Rights groups against age limit for women migrant workers

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Only those women who are 24 years and above are allowed to go to Gulf countries for employment

Jun 25, 2016-The age limit specified by the government for women going to the Gulf countries for employment has come under criticism from right activists. Only women who are aged 24 years and above are eligible to work in the Gulf countries; for mothers, their children must be over two years of age.

Rights activists say the age regulation for women interested in foreign employment has not only curtailed the economic and mobility rights of women but also led many women into taking illegal and often risky channels to travel abroad for jobs.

“The state must stop taking protectionist approach when it comes to women’s mobility. Putting restrictions on their mobility will not solve the problem but only put them in greater risk, as has been proved time and again,” said Dr. Renu Rajbhandari, president of Women Rehabilitation Centre. 

She has suggested the government to ensure safe migration of women domestic workers, find ways to improve their condition in destination countries. Following criticism and pressure from civil society groups, the government last year had revised the 30 years and above age limitation for women migrant workers to 24 years and above.

Civil society groups have also urged the government to sign bilateral agreements to ensure minimum standard payment, standard work contract and other basic human rights of migrant workers in the Gulf countries. 

For this, they say, the government should also secure the backing of Saarc member states.

“Having a standard work contract for all the workers region from the Saarc states will provide little room for recruitment agencies to cheat the migrant workers. A collective voice from countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and Nepal will also put enough pressure on the destination countries,” said  Bijaya Rai Shrestha, director of Pourakhi, an organisation working for the rights of migrant women workers.

 

Published: 25-06-2016 10:40

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