Grievances of Migrant Workers: Minister Bista orders daily hearing of casesNewly appointed Minister for Labour and Employment Gokarna Bista has vowed to give highest priority to address the grievances of migrant workers being cheated while pursuing employment opportunities in foreign lands.
Newly appointed Minister for Labour and Employment Gokarna Bista has vowed to give highest priority to address the grievances of migrant workers being cheated while pursuing employment opportunities in foreign lands.
During a briefing session at the ministry on Sunday, Minister Bista came up with measures aimed at reforming the foreign employment sector and addressing the concerns of thousands of Nepali migrant workers leaving the country every day for employement overseas.
As his first decision, Minister Bista directed the concerned agencies, mainly the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), to look into the complaints of migrant workers every day.
“There are a large number of people who have been cheated and not given the facilities and remuneration they were promised at the time of hiring. Many are left in the lurch in foreign land without basic facilities,” said Bista. “But their complaints are dealt with only once a week. I have directed the officials to look into such complaints every day.”
The DoFE has been attending to complaints of workers victimised in the foreign employment sector on every Wednesday.
A separate desk would be set up at the department for official hearing of such grievances six days a week as the government cannot keep those poor migrant workers waiting for long, said Bista.
The DoFE receives nearly 20 cases related to foreign employment every day. Such hearing sessions are conducted by the DoFE director general in the presence of representatives of recruiting agency and the victim.
The minister has also expressed concerns over difficulties facing aspirant migrant workers from different parts of the country while traveling to Kathmandu for work permit.
Bista directed the DoFE to plan for identifying two prospective places outside the Valley to set up offices for issuing work permits.
“Beneficiaries have to travel all the way to Kathmandu and stand in queue for hours on end to obtain a labour permit. The centralised system of service delivery has caused difficulties for them,” Bista noted. “Officials concerned have been asked to plan for decentralising such service centres. We will need more resources for the purpose.”
Currently, the DoFE office in Tahachal, Kathmandu is the only authority that grants the work permit for foreign jobs. Two more offices have been proposed in Terai districts where the number of outbound migrant workers is higher.
The venue for establishing such offices have not been finalised yet, DoFE Spokesperson Mohan Adhikari said, but the extension of services would be carried out considering the number of beneficiaries in those districts.
The ministry had decided to set up foreign employment offices in Simara of Bara and Dang.