Labour Minister and German Embassy inaugurate Migration Center in Kathmandu

With support of AWO International POURAKHI opened a Migration Information Center at the main bus park in Kathmandu where hundred thousands of labour migrants arrive each year to leave the country to work at the Gulf, in Malaysia and India. The provided information and counseling at the bus park will help to make migration more safe and to prevent human trafficking.

As part of the programs of the official International Migrants Day Celebrations of the governmental and civil society organizing committee the Migration Information Centre (MIC) was opened on 19th December 2014 by Honorable Minister for Labour, Mr. Tek Bahadur Gurung, such as by the First Secretary of the German Embassy in Nepal, Mr. Dirk Steffes-enn.

In his opening speech the Nepali Labour Minister pointed out the relevance of the MIC at the bus park in Kathmandu, that is the first of its kind at this important location. Further else he urged the relevance of an involvement of civil society and a good cooperation with government institutions to address the emerging issue of unsafe migration in the country.

The First Secretary of the German Embassy highlighted the relevance of migration for Nepal in context of the economical contribution to the GDP as well as positive developments and negative consequences that are connected with migration. Migration and Human Trafficking is an important issue for the German Government. For that reason Germany supports different initiatives in the country, for example the re-integration of highly skilled Nepalese that were qualified in Germany but also projects of AWO International in context of safe migration and Human Trafficking.   

AWO International’s Regional Representative, Mr. Felix Neuhaus, highlighted in his speech the relation of unsafe migration and human trafficking and about the difficulties that unsuccessful returning migrants (especially women) often experience to socially and economically re-integrate in their communities. He shared that the currently opened Migration Information Centre is the 15th of its kind that is supported by AWO International in South Asia and that AWO International will support 8 projects in context of Migration and Human Trafficking in 2015 in Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

More than 450.000 Nepali migrants leave the country each year in a registered way. The number of migrants traveling to and through India is estimated to be even higher. Many of those choosing the unregistered and often dangerous ways are women. In her speech Mrs. Manju Gurung, Chair Person of POURAKHI, elaborated about the relevance of the opened MIC and urged the need to decrease the age bar for women migrants who can leave the country on officially registered ways to make women migration safer.

Dipendra Sharma, Team Leader of the joint project between AWO International and POURAKHI shared about the project objectives and gave an overview about the main project interventions that include a bi-monthly Radio program on safe migration and a regular policy dialogue at national level.

The function was attended by representatives of other government institutions, National NGOs and INGOs working in Migration sector in Nepal as well as by project staff of POURAKHI and members of the “Community Alert Groups” that are promoting safe migration under the cooperation project of AWO International and POURAKHI in 7 newly announced municipalities of Kathmandu District.

Guests of the opening ceremony

Nepali Labour Minister and First Secretary of German Embassy cutting the ribbon

Opening Speach of Labour Minister, Mr. Tek Bahadur Gurung

Demonstration of the Video-Infosystem

Returnee labour migrant at the buspark in Kathmandu