Nepali migrant worker fatalities on the rise

Representative Photo

Kathmandu: Recent data from the Foreign Employment Board has shed light on the alarming trend of fatalities and illnesses among Nepali migrant workers stationed abroad. From the fiscal year 2077-78 BS (2020-21) to 2079-80 BS (2022-23), a total of 4,035 Nepalis working overseas lost their lives, with an additional 870 individuals sustaining injuries or falling ill during this period.

Of significant concern is the escalating rate of these incidents over the past three years, with percentages rising from 18.50% in 2077-78 to 49.54% in 2079-80 BS. While the number of deaths has slightly decreased, cases of mutilations and illnesses have surged, underscoring the heightened risks faced by Nepali migrant workers.

The challenges confronting these workers encompass a spectrum of factors, including adverse weather conditions, heavy workloads, alcohol consumption, interpersonal conflicts, familial pressures, lack of awareness regarding local laws, technical mishaps, traffic accidents, workplace hazards, burns, suffocation, drowning, and various illnesses.

Notably, in the last fiscal year, Malaysia accounted for 27.96% of fatalities, followed by Saudi Arabia (26.36%), the United Arab Emirates (17.98%), Qatar (17.32%), Kuwait (6.04%), and other nations (4.43%). These fatalities occurred despite the mandatory medical tests conducted before departure, raising concerns about pre-departure screening protocols.

The report emphasizes the urgency for the government to address the root causes of these tragic incidents. Recommendations include conducting thorough investigations, implementing comprehensive awareness programs, and providing essential psychosocial counseling services to support the well-being of Nepali migrant workers. As Nepal endeavors to safeguard the safety and rights of its citizens working abroad, proactive measures are imperative to mitigate risks and ensure their welfare.