Illegal flow of Nepalis to Afghanistan rampant

Kathmandu, September 22

The government had previously allowed Nepali migrants to work in the green zones before the Kabul bomb-attack, which resulted in the death of 12 Nepali security guards in the Afghan capital. After the bomb-attack, the Nepali government banned Afghanistan as a labour destination, but many Nepali workers have migrated there via India and Pakistan through illegal channels in recent times, a recent report says.

A report titled ‘Labouring Under Fire’ published by the Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility has revealed that many Nepalis have been working there without obtaining permission from the Nepal government.

The government has banned Afghanistan as a labour destination after the Kabul attack, which is not a proper solution, according to the report.

“Banning the migration of labourers to conflict zones is unlikely to lessen the number of Nepalis who actually go there, and, if anything, is going to make it more difficult to assist those who do decide to work around the ban.”

The government’s data shows around 3,323 Nepalis have migrated to Afghanistan to work there in green zones, as defined by the government, UN agencies offices, foreign missions in Afghanistan and multinational companies there.

However, based on a poll of individuals working in over 20 companies in Afghanistan, the report has assumed that no less than 50,000 Nepalis have worked in Afghanistan since 2001. The report has said that around 1,000 Nepalis are working with American troops in Afghanistan.

As Nepali migrant workers have migrated through illegal channels, the paper has suggested the Nepali government to make an attempt to regulate the flow of workers out of the country.

“It will be better if the government would demand that companies in Afghanistan that require workers to apply directly to the Nepali government for permission to issue permits for workers and the Nepali government, with the assistance of civic groups, could research company practices, and grant permission to those in good standing while restricting those known to exploit workers,” said the report.