Govt plans to ensure safer migration system

Kathmandu, December 10

The  government has said it will introduce a broader framework so as to safeguard the migrant workers.

Speaking at a conference of Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in Morocco, Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista, said that the government will soon formulate the framework to minimise the sufferings of migrant workers.

“The government is committed to bringing a broader framework to ensure productive employment and decent jobs for migrant workers through partnership with labour destinations,” Bista mentioned at the conference.

The GCM conference, which is an intergovernmental conference to deal with issues related to migration and migrant workers, started today in Marrakesh, Morocco. Leaders from 164 countries have agreed to a global pact that sets in action a plan ‘to prevent suffering and chaos’ for global migration.

“We have learnt that a few common challenges such as high recruitment costs, contract substitution, health and safety of migrants are better addressed collectively and deserve our attention,” Minister Bista said, adding that in this context bilateral labour instruments that include clear provisions on basic terms of employment as per the international labour standards such as minimum wages, employer pay model, insurance and social security coverage would be required.

A non-binding agreement, the GCM aims to better manage migration at local, national, regional and global levels, including reducing the risks and vulnerabilities the migrants or refugees face at different stages of their journey.

“Migration is a natural process and phenomenon, it happens all the time all over the world,” said Bista, adding that if the migration process happens legally, it is a good thing and the world must adopt the collective decision.

He argued that ‘safe and dignified labour migration was receiving the attention it deserved from the international community, which is evidenced by the inclusion of international migration related elements in the Sustainable Development Goals’, adding that the GCM must implement the recommendations of the Colombo Process that have been incorporated in the GCM framework document.

Minister Bista strongly argued at the conference that migration has always been within us. It must be well managed and safe, not irregular and dangerous. As we chart our way forward, these lessons should guide our activities so they are result-oriented with visible outcomes that make a difference to the migrant workers and their families, he added.

According to the United Nations, there were 258 million international migrants in the world last year, increasing almost 50 per cent since 2000.

A multi-stakeholder consultation was held to provide inputs on Nepal’s position on the Global Compact for Migration.

The meeting will identify migration priorities and challenges facing Nepal, where the economy is heavily dependent on labour migration. Remittances sent home by migrant workers account for nearly 30 per cent of Nepal’s GDP.

According to the MoLESS secretariat, Bista also held a meeting with Yousuf Mohammed, minister of administrative development, labour and social affairs of Qatar on the sidelines of the conference. They held discussions on the comprehensive aspects of labour migration from Nepal to Qatar and focused on ensuring the welfare of migrant workers, addressing the vulnerabilities and better governance of labour migration.

Meanwhile, Nepal had organised the Colombo Process meeting in November where Minister Bista had urged all 12-member states for collective leadership and shared responsibility to achieve the process’ objectives.