21/10/2020 Wage theft of migrants during pandemic | Nepali Times Since May, the company has been forcing him to not just carry out his regular duties, but also to clean toilets, collect trash and do some heavy-lifting manual job for another company. The compensation from the other company is being taken by Sharma’s original employer. Advertisement “It has been five months since I sent any money home to my family. I barely have any money to feed myself twice a day, and have been relying on loans from friends,” says Sharma, who has stopped working for a month. Besides Sharma, there are five other Nepalis in the same situation in the company. Three returned to Nepal recently, after a bitter confrontation with the boss. The two remaining Nepalis continue to work along with other migrants from Bangladesh and Burma. The theory and practice of zero-cost migration (https://www.nepalitimes.com/latest/the-theory-and-practice-of-zero-costmigration/), Upasana Khadka Examples of wages fully or partially unpaid, or end-of-service benefits contractually owed but denied, were common even before the pandemic. But one of the most inhumane realities of the Covid-19 crisis is that workers at the lowest rungs of the ladder who worked for past months under difficult conditions have been denied compensation. For many migrant workers, a good portion of their two-year contract abroad is spent repaying recruitment costs to intermediaries. A worker in debt-bondage who has to return prematurely incurs a heavy loss. Getting on the plane amidst a messy repatriation process was a priority for many migrants, but the scars of the unpleasant experience abroad and the pressure to repay the high-interest loans to finance it will continue to burden them. Forty-three returnees from the UAE came to Kathmandu from all parts of Nepal this 82 to file a complaint with the government’s Department of Foreign Employment. week Shares Each worker had paid above Rs250 000 to get a job as a driver which was supposed to https://www.nepalitimes.com/latest/wage-theft-of-migrants-during-pandemic/ 2/10

Select target paragraph3