Kathmandu, February 5
The government is preparing to sign bilateral labour agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Oman — Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations — who receive thousands of Nepali migrant workers every year.
During a meeting between labour officials of Nepal and the UAE in Abu Dhabi last week, the UAE government has expressed its readiness to address most of the concerns raised by Nepali officials regarding the safety of workers and the facilities being provided to them.
A similar meeting was held between concerned authorities of Nepal and Oman in Muscat last week.
Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista, informed that the meetings were positive and the labour pacts will be duly signed very soon. “Our officials have presented our concerns to the respective governments of the UAE and Oman and they are ready to address those issues.”
Nepal and UAE had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on migration of Nepali workers to the destination in 2007. Likewise, Nepal and Oman had signed the MoU in 2008. Till date, Nepali labourers have been flying to both the destinations on the basis of the respective MoUs.
According to Minister Bista, the Nepali team has cleared some confusions that officials of the UAE and Oman had regarding the labour pact. “The officials who had gone for the meetings have reported their conclusions to the ministry and we will soon decide the date and venue for signing the labour pacts with both the nations,” he added.
Ram Prasad Ghimire, joint secretary of the labour ministry, said that the government had proposed to both the nations to receive Nepali labour at zero cost, to be transparent while hiring workers and guarantee a minimum wage. “We have also sought overtime pay, working station accident insurance and security of labourers,” he said, adding that the government has urged both nations to follow the International Labour Organisation’s norms and values.
“Both the UAE and Oman have agreed to address our concerns and have also assured us that they will manage special privileges for women migrants,” Ghimire informed.
He added that both the nations have also agreed to accept health check-up reports of Nepali migrant workers issued by any health institution that has been certified by the Nepali government.
Ghimire further said both the nations will forward their written commitments on the aforementioned issues to the government after a few days.
A version of this article appears in print on February 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.