Labour attachés for eight destinations

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) has started

the process of appointing labour attachés for eight destination countries. The ministry had appointed labour attaché in four major destinations — Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — last April.

MoLTM will depute labour attachés in eight more destinations, said ministry secretary Babu Ram Acharya. The ministry has written to the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) to support the process. “We have asked MoGA to create the posts and asked MoF for necessary financial arrangements,” he said.

According to the Foreign Employment Act 2008, the ministry should appoint labour attachés in those destinations where more than 5,000 Nepalis or over 1,000 Nepali women migrant workers are working. As per law, the ministry should appoint labour attachés in two dozen countries.

MoLTM has planned to regularize the process. “Some more labour attaches will be appointed next year,” said Bishal Bhattarai, an officer at the ministry. According to Bhattarai, labour attachés will be appointed in Kuwait, Oman, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Lebanon and Brazil.

The government has withheld the process of appointing labour attaché in Israel due to conflict about the hiring process. Israel has banned Nepali migrant workers since April 24, 2009 citing growing numbers of illegal Nepali migrant workers. Around 12,000 Nepalis are believed to be working

in the country. The number includes 10,000 women in the caregiver sector.

Other countries except Brazil and Japan are popular destinations from years. MoLTM recently signed an agreement with Japan to expedite Japan International Training Cooperation Organization (JITCO) process. It is looking at Brazil as a potential labour market. Brazil can be the next destination beyond Malaysia and Gulf countries, Bhattarai said.

According to the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), Kuwait, Oman, South Korea, Hong Kong, Bahrain and Lebanon have hired 17,186; 9,316; 5,000; 14,000 and 19,398 Nepali workers, respectively. Kuwait, Hong Kong and Lebanon are preferred destinations for women migrant workers where over 60 per cent are women among the Nepali workers. Nepal’s top labour destinations are Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE where 90 per cent of Nepali migrant workers are working. As per DoFE data, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE hired 4,55,685; 2,77,925; 4,25,808 and 1,81,327 Nepali workers, respectively, in the last 19 years.