STAND FIRM! Zero Recruitment Fees for Migrant Workers & Employer Pays Model

Click Here to Sign our Petition in Solidarity with Migrants in Nepal
Download the Petition in Nepali

In July 2015, the Government of Nepal made a historic decision in favour of the rights of Nepali migrant workers. They passed a directive obligating foreign employers to bear the visa and flight ticket costs for Nepali migrant workers that they hire. The “Free Visa Free Ticket” policy applies to migrant workers bound for seven destination countries: Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Malaysia.

This new directive serves to prevent the fraudulent activities of recruitment agencies, which charge excessive fees to workers putting them at risk of debt bondage, forced labour, human trafficking, and other labour and human rights violations. This policy decision comes after years of advocacy led by migrant workers, their families, civil society organizations, and trade unions.

Recruitment agencies in Nepal have responded with force, challenging the government’s policy. They claim that the “employer pays” model will reduce the demand for Nepali workers abroad—a claim that has yet to be confirmed. In March 2016, the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies halted their migrant recruitment operations for an indefinite period, demanding that the policy be revised.

In the face of recruitment agency resistance, migrant civil society, led by the National Network for Safe Migration, has redoubled its efforts, calling on the government to STAND FIRM with migrant workers. Civil society actions in support of the government’s policy have been held in Kathmandu and at the district level throughout the country. A signature campaign in support of the Free Visa Free Ticket policy has amassed more than 50,000 signatures and has been submitted to the relevant authorities in Nepal.

Click Here to Sign our Petition in Solidarity with Migrants in Nepal
Download the Petition in Nepali



1 April 2016
Civil society staged a demonstration at Bhadrakali temple, outside the Prime Minister’s office and other ministries including the Labour and Employment. A delegation visited relevant ministries, including the office of the PM and the National Human Rights Commission, to hand over a petition for the effective implementation of the Free Visa Free Ticket policy and to ensure Nepali workers do not have to pay recruitment costs.

2 April 2016
Civil society held a multi-stakeholder discussion on the issue, calling on human rights activists, trade unions, and media for solidarity. The meeting came up with a joint statement with demands related to zero fees.

3-5 April 2016
Civil society staged demonstration in front of the entrance to the Ministries, including the Prime Minister’s office, the National Planning Commission, and the Secretariat of the Parliament demanding the effective implementation of the policy. A delegation met with senior human rights activists, senior trade union leaders, and political leaders to gather support and momentum. In response to the call by the campaign to express solidarity with the campaign, representatives from 18 districts joined the demonstration and handed over 50,000 signatures collected from the districts to the Minister of Labour and Employment.

6-8 April 2016
Civil society will continue to demonstrate at the same location and meet with the political leaders, government officials, trade unions, and hopefully the President and the Prime minister (appointments requested). Activists will continue collecting signatures and hand the petition to relevant authorities at the Ministry for Labour and Employment.

Click Here to Sign our Petition in Solidarity with Migrants in Nepal



Translate »