Nepal, South Korea ink labour accord

Kathmandu, July 23:

A much-awaited bilateral labour agreement between Nepal and South Korea has been finally

realised, as labour ministers of two countries inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Seoul today.

Ramesh Lekhak, state minister for labour and transport management and his Korean counterpart minister Lee Sang-Soo signed the accord on behalf of their respective governments.

According to the ministry of labour and transport management, the accord has now formally opened up the prospects of more job opportunities for Nepalis in Korea.

As per the agreement, Nepal will send workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) to one of the coveted destinations for Nepali migrant workers. According to the new provision, the government would make all necessary arrangements like providing training on Korean language and proper selection procedure before sending workers to Korea.

The expenditure that Nepali workers need to make prior to flying to Korea for job would be determined on consensus, the agreement reads. All the process from setting criteria to training and selection to employing the workers will be set through government-to-government level dialogue.

Under the MoU, both countries will open supervision offices at each other’s capital to oversee labour related issues. The MoU has also included ways of settling disputes like labour rights, and perks and benefits that Nepali workers will enjoy.

Following the signing of MoU, Korean minister Soo said the agreement would help strengthen the bilateral relation between the two countries.

Minister Lekhak also expressed Nepal government’s commitments to effectively implement the understanding.

The Interim Legislature-Parliament on May 31 had passed a bill to clear the way for the government to export job aspirants in countries having diplomatic relations with Nepal.

With signing of the agreement, about 5,000 Nepali workers are expected to fly to Korea under EPS quota for 2007. Korea had stopped receiving the Nepali migrant workers for almost a year.

Nepal had signed similar bilateral labour agreement with the UAE few weeks ago.