Department of Foreign Employment seeks support of other government agencies for overseas job fraudsThe department seeks collaboration with Nepal Police and Department of Immigration for controlling malpractices in foreign employment sector.
The Department of Foreign Employment is planning to collaborate with other government agencies to fight against foreign employment-related fraudulent activities.
The department has come up with a proposal to work in collaboration with Nepal Police and the Department of Immigration.
According to Bhisma Kumar Bhusal, director-general at the department, the multi-agency collaboration is being sought for joint investigations into overseas jobs related scams.
“There are times when the department alone cannot gather enough evidence while pursuing a case or collecting evidence against the perpetrators,” Bhusal told the Post. “For such cases, we can take the support of mainly the Nepal Police and other concerned agencies for a smooth and rapid investigation.”
A draft of the proposal has been shared with the Nepal Police and the Department of Immigration.
According to Bhusal, such collaboration among government agencies is necessary as illicit activities related to overseas employment are getting more complicated by the day and requires a joint effort of various bodies to prevent and investigate them.
“It becomes difficult to collect substantial and direct evidence about perpetrators these days. They have become clever and often use various channels and keep themselves safe from such activities,” said Bhusal. “For instance, financial transactions by migrant workers with the recruitment agencies and their agents are not found, which makes investigation tough.”
The foreign employment sector has been fraught with instances of fraudulent activities including cheating of migrant workers. Aspiring migrant workers are often duped by recruiting agencies and their sub-agents, leaving job-seekers stranded abroad, burdened with loans and often being given different jobs, facilities, and salaries far removed from what had been promised at the time of hiring. Human trafficking under the guise of foreign employment is also one of the leading challenges faced by the authority.
Despite various measures introduced in recent times to minimise such incidents, cheating of workers has continued. The department has intensified monitoring and investigations into grievances registered by migrant workers and their relatives against individuals and recruiting agencies and has collected a record amount of compensation for migrant workers.
According to Swarna Kumar Jha, coordinator of the National Network for Safe Migration, an umbrella organisation of non-governmental organisations in Nepal working in the field of labour migration, involving three government agencies simultaneously to deal with foreign employment is a much-needed move for improving the sector.
“Foreign employment involves a nexus. They create problems including a major issue of human trafficking that operates in the guise of overseas jobs,” said Jha. “One organisation cannot do much. These agencies’ mandates also overlap, which makes it even more essential that they cooperate with one another for the welfare of the foreign employment sector.”
In case of human trafficking incidents, the foreign employment department treats an individual case as deception of Nepali worker who had gone to work abroad after seeking work-permit. The police’s job is to ensure victims’ safe repatriation and an investigation into the case culminating into punishments being meted out to perpetrators as per the country’s law.
“Working of government agencies together means not only swift investigation, but also justice to the victims,” said Bhusal.