Scams prevail in labour outsourcing

Kathmandu, March 25:

Fraudulent activities in foreign employment are growing in the recent times. Data from mid-November to mid-March provided by the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) reveals that checking frauds is a big challenge.

In Mangsir (mid-November to mid-December) forty-five cases of fraudulent activities were registered, but the number doubled in four months to 91 in Falgun (mid-February to mid-March). Sixty-four and 77 cases of fraud were registered with the DoFE in Poush and Magh months, respectively.

In the total of 277 complaints registered from mid-November to mid-March claiming compensation of Rs 162.92 million, complaints against individuals are three-fold higher than the complaints against organisations. “Fraud by individuals are rampant in the foreign employment sector,” said Mohan Krishna Sapkota, director general of DoFE.

Sapkota said agencies have become more responsible. The main problem is unofficial transactions, he said adding that most of the transactions between migrant workers and agencies are done without receipts through brokers or agents.

The compensation claim volume in complaints against individual is Rs 128.35 million and against agencies Rs 34.57 million during the period.

“First, we try to settle cases through mediation. If there is no success then a case is filed”, said Sapkota. Fifty complaints of claim for compensdation amounting to Rs 5.04 million were settled by mutual understanding. Nearly 14 cases were settled through mediation by DoFE in Mangsir while 14, 15 and seven cases were settled in Poush, Magh and Falgun months, respectively. Court cases also decreased during the period. DoFE filed 31 cases of fraud against agencies and individuals and 29 cases in Poush. The department claimed compensation of Rs 29.24 million from different agencies through the court during the four months.

“The number of returnees’ claims for compensation has also increased,” Sapkota said. The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) will provide compensation, 40 per cent and 25 per cent, to migrant workers returning from recession-hit countries. The number of migrant workers returing from destination countries Malyasia and Gulf countries has increased these days.