National

Officials leave for Oman and the UAE to discuss labour issues

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Jan 27, 2019-

With an aim to secure ‘Zero Cost’ jobs for Nepali migrant workers and protect their rights and safety, the government has prioritised signing of formal agreements with labour destination countries.

The government on Saturday dispatched a team of officials, led by Ram Prasad Ghimire, joint secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, to discuss various issues related to labour with  Oman and the United Arab of Emirates.

The team will meet the officials from both the countries in the next few days to discuss about labour safety and rights, Ghimire told the Post.

“Our main agenda is to ensure safety of our workers in labour destination countries, protect their rights and basic facilities, and secure occupational and workplace safety,” he said.

The aim, according to Ghimire, is to guarantee no investment jobs for our workers.  

“We are striving for ensuring all these facilities and safety of workers in a formal labour deal without the workers having to bear any financial burdens,” he added.

In recent times, the Nepal government has prioritised sending Nepali workers to labour destination countries under the mechanism in which employers would pay for all the expenses on behalf of workers.  

The Nepali delegation, which also includes officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, will first hold the discussion on labour issues with the officials from Oman on January 27 and 28.

Nepal has already shared the draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oman, which proposes sending an estimated 10,000 Nepali workers to the country every year.

“Since the exchange of the draft MoU, both the countries have been in regular consultation. We will be discussing the draft in detail during the meeting before we can agree on the MoU and formally sign it,” said Ghimire.

After holding discussion with the Omani officials, the team will move to the UAE, one of the popular destinations for Nepalis in the Gulf region after Qatar.

Nepal and the UAE had signed an MoU concerning labour hiring in 2007.

Both countries have expressed their interest in reviewing the existing MoU to make it effective, time bound and address various emerging issues of labour migration.

“A lot of things have changed since the two countries signed the MoU nearly a decade ago. We need to review the existing document to make it more effective for protection of our workers,” Ghimire said.

According to the UAE government official figures, around 225,000 Nepali expatriates are living in the emirates till 2018.

Published: 27-01-2019 08:43

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