Nepal has imposed a temporary ban on the recruitment of its women as housemaids in Gulf countries, according to a senior diplomat.
The ban was imposed two weeks ago and might be lifted soon, Harihar Kant Poudel, Second Secretary at the Nepalese embassy, told this daily.
He said the Nepalese Ministry of Labour has appointed a committee to recommend on how to “regulate” sending female domestic workers to the Gulf.
“The ban has been imposed to stop exploitation of female domestic workers by manpower agents in Nepal and the Gulf and introduce new regulations to ensure the workers are safe.
“The panel will make recommendations as soon as possible; it would be within a few weeks.
“Once they are made, new rules and regulations will be introduced for recruitment of female domestic workers,” he said.
Nepal lifted a decade-long ban on sending female domestic workers to the Middle East, including the GCC states, in June 2011. But it stopped women under 30 from going to the Gulf in August 2012. The age bar aimed at preventing abuse.
Around 4,000 to 5,000 Nepalese female workers are in Qatar but their embassy does not have an accurate count of domestic workers.
“Before the ban was imposed, we received four to five applications daily to recruit female domestic workers, however we don’t have a count of how many are here,” said Poudel.
The Peninsula spoke to some expatriates who have applied to recruit Nepalese female domestic workers but their applications have not been approved by the Nepalese ministry due to the temporary ban.
The applicants have completed all formalities in Qatar and sent job contacts to Nepal for approval.
“Some applicants are coming to the embassy everyday, we can’t do anything about it, their applications are put on hold by the ministry in Katmandu because of the temporary ban,” said Poudel.
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