Minister Bista vows to end all forms of modern slavery in Nepal

Published On: June 14, 2019 11:35 AM NPT By: Bipana Thapa

KATHMANDU, June 14: Minister for Labor Employment and Social Security Gokarna Raj Bista has vowed to end all forms of child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and modern slavery in Nepal.

Speaking at the Plenary of the ongoing 108th Session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva on Thursday, Minister Bista vowed to fight against potential violence and harassment in the world of work.

"We are implementing a master plan to eliminate all forms of child labor by 2025. Having joined the Alliance 8.7 as a pathfinder country, Nepal is also committed to end all forms of child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and modern forms of slavery," the minister said.

Stating that decent work, social security, and harmonious industrial relations have taken the center stage in Nepal’s reform agenda, the minister said that the government has initiated multiple policies and legal reforms in the field of labor, employment and social security.

"We have introduced a labor audit system that enables enterprises to enhance the compliance of labor laws. Our efforts are ongoing in the implementation of these reforms in collaboration with the social partners," Bista said.

The Government of Nepal has launched the Prime Minister Employment Program to create decent job opportunities and ensure work-based social protection to every citizen, he said.

"Our efforts are also directed to promote dignity and worth of labor at the grass-root level. With a view to improve productivity and living standards of workers, policy measures have been put in place to ensure minimum wages in a timely manner," Minister Bista said.

Our efforts in labor migration reforms are in line with the spirit of the Global Compact on migration, he said.

"Nepal believes on the cooperation and partnership is the key to safe, orderly and regular migration. Migrant workers deserve equality of treatment in destination countries. Nepal is actively promoting these concepts through the Colombo Process, of which we are the current Chair," Bista said.

Minister Bista also commended the ILO for its continued cooperation and support to promote decent and productive work and implement labor reforms in Nepal.

"This is important for the promotion of productive and decent work opportunities, universal social security and shaping the future of work in Nepal," he added.

Minister Bista delivered the aforementioned remarks while participating in the Centenary session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Bista held bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk on the sidelines of the conference. During the meeting, the two sides dwelt on the prospect of signing bilateral labor pact, according to a press release issued by Nepal's Permanent Mission based in Geneva. Secretary at the Ministry of Labor Mahesh Dahal, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bharat Raj Paudyal and Nepal's Permanent Representative to UN based in Geneva, Mani Prasad Bhattarai accompanied the minister. 

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