Migration Governance Assessment Calls for Better Coordination to Protect Nepali Migrants’ Rights

Migrants Rights

Kathmandu - A formal inter-ministerial coordination mechanism is needed to address overall migration governance issues in Nepal – stakeholders working in the area of migration agreed at a meeting held this week (4/7) in Kathmandu.

The consultation was organized by Nepal’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security with support from IOM – the UN Migration Agency – to validate the findings of a Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) assessment of Nepal.

The assessment looks at areas in which Nepal has a ministerial structure in place and clear mandates to deal with a range of migration management issues. It also examines areas of active engagement with partners to address migration and related issues at national, regional and global levels.

In Nepal the Department of Immigration under the Home Ministry is tasked with monitoring, controlling and regulating entry, exit and stay of immigrants. The Consular Services Department under the Foreign Ministry deals with diaspora-related matters. And the Department of Foreign Employment under the Labour Ministry tracks and maintains data on regular migrants abroad.

The report proposes ways to align and raise standards, increase dialogue and put in place necessary structures. It recommends the development of national programmes to manage labour migration based on international labour market demand, and incentives to attract immigrants with specific skills.

Other recommendations include the development of policies to facilitate the reintegration of returnees and engagement with members of the Nepali diaspora. It calls for more private sector engagement with government on migration-related issues and recommends that Nepal actively participates in regional agreements to promote labour mobility.

“The MGI findings look at best practices in migration governance and where Nepal may be falling short. There is no single solution when it comes to migration governance. But given the challenges and opportunities Nepal faces, I hope that these findings will strengthen migration policy-making and contribute to furthering policy coherence,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton.
Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security Joint Secretary Krishna Gnawali noted that the government now requires requests for Nepali workers to be validated by relevant Nepalese embassies in destination countries. The government also now provides legal assistance to Nepali migrant workers in destination countries to ensure migrants’ rights are protected. He added that the government is moving towards decentralizing more services for migrant workers and plans to send more skilled migrants abroad to meet international labour market demand.

The consultation meeting in Kathmandu was attended by representatives of the government, UN agencies, NGOs, media and academics working in the field of migration.

The MGI is a tool based on policy inputs, which looks at the comprehensiveness of national migration policies and offers insights into areas that could be further developed. The initiative is a policy-benchmarking programme, jointly developed by IOM and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which aims to help advance the dialogue on migration governance at national, regional and global levels by outlining what the features of ‘well-governed migration’ are in the context of the implementation of SDG target 10.7. Since its launch in 2016, 39 countries have engaged in the MGI process to assess their migration governance structures and to inform the design and development of their migration policies. The project was launched in Nepal early this year.

For more information please contact Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250, Email: iomnepal@iom.int. Or the Nepal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email: info@mole.gov.np

  • Participants in the Migration Governance Assessment consultation pose outside the meeting in Kathmandu. Photo: IOM 2018.