social issue

Overseas Employment

If those ‘at risk’ have employment opportunities at home, they are less likely to accept high risk employment opportunities overseas.

An estimated 7 million Nepali men and women have left Nepal with the hope of finding better employment opportunities to support their family. 90% of them work without official documentation which exposes them to exploitation.

  • Many Nepali migrant workers rely on recruitment agencies to get work abroad. The agents take advantage of the uneducated and often desperately poor women and their families. These people are misinformed and are required to pay large sums of money to ‘pay’ for the costs of gaining overseas employment .The families take out high risk, high interest-rate loans, as it is the only way they can pay the associated costs. This results in many real stories of vulnerable, suffering workers who keep working just to pay back these loans.
  • Each worker should submit their work contract to the Government in Nepal before departing. However, most women are illiterate and cannot even read the contract. Some workers are presented contracts in a foreign language and cannot understand what they are signing. Most workers make a blind decision to leave Nepal, not knowing they have the right to take action if this contract agreement is broken.
  • Many times labourers arrive in the destination country and are forced to accept a fraction of the salaries and much worse conditions than agreed upon in the contract – many end up victims of sex slavery or forced labour. Workers are unable to send enough money to support their family, or to pay back the money lenders.
  • Basic human rights for female workers are even harder to uphold because the women do not know the laws or their rights in the foreign country and do not know how to protect themselves in case of abuse. They are deprived of basic legal protection. There is often a negative social approach toward female migrant workers when they return back home.
  • At least 2.2 million Nepalis — nearly 10 percent of the population — work abroad, according to the Nepal Institute of Development Studies. And that number doesn’t include Nepalis who leave to work illegally. This spike in labour migration  is evidence that Nepal has shifted from an agricultural-based economy to a remittance-based economy because of labour shortages. This is in no way a long-term solution toward building a sustainable economy. Employment opportunities need to be created in Nepal so that Nepal does not lose its labour force to other countries.
  • The increasing number of female migrant workers comes with social costs like destruction of the family entity. Children are deprived of the love and care of their parents, and raised by grandparents and elders who give them less attention. This in turn has large-scale social repercussions.
  • Almost every day, the remains of three or four workers arrive back in Nepal from the Middle East, according to the secretary of the Nepalese Ministry of Labor and Manpower. Every other day, at least one dead body arrives from Qatar.

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

– Albert Einstein

o 16 % of the Nepali women return “penniless”

o Scores of women have been victims of sexual abuse

o 77 % of the workers were unaware of work provisions in the destination country

o 67% have gone abroad without proper training.

o 72 % were unaware of their right to insurance.

 

“I went overseas to become financially independent,” she says. “But for women, foreign employment isn’t what you think it to be. They treat us like animals, not humans.” – as reported by Debesh Adhikari, 20 Sept 2013, Spotlight News Magazine

 

If those at risk have more employment opportunities at home in Nepal, they are less likely to go abroad. Dangerous employment overseas offers little opportunity to enhance their future. At Kriayt we aim to raise awareness about the risks and hazards of such jobs. However, we believe in supporting and guiding anyone who decides to accept foreign employment by informing them of their rights, correct information and ensuring they are fully prepared before they leave. And most importantly understand their contracts.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Education       2. Female Employment       3. Overseas Employment       4. Human Trafficking

5. Child Labour       6. Cinderella Children       7. Marriage       8. Violence        9. Health

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