KATHMANDU, June 4: The government is making preparations to open foreign employment for aspiring migrant workers in all countries with which it has diplomatic relations. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) is doing its homework to open up foreign employment even in Iraq, a lucrative destination for security workers. Until now, the government has banned work permits for Iraq but Nepalis have been going to the Gulf country through illegal channels.
According to the plan, if all the countries that have established bilateral diplomatic relations with Nepal are open for foreign employment, the ministry claims that Nepalis will be able to go for employment in a total of 179 countries, including 71 new countries.
However, opening up foreign employment in those countries does not necessarily guarantee that there will be demand for Nepali workers from all the countries. The government is ready to facilitate in issuing labor permits if someone brings a demand.
Speaking at a press conference in Singh Durbar, officials of the ministry said that the situation in Iraq is not like that in the past and the ministry is preparing to open it up for foreign employment after evaluating the current situation. The Secretary of the Ministry, Ek Narayan Aryal, said that homework is being done to give labor permits to all the countries of the world with which Nepal has established diplomatic relations.
"There is a demand for Nepali workers even in Montenegro. Why should it be closed?" Secretary Aryal said, "The situation in Iraq today is not like yesterday, reconstruction works are going on in Iraq and there is a demand for workers there."
Nepal has established diplomatic relations with 179 countries so far. Although 111 countries are open for foreign employment, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq have been blacklisted due to security reasons so that Nepalis cannot go there for foreign employment. The government is doing homework to send Nepali workers even in those countries which are caught in internal conflict.
According to the government announcement, if foreign employment is opened, 71 countries including Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq will be listed as countries where Nepalis can go for foreign employment.