Make post-mortems mandatory for workers who die abroad: SC

Published On: January 10, 2020 07:52 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Jan 10: The Supreme Court has ordered the government to make arrangements to make post-mortem examinations mandatory for all Nepali migrant workers dying abroad.

Responding to a petition filed by a group of advocates representing the Law and Policy Forum for Social Justice and Paurakhi Nepal, a division bench of justices Purushottam Bhandari and Bam Kumar Shrestha issued the full text of a writ of mandamus to this effect earlier this week. 

The justices have ordered the government to make policy arrangements to minimize the risk of worker deaths abroad, make post-mortem into the deaths mandatory, and to inform the family about the cause of death and repatriate the body.

The court has also ordered the government to make sure that there is a provision of insurance and compensations for workers in the bilateral and multi-lateral labor agreements done with the destination countries.

Each year around 1,000 Nepali migrant workers who leave country in good health as shown by their medical test reports, die in labor destination countries. Of the total deaths, around 97% occur in the Gulf countries, according to the Department of Foreign Employment statistics. 

But in most of these deaths in the Gulf countries, post-mortem examinations are not carried out stating that the workers died due to natural causes.

 Due to this reason, while the cause of the death is not identified, the bereaved families are also deprived of insurance money.

The court has also ordered the DoFE to make necessary arrangements for making the medical examinations for workers more effective and in case of their death, a dignified handover of the body to the family members. 

Advocates Kedar Dahal, Barun Ghimire and Anurag Devkota among others had filed the petition questioning the rising worker deaths in the Gulf countries.


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