Foreign employment woes: 513 die in 7 months

200 Nepali workers in foreign hospital beds

Inju Dhakal

February 24, 2020

8 MIN READ

Foreign employment woes: 513 die in 7 months

Representative image: Fate of Migrant labors

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KATHMANDU: When the ‘proletariat’s’ leaders are occupying the pages of media for their ‘merely’ billions worth corruption allegations, 513 ‘money-minded’ youths have returned in the wooden boxes in first 7 months of the current fiscal year.

Last week had a dramatic end with the revelation of one of the most powerful communist minister charged of 3.21 billion rupees when somewhere in corner some staffs were keeping records of the dead bodies coming from abroad, the dead bodies of the youths who first enticed by justice and equality stayed in the country and later, disappointed took to their heels seeking fortune in foreign lands.

In the same week when Minister Baskota resigned of alleged involvement in billion rupees corruption allegations, the government data had revealed that in the first 7 months of the running fiscal year 513 migrant laborers from Nepal lost their life in a foreign land.

Saudi Arabia stands second in this year’s death toll where 120 Nepali migrant laborers have lost their lives. Similarly, 86 Nepali lost their lives in Qatar whereas 80 died in the United Arab Emirates.

According to the statistics at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), Malaysia has been the country with the highest toll of Nepali workers. The statistics show that 140 youths who had been seeking their fortune in Malaysian land and supporting the corrupted government with remittance from their labor lost their lives.

Saudi Arabia stands second in this year’s death toll where 120 Nepali migrant laborers have lost their lives. Similarly, 86 Nepali lost their lives in Qatar whereas 80 died in the United Arab Emirates.

Kuwait, a popular destination for female migrant laborers from Nepal has the record of the death of 25 persons in the first 7 months of this fiscal year.

Known for the lucrative salary South Korea turned out to be the place where 9 Nepali lost their lives whereas new destination Bahrain has the death toll record of 6 Nepali workers this fiscal year.

The DoFE data has a record of 3 in Poland whereas 2 each have died in Jordan and Maldives. One person has died in Portugal, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus and Sicily each.

Provided the death toll of the people who have died of foreign employment impact after coming to Nepal, 24 more people have died here for the same reason.

Perhaps alarmed by the shocking toll rate, the government is said to be in preparation to cope with this problem. “Realizing that proper orientation training can play a vital role in mitigating all scaling death toll, the government has initiated some training programs targeting the prospective foreign employment seekers,” Deen Bandhu Subedi, the information official at DoFE informed to Khabarhub, “however, yet not all deaths can be held as avoidable.”

According to him, language, climate, road accidents are major causes of death of Nepali migrant workers. He said the government is still working out to find more causes behind the hiking deaths so that it can take more concrete measures to mitigate such deaths.

DoFE records show that more than 300 thousand youths have left the country for foreign employment this year. In the first 7 months of this financial year only, 301 thousand Nepalis have gone for foreign employment.

Not only the death toll of the workers, but 221 youths who had gone for foreign employment are also struggling for their lives in foreign hospital beds.

Among the 545 jailbirds, 19 are women. Similarly, among the ones waiting for the execution of death penalty verdict 16 are in Malaysia whereas there are 5 in Riyad Saudi Arab, 3 in Kuwait and1 in UAE.

The DoFE has stated that when 48674 persons left the country for foreign employment between December 15-January 14, over 51,660 more people left the country in the duration between Jan 15- Feb. 12. According to the Department, 25,171 have gone through institutions i.e. manpower companies, whereas 25,255 have gone under the individual reentry category. Similarly, 1234 persons have gone for a job abroad as per the new individual work permit provisions.

Unskilled workers outnumber the skilled

Foreign employment seekers have made 82 countries their labor destinations in the month of Magh i.e. Jan. 15- Feb. 12. The destination countries decreased by 2 in this period. In Poush i.e. Dec. 15- Jan 14 Nepali job seekers had set 84 countries as their job destinations.

According to DoFE’s annual report 2018/19, there were 55.82% unskilled, 14.94% semi-skilled, 0.12% professional and 0.05% highly-skilled professionals who went abroad for foreign employment.

371.7 million spent on compensation to the relatives

The government has distributed 371.7 million rupees to the relatives of the deceased in foreign employment. Each family was given 700 thousand rupees. The family gets 1 million as the receivable under life insurance.

According to the information official Subedi, the government has been providing the compensation and relief amount from the welfare fund. He added that the Department has been providing a certain amount to the sick and injured of foreign employment.

Horror of Foreign Employment

The government data shows, in the last five years, 4153 migrant workers from Nepal have lost their lives in a foreign land. 545 youths are struggling for justice in foreign jails and 25 of them have got the death penalty verdict from the country of their labor destination when other 388 migrant workers have gone missing.

In the last five years, 2.17 million youths have gone for foreign employment. In the fiscal year 2018/19 alone 753 Nepali workers lost their lives in a foreign land.

Malaysia, the first foreign employment destination, has turned first is the death toll of Nepali migrant workers. 1537 workers have died there in the last five years.

Similarly, according to the Foreign Employment Promotion Board data shows that 1147 in Saudi Arabia, 707 in Qatar, 337 in UAE, 145 in Kuwait, 76 in South Korea, 48 in Bahrain, and 12 in Japan have lost their lives while working as migrant workers. According to the Board, 545 are in various jails and out of them, 25 are waiting for the execution of the death penalty verdict declared against them.

Among the 545 jailbirds, 19 are women. Similarly, among the ones waiting for the execution of death penalty verdict 16 are in Malaysia whereas there are 5 in Riyad Saudi Arab, 3 in Kuwait and1 in UAE.

Amongst other jailbirds 7 have got life imprisonment, whereas 2 each are getting 25 years and 15 years terms in prison. The Board’s fact further reveals that there are 5 persons with 14 years, 19 with 10 years, 1 with 5 years, 44 with 1 year and 75 with 3 months more to pass in jail.

Unfortunately, when the country is run by the remittance sent by the people working in adverse environments abroad, their representatives who reached the government here are found involved in corruption.

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