The bodies of 44 Nepalis, who had gone abroad for jobs, are in a state of neglect in five different countries.
It is said that 21 bodies of Nepali migrant workers lie unattended in Saudi Arabia followed by 12 in Qatar, six in Malaysia, four in Kuwait and one in the UAE.
Although the process of bringing six of the 44 bodies to Nepal has been initiated, the legal process required for bringing the remaining bodies has not moved ahead. Similarly, the names and addresses of the deceased have not been ascertained while their families, too, have not been identified.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Tek Bahadur Gurung informed about this while responding to queries at a meeting of the Legislature-Parliament’s International Relations and Labour Committee on Wednesday.
Gurung said four bodies of Nepali workers arrive in the country every day on an average.
The committee further directed the government to take initiatives for bringing the bodies at the earliest and explain in writing about the delay.
“Today’s meeting has decided to direct the government to make necessary arrangements for resolving the legal complexities encountered in bringing the bodies back and create necessary posts at the Nepali embassies in those countries,” says Committee chair Prabhu Sah.
The bodies of 880 Nepali workers, who died on various circumstances, were brought home in the last fiscal year (2013/14).
Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Bhola Shivakoti says some problems have been encountered in absence of a procedural guideline about bringing back the bodies and that the Ministry is working on it.
“We have sent letters to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this fiscal year alone requesting them to sign a labour agreement with Nepal. But we have not seen the desired results.”
Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shankar Das Bairagi says there are difficulties in bringing the bodies back home due to long distances that exist between Nepali embassies and the places where the deaths occur.
“We need several days to locate the incident place in countries with vast areas. Lack of certifying documents and non-cooperation of employers in sending the bodies make our task more arduous.”