Navigator – Supporting Safe Migration in Nepal

Navigator – Supporting Safe Migration in Nepal


Navigator supports safer, more productive labor migration in Nepal by strengthening first-mile access to information and services for prospective and returned migrant workers and their families.

Since 2018, Navigator has reached over 200,000 people through a variety of outreach activities, including community workshops, social media campaigns, and radio PSAs. Most people first face migration risks before they even leave home, so Navigator works with existing institutions, structures, and systems in communities of origin to alert migrants and potential migrants of recruitment and migration risks. As a result of the program, migrants are better informed of the risks of migration and practical steps they can take to mitigate risks in migration and become increasingly aware of avenues for legal recourse in cases of labor exploitation.

IREX implements Navigator in partnership with READ Nepal, and  People Forum for Human Rights. Navigator is made possible through grant support from Walmart Foundation.

Quick Facts

  • 79,000 people joined in-person workshops and community meetings with information about migrating more safely and productively
  • Partner community centers reached 30,000 youth through public talks, workshops with teachers, and informal outreach
  • In Nepal, a series of social media campaigns and radio PSAs reached an estimated 150,000 people during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • More than 400 government and criminal justice officials have joined workshops to strengthen community support for safer migration practices and improved access to redress


  • Workers and their families have first mile access to information and services to mitigate the risks of international labor migration and improved awareness of redress mechanisms if harm occurs.
  • Migrants have increased access to opportunities to strengthen their skills.
  • Civil Society Organizations and government institutions are equipped to sustain successful first-mile safe migration program models.


Project Activities

  • ​​​​​​​Expanding first-mile access to information: Navigator equips community centers, schools, and civil society organizations to offer accurate information about legal rights and safer migration practices. Participating community centers have Employment Resource Corners for workers and family members that collect and disseminate materials on migration and human trafficking prevention; important hotline numbers and information about services; and information about local livelihoods and skills development programs. Navigator complements these physical spaces with radio PSAs and social media campaigns to reach a wider audience.
  • Responding to COVID-19: In 2020, Navigator surveyed 2,000 migrant workers and family members to learn how COVID-19 is impacting their migration plans and experiences. Survey results informed program adaptations to better serve workers in this new context. During data collection, enumerators could also share information with workers, such as COVID-19 and the benefits and availability of vaccines.
  • Strengthening access to redress: In Nepal, Navigator organizes trainings and workshops for Criminal Justice System stakeholders, including judicial committee members, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and local police. The program has equipped 140 criminal justice actors to more effectively support access to justice. Partner People Forum for Human Rights conducts virtual trainings for paralegals who will go on to offer legal support to victims of labor exploitation and trafficking. Each workshop can include up to 20 trainees, and workshops will expand as permitted by in-country regulations.
  • Partnering with local governments: Navigator is supporting partner organizations to engage with local government officials with the aim of reducing unethical recruitment practices in their communities. As part of this support, IREX is training government officials on preventing trafficking in persons and increasing access to justice.


Logos for READ Nepal and People Forum for Human Rights Nepal

  • READ Nepal established a network of 68 community libraries in Nepal and has built a community library and resource centers (READ Centers) that serve as platforms for education, community development, and women’s empowerment. Read helps Navigator to both address and better understand issues of labor exploitation and trafficking in Nepal.
  • People Forum for Human Rights Nepal provides legal aid and advocates for Nepalese public policy reform in support of human rights, with a focus on safe migration.



Rebecca Birkholz,