KATHMANDU, Dec 7: Aspiring to work abroad? Seeking information on the recruitment process? More often than not, individuals seek agents and manpower companies for guidance, bypassing government agencies. This inclination raises the question: why isn't the government the first point of inquiry?
The issue lies not only in the unawareness of potential foreign workers but also in the government's failure to effectively disseminate information on safe foreign employment. Young people going abroad in pursuit of opportunities abroad, unwillingly get trapped in the hands of fraudulent agents due to the lack of awareness about official channels.
The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) plays a crucial role in guiding job aspirants, yet its efforts to educate the public about safe means of foreign employment seem insufficient. The attraction of foreign employment is matched by its risks, with many youths being trapped into fraudulent schemes due to the absence of proper guidance.
Bivek Pathak from Birtamod, Jhapa, shared his repeated experiences of being cheated while attempting to work in Dubai. He observes that this is happening due to the absence of accessible information on the correct procedures for foreign employment from the government. “We have not received public awareness from the government about safety when going abroad for employment,” Pathak stated, stressing the need for easily accessible information to prevent repeated fraud.
The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) becomes known to victims only after being cheated, highlighting the failure of government agencies to proactively engage with potential foreign workers. While the government has implemented policies to curb illegal foreign employment, practical implementation seems lacking, leaving many vulnerable to scams.
Krishna Prasad Bhusal, information officer at MoLESS, said that the lack of public awareness about foreign employment is a key contributor to fraud. Despite efforts through social media and various communication channels, the reach of these awareness campaigns, especially in the rural areas, remains limited.
Bhusal added that actions are being taken against fraudulent manpower companies based on their past activities. He also stressed the importance of individuals verifying the authenticity of manpower agencies and reaching out to the DoFE if suspicions arise.
Kabiraj Upreti, information officer of DoFE, suggested that extensive skill training and language proficiency are crucial for individuals seeking foreign employment. He mentioned that there is availability of information centers in municipalities across the country and urged potential workers to seek guidance to avoid fraud.
Despite these efforts, common people remain unaware, leading to continued victimization. Upreti suggested that sending individuals abroad only after orientation training and skill development could significantly reduce the risks associated with foreign employment.
“The government needs to enhance its efforts in raising awareness, providing skill training, and ensuring that individuals are well-informed before going abroad for foreign employment,” he said, “Only through a comprehensive approach can the prevalent issues of fraud and exploitation be effectively addressed.”