The Population Council, in partnership with the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, undertook a multicomponent study to better understand the relationship between debt and overseas labor migration from India. The study shed light on: levels and patterns of household indebtedness among migrant households, with a special focus on households with overseas migrants; cost of overseas labor migration from India and the role of debt in financing overseas migration; role of debt in migration-related decisions; differences in work-related choices and experiences and financial vulnerabilities migrant workers experienced by household indebtedness; and migrant workers’ perceptions about financial products that can potentially reduce their financial vulnerabilities. This report describes the levels and patterns of household indebtedness and socio-demographic differentials in indebted international migrant households. It sheds light on costs incurred for overseas labor migration and the role of debt in financing migration, migration-related decisions, work-related choices and experiences, and financial vulnerabilities faced in India and overseas. A description of financial products that can potentially reduce the financial vulnerabilities of overseas labor migrants is included, as are recommendations for programs and research.
Santhya, K.G., Snigdha Banerjee, Basant Kumar Panda, A.J. Francis Zavier, Avishek Hazra, and Shilpi Rampal. 2022. "Role of debt in overseas labour migration in India," technical report. New Delhi: Population Council.