A bilateral labour agreement (BLA) refers to an accord between two countries that allows workers to work in the other country, usually for a fixed period. The agreement protects workers` rights and ensures that they are not exploited by employers. In this article, we will discuss the bilateral labour agreement of Nepal and its implications.
In 2007, Nepal signed its first BLA with Malaysia. The agreement aimed to regulate the recruitment and employment of Nepali workers in Malaysia. Later, Nepal also signed BLAs with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. These countries are popular destinations for Nepali workers seeking better job opportunities.
Under these BLAs, Nepali workers have access to legal employment opportunities in these countries. The agreements set out specific terms and conditions for employment, such as minimum wages, working hours, and occupational safety and health standards. The BLAs also ensure that workers` rights are protected and that they are not mistreated or abused by their employers.
One of the most significant benefits of the BLAs is the protection of Nepali workers from unscrupulous recruitment agencies operating in Nepal. These agencies often deceive workers by promising them high-paying jobs in foreign countries. However, once the workers arrive, they find themselves working under inhumane conditions, with very little pay and no benefits. The BLAs have put a stop to such exploitative practices and have made the recruitment process more transparent and accountable.
However, despite the benefits, there have been reports of Nepali workers being mistreated and exploited in the countries covered by the BLAs. Some workers have complained of long working hours, non-payment of wages, confiscation of their passports, and other forms of abuse. These issues highlight the need for greater cooperation and coordination between Nepal and the host countries to ensure the BLAs are fully implemented and enforced.
In conclusion, the bilateral labour agreements of Nepal have been instrumental in promoting legal and safe employment opportunities for Nepali workers in foreign countries. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that the rights of Nepali workers are fully protected and that they are not exploited or mistreated. Nepal should continue to work closely with the host countries to strengthen the BLAs and ensure that they are implemented effectively.