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Nepal minister urges end to sponsorship scheme
Nepal minister urges end to sponsorship scheme

The kafala sponsorship system requires migrant workers to seek permission from employers to change jobs.
“From the human rights point of view of the workers, I think the kafala system should be abolished ... workers should be allowed to return or change their jobs if they want to,” Labour Minister Tek Bahadur Gurung told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Gurung denied media reports that Qatar was not permitting Nepali workers to return home to perform the last rites of family members who died in a devastating earthquake in April, but said that, in general, the sponsorship system had to go.
Nepal’s economy is heavily reliant on remittances. The money workers send back has nearly doubled in the last two years to $4.34bn - more than 20% of Nepal’s gross domestic product.
More than 3.5mn Nepalis work in construction, factories and domestic work in the Middle East, Korea and Malaysia. Some 400,000 work as labourers in Qatar including in the construction of football stadia for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar’s  Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, HE Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi, visited the Himalayan nation in April.
Gurung said that Dr al-Khulaifi had promised to ensure better working conditions, safety and insurance to Nepali migrant workers.


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