Ayushman Bhagat


Ayushman Bhagat is a development professional from India who brings with him a unique blend of experience of working with grassroots organisations, government agencies, trade unions, social sector consulting agencies and a specialised United Nation agency (International Labour Organisation).

Research: “The effect of emergency governance of mobilities on pre- and post- disaster movement of migrant women in human trafficking areas of South Asia”.

Ayushman started his PhD at the Department of Geography in October 2016. He is currently studying whether and how pre- and post- disaster mobility governance enables/disables movement of people in an area of global South which is considered to be prone to human trafficking. The fieldwork of this participatory research took place in a remote Himalayan village in Nepal where female migration is very high and not even a single household was intact in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake. Five important Indo-Nepal border posts that people from the aforementioned village use, and several airports – Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and Kuwait – that these people cross before reaching their destination area were visited during this fieldwork. This innovative multi-scalar participatory research brought highly critical voices from the community regarding anti-trafficking interventions to the fore and empirically informs us that the anti-trafficking “savior mentality” does more harm than good to these people.

Apart from making methodological contribution towards human trafficking research, this research impacted directly on the lives of several people from that indigenous community. This research brought critical consciousness of the community regarding issues related to human trafficking/forced labour/modern slavery to the fore. This will position the research to challenge the bans – age, countries and gender – imposed by the government of Nepal that restricts the freedom of movement and liberty of this indigenous Himalayan community. The research is currently in the analysis phase. The focus here will be to theoretically and empirically contribute to the critical anti-trafficking movement. Several policy briefs (or a policy chapter) also emerged from the thesis.


Bhagat, A. (2021) Labour migrants’ struggle to subvert Anti-Trafficking Interventions in Nepal. Open Democracy: Beyond Trafficking and Slavery. Blogs/magazines https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/labour-migrants-struggle-to-subvert-anti-trafficking-interventions-in-nepal/

Bhagat, A. (2022).  Migration bans on domestic work in Nepal: protection or human rights violation. Available at: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/migration-bans-on-domestic-work-in-nepal-protection-orhuman-rights-violation/


Media Coverage: 

(2022) Nepal Conversation Podcast series: Available at: S3E9NepalConversations: AyushmanBhagat, Edge Hill University, UK – YouTube

(2022) The Himalayan Times “Migration ban on women counterproductive” Available at: https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/migration-ban-on-women-counterproductive

(2022) Bizness news “Policy suggestions to adopt measures to remove migration bans on migrant domestic workers of Nepal”. Available at: https://biznessnews.com/posts/7473?fbclid=IwAR35ijtcOSolitGPBls_ROAkqGXRz4LU_BgaG oYPu_jNv0OlEKI7Ui7srvI.