EXCLUSIVE: Nepali rights advocates challenge govt. order for migrant workers in top court


Staff Report

Human rights advocates have filed a writ petition against the “Order of the Government of Nepal, 2020”, challenging the provision vis-a-vis the repatriation of Nepali migrant workers from destination countries at their own cost.

Lawyers Anurag Devkota, Barun Ghimire, Prabin Subedi, and Binaya Rimal filed the petition in Nepal’s supreme court on Tuesday, June 02.

“The provision of the Order requiring the (migrant workers) to bear the cost of the airfare and hotel quarantines are inconsistent with the Constitution and governing legislation of Nepal,” said Devkota of Law and Policy Forum for Social Justice (LAPSOJ), an organization established and mentored by lawyers working in the field of rule of law, human rights, and constitutional issues.

Paragraphs 7(c) and 7(d) of the provision in the “Order of the Government of Nepal, 2020” regarding the cost of airfare and hotel quarantines to returnees from third countries (destination countries) and the cost of transportation from holding centres to local quarantine centres to the returnees from India border [are]to be borne by returnees themselves.

This provision contradicts with Section 75(2) of the Foreign Employment Act, 2004 on rescue and repatriation of migrant workers in a situation of disaster and distress, and Sec 33(1) on utilizing the foreign employment welfare fund for the purpose of rescue and repatriation, stated the writ petition.

The writ petition also stressed that the State should bear the cost of rescue and repatriation of the destitute and unemployed workers who are not in the capacity to bear the cost of both airfare and hotel quarantines.

A preliminary hearing on Sunday, June 7 has been scheduled for the filed writ petition.

Editor’s note: Anurag Devkota, is a contributor at Rights Corridor. (ham/RC)