Studies record that a large number of South Asian migrant workers in the Middle–East had to return to their home countries owing to the global financial crisis and loss of jobs. However, their distress of loss of job in the gulf is compounded by the fact that in their own home countries the rehabilitation and reintegration of these workers is tedious and often the returnees are thrust with forced choices. This paper, based on a primary survey conducted in five south Asian countries, namely; Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, concludes that on return, the employment status of REMs were in general worse off than in their host country with high share of casualisation, self employment and unemployment in the crisis year and a decline in their average monthly earnings. The analysis suggests that those who found employment on return was in fact driven by economic compulsions to reduce their job search period and cost.
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