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Nepalese workers flock to Gulf despite abuse

30 December 2012 - The Guardian. Foreign work permits department says it receives up to 1,500 applications a day from Nepalese pursuing better-paid jobs.

Thousands of would-be migrant labourers from Nepal are applying to get work in the Gulf states every week, despite revelations of the brutal working conditions and flagrant abuse of workers' rights endemic in countries such as Qatar.

Nepal's department of foreign employment throngs with crowds queuing for the permission they need to migrate. "We process 1,200-1,500 applications a day," said Chiranjibi Adhikari, the acting director of the department, sitting at his desk surrounded by stacks of dusty files. "So many want to go abroad for work. Even if they have a job here, they think they'll get more money abroad. Migration is not good. Even unskilled workers go outside, which leaves a shortage here, and if skilled workers go, Nepal will suffer. So jobs must be created here."

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