Over 4,000 Nepali migrant workers die in course of foreign employment

KATHMANDU, MAY 29: A total of 4,035 Nepali citizens died in the course of foreign employment between the fiscal year 2020-21 and FY 2022-23.

According to data from the Foreign Employment Board, 870 Nepali migrant workers also suffered injuries or fell ill during the review period.

Over the past three years, there has been a concerning rise in the number of deaths and illnesses among Nepali migrant workers. The percentages of these incidents were 18.50% in the fiscal year 2020/21, 31.95% in FY 2021/22, and 49.54% in FY 2022/23. Despite the decline in deaths, the cases of mutilations and illnesses have soared over these years.

The challenges faced by Nepali migrant workers include adverse weather conditions in destination countries, increased workloads, liquor consumption, conflicts with colleagues, familial pressure, lack of awareness of local laws, technical errors in handling and operating machinery, traffic accidents, workplace incidents, burns, suffocation, drowning, and illnesses, according to government data.

In the last fiscal year, out of 1,250 fatalities, 27.96% occurred in Malaysia, followed by 26.36% in Saudi Arabia, 17.98% in the United Arab Emirates, 17.32% in Qatar, 6.04% in Kuwait, and 4.43% in other nations.

A report prepared by the board urges the government to investigate the root causes of these deaths, implement awareness programs, and provide psychosocial counselling services, among other measures, to Nepali migrant workers.