Saudi Arabia: Investigation into high death rate among Nepali workers finds unsafe working conditions, lack of investigations & relatives left destitute; cos. did not respond
In the decade to 15 July 2021, at least 2,280 Nepali migrant workers have died in Saudi Arabia, according to Nepal’s Foreign Employment Board (FEB). A Migrant-Rights.org report into the high death rate found thousands of dependents are left destitute without compensation after their relatives die abroad, and that this number is likely higher as it does not include the deaths of undocumented workers or workers who migrated outside regular channels.
During the fiscal year 2020-2021, more than a quarter of the 368 recorded deaths that occurred in Saudi Arabia were classified as "natural", an "unnaturally high" figure, according to Anurag Devkota, a human rights advocate with LAPSOJ,and were under-investigated. Workers are forced to leave their job after becoming injured, disabled or unwell as a result of their working conditions, and a lack of awareness of health and safety risks and protections.
While the FEB has put in place pre-departure training, human rights activists question the efficacy of such training while hundreds of deaths are still reported annually.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre contacted the following three companies regarding allegations raised in the report; none responded. We were unable to find contact information for Nayarah Trading or Saud Al Falah Al-Sahli Transport and could not invite them to respond.
- K.M.Al-Hammam Est. for Contracting was invited to respond to allegations of non-payment of wages and dangerous working conditions at its company.
- The report detailed allegations of labour abuse against workers at Saud Al Falah Al-Sahli Transport Est, one of whom was recruited through agency New World Overseas Service.
- Recruitment company Emasco were invited to respond to an allegation that Nepali worker Dipak Sinjali, died after experiencing heat stress working as a cook at a hotel, despite the fact he had been recruited by Emasco as a labourer at Nayarah Trading.