Nepal | July 05, 2020

Govt plans to evacuate over 35,000 illegal migrants

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 4

Preparations have been made to evacuate Nepalis living abroad with priority being accorded to those who have been living illegally in labour destinations.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali said Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have already started the process of repatriating illegal migrant workers.

In a webinar organised by the Labour and Employment Journalists Group today, Gyawali said the ministry was coordinating with the concerned countries and asking them to facilitate the process of bringing back Nepali migrants who had been staying there illegally. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates that there may be more than 35,000 illegal workers in these labour destinations.

“Kuwait has taken the registration process forward and both Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have also issued 14-day notices for registration. We are closely coordinating with these countries,” said Gyawali.

Meanwhile, there has been no discussion on repatriating Nepalis from other countries but the government said it could take the initiative to do so.

The government has urged the governments of the concerned labour destinations to provide food, shelter and medical treatment to workers who have lost their jobs. “The government is preparing to arrange for their evacuation,” said Gyawali. “Once workers return, they will first be kept in quarantine and then safely returned home.”

Citing the International Labour Organisation, Gyawali said many migrants could lose their jobs even though there has been no report of large-scale layoffs so far. “We have asked our embassies and missions to provide needful assistance to workers who have lost their jobs,” he stated.

He added that the respective labour destinations had been asked to make arrangements so that there was no legal hassle due to expiration of visas or contract period.

“We have urged them to provide basic amenities as they would to their citizens,” he said. “We have also kept around 1,200 Indian nationals in quarantine as it is our responsibility because they were here,” he said, adding, “Similarly, it is the responsibility of those countries where our workers are to keep them safe.”

Gyawali said preparations were under way to maintain a record of skills of returning workers in order to provide employment to them in the country. For this, the government is coordinating with the Non-Resident Nepali Association and preparations are being made to bring a programme to manage them in the upcoming budget, he added.

He said the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies are drafting programmes for fiscal 2020-21 to provide employment to returnee migrant workers.

“Since there are no international flights at the moment, it will be difficult to bring workers back immediately,” Gyawali said, adding that the government also needed to be careful in arranging a safe place for them to stay and make sure all safety procedures were adopted when they returned home.

“It’s not easy to bring workers back as soon as a country asks us to do so,” he said. “We sent workers there because they needed manpower for their economy, so it is all about reciprocity,” Gyawali added.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 5, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Locusts devour crops on 1,100 hectares

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Desert locusts have damaged crops cultivated on 1,100 hectares of land across the country. According to the Locusts Information Centre, eight districts have reported damage caused by locusts till date. Of them, Dang is the worst hit and Palpa the least. The locusts devoure Read More...

World Bank elevates Nepal to ‘lower middle income economy’

Country saw its GNI per capita rise to $1,090 in 2019, but economists says it doesn’t mean much in terms of development KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Nepal is now officially a lower-middle income country, an upgrade from its previous status as low income nation, according to the World Bank’s latest coun Read More...

Oli, Dahal in bid to save NCP unity

If the two co-chairs fail to act as per the spirit of the party unity document, maintaining party unity will be difficult  - NCP leader Mani Thapa KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) — Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli — held talks for thr Read More...

Kailali's Bhajani Municipality, Joshipur Rural Municipality inundated

KAILALI, JULY 3 Bhajani and Joshipur of Kailali have been inundated after floodwaters gushed into the settlements. According to eyewitnesses, many houses in Wards 2, 3, 6 and 8 of Bhajani Municipality have been inundated. Local Ganga Chaudhary said floodwaters from local Kandra and Kadha ri Read More...

Ministry develops guidelines for rehab centres

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed guidelines for operation of rehabilitation centres to ensure that vulnerable persons at the centres do not contract COVID-19. MoWCSC said the new guidelines would be effective until Nepal was declared coronavir Read More...

Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Paudel

Country pushed into crisis: Paudel

DAMAULI, JULY 3 Senior Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel said sudden prorogation of the Parliament was unfortunate for the nation. “At a time when the nation is fighting a deadly disease, the decision to prorogue the Parliament has pushed the country further into the crisis,” said t Read More...

Holding centre in Khotang

KHOTANG, JULY 3 A 10-bed holding centre has been established in Diktel, the district headquarters of Khotang, for returnees. According to Chief District Officer and District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre coordinator Shaligram Sharma Poudel, Nepali Army personnel and Red Cross staff jointly Read More...

Visit Nepal 2020 mascot, yeti

Former Visit Nepal secretariat seeks more budget from Tourism Ministry

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Even after the government has scrapped the secretariat of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, the secretariat has submitted more unpaid bills to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). Addressing a press meet today to unveil the ministry’s work progress dur Read More...