Implement laws for welfare of works, says UN rapporteur

KATHMANDU: UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, has recommended effective implementation of existing laws related to labour for the welfare of the migrant workers.
Organising a press conference here today, Morales briefed about his experiences regarding Nepal’s foreign employment sector during his eight-day Nepal visit. He arrived here on January 29 at the invitation of Government of Nepal.
On the occasion, the UN Special Rapporteur said that migrant workers and their families should be made known about the provisions of international conference related to human rights protection. Saying monitoring system of foreign employment agencies should be strong, he said that foreign employment agencies should be transparent and responsible to public. Morlaes said, “Easy access to justice for migrant workers should be ensured and bilateral agreement between foreign employment agencies and destination countries should be reached for fully implementation of human rights and labour rights.”
Morales has also suggested the government to strengthen the legal and policy framework and implement them effectively, remove barriers to access to justice and empower migrants through information and support.
This was the first country visit carried out by a UN Special Procedure mandate holder in over nine years. He commended the Government of Nepal for its willingness to cooperate with Special Procedure mandate holders.
He also urged the Nepali authorities to ensure better protection for its citizens, including by collecting data on the types of violation and abuse incurred at the local level, developing relevant policy and opening consulates or Embassies in those cities of India where a significant number of Nepali migrants resides. “The government must protect and assist irregular Nepali migrant workers in destination countries and facilitate their return to Nepal, regardless of their migratory status”, he said.
Nepal’s reliance on remittances for poverty reduction and economic development renders it extremely vulnerable to remittance flows. Unscrupulous recruiters take significant resources away from migrants, through the charging of recruitment fees and broader economic exploitation, thus effectively disempowering the poorest. This has also a negative impact on the economy of the country as a whole, reads an end-of-mission statement by the UN Special Rapporteur.

Migrant workers are checked by inspection officers before they leave for their foreign jobs at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Gaushala, Kathamandu. (Photo by Yam Kumari Kandel, GPJ Nepal)

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