Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Israel Mulls Ad Hoc Plan to Recruit Nepali Workers

THT Online
Kathmandu, June 18

The government of Israel is mulling to devise an ad hoc mechanism to recruit Nepali migrant workers.
In May 2007 Israel had imposed a temporary ban on Nepali workers citing lack of adequate linguistic and cultural knowledge and poor job proficiency.
"The government of Israel may devise an ad hoc solution to resume recruiting Nepali migrant workers in Israel," Israeli Ambassador Dan Stav told this daily on Tuesday.
For temporary adjustment, the Ministry of Home might nominate manpower agents in Israel to recruit workforce through Nepali agencies, Stav said.
While issuing the ban last year, the Israeli government had set two conditions before it could resume recruiting Nepali workforce.
First, Nepal had to establish a functioning mission in Israel. Secondly, Nepal's recruiting process had to undergo a comprehensive change, including a contract with International Organisation of Migration (IOM), which regulates migration by keeping track of the recruiting process and the training acquired by the aspirant migrant workers, such as their knowledge of language, medical check-ups, airfares and other information.
Nepal has fulfilled the first condition by opening an Embassy in Israel in August 2007. "The second condition," said Stav, "could be met through three options -- a contract with the IOM or a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries or the Israeli government's recently proposed ad hoc solution."
"The Israeli government has decided for a comprehensive resolution to control the growing number of problems regarding exploitation of foreign migrants in Israel," said Stav.
"The Israeli government itself is undergoing transition and at the moment three ministries are looking into the issue of migrant labourers, making the process of resumption of hiring Nepali workforce a bit slow," he said.
Keshar Bahadur Baniya, director general of the Department of Labour, said the government is waiting for Israel's decision on the recruitment process.
The embassy had issued around 300 visas to migrant workers before the ban was imposed, the embassy said. Some 7,000 Nepalis, mostly women, are working in Israel as caregivers

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