helped to rank households of the return migrants situated in environmentally high, moderate and low vulnerable locations. Secondly, in depth interviews with return migrants and their household members, 10 from each of the identified vulnerability category were conducted, thus 30 households were interviewed. Qualitative interviews investigating the impact of return migration on the migrant’s life trajectory and the required measures (e.g., how informal economies can be a source of resilience in periods of complex crises) most beneficial for such return migrants were conducted. Moreover, how to extend such components to the migrants voluntarily returning at the end of their natural migration cycle – was unpacked throughout the empirical fieldwork. The outcome of this study provides greater nuance on involuntary return migration and will have implication in other similar contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2023
EventDevelopment Studies Association Conference 2023: Crisis in the Anthropocene - University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 202330 Jun 2023


ConferenceDevelopment Studies Association Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleDSA2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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