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Nepalis from various walks of life appeal government not to send Nepali workers to wartime Israel

The relevant ministries and the government of Nepal must honor the right to life of Nepali citizens and maintain respect for fundamental human rights, says the statement.

Photo courtesy: BBC

Kathmandu:  Nepalis from various walks of life—students, journalists, civil society leaders, activists, business people, intellectuals, organizations, among others (over 670 in number) have urged the government and the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security not to put the lives of Nepali citizens at risk by sending them as workers in wartime Israel, which, they have said, “is flouting all norms of humanity and ignoring attempts at peaceful resolution by the United Nations in order to continue horrifying atrocities.”

In a statement released on Monday, they have mentioned that on 7 October 2023, ten innocent Nepali citizens lost their lives in Hamas’s attack on Israel and another citizen remains missing. “The relevant ministries and the Government of Nepal must honor the right to life of Nepali citizens and maintain respect for fundamental human rights,” says the statement. “When a lack of livelihood security in the country compels citizens to put their lives at risk in search of work, it is abrogation of responsibility for the state and government not to do what is required to protect them.”

The statement says that Palestinians have been struggling for 75 years against the occupation of their homeland by Israel and since the ‘Nakba’ of 1948, the genocide on which the state of Israel was founded, the plight of the Palestinian people has not been treated with the seriousness globally that it demands. “This is in large part because the narrative of this conflict has been prepared and disseminated by Western media and powers,” says the statement.

Mentioning that since October 7, 2023, Palestinian workers are banned from entry into Israel, the statement says that Israel seeks to fulfil its labor shortage by recruiting workers from Nepal, thereby putting their lives and limbs in jeopardy, while categorically refusing to work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict. “The attempt to send them to Israel at this time raises the question of whether the Nepali state is aiding and abetting Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people,” says the statement, adding jobs must not be used as an excuse to push Nepali citizens into a war zone.

For the security of Nepali workers, they have demanded that Foreign Employment Department of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security must immediately annul the recruitment of caregivers to work in Israel’s ‘Long-term Care Centres’ (Advertisement No. 1/2080/2081).