Kathmandu, June 3
One of the largest destinations for Nepali migrant workers, Qatar, has begun preparations to put in place a ‘one-door mechanism’ for hiring workers from eight countries, including Nepal.
Such a mechanism will be implemented in the next six months, according to Qatar’s Ambassador to Nepal Yousuf Bin Mohammed Al-Hail. The Gulf nation plans to open a private company in countries that will take care of all issues from recruitment to departure, related to migrants willing to travel to Qatar for work.
Around 400,000 Nepali migrants are currently based in Qatar.
“Before moving to Qatar, a worker should know about various things such as language, weather and culture, among others. And, this company plans to facilitate workers on all these,” Ambassador Al-Hail said during a meeting with select journalists at the Qatar Embassy in Chunikhel, Lalitpur, today.
The envoy said feasibility study for opening such a company in Nepal had already been completed.
Stating that incidents of migrant workers facing various troubles in Qatar were a result of false information and fake documents provided by Nepali foreign employment companies and agents, he said: “We have amended our law to ensure labour safety. To make sure that Nepali workers also understand the law, we have also translated it into Nepali language,” Ambassador Al-Hail said.
Over the past decade, 1,203 Nepali migrants have died in Qatar, and one of the major reasons for the death has been mental stress resulting from cheating agents and foreign employment agencies back home, the labour migration for employment report has shown. According to the report, a total 5,892 Nepali migrants have died in 28 destination countries of foreign employment during a decade — 5765 of the deceased are male and 127 are female. The report was prepared by jointly Ministry of labour and Employment and social security.
“Qatar has always been safe for labourers, but the problem lies in Nepal. It is due to fake documents such as health certificates,” he said. “Many manpower agencies and their health centres are issuing fake health certificates. I visited a few of them, but I did not find any equipment for the health check-up.”
Stating that he also talked to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli about the issue, the ambassador said his country was in favour of trouble-free migration. “Qatar has established five hospitals which offer free treatment to migrant labourers,” he said. On issues related to Nepali migrants deprived of salaries after the closure of some companies, the ambassador said the Qatar government had already paid due amount to around 300 Nepali workers. “We are very serious about labour issues,” he said.
The closure of companies followed the decision of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and UAE to break diplomatic relations with Qatar and impose sanctions. However, the ambassador claimed there were no such problems in Qatar. “We learnt a lot from the sanctions, and are getting more robust,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on June 04, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.