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Nepali Workers Jailed for Exposing Sufferings

Quatar Jailed Nepali Workers for Exposing Their Sufferings

11 June 2007
Mohan Nepali, Kathmandu:

Media reports state the Katar Administration has imprisoned over 700 Nepali works belonging to the Hal Huda Engineering Works Company based at Doha. They have not committed any crimes there. When they just raised a soft voice about the fact that they were not getting their wages for four months and going through hardships, the police imprisoned them without hearing their genuine complaints. Prior to their imprisonment, they were reportedly physically and mentally tortured by a group of vigilantes and hooligans sponsored by the concerned manpower companies in Nepal.

Later reports confirm that the majority of Nepali workers in Quatar are the lowest paid ones in the country. The Nepali workers there argue that they have been exploited and ill-treated because the Nepali government is politically and morally bankrupt, with no sense of responsibility towards its citizens.

Their argument is valid since the Nepali government followed a laissez-faire approach as to manpower industries in Nepal without regulating them legally, ethically and operationally. The Nepali government officials concerned with the manpower export affairs sell themselves off for bulky commissions from manpower companies that later easily violate the ILO standards. Due to this moral bankruptcy existing at state level in Nepal, the government does not have the capacity to take any punitive measures against the manpower companies violating the basic laws of the country.

As the incoming reports about the fate of the Nepali workers in Katar state that the workers are not provided a reasonable amount of remuneration, nor are they provided a just increase in insurances, medical expenses and OTs, it is evident that the Nepali government is not at all accountable to its own citizens.

It is the humanitarian obligation of every nation on earth to ensure human dignity. As per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is natural for human beings to search for their dignity and justice in practice. It is equally natural for the suffering Nepali workers to voice their sufferings with a hope of relief. The Quatar Administration has humiliated the international norms and values. As the country has accepted Nepali workers, it should make sure the companies with follow all the prescribed criteria as per the employment contract.

The regular follow-up, monitoring and cross-checking of manpower companies and their activities are essential. Verification in concerned countries where Nepal exports its workers with the help of the Nepali embassy seems equally necessary. In the context of the Katar case, the Nepali embassy appears to have been completely deaf and irresponsible. As father, as son.


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