Over 700 Nepali migrant workers returned home in coffin in 2018/19

death of Nepali migrant workers abroad

Over 700 Nepali migrant workers who went abroad seeking foreign employment returned home in coffins in the fiscal year 2018/19.

According to the Foreign Employment Board, at least 753 Nepali migrant workers lost their lives in foreign countries. The  Board has provided compensation to a total of 753 families of the deceased. Of them, 23 were women.

The Board says it does not have the data of deaths of Nepalis abroad with student visa.

In the fiscal year 2018/19, a total of 821 persons had died abroad. Of them, 800 were men.

About 500 migrant workers lose their life to various reasons including work-related accidents in foreign countries in average in the destination countries mostly Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, South Korea and Lebanon, according to the board. These countries remain the major destination countries for Nepali migrant workers.

The number of death is high is Malaysia where 229 Nepalis lost their lives. Likewise, 194 Nepali migrant workers died in Saudi Arabia, 135 in Qatar, 85 in the United Arab Emirates, 29 in Kuwait, 20 in South Korea, 11 in Bahrain, six in Oman, three in Japan.

Most of the death in South Korea have been resulted by suicide, said Din Bandhu Subedi, Information Officer at the Board.

The government has recently announced that it is planning to start counseling sessions to the individuals who are bound for working in South Korea.

Over 75 migrants have died in South Korea due to various reasons form 2008 to 2017, according to Labor Migration for Employment: A Status Report for Nepal, a report made public in May last year.

Of them, according to EPS Korea Department, Gwarkho, at least 20 Nepali migrant workers committed suicide in the past six years. The statistics show that, four Nepalis working in South Korea committed suicide in 2012, two in 2013, one in 2015, three in 2016, eight in 2017 and two in 2018.

According to the Board, Nepal has been receiving two dead migrant workers every day on average for the past several years.

According to the ‘Labor Migration for Employment—A Status Report for Nepal: 2015/16-2016/2017’, 1,588 migrants—1,144 men and 444 women—have died of cardiac arrests and heart attacks in the past nine years. A total of 5,892 Nepalis—5,765 male and 127 female—have lost their lives in foreign countries over the same period, an average of 1.7 deaths every day.

Remittance to Nepal have a stronghold in the national economy and has remained a key factor in transforming the livelihood of rural people.

According to Migration and Development Brief by World Bank released on April this year, Nepal is the 19th largest receiver of remittance around the world and fourth-largest in South Asia—with Nepali migrant workers sending home $8.1 billion. Nepal is also among the top five recipient smaller economies along with Tonga, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Haiti.

The year 2018 recorded the highest remittance sent to low and middle-income countries with $521 billion globally—an increase in 9.6 percent over the previous year when record $483 billion remittances was sent.

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