Nilambar Badal

Program Director at Asian Human Rights and Cultural Development Forum (Asian Forum)

Active in Country: Nepal

DTP Alumnus: 2013 MW Nepal Modules 1-5 - Nepal

Migrant workers provide a strong foundation for Nepalese economy. Remittance from migrant workers is the second largest contributor to the nation after agriculture. But when it comes to the dignity, protection of the rights of migrant workers are not recognised and they are treated as the second-class

Nilambar Badal participated in the 2013-2014 DTP/MFA Migrant Workers Modules Program in Nepal. He is the Program Director at the Asian Forum in Kathmandu. The Asian Forum is part of the National Network for Safe Migration. Nilambar is the Chair of the Network.

As part of the network, the Asian Forum can make their ideas be heard by the government, which is very difficult if it was just an individual NGO. The government and other stakeholders have been recognising the Network for its efforts in the advocacy of the migrant workers' rights

Asian Forum directly engages with migrant workers every day, informing them about the measures to ensure their safety, fair remuneration, and to effectively deal with recruitment agencies in Nepal. Nilambar asserts the importance of migrant workers knowing their basic rights. Nilambar notes that 90% of workers never ask questions, which increases their chance of being exploited.

It is important for the workers to ask questions in relation to every aspect of the contract before they leave and to ensure they receive appropriate training

Additionally, through the Asian Forum’s partner organisations and the Network, they rescue stranded migrant workers from the countries of destination and assist them with legal support once they return.

Recently, they have announced a campaign to pressure the government to ratify the ICRMW. Nilambar notes that once the country ratifies the UN Convention, the exploitation of migrant workers should begin to alleviate. They are also advocating towards reforming the domestic legislation that regulates migrant workers, and for improving the response mechanisms in the destination countries.

Nilambar participated in the DTP training program and found the program useful as it broadened his knowledge on the mechanisms available when dealing with migrant workers’ issues.

DTP training will be very useful in recognising the rights of migrant workers. The training provided formal and systematic ways to deal with the issues of migrant workers from a global perspective. The knowledge and skills gained from the training has been shared with colleagues in the organization. After the training, we have been able to design our own programs to effectively advocate for the rights of migrant workers, and to lobby for ensuring their rights in countries of destination.

 

Profile written September 2016