KATHMANDU, Nov 27: With the increase in the number of people seeking foreign employment from Nepal, the cases of fraud in this sector have also increased. From July to October of the current financial year, 1,148 individuals and institutions have filed complaints related to fraud in foreign employment. According to the People's Forum for Human Rights, 1,077 men and 141 women were among those who filed the complaints.
In the financial year 2021/22, 3,155 individuals and institutions registered fraud related complaints, said Sudip Devkota, a lawyer working at the Forum. Every day, the workers who go for foreign employment have complained about the fraud cases and the various difficulties they have faced. While the government says that foreign employment will be safe, orderly and dignified, there has been no reduction in the cases of migrant workers being cheated.
Lawyer Devkota, the coordinator of the free legal aid program run by the Forum, said that the government is unable to spend the amount of remittances coming into the country for the protection of workers going for foreign employment. Even though the government, businessmen and rights activists have blamed the foreign workers for not being aware, the complaints of the youth have not been heard. He said that Nepali youth are being cheated under various pretexts because the government agencies are unable to make the right decisions in the interests of the workers in any foreign employment related program.
From the financial year 2019/20 to October 2022, 6,778 workers, individually and institutionally, filed complaints claiming various types of fraud, the Forum said. According to the data maintained by the Forum, the number of complaints in 2021/22 has increased by 2,092 compared to that in the financial year 2019/20. In the financial year 2021/22, out of 3,155 individual and institutional complaints, 2,728 were filed by males and 427 by females.
Similarly, in the financial year 2020/21, there were 1,412 people who complained individually and institutionally. Among them, there were 1,244 men and 168 women. Devkota said that the government and businessmen are blaming each other for the distortions seen in the field of foreign employment.
Statistics show that workers who have gone for foreign employment are more likely to be cheated at home than abroad. According to the data maintained by the Forum, there are 422 people who have taken money from the workers, the start of the current financial year in October but have not sent them abroad.
In the same way, 102 people who were promised to be sent abroad but were not, 31 people who were sent abroad but were not returned their passports, and 30 people who were not sent abroad due to other reasons also filed complaints.
Devkota said that most of the victims who went for foreign employment were cheated by their own relatives. Recently, the trend of going for foreign employment on a visit visa is increasing. As a result, young people go to different countries and get stranded there. He said, "There is a growing tendency to ruin the lives of workers by looting the hard-earned money of the poor for temporary gains."