The government is planning to sign two labour agreements – for domestic migrant workers and overall workers – with Saudi Arabia soon.

It is preparing to exchange preliminary drafts of both the labour agreements with the kingdom, according to the Ministry of Labour and Employment

The ministry is planning to send the drafts of both the agreements to the major labour destination for Nepali migrant workers, it informed, adding that the draft includes internationally accepted provisions of minimum wage scale, maximum work hours, gratuity, leave, food and accommodation and health services. ” However, it is in the consultation process, and it will take final shape with both the countries’ mutual concent.”

The two governments have not signed any labour agreement though 500,000 Nepali migrant workers are currently working in the Islamic kingdom.

The proposed drafts could be a milestone in bringing the migratory process under the legal provision and could ensure basic labour rights too, the ministry said.

Currently, Nepali migrant women are forced to take informal channels to go to Saudi Arabia as the Nepal’s mission in Riyadh does not accredit work contract for housemaids due to safety issue.

Likewise, the issue of human rights have also been a serious concern for the male migrant workers too.

Some 60,000 Nepali women migrant workers are working illegally as domestic helps in Saudi Arabia, currently. But the government has a serious concern as they have been reportedly abused physically and mentally, and exploited illegally by local employers.

The Gulf kingdom has signed labour agreement with Sri Lanka in January after the Philippines and India.

Earlier, Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies has reportedly signed an agreement with its Saudi counterpart to send women workers at 800-riyal-a-month salary.

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