Nepal immigration officials trafficking women: Report
KATHMANDU: Immigration officials at Nepal’s international airport are colluding with traffickers to illegally send Nepali women to the Gulf where they are often exploited and abused, said a parliamentary report released yesterday.
The parliamentary committee tasked with international relations and labor rights said the government had failed to protect Nepalis working overseas and turned a blind eye to allegations of trafficking. More than 60 percent of Nepali domestic workers who end up illegally in the Gulf travelled through the main airport in the capital Kathmandu, the report said.
“(They) travel on tourist visas via Tribhuvan International Airport in direct collusion with immigration officials, airline company staff, security officials and the traffickers.” “The rest travel via different cities in India, Sri Lanka, China and various African countries,” the report said. The women are lured to Gulf countries on promises of well-paid jobs in department stores or hotels. Instead, they are sent to work in private homes where their passports are usually confiscated.
Rights activists in Nepal have long demanded the government do more to protect the four million Nepalis who work overseas-mostly in the Gulf and Malaysia. With remittances from migrant workers accounting for nearly a third of Nepal’s GDP according to government figures, activists suspect the authorities are reluctant to put pressure on host nations. — AFP