Over two million Nepalese men and women work abroad other than India, with the help of recruitment agencies, brokers and in some cases on their own capacity to work as domestic workers, construction workers, or in other low-skill labor jobs. The remittances sent by the migrant workers contribute 21 per cent of GDP of Nepal and has been a backbone to support the national economy.
The increase in labour migration, however, has been accompanied by various problems, including human trafficking. Many Nepalese migrant workers pay high amount of fees to the recruitment agencies, which they take on loan from families and friends which place them in a state of indebtedness, which in turn compel them to perform work in abusive, exploitative and unsafe working environment. Many of them face severely exploitative conditions that sometimes amount to forced labour such as withholding of passports, restriction on movements and non-payment of wages.
The ILO Office in Nepal is working with its tripartite constituents, including the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MOLTM), the institutional members of the Foreign Employment Promotion and Management Board, Workers’ Organizations, particularly the trade unions with a track record in assisting Nepali migrant workers overseas, the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA), and representatives of civil society organizations to protect the Nepalese migrant workers from human trafficking and forced labor and to create decent employment for migrant workers by enhancing the self regulation and functioning of private employment agencies in Nepal, strengthening the capacity of employers’ and workers’ organizations, supporting the government of Nepal to ensure effective enforcement of legislation and raising awareness among potential migrants of the risks of trafficking and how to avoid them.