HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Over 600 Nepali migrant workers have lost their lives in major job markets — Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — in 2011. Data from Nepali diplomatic missions showed that 669 Nepalis lost their lives while in foreign jobs though the cause of deaths varies from workplace accidents to suicides.
Compilation of death records showed Malaysia as the riskiest country for Nepali migrant workers. About 235 Nepalis died in the destination between January and October 2011. The number may go up to 250, as deaths in the last two months — November and December — are still to be added.
About 1,735 deaths of Nepali workers have been recorded in Malaysia since 2003.
The Nepali embassy in Doha recorded 162 deaths last year. According to embassy statistics, 13 migrant workers committed suicide and 22 died from work related accidents. Unspecified deaths during sleep claimed 92 lives in the country.
Similarly, 206 Nepalis died
in Saudi Arabia which included two dozen suicides, about 100 workplace accidents and deaths of five Nepali housemaids.
Cultural trap — lack of access to contact with family and friends — has played a major role in housemaids committing suicide in jobs market due to anxiety and depression.
Data showed that UAE is the least dangerous country among popular job destinations with 66 deaths last year. According to the Nepali embassy in Abu Dhabi, there were 60 workplace related deaths and six suicides.
According to the Department of Foreign Employment, about 1.2 million Nepalis are believed to be working in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. About 300,000 Nepalis are believed to be working in Malaysia.
Demand for worker rights in Qatar
KATHMANDU: International Trade Union Confederation has urged Qatar to respect the rights of migrant workers while building infrastructure for the Football World Cup in 2022. It has threatened to launch ‘No World Cup in Qatar without labour rights’ campaign, if Qatar does not provide rights to migrant workers. “If Qatar fails to align its labour legislation and workers, we will start the campaign,” said general secretary of the union Sharan Burrow, which represents 175 million workers in 153 countries. About 500,000 Nepalis are working in Qatar.