Migrant worker died due to carelessness of authorities in Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal: Bhunti Maya Magar is one of the foreign migrant workers who had returned to Nepal from Saudi Arab who died on August 20th Saturday morning at 1:45 AM in Teaching Hospital. She started bleeding in the hotel where she was taken to hospital and she died on Saturday. She is survived by 4 children as her family. According to her death certificate issued by the Teaching Hospital, she had ARDS with Multiorgan Failure as the main cause of death. She is one of the documented migrant workers who was sent to Kuwait as domestic migrant labor. In the investigation of Bhunti Maya Magar it has been noticed that she departed to Kuwait on 18 March 2011 where it shows that she had a prior existing visa from 1st April 2009, to 31st March 2011. She was issued a foreign employment permit by the Government of Nepal Ministry of Labor Transport Management -Department of Foreign Employment on 2011 March 04 for Kuwait. She departed from the Tribhuvan international Airport on 2011 March 18 for Kuwait. Then she received another travel Visa from Kuwait to Saudi Arab on 2011 April 05 for 90 days where she arrived on Kathmandu on 13th August 2011. Looking at her schedule and VISA it seems very impractical and illegal as she was a migrant worker so she didn’t go to Saudi Arab for travel she went there to work on Travel VISA which itself is illegal. There seems to be a network of people who have been channelizing people for such illegal works.
The main problem in this case that comes upfront is the authorities who lacked to monitor the deceased migration process. Apart from that the most important issue that has come up is after her death she was found to be 8 months pregnant. So when she left the country five months back she was 3 months pregnant already which she had conceived in Saudi Arab which can be assorted from her VISA. The Immigration policy suggests that any migrant worker going abroad should go through a thorough medical test where they lacked to notice her pregnancy. The carelessness of the authorities has certainly highlighted the case lack of seriousness of the authorities towards the issue of migrant workers and the policy of Government.
Sources at the Department of Foreign Employment states that the total number of Nepali migrant workers who went outside the country in fiscal 2010-11was 354,716 including 10,416 women. The last year numbers included 38,000 workers returning to their jobs after taking a break in their homes. According to data provided by NHRC, three women died of exploitation and abuse in 2008-09, and 20 in the last year. Only 29,000 women migrant workers are recorded with the Department of Foreign Employment while independent estimates put it at 140,000. Similarly, the Non-Resident Nepalese Association, states 140,500 Nepali women were in overseas jobs in 2009.
Manju Gurung President of the Pourakhi- Nepal, said, “We don’t encourage people to go outside, but we ask the foreign migrant workers to be skilled and to enquire about their jobs that they are doing. So that when they are there, they can hold their dignity and earn their respect. There is a good market of Nepalese laborers and workers in the Middle East it’s because we Nepalese are very loyal and honest but due to lack of proper training most of the worker have to suffer. It’s very natural that when you spend quality amount of money then you expect good service for that and if that is not fulfilled then certainly you would have issues. In this field the most important role is the role of the agent who knows the people and they are the once who coordinate the workers to the placement agencies. First we have to target these agents and aware them, if they are aware then thing can change.”
“Reality is women going abroad is not just a condition but it has emerged as a problem in every prospect of its opportunity. The rises in case of women being exploited and attacked are taking its toll where every day we are hearing cases of women death or torture. We need to develop a serious mechanism to counter this problem, “added Gurung
In the Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait the demand of Nepalese migrant workers have also increased. According to data 71,116 workers migrant workers migrated to Saudi Arab, 44,464 and 15,187 in The UAE and Kuwait during the fiscal year of 2009-2010
Aasha Lama President of the Aasha H4 Foundation said, “Nepalese women are very strong and they have been respected in their own fields but the way they are exploited is majorly due to our lack of skills and other carelessness. When we talk about foreign migrant workers then policies are not just enough. We need stronger mechanism to curb this problem. One thing that the government should understand is just by issuing the permit and creating better policies won’t solve the problem. We need to have effective mechanism to tackle the problem. As the problem is associated with migrant workers that start after the migrant workers leave the country when they are in foreign land where they have no support. Yes we need specific policies about making our worker going abroad with certain skills which should be made compulsion so that they would have something to hold on to their dignity. We have too many policies but at ground reality we lack adaption so we should focus more towards adaptability and consequences than the modality of policies. It’s a situation of disgrace when a Nepali woman gets exploited or is stranded in foreign soil, and it makes us feel sad to see a woman facing such situation where we want to save and rescues women and we are doing an effort. We just request the government of Nepal to make a good mechanism to handle the problem.”
“All women organization working on women issues should come together with one voice and one agenda about safety and protection of women within Nepal and overseas. Life and Death of Bhunti Maya is a tragic tale of Nepalese woman struggle for survival and ultimate death which cannot be denied at any point. We need to raise question with our government about how secure is TIA security system in controlling Women trafficking? And how many Bhunti Maya have to die to bring change in this country.” added Lama.
With unfolding the case of Bhunti Maya the Foreign Employment Promotion Board handed over NPR 65,590 (Approximate USD 1000) to deceased family of Bhunti Maya as compensation.
Regarding Bhunti Maya there are so many issues raised with her death she was 8 months pregnant and whether she was a victim of sexual exploitation, harassment or torture or she had conceived the baby with her own permission the question lies unrest with her death. Apart from that the issue like illegal visa, lack monitoring mechanism and lack of carelessness showed at the TIA immigration is a question that also searches ground reality. One Bhunti Maya’s death certainly makes no difference when there are thousand to spare let’s see what the government will do regarding the issue of foreign migrant worker.
By Shreedeep Rayamajhi
Tags: Bhunti Maya , Women Exploitation , Woman Trafficking
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.