Govt urged to protect migrant workers

Kathmandu, December 19:

At the International Migrant Workers’ Hearing Programme on the occasion of International Migrants’ Day today, partcipants including social activists and representatives of migrant workers urged the government to make labour agreements effective so that migrant workers feel secure and relieved in their workplaces in the different countries they go to. Chanda Thapa of Solidarity said there are around 15,000 Nepali workers in Oman but they are exploited. As Nepal has no labour agreement with Oman, Nepali workers there are deprived of various rights.

“Most manpower companies here are not trustworthy and Nepalis relying on them get cheated in the initial phase. These companies hoodwink migrant workers with their talk about high salaries and good job prospects in the Gulf countries but the reality there

is quite hard to hear,”

said Sapana Basyal, a social activist based in Malaysia. According to her, there are around four lakh Nepalis in Malaysia but there are only five staffers at the Nepalese Embassy there for such a huge number of Nepalis in Malaysia.

“People there have to face depression as there is no labour agreement between Nepal and malaysia and the Nepalis there are deprived of things like visa renewal process and various others including insurance policies,” Basyal added.

Nepali migrant workers have to do overtime. This results in different serious health problems, and even the death of some workers due to overwork. Duty hours usually stretch from 16 hours to even 24 hours said, Sagar Shrestha of, who lived in Saudi Arabia for six years. According to Shrestha, there are five lakh Nepalis in Saudi Arabia and most of them are exploited in their workplace.

Speaking on the occasion, several migrant workers urged the government to facilitate the migrant workers’ sector by making labour agreement with all those countries which absorb Nepali workforce.