Migrating out of Poverty (Singapore)

Evidence-based research on labour migration in Southeast Asia


People cross borders: for money, for love, for work, for adventure, for education, for a complicated and ever-fluctuating mixture of reasons. The Migrating out of Poverty team at the Asia Research Institute aims to understand whether migration is a viable livelihood strategy for poor people in Southeast Asia. We work on topics as diverse as migration policy, precarious work and gender, migration brokers, remittances, the intra-household dynamics of a migrant-sending community in Indonesia, and migrant youth aspirations. Currently, we focus specifically on labour migration into Singapore from Indonesia and Bangladesh.

We also aim to make our research as accessible as possible by giving talks, organising student presentations, participating in civil society, writing blogs, producing and screening short films and photo exhibitions, and keeping our social media platforms updated and spiffy-looking. Please check out our stuff, and email us if you’d like us to send you a policy brief, speak with students, screen a film or participate in an event!


Small Town, Big Dreams

Our warmly-received short film features the aspirations of young people from Ponorogo, Indonesia. Supported by remittances sent home by migrant parents, Miko and Nisa are hard on the heels of their goals of being an entrepreneur and a nurse. Having grown up in a quiet sub-district in Ponorogo, what are the depth and breadth of their dreams?