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Nepal to Kuwait and Qatar: Fair recruitment in review

Outward labour migration plays an important role in Nepal’s economy and society... remittances [make] up almost a third of its GDP, Nepal is one of the largest remittance recipient countries in the world. The Arab Gulf states are a major destination for Nepalis. In 2017/2018, the six GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE) hosted 65% of all Nepali workers migrating to countries other than India (where the Nepali government does not issue workers with labour permits, meaning data is not available). Remittances received from GCC countries and Malaysia accounted for more than half of Nepal’s total remittances between 2014/2015 and 2017/2018, with 12 percent coming from Qatar alone...

Given its importance to the national economy, foreign employment features centrally in Nepal’s economic planning and legislation. Labour migration has featured as a priority in Nepal’s periodic development plans since the mid-1980s...

Nevertheless, Nepal’s legal and regulatory framework is yet to conform with international standards. Laws remain overly focussed on administrative processes, and offer only limited rights protections to migrant workers. Policies are often adopted without realistic implementation plans, adequate resources or public engagement, and their actual purpose is often to consolidate power, appease party politics or to maintain popular legitimacy.

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