Efforts in employment management
The Constitution of Nepal, as a fundamental right of the people, has given every Nepali citizen the right to employment and the right to choose his own employment. Similarly, under the policy of the state, to make foreign employment free from exploitation, safe and systematic and to regulate and manage to guarantee the employment and rights of the workers and to encourage the use of capital, skills, technology and experience gained from foreign employment in productive sector. Is
Although the government has enacted and implemented the necessary laws for the promotion of employment, it is a fact that the unemployment rate in Nepal has not decreased as expected and the deficiencies in foreign employment have not been relatively low.
Due to the lack of employment opportunities in the country, the number of people choosing foreign employment as an alternative is increasing day by day in Nepal. According to the Nepal Labor Survey Report 2017/18 published by the Central Statistics Office, out of the 8 million working age labor force in Nepal, more than 900,000 are fully unemployed.
At the time of writing, Nepal’s unemployment rate was 11.4 percent. The periodical programs prepared by the National Planning Commission, the body that draws the blueprint for economic development, seem to aim to create millions of jobs within the country every year without adequate study and operation of effective mechanisms.
Due to the large number of people of working age in Nepal and the lack of adequate employment opportunities in the country, foreign employment has provided significant employment opportunities to Nepali youth. Even after a few years of political change in Nepal and the practice of federalism as a system of governance that is considered appropriate to facilitate the people’s access to government, it has not been possible to create a conducive employment environment for the working manpower at home and secure foreign employment. It is not possible to make respectable return oriented.
Status of foreign employment
Like many developing and underdeveloped countries in the world, foreign employment in Nepal seems to have played an important role in promoting employment in Nepal. Remittances entering Nepal every year due to foreign employment are contributing about 30 percent to the country’s gross domestic product. Institutionally, Nepal has opened 110 countries for foreign employment, while individually, 171 countries are considered open for labor migration. But so far, Nepal has signed labor agreements with only eight countries including Qatar, Japan, Korea, Israel, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan and Malaysia.
As there is no mechanism to collect and record the data of workers returning to Nepal from foreign employment, it is not possible to ascertain the number of Nepali workers working abroad. However, it can be estimated that the number of Nepalis in foreign employment is more than 5 million. Gulf Coordinating Council countries and Malaysia are the major destination countries for Nepalis going for foreign employment in countries other than India. Most of the workers going for foreign employment go for fixed term labor contract and most of the manpower going for foreign employment are unskilled workers.
According to the Labor Immigration Report 2020 published by the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, in 2018/19, the five major destination countries for Nepali workers were Malaysia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, respectively. Seems to be.
The history of women from Nepal going abroad in search of work independently is not so long. However, in recent times, a significant number of Nepali women seem to be trying to go for foreign employment. In 2018/19, the five major destinations for women, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Cyprus, accounted for 77 percent.
Thus, Jordan, one of the destination countries for Nepali women, has recently stated that its garment companies will open employment in the garment sector as per the labor agreement between Nepal and the Jordanian government. It seems.
In this way, Jordanian women migrant workers are relatively safer than in other Gulf countries, women are not exploited as in some other countries and are given the same labor rights as local citizens. As Jordan grants migrant workers the right to join a common trade union, employers are not allowed to deport workers without a reason.
As Nepal has so far signed labor agreements / understandings in only eight of the countries that are institutionally open for foreign employment, it seems that continuous efforts should be made to conclude labor agreements in the rest of the countries. For this, it seems necessary to activate the diplomatic missions of the countries with labor destination
At present, there are around 8,000 Nepali workers in Jordan and 90 percent of them are women. It is said that there are about 1100 women in Nepal who have been trained to go for employment in Jordan.
A few days ago, Malaysia announced its decision to recruit new workers in the plantation (rubber and palm oil) sector from Nepal and Indonesia and said that it is preparing to recruit 30,000 workers in the region in the first phase. According to the labor agreement with Malaysia, the employer will have to bear the entire cost of transporting the workers except the cost of health examination and safety check. Currently, there are around 170,000 Nepali workers working in Malaysia.
Similarly, Korea, which is an attractive labor destination for Nepali workers going for foreign employment, has stated that the workers selected under the Employment Permit System (EPS) will be taken to Korea from the second week of November. Prior to the Kovid epidemic, Korea used to take more than 50,000 workers from different countries every year under the EPS system, but more than 5,000 workers from Nepal used to go to Korea every year. Currently, there are about 35,000 Nepali workers in Korea under the EPS system.
Possibility after covid
The time has come for the concerned government agencies and foreign employment entrepreneurs to be active in promoting foreign employment as a major alternative to reduce the rising unemployment rate in Nepal. Due to the closure of industries, factories, the impact on the supply chain of goods and services, and the loss of employment for millions of people, it is certain that the world economy will take some time to recover.
Foreign employment activities, which are the main source of employment in Nepal, have been declining for almost two years since the onset of the Kovid epidemic. A few days ago, the Jordanian government expressed interest in taking Nepali workers in its garment industries, Malaysia announced its decision to recruit new workers in plantation (rubber and palm oil) sector from Nepal and Indonesia, and Korea announced that it would take selected foreign workers through EPS from next November. There is hope that foreign employment will return to normal.
In this situation, the government agencies and the private sector involved in the management of foreign employment have to create an environment for the youths who want to go abroad to go abroad in a systematic and easy way.
Thus, with the increase in the number of workers going for foreign employment, the challenge of making labor migration safe, secure, dignified and reward-oriented is also increasing. As labor migration is an issue related to the daily life activities of most Nepalis, including education and health, it is necessary for the government to continuously monitor and supervise it.
Conclusions / Suggestions
The role of migrant workers in the global economy is an important one. American economists studying the labor market and migrant workers have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics.
Their studies show that while migrant workers have a positive effect on the economy, there is no significant change in the living standards of migrant workers.
Thus, according to the contribution of migrant workers working in the world market to the economy of the working country, the workers do not seem to get direct benefits. Therefore, in spite of the fact that the unemployed youth of the least developed and developing countries of the world are being forced to take up foreign employment, the migrant workers of the least developed and developing countries are becoming indispensable to keep the economy of some developed countries afloat.
In order to effectively implement the work of organizing and promoting foreign employment and to make it profit-oriented, it is necessary to collect and analyze the necessary data related to it. Therefore, it is essential for Nepal to develop the necessary mechanism to manage the foreign employment so as to ensure the number of workers in foreign employment.
Similarly, Nepal has so far signed labor agreements / understandings in only eight of the countries that have been institutionally open for foreign employment. For this, it seems necessary to activate the diplomatic missions of the countries with labor destination.
(Officers are former bankers.)