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October 30, 2018

Nepal and Malaysia Sign Agreement to Protect Workers from Recruitment Fees

Yesterday, Nepali Minister of Labor, Gokarna Bista, and his Malaysian counterpart, M. Kulasegaran, signed a labor deal on the Recruitment, Employment, and Repatriation of Workers. As per the agreement, Nepali migrant workers aspiring to work in Malaysia, the preferred job destination for Nepali workers, will not have to pay any fees for their work. Moving forward, employers will be responsible for all recruitment expenses including recruitment service charges, two-way tickets, visa fees, medical check-ups and security screenings.

Largely due to increasing media coverage in the region, citizen engagement on migration, and the direct advocacy work from the migrant worker network, this agreement represents an important step for Nepal as it indicates a greater understanding on behalf of the government that the charging of recruitment fees is a central issue facing migrant workers. Humanity United has supported programs in Nepal since 2011 with a focus on protecting migrant workers from exploitation.  Through this work, we have been deeply engaged in efforts to strengthen the protection of migrant workers. We also recognize the central role the Nepali media and civil society play in public discourse about migration and human trafficking.

Humanity United applauds this development and encourages the Government of Nepal to devote ongoing energy to implementation and enforcement.

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