The International Day of Family Remittances — celebrated on the 16th of June each year — recognises the efforts of 200 million migrants across the world who send home billions of dollars which sustains 800 million people in their home countries. Remittances are a major contributor to development and approximately 40% of them go to rural areas where poverty is a pressing issue.
However, a worrying trend surrounding remittances is emerging in Southeast Asia.
The benefits of income earned abroad are gradually being eroded by the ever-increasing debt burden faced by many migrants and their families. In a region where debt has become part of life among low-income households, the precarious situation that families may find themselves in often remains under-discussed outside of academia.