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Government extends ban on Nepali housemaids

The government has extended ban on Nepali women migrant workers in the domestic sector in Gulf countries.

The move is aimed at preventing Nepali housemaids from entering Gulf countries through illegal channels.

The Labour Ministry has written Nepali missions asking them to inform about the continuation of ban to the Gulf states, according to state minister for labour Tek Bahadur Gurung.

The letter dispatched through Foreign Ministry on Friday has asked the Nepali missions in the Gulf to request labour destinations to cooperate until the government formulates new guidelines for domestic help, he said, adding that the ministry has also asked the Gulf states to sign separate labour pacts on domestic workers.

The ban is temporary, Gurung said, adding that ban will be lifted once the ministry sets up proper mechanism to ensure housemaids safety and security.

Earlier, the Ministry of Labour and Employment had imposed a ban on Nepali maids to work in the Gulf countries since June 14 due to increasing physical, sexual and mental abuse and exploitation. Before the government imposed the ban, female workers were leaving to work as domestic helpers only through personal channels or individual approaches.

In August 2012 also, the government had imposed ban on women below 30 from going to the Gulf and Middle East counties to work as domestic help.

Meanwhile, the government has also started diplomatic process to sign labour agreement for domestic workers with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Malaysia within this year.

It is said that some 250,000 Nepali women work as domestic help in the Gulf countries. Some 50,000 undocumented Nepali housemaids works in Saudi Arabia alone, according to the Nepali Embassy in Riyadh.