Orientation syllabus for foreign migrant labourers to be revised

Kathmandu, September 2

As a result of migrant workers not being able to fully comprehend the rules and regulations of the destination countries and getting involved in unwanted activities, the government has decided to revise the orientation syllabus that is being imparted to migrant workers.

“We have been frequently facing problems whereby our migrant workers are being involved in protest programmes in foreign destinations seeking their rights regarding salaries and benefits,” said Prakash Dahal, joint secretary and spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour, Employment and

Social Security (MoLESS). “Hence, we have decided to revise the orientation programme so that migrant workers are aware of what is accepted and what is not accepted in various foreign destinations.”

According to Dahal, Nepali migrant workers are not taking foreign laws seriously and are being involved in strikes and demonstrations at their workplaces. “At present, the orientation being provided has not been effective so we plan to further strengthen the mechanism,” he informed.

“The government has given the authority to private firms to conduct orientation classes for migrant workers but it has not been effective,” he stated. Dahal added that the training institutions are not imparting the knowledge regarding laws in foreign countries seriously and are just conducting classes to fulfil the criteria.

As per Dahal, the MoLESS is doing homework to upgrade the orientation syllabus with strong focus on the laws, socio-economic conditions, and level of freedom, rights and duties of migrant workers, among other issues, in foreign labour destinations.

The need for proper orientation classes came to the forefront even more when 38 Nepali youths who had gone to Saudi Arabia for employment complained of not receiving salaries as mentioned in their contract letters.

Apparently, the men had gone to work in the Gulf country on February 13. They had lodged a complaint at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) on July 18 stating that they had been paid only 900 Saudi riyals each for five months of work even though their contract letters promised them of a monthly salary of 900 Saudi riyals. They also mentioned that they were denied basic facilities. The employees thus refused to work and consequently, their employer company expelled them.

After the family members of the affected migrants approached the government to rescue the workers, the DoFE asked the concerned recruiting agency called Empower Human Resource Management to sort out the issue immediately.

On August 27, an agreement was reached between the family members of the affected workers and Empower Human

Resource that had sent the migrants to Saudi Arabia whereby the company would reimburse the migrants. After the agreement, all 38 Nepali migrant workers were reappointed in their previous jobs and the recruiting company has made a commitment that it will compensate the workers if the company fails to do so.

As per the agreement, the workers will get salaries and other facilities as mentioned in their contract letters.