House panel delays re-entry permit for migrant workers

Kathmandu, January 22

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security has requested a parliamentary panel to allow re-entry for migrant workers, who are interested in going to foreign destinations repeatedly for employment, whereas the panel is in a wait and see mode.

The re-entry permit for Nepali workers was halted by the International Labour Committee of the Parliament on April 2, 2017, stating that household workers in Gulf countries faced physical and sexual abuse.

The then ILC led by Prabhu Sah had directed the government not to grant re-entry permit to migrant workers without agreements with the concerned countries. The ILC had also said that the government should look study laws and policies the labour receiving countries before sending Nepali workers there.

Most of the Nepali workers have sought re-entry permit for Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, among other countries.

According to the ministry, around 1,000 workers have applied at the Department of Foreign Employment seeking re-entry permit to work as household workers in Gulf countries. “Nepali workers have sought re-entry permit to go back and work in countries from where they returned. So, we need to accept their request,” said Minister of Labour and Employment Gokarna Raj Bista.

However, Industry and Commerce, Labour and Consumer Welfare Committee of the Parliament led by Bimal Prasad Srivastav said even though the ministry had requested them to allow re-entry of Nepali workers, the ministry couldn’t submit an accurate data. He also said a decision on the issue could be taken only after serious discussions it was a matter of workers’ safety.