LAW RESOURCE INDIA

Initiatives for Protection and Welfare of Overseas Indian Workers

Posted in ACCESS TO JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, TRAFFICKING, WORKERS RIGHTS by NNLRJ INDIA on November 25, 2010

Initiatives for Protection and Welfare of Overseas Indian Workers Indian missions in the Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries, except Qatar have not reported any incidents of atrocities particularly targeting Indian workers. However, cases of complaints from Indian Workers related to fraudulent offers for overseas employment, contractual violations and cheating on the part of foreign employers/ recruiting agents are received in the Missions in ECR countries from time to time. Embassy of India, Qatar has reported that 20 complaints of human rights violations were received during the last two years. Whenever, a complaint is received, action is initiated by the Ministry for suspension or cancellation of the Registration Certificate of the Recruiting Agent. If required, he is also prosecuted through the State Police. Complaints filed against illegal agents are referred to the State Governments for filing criminal cases against them. Whenever there is a complaint against a foreign employer, proceedings for black listing such an employer are initiated. Indian missions also take up these issues with the foreign employers/local governments to protect the interest of the workers.

The Government has taken several initiatives for the protection and welfare of Overseas Indian Workers which include: -

(i) A Nation wide Awareness-cum-Publicity Campaign through media has been launched to educate the intending emigrants about legal emigration procedures, risks of illegal migration and precautions to be taken during emigration.

(ii) The Ministry has set up the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) in 42 Countries for providing onsite support and financial assistance to Indian workers in distress.

(iii) The Government has established an Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) which is a 24×7 hour telephone helpline which provides information to intending emigrants as well as emigrants on all aspects of emigration. Complaints can also be lodged through this helpline. (iv) India had signed Labour Agreements with Jordan and Qatar in 1980s to protect the interests of the Indian Workers. Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed with United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December, 2006, with Kuwait in April, 2007, with Oman in November 2008, with Malaysia in January 2009, and with Bahrain in June 2009. An Additional Protocol to the existing Labour Agreement between India and Qatar was signed in November, 2007.

(V) Under these MOUs Joint Working Groups (JWGs) have been constituted that meet regularly in order to resolve bilateral labour issues including the cases of atrocities which come to notice from time to time. These MOUs enhance bilateral co-operation in management of migration and protection of labour welfare.

This information was given by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

PKM (Release ID :67596)

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