KATHMANDU, March 31: The government is looking forward to signing agreements with a number of European countries to send the migrant workers, citing an increase in labor demand in those countries.
According to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS), it has started the necessary work to send Nepali workers to lucrative destinations in European countries. “However, there are a number of problems in sending workers there due to lack of appropriate government mechanism,” said Ek Narayan Aryal, secretary of the MoLESS, adding that the European countries have been making an estimated demand for 50,000 workers annually.
According to the government record, an average of 600,000 Nepalese have been going abroad either for study or for foreign employment annually. Out of 170 countries being considered by the job seekers, 90 percent go to Malaysia and a number of aspirants go the Gulf countries.
Nepal has signed labor agreements with countries like Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Japan, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritius and England. However, there is no bilateral agreement even with Saudi Arabia, the country which is employing a large number of Nepali workers.
In the absence of an official mechanism, many Nepali migrant workers have been making their way to European countries either by taking labor permits on an individual basis or through illegitimate channels. In the last fiscal year, 7,475 Nepali migrant workers went to Romania, 2,814 workers to England, 5,344 workers to Croatia and 1,915 workers to Malta.
Likewise, 995 migrant workers went to Turkey, 164 to France, 106 to Norway, 102 to Italy, 76 to New Zealand, 75 to Belgium and 46 to Denmark for foreign employment.