Government Searching for New Labour Destinations

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Government Searching for New Labour Destinations

October 5: The government has started preparations to expand the labour market by identifying new labour destination countries for employment.

In order to make foreign employment safe, systematic and dignified, labour agreements with other destination countries have been initiated. According to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, the process of labour agreement with Oman, the labour destination for Nepalese, has reached its final stage.

For this, a draft agreement has been prepared and submitted to the Government of Oman. The ministry is ready to expedite the process of agreement with Oman by sending the draft to the Council of Ministers as soon as it is approved by Oman.

According to Labour Secretary Surya Prasad Gautam, the ministry is ready to complete the necessary preparations to send workers to the countries with which Nepal has signed labour agreements but has not been able to send workers due to technical issues.

Similarly, labour agreements have been signed with nine countries including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Republic of Korea (South Korea), Bahrain, Japan, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia and Mauritius. Nepal first signed a labour agreement with Qatar in 2005. An agreement was reached with Japan in 2009 to send workers on the basis of Japan International Trainee and Skilled Worker Cooperation (JITCO) model. Despite the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Japan to re-employ workers with special skills in 2019, the agreement has not been implemented. The ministry said that the directive to send workers as per the agreement has not been finalized and is still being discussed.

Similarly, agreements were signed with Bahrain in 2008, Jordan in 2017, Malaysia in 2018 and Mauritius in 2019. The ministry has started preparations to finalize the technical issues and send Nepalese to the countries where agreements have been reached but people have not been able to go. A joint programme was signed with Israel in 2015 to send Nepali workers into different sectors including agriculture. According to the Ministry of Labour, the process of taking workers as caregivers has already started in the first phase after the agreement.

According to Labour Secretary Gautam, Israel will take 1,000 workers in the first phase. For this, a roster of 1,600 workers has been prepared and sent. The agreement reached with the United Arab Emirates in 2007 was renewed in 2019. Initiatives are being taken to renew the 2007 labour agreement with South Korea. As the agreement with Korea is renewed every two and a half years, the agreement with South Korea will be renewed soon to cover the issues of workers' rights, said Labour Secretary Gautam. Labour expert Ganesh Gurung says the government has not been able to manage the foreign employment yet. According to him, the government has not been able to undertake result-oriented work in finding new labour destination countries.



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