Migrant injuries, fatalities bring home Rs 200m in compensation
KATHMANDU, SEP 08 -
I t seems that it is not just remittance that migrant workers bring back home, they are also bringing in money as compensation for deaths and injuries . As work-related deaths and injuries are on the rise, a significant number of migrant workers have been receiving compensation from their companies.
According to the Finance Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), around 650 families of dead and injured migrant workers received a total of Rs 200 million as compensation in the past one year alone. They were reimbursed mostly by the companies of major destination countries like Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
While some families received just a few dollars, others have received up to 500,000 Qatari Riyal (Rs 12.5 m). The amount of compensation varies depending on the country and the stature of the company. However, the injured are liable for higher amounts than the dead.
“The amount of compensation differs depending on the country and the company. But reimbursement for injuries is usually higher as there is cap on the compensation amount for deaths,” said Dilip Poudel. Poudel said that Qatar provides a maximum of 200,000 Riyal (Rs 5 m) to a deceased’s family, while the amount could go much higher for those injured.
Ministry officials said they dispatch letters to around 50-60 families every month informing them of their compensation money. However, many families have yet to visit the ministry to claim the money despite several letters dispatched. The Consular Section of the MoFA had dispatched letters to around 550 families residing in 68 districts in early July, among which many were being sent for the second or third time.
“Many families do not receive the letters as they might have migrated to some other places. Others do not want to make the
long journey for a petty amount,” said Poudel, chief of the Consular Section.
In order to avoid higher bank commission fees, companies with a significant presence of Nepali migrants usually dispatch compensation amounts only after accumulating a few cases, normally when figures reach over a million.
Normally, respectable companies with good jobs provide compensation. Meanwhile, workers with bad jobs, long work hours and hazardous workplace conditions are less likely to receive compensation even though they are more likely to die or be injured. Officials said the latter group of workers constitutes a large section of the workers’ community. They said that the government should lobby to provide compensation to everyone, irrespective of their country or work.
According to accumulated records from the Nepali missions in destination countries, at least 7,000 Nepalis have lost their lives in just a decade and a half. However, the number could possibly be much higher as many illegal migrant deaths go unnoticed or unreported. At present, 3-4 Nepali migrants die on a daily basis.
Posted on: 2012-09-08 08:21