Regulation charging high cost for Israel-bound Nepali workers comes under criticism

Nepal has recently announced vacancies for people going to Israel for caregiver jobs where workers would be required to pay around $1380, too much for migrant workers from a poor country

Jul 31, 2021
Image
Israel-bound Nepali workers

Nepal has recently announced vacancies for people going to Israel for caregiver jobs where workers would be required to pay around $1380, too much for migrant workers from a poor country. The regulation under which the charges are fixed came under criticism from rights group as for many other work destinations the country has zero-cost migration policy. 

According to the notice issued by the Department of Foreign Employment, the agency which oversees labor migration, a Nepali worker will have to spend an estimated around $1380 once they have been selected for the job in Israel.

The charges included their expenses, including airfare, health insurance, pre-departure training, and medical examination, among others. “This is far too expensive for migrant workers. The amount that workers are made to pay for Israeli jobs is probably the most expensive one,” Anurag Devkota, a Nepali human rights lawyer with specialization in migrants’ rights, was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post. 

This regulation also came under criticism as in many other countries, most of these charges are paid by employers and workers need to pay very nominal charges. 

For instance, workers going to Malaysia, Jordan, Mauritius, and the United Arab Emirates do not have to pay for anything. In other gulf countries and Sweden, and Malta the maximum charge is fixed at around $84. In Singapore and Panama, workers have to pay $420.

Of the total $1380 required from Israel-bound workers, $1219 will be spent on a one-way flight from Nepal to Israel; $42 on health insurance package; around $6 on pre-departure orientation training; $42 on the passport; $84 on medical examination; $21 for the Covid-19 PCR test.

Krishna Prasad Dawadi, the director-general at the Department of Foreign Employment, justifying the cost, saying, “These are estimated maximum amounts which can fluctuate depending on the airfare.” 

Last year, in an effort to diversify its labor destinations, the Nepal government signed an agreement with Israel, opening jobs for Nepali nurses in hospitals, nursing homes, and daycare centers in Israel. Isreal has sent a demand for 1,000 Nepali workers this week.

The agreement was a government-to-government modality hence excluded the role of any third parties and recruiting agencies. At the time, it was expected that the deal would significantly reduce the cost for potential workers. 

However, later when the government announced the charges, it was criticized by migrant rights activists and experts. It also contradicted Nepal’s stated policy of securing zero-cost jobs for its citizens. It also goes against the ‘Free Visa Free Ticket’ policy and the general principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment of the International Labour Organisation.

Remittances from Nepal workers--accounts for almost one-fourth of its GDP--support the country’s economy in a big way. Hence, the government has recently announced vaccinating these outbound job seekers on a priority basis. 

(SAM)

Tweets about SAMonitor
SAM Facebook

Newsletter Subscription

The subscriber's email address.
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.