20 Nepalis in coma in GCC

  • 335 languish in foreign prisons
  • Minister Gyawali assures govt will help comatose workers
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 28, 2018-

Twenty Nepalis, employed in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, are in coma and undergoing medical treatment in different hospitals, government data shows.

Nepalis in coma include 11 in Qatar, five in Saudi Arabia, and two each in Bahrain and the United Arab of Emirates (UAE), Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali told Parliament on Wednesday.

The government is concerned about the workers’ condition, and would do its best to support their treatment, the minister said.

A large number of Nepali workers suffer serious injuries while working under challenging conditions in foreign countries. Workplace accidents and occupational diseases often inflict life-long injuries on workers.

Every year hundreds of Nepali migrant workers on foreign employment die because of accidents at workplaces, roads, and other debilitating diseases.

Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista informed Parliament that 477 Nepalis working in foreign countries died in the past year; overall 6,659 have lost their lives so far.

“Every year thousands of Nepali workers return home with critical injuries that threaten their normal life and employment opportunities,” said Minister Bista.

The Labour Ministry is working with the Health Ministry to treat those in coma after bringing them back home. The government would provide them free medical treatment. This would be done as per the work procedure being drafted by the Labour Ministry, the minister said. On another topic, the government informed Parliament that it plans legal services for 335 Nepalis languishing in prisons in various countries.

A total of 219 Nepalis are serving their sentences in Saudi prisons. They account for the largest number of inmates abroad, followed by the UAE (63), Thailand (39), Bahrain (9), Singapore (4), China (3), two each in Oman and Israel; and one each in Lebanon and Cambodia.

“The government will provide legal assistance to Nepali workers put in prisons for various reasons including false charges. Through diplomatic channels we shall request respective governments to reduce penalties of those given life sentences,” said Minister Gyawali.

Last April, Minister Bista had announced the government would offer free legal services to its citizens in jails while on foreign employment.

The Labour Ministry has formed a task force with the mandate to submit the required plan and standards as directive for implementing the decision.

Over the next 10 days, the government would provide legal service to workers in need, Minister Bista said.

Published: 28-06-2018 07:27

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