Nepal: Over 1300 young Nepalese migrants killed by poverty and exploitation

world | Jan 23, 2012 | By Asia News

Kathmandu - More than 1300 young Nepalese migrant workers have died since 2009 due to mistreatment at work, miserable living conditions and exploitation. Most of the victims worked in Islamic countries. The data was revealed by a recent study by the Nepalese Foreign Ministry in collaboration with the Foreign Employment Board.

According to the report, of about 22,500 young migrants abroad, 1,357 were killed in a violent way or died for reasons related to the workplace. Among these 120 have died from suicides, 287 in accidents, 100 were murdered, 292 for respiratory problems due to unhealthy living conditions. Most of the victims are registered in Malaysia (441), followed by Saudi Arabia (306) and Qatar (125).

Purna Chandra Bhattarai, Director General of the Department of Foreign Employment (Dofe) points out that most of these deaths were preventable. They are mostly related to lack of awareness of the risks involved in certain countries, especially those in the Persian Gulf. "Many young people – he says - do not know how to survive and then migrate, but often lack adequate preparation to deal with the situation. In their haste no one informs them, or they sign up for training or find work with state agencies. " Bhattarai said that in recent years of the about 22,500 people who migrated abroad only 466 have participated in courses offered by the Migration Resource Centre (MRC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Due to the severe economic crisis, every year thousands of people leave the country in search of a job. Unlike countries like the Philippines, where there are numerous agencies in foreign countries, Nepal's population prefers to start with a tourist visa and find work on the ground through family and friends. This, however, prevents the state from protecting its citizens in case of accidents in a foreign country, the increasing instances of illegal immigrants and criminal business of human trafficking. There are over 50 destinations for Nepalese migrants. Topping the list, Qatar (68.844), Saudi Arabia (44,741) and Malaysia (31,157).

The Non Residential Nepalese Association (NRN) states that are nearly 7 million migrant workers abroad and it is estimated that almost 40% of the state budget depends for on their remittances.

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