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Nepali migrant workers dying in alarming numbers

Nepali migrant workers dying in alarming numbers

A total of 4,035 Nepalis died abroad between the fiscal year 2020-21 and 2022-23 due to various causes. According to data from the Foreign Employment Board, 870 Nepali migrant workers suffered injuries or fell ill during this period. Over the past three years, there has been a concerning rise in the number of deaths and illnesses among Nepali migrant workers. In the fiscal 2021-22, these incidents accounted for 18.5 percent of the migrant workers, followed by 31.95 percent in 2021-22 and 49.54 percent in 2022-23. Despite falling deaths, the cases of mutilations and illness have soared over these years.

The challenges facing Nepali migrant workers include adverse weather conditions in destination countries, increased workload, liquor consumption, conflicts with colleagues, familial pressure, lack of knowledge about local laws, technical errors in handling and operation of machinery, traffic accidents, workplace incidents, burns, suffocation, drowning and illnesses, as highlighted in the report. In the last fiscal year, out of 1,250 fatalities, 27.96 percent occurred in Malaysia, followed by 26.36 percent in Saudi Arabia, 17.98 percent in the United Arab Emirates, 17.32 percent in Qatar, 6.04 percent in Kuwait and 4.43 percent in other nations. It is alarming that these fatalities occurred despite the completion of medical tests before departure.

The report has recommended the government to investigate the root causes of these deaths, conduct awareness programs and provide psychosocial counseling services to Nepali migrant workers.