11 August 2014, The Diplomat
Often cheated and frequently facing atrocious working conditions, young Nepalese are still flocking abroad for work.
Confronted with a lack of employment opportunities at home, every day 1,500 or more young Nepalese go aboard seeking employment opportunities, according to official data. In fact, the number is likely to be even higher, as government records do not include illegal migrant workers.
Prolonged political transition, economic depression, and the closure of industries are the main reasons for the alarming level of unemployment (with a youth unemployment rate of 38 percent in 2012) that prevails in the Himalayan country. The failure of Nepal’s political parties to adopt a new constitution has further hindered economic development. Young Nepalese are losing hope that they will find jobs at home.
When they do go abroad, Nepal workers frequently find themselves cheated at virtually every stage of the journey, particularly by brokers and manpower agencies. The abuse and cheating of migrant workers begins before they even leave the country. A broker approaches an unemployed youth with an offer of lucrative jobs, and makes the introduction to a manpower agency, for a commission. Many migrant workers raise the funds to travel abroad either by accepting loans at high interest rates from their relatives or depositing parental property in a bank or other financial institution. The manpower agency sends the young person abroad with inflated salary promises. Reality hits when the worker arrives in the foreign country, local media often reports Nepalese stranded in different countries as a result of unscrupulous brokers.
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