KATHMANDU, Sept 23: The number of migrant workers desperately awaiting rescue from Saudi Arabia and Malaysia is on the rise, according to the Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB).
As many as 12 persons filed applications at the board between mid-July and mid-August while the board received 14 complaints in the following one month (mid-August to mid-September) seeking government help for their rescue, according to Raghu Raj Kaphle, executive director at the board.
The board has received more complaints related to exploitation and abuse as well as poor living conditions and insufficient food in Saudi Arabia, he said. The real situation could be more severe as the people approach the board when the problem cannot be solved by manpower agencies and other agencies, he said.
The Department of Foreign Employment has also been receiving complaints from migrant workers on a daily basis, according to the department.
At a time when many countries have been stepping up efforts to evacuate or arrange alternatives for their stranded workers, the government of Nepal has not taken any step to stop migrant workers from going to Saudi Arabia.
“The Ministry of Labor and Employment should take a formal decision to bar migrant workers from going there,” he said, adding that no formal discussion has taken place to stop sending workers to Saudi Arabia.
Big companies in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have assured that they will provide promised employment to Nepali migrant workers who are already there, he informed. The cases of workers not getting promised jobs can be reduced if manpower agencies do proper study of the employer company before sending migrant workers, he claimed.
The number of requests for rescue by Nepali migrant workers stranded in Malaysia has also gone up in recent times, Kaphle added.
As many as seven applications were received by the board between mid-July and mid-August while the board received nine requests during the one month between mid-August and mid-September seeking government help for rescue.
Migrant workers have been witnessing impact of economic crisis in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, Kaphle said.