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After banning them from working in the Gulf countries and in Malaysia last may, the Government, in a reverse announced on 23rd of April, will allow female domestic workers to work in these countries.

According to an article published today on the Kathmandu Post, the Government is about to implement new guidelines related to domestic workers.

Among other provisions, the Government will have to sign up memorandum of understanding with each hosting country receiving the domestic workers.

Moreover, the article says, work is being undergoing, according to the Post, in the selection of the manpower agencies allowed to recruit the domestic workers willing to work in the selected countries.

Overall the new guidelines are very promising from the perspectives of the migrant domestic workers. For example:

  • only women above 24 years of age will be allowed to travel
  • minimum wage must be ensured before sending them to the host countries
  • facilities or better labor rights like regulation of working hours, annual leaves are also guaranteed

Yet to make these provisions a reality, it will indispensable for the government of Nepal to sign specific agreements with the hosting countries. Will this really happen?  Will the hosting countries agree to these standards and be able to provide basic human rights to ours and housemaids coming from other south Asian and south East Asian countries?

Interestingly, at least for Malaysia, the perceptions towards migrant housemaids are changing and not in the right way, at least from the perspective of the foreign housemaids.

An article published on line by The Star, one of the most prominent English language newspapers in Malaysia, questioned the “affordability” of hosting foreign housemaids.

The article, entitled “Stop relying on foreign maids” raises serious concerns on the current status of the national economy in Malaysia, arguing that the situation is getting so dire that the country should stop “importing” cheap laborers.

Foreign housemaids, especially from Indonesia and Philippines, constitute a big bulk of the total number of foreign workers employed in Malaysia.

Local experts are suggesting that locals should be hired to replace foreign housemaids.

For example, Dr Tan Peck Leong of UiTM Arshad Ayub Graduate Business School, is suggesting that local undergraduate and graduate students could be hired part time to work as domestic helpers.

Malaysian Trade Union Congress secretary-general N. Gopal Krishnan suggests that hiring locals instead of foreign housemaids could drastically help human trafficking while helping boosting the local economy.

 “If you feel that hiring a foreigner is expensive, do it yourself. If we can find local domestic workers, it will also limit the amount of cash in remittances leaving the country, which is better for the economy.

Why is the Government busy selecting the manpower agencies authorized to send our domestic workers in countries like Malaysia when, looking at the opinions being raised there, is crystal clear that the Government of Malaysia might not be in the best mood to negotiate a quick memorandum of understanding ensuring their rights?

You can read the article published on the Start at





Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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