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Govt urges multilateral agencies to study rising migrant workers' death

KATHMANDU, May 2: The government has requested multilateral and international agencies to conduct a research in Gulf countries and Malaysia to find the exact cause of rising deaths of Nepali workers there.

Speaking at an interaction jointly organized by the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MoLE) and Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC) -- an NGO formed by migrant workers -- in capital on Friday, Secretary at MoLE Suresh Man Shrestha urged multilateral organizations like International Organization of Migrants (IOM) and International Labor Organization (ILO) to conduct a study in the Gulf countries and find the causes of the deaths.

“Since it is difficult for a country like Nepal to get permission to conduct such study, international organizations can help us do such findings as they have relatively easy access to labor destination countries,” said Shrestha. According to the Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB), 240 Nepali workers have died in the period between January to mid-April of 2014. Similarly, the Nepali embassy in Saudi Arabia has registered 765 deaths of Nepali workers between mid-June 2011 and mid-March 2014. In Qatar, 191 Nepali workers died in 2013.

“Deaths are attributed to an astonishing rate of cardiac arrest, heart attack, natural death, and workplace and traffic accidents, among other causes. However, questions are also raised by some over the credibility of the death certificates issued in destination countries. So there is a need of comprehensive research to find out the cause of death, including a study on the working conditions, wages level and other issues of migrant workers there,” Shrestha told Republica.

Also speaking at the program, Maurizio Busatti, chief of Mission of Nepal office, said that health check-up, orientation classes and better insurance arrangement should be made for aspiring migrant workers.

Ram Prasad Dhakal, executive director of PNCC, said regular health check-ups, quick and proper medical treatment to the ailing or injured migrant workers by the government of destination countries could minimize the death of Nepali workers.


Published on : May 3, 2014, Republica Daily. 

Nepali workers there.