Kathmandu, March 13
The Embassy of Nepal to Malaysia has rescued and repatriated 23 Nepali migrant workers, who were stranded in the Southeast Asian country.
According to a press release issued by the embassy, the Nepali youths were in the custody of three different detention centres of Malaysia for weeks as they could not afford air ticket to return home. They were rescued over a period of 12 days.
The embassy had got them one-way air ticket from the budget provided by Foreign Employment Promotion Board. Since Nepali workers living in detention centres for long are likely to be mentally disturbed, the embassy took the initiative for their safe rescue and repatriation by bearing the air ticket cost from the budget received from FEPB, the release stated.
All the rescued migrant workers are males and had returned home yesterday, according to the embassy. In addition to extracting high recruitment fees from migrant workers, recruitment agents and agencies use other deceptive and coercive ways to compel migrants to work in situations that abuse their human and labour rights. The migrant workers had been deceived in some form about the terms and conditions of their foreign employment.
According to a report published by Amnesty International, false promises about salaries and working conditions are usually coupled with other mechanisms of coercion applied by recruitment agencies that restrict migrant workers’ freedom of movement and compel them to perform labour that they did not originally consent to.
The principle mechanisms of coercion applied by recruitment agents and agencies include confiscating migrant workers’ passports during recruitment processes, refusing to provide migrant workers contracts, or providing these contracts only at the very point of departure, and reporting migrant workers’ calls for help to the foreign employers accused of abusing and exploiting them, states the report.
A version of this article appears in print on March 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.