Nepal, Turkey to sign labour agreement

Kathmandu, August 4

With an aim to send workers to those destinations that guarantee to provide minimum wages to migrants, the government has started the process to sign a bilateral labour agreement with Turkey.

In this regard, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) has started the groundwork to send a draft proposal to Turkey to enable the supply of Nepali migrant workers to the destination.

Earlier, government had exchanged a draft of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Turkey in April.

As per MoLESS officials, Turkey had shown interest to hire Nepali workers during the ministerial level meeting in Geneva in June. At that time, the labour ministries of the two countries had agreed to sign the MoU soon.

One of the joint secretaries at the ministry on condition of anonymity has informed that Nepal has finalised the draft of the MoU that will be signed in the near future with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Turkey.

“We have held discussions regarding the hiring process but we need to hold more talks to sort out some issues before we finalise the MoU,” said the joint secretary.

Earlier, Nepal and Turkey had held talks related to the hiring of Nepali migrant workers through government to government (G2G) model for various technical and non-technical jobs.

However, negotiations are still underway.

Currently, Turkish firms recruit Nepali workers through various recruitment agencies.

It has been alleged that Nepali recruitment agencies have been selecting workers by charging a huge amount of money from job aspirants.

Likewise, many people reportedly fly to Turkey and Poland with fake documents every year.

As per the labour ministry, when signing a labour pact with Turkey, the government will focus on including major provisions of existing labour pacts that have been signed with other countries like supplying workers at zero-cost with employer bearing recruitment service charge, two-way airfare, visa fee, health check-up fee, security screening and levy charges of Nepali migrants.

Moreover, the pact will ensure that migrants are provided minimum wage. At present, Turkey provides basic salary of 2,020 Turkish liras ($381) to labourers for eight hours of work.

The joint secretary further said government will now focus on signing labour pacts with developed countries where there are labour friendly laws. He added that since developed countries also provide various facilities and security guarantee at the workplace during contract period as per international labour laws, the government is keen to sign labour pacts with such countries.