Situation getting worse for Nepali migrant workers in Saudi Arabia

Published On: September 12, 2016 02:10 AM NPT By: Siromani Dhungana


KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Cases of exploitation and abuse as well as poor living condition and insufficient food for Nepali migrant workers in Saudi Arabia are on the rise, according to the Department of Foreign Employment. 

The department receives complaints from migrant workers regarding the problem of not getting promised jobs, according to Mohan Adhikari, spokesperson at the department. 

“It is learnt that many workers are kept in camps for months before posting them for jobs,” he said, adding that the department has informed the situation to the Ministry of Labor and Employment. 

The department has been receiving complaints regarding deteriorating living condition and food shortage for Nepali workers on a daily basis, Adhikari added. 

At a time when many countries of origin of migrant workers have been stepping up efforts to evacuate or arrange alternatives for their stranded workers, the government of Nepal has neither taken any initiative to safeguard migrant workers from exploitation nor discontinue sending workers there. 
Instead, government authorities have continued the process of sending Nepali migrant workers to Saudi Arabia. More than 13,000 people have left for Saudi Arabia over the past one month alone.

Recently, Saudi chapter of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) had informed the government that at least 10 percent of Nepalis working in Saudi Arabia have been hit by the economic recession in the Gulf nation. The association had claimed that many of them are desperately seeking government help to rescue them. 

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been repeatedly saying that they have instructed Embassy of Nepal in Riyadh and the office of the consulate general in Jeddah to provide assistance to the migrant workers who are in need. 

Currently, more than 360,000 Nepali migrant workers are working in Saudi Arabia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). Saudi Arabia has been one of the major destination country for Nepali migrant workers over the past decade. A total of 766,039 Nepalis left for Saudi Arabia in the last 10 years, according to data maintained by the Department of Foreign Employment.


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