There are some 5 million Nepalese migrant workers spread across the globe – many in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE (see map below), but others as far as Japan, Korea, and Israel.
Their destination mostly includes the Gulf countries where they have to work under extreme physical conditions including adverse weather. Although it is distressing to note that Nepalese workers are engaged in demanding, difficult and hazardous jobs in foreign lands, the bitter reality is that the hard earned money of these migrant workers is a major contributor to the Nepalese economy. Currently, remittance constitutes about one-third of the national GDP. Yet the workers receive little assistance from the Nepalese government. Further, as absentee citizens, they do not have the right to vote, and thus have a limited voice on Nepali policy and politics as relating to migrant laborer issues.
These migrant workers are largely unaware of the government policies and strategies. They need awareness, their voices need to reach ears of lawmakers, and most importantly they need to feel safe while working away from their homes. In short, this is what Shramik Sanjal aspires to aim and achieve. We’ve been working for a few years to build a Migrant Worker Network of Nepalese citizens around the world.