Recruitment agencies tend to operate outside of Nepal, taking Nepalese workers who are looking for a better life abroad as opposed to the other way around.
There are very few recruitment agencies within Nepal which work towards bringing foreigners into the country.
The usual scenario in Nepal involves large numbers of the indigenous population of Nepal applying to recruitment agencies in other countries which target foreign and migrant workers. Hence, the flow of foreign workers is usually out of Nepal as opposed to into Nepal and as such, the significant numbers of employment agencies operating outside of Nepal far outweigh the numbers of employment agencies inside Nepal. This imbalance helps to maintain the exodus of Nepalese citizens hoping to work as foreigners in overseas countries.
Unfortunately, conditions for individuals from Nepal taking jobs in foreign countries via the above mentioned recruitment agencies are usually extremely poor. It is recognised by a number of countries – particularly India, that people from Nepal will perform the least desirable jobs for very little pay. As such, the recruitment agencies are able to capitalise on the foreign work flow from Nepal at great expense to the individuals involved. Not only do many of these recruitment agencies exploit foreign workers from Nepal in respect to poor working conditions and pay, but they also make them pay for the ‘honour’. It is not unusual for these recruitment agencies to charge potential foreign workers up to Rs 100,000 as a registration and position finding fee. Many individuals from Nepal have to sell ancestral homes and property in order to meet the payments demanded from the recruitment agencies. However, these individuals are often ill informed and believe that leaving Nepal to work overseas as a foreign worker will guarantee good pay and conditions and that they will be able to send surplus money back to their villages to support family.
The most at risk group are women from Nepal who are regularly taken on by illegal entities posing as bona fide recruitment agencies and then subsequently sold into slavery and prostitution.
A recent publicised case involved a young woman from Nepal who had been recruited by a foreign recruitment agency as a domestic worker in Hong Kong. She was eventually rescued from the most appalling working conditions and, upon rescue, she was found to have severe pneumonia, jaundice and only 2.5 pints of blood remaining in her body.
The plight of innocent Nepalese citizens, searching for a better life is too often in the hands of these unscrupulous recruitment agencies and too little is being done to address the problem and to bring the perpetrators to justice.