Members commit to improving protections for migrant workers

  • saarc plan of action on migration
- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 4, 2016-

South Asian countries have called for setting common minimum wage, establish a standard contract ensuring ethical recruitment and improved access to justice and the rights of migrant workers from the region as a consultative workshop on “Saarc plan of action for cooperation on matters related to migration” began in the Capital on Tuesday.

“Thirty three million people from the Saarc region have left their country for overseas jobs, mainly in the Gulf countries. Problems of our migrant workers are same and Saarc solidarity is very important to solve them,” said Minister for Labour and Employment Deepak Bohara while inaugurating the two-day event with representatives from eight Saarc countries in attendance.

Nepal, the current Saarc chair, has drafted a plan of action on migration which focuses on ways to ensure the rights of the migrant workers in the job destinations, including the working condition, standard contract, minimum wage and develop a common mechanism control human trafficking. 

The workshop is a step towards fulfilling the commitment made during the 18th Saarc Summit in Kathmandu in 2014. The Saarc heads of state at the time had made a declaration containing Article 21 on labour migration and Article 19 on prevention of human trafficking. 

Article 21 calls for collaborate and cooperate on safe, orderly and responsible management of labour migration from South Asia to ensure safety, security and wellbeing of their migrant workers in the destination countries outside the region. 

   The plan of action, which is expected to be finalised over the two-day workshop, will be adopted at the 19th Saarc Summit to be hosted by Pakistan. 

 “These two days are important to see how far the Saarc governments, who have been benefiting from the remittance sent from the migrant workers, are prepared to find a common ground for their rights and working condition and wage,” said Renu Adhikari Rajbhandari, a participant from the civil society.

Published: 04-05-2016 07:52

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