KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 6
Stakeholders have stressed that the government needs to address the issues related to undocumented migrant workers.
The government had arranged repatriation flights for the migrant workers to return home during the lockdown and even after the lockdown has been lifted it is still arranging regular flights by prioritising migrant workers.
However, undocumented migrants have been deprived of government’s facility. Since these workers are undocumented, neither the embassy in their respective destinations nor the government here is providing any support to evacuate them, said Saru Shrestha, an expert on migrant issues, during a webinar titled ‘Issue of Undocumented Migrant Workers’ organised by Foreign Employment Journalists Society today.
“Such migrants had to resort to illegal channels to go abroad for foreign employment due to various reasons, however, it is the government’s responsibility to create legal means for people to go abroad to earn their livelihoods,” she said. “Migrants had already been facing such indifferent behaviour from the government in the past and now the pandemic has compounded their problems,” she added.
According to her, there is no exact data on the number of undocumented Nepali workers but she says that there could easily be around 150,000 such migrants spread across the world. Since their status is not legal it has become difficult to rescue and repatriate them.
Shrestha further claimed that the government has failed to address their issue. “Unemployment and lack of education are some of the major reasons behind workers going abroad illegally and among such workers most of them are women working as household workers,” she said. “The number of undocumented workers has been increasing ever since the government restricted Nepalis to go to s