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8 Feb 2021

Upasana Khadka, Nepali Times

The long wait before flight

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Overseas migration is picking up slowly after the Covid-19 pandemic, but problems faced by Nepali workers abroad remain intact.

The Nepal Government stopped issuing labour permits from mid-March 2020, and resumed permits for returning workers in June, and for new workers in August. However, there has been a massive drop in the recruitment of workers in the Gulf and Malaysia from South Asia, including Nepal...

On one hand, [recruitment agencies] are indispensable to revive this sector that is responsible for close to 90% of the migration but on the other malpractice is still high. Both employers and recruiters are looking to cut corners and make up for lost revenue, and with workers desperate for jobs, the sector is ripe for exploitation.

After receiving complaints from workers headed to the UAE who are being charged over Rs125,000 for cleaning job earning only Rs25,000 a month, DOFE raided the agency Greenstar. Upon examining their seized documents, Vision and Value Overseas the recruiter that had mobilised the largest volume of workers in the last three months, and Pass International were also implicated. 

Said DOFE’s Kushal Baral: “Operations of all three companies will be suspended until investigations are completed.”