Government urged to implement rights body’s recommendationsStakeholders have called on the government to implement recommendations made by the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) for protecting the rights and safety of migrant workers.
Stakeholders have called on the government to implement recommendations made by the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) for protecting the rights and safety of migrant workers.
The rights body has forwarded a 16-point recommendation to the government for managing the foreign employment sector and curb malpractices prevalent in the sector.
Immediate rescue of migrant workers languishing in foreign countries, review of existing laws governing foreign employment sectors, monitoring recruiting agencies and their agents, are among the recommendations.
According to NHRC member Sudip Pathak, the recommendations were prepared after several rounds of discussion with the Ministry of Labour Employment and Social, Security, Department of Foreign Employment, Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB), recruiting agencies as well as other stakeholders concerned.
Following the recommendations, the Prime Minister’s Office has written to nine ministries concerned for the implementation of the suggestions endorsed by the NHRC.
“The government is paying much attention to bringing back bodies of migrant workers. Similar attention should be given to those languishing in jail with no means to legal services, critically injured, and workers in coma in various hospitals. These workers should be brought back too,” said Pathak.
During the discussion, participants representing various stakeholders appreciated the set of recommendations and also suggested additional measures to protect Nepali migrant workers.
Basant Karki, a representative from the International Labour Organisation, said the government should also talk about safety and protection of human rights of foreign workers who come to work in Nepal and also involve the private sector in enforcing recommendations.
The list of recommendations also includes ending discrimination done to aspirant female migrant workers by stopping them from going on foreign employment in a bid protect them from possible human trafficking and exploitations.
The NHRC has also called on the government to making necessary arrangements for women migrant workers who are qualified and wish to take up jobs voluntarily.
Kul Prasad Karki, the president of the Migrant Nepali Coordinator Committee, said proper implementation of the recommendations would bring about improvement in the foreign employment sector.
The NHRC has suggested the government ratify conventions and reach bilateral labour agreements with the destination countries.
The rights body, in its recommendations, has also stressed the need to empower Nepali missions in foreign countries for dealing in problems faced by Nepali migrant workers.
The government needs to ensure that workers pay no amount for securing a foreign job after adopting the ‘Employer Pays’ principle, strictly enforce ‘Free Visa Free Ticket’ scheme and make sure the recruiting agencies pay the receipt for the amount it was paid, the NHRC says.
Rohan Gurung, the president of the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA), however, said it was ironic that while the government was pressing for implementation of ‘Free Visa Free Ticket’ scheme and no expenses for job, it also expects manpower companies to give receipts.
Responding on behalf of the government, Director General at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) Dilip Chapagain said the NHRC recommendations were encouraging steps towards overhauling the foreign employment sector. “The government has taken numerous measures recently to manage the sector and protect rights of Nepali workers,” said Chapagain.
NHRC Chairperson Anup Raj Sharma welcomes the government’s recent action in securing rights of migrant workers. “It looks like most of the recommendations have been already implemented which is a good sign for everyone,” he said.