KATMANDU, June 15: Pourakhi Nepal on Friday organized an art festival to highlight the woes of domestic workers in Nepal and abroad.
Fifteen artists from Nepal Academy of Fine Arts were requested to draw arts focusing the difficulties being faced by domestic workers and government's reluctance to ensure their rights.
“Since the domestic workers within the country or aboard are unskilled and less educated, they suffer the most at the workplace,” said Manju Gurung, chairperson of the organization, adding, “We spoke a lot about their problems but the authorities concerned did not respond. So, artists are using their colors this time to speak their difficulties.”The paintings will be displayed at the Art Council in the presence of higher government authorities.Activists working for the welfare of domestic workers said the paintings will help them to put the government under pressure to sign the C189, Domestic Workers Convention endorsed in 2011.So far, Nepal, which is one of the largest housemaid sending countries mainly to the Gulf and Middle East, has not ratified the convention. Activists say the government's delay in ratifying the convention has created problems in ensuring rights of domestic workers.
Many Nepali female migrant workers face sexual and physical violence in their labor destinations while some of them return home with babies. Job providers are often accused of raping Nepali migrant workers and sending them back to the home country once they are pregnant.
Pourakhi has been providing transitional shelter to the female migrant workers abused aboard. “The government has no other alternative but to sign the convention to make domestic workers safe from all forms of abuses. We are submitting a memorandum to the labor ministry tomorrow demanding the same,” said Satra Gurung, secretary of Pourakhi Nepal.