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OVERSEAS INDIAN AFFAIRS

Initiatives to Protect the Welfare of Overseas Indian Workers

New Delhi: August 31,2012

The complaints regarding exploitation, ill-treatment, non-payment of salaries/dues, etc. are received, these are taken up with the Indian Mission concerned and the Mission takes up the matter with the foreign employer or the authorities concerned for redressal of the grievances. The Government has taken several initiatives to protect the welfare of overseas Indian workers. There does not appear to be a continuous rise in the number of cases of exploitation/misbehaviour and harassment of Indian workers. 

 

       India had signed Labour Agreement with Jordan and Qatar, and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia and Bahrain.  These MOUs enhance bilateral co-operation in management of migration and protection of labour welfare. Under these MOUs Joint Working Groups (JWG) have been constituted that meet regularly in order to resolve bilateral labour issues.

 

        Besides, the Ministry has set up the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) in all the Indian Missions for providing onsite support and financial assistance to Indian workers in distress.

 

       Indian Workers’ Resource Centre (IWRC) is also functioning at Dubai for taking care of emergency needs of Indian workers.

 

          All possible assistance is provided to Indian workers in distress whether it is consular or financial such as transportation of mortal remains, air tickets to the destitute, travel incidentals, food, legal assistance, ex-gratia payment, etc. 

 

On receipt of information by the Indian Mission from local Ministry about the Indian nationals detained for various offences, including violation of labour laws in which illegal residents and visa violators are arrested and detained, emergency certificates are issued on a gratis basis to jail inmates, so that those who have no travel documents can travel to India as soon as they finish their jail term.

 

As and when such complaints are received, these are taken up with the Indian Mission concerned and the Mission takes up the matter with the foreign employer or the authorities concerned for redressal of the grievances.  The issues are also addressed in the Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings with the respective countries for setting up mechanism to redress such issues.

 

The number of complaints received during the last three years and the current year is given below:

Name of the country

Year

2009

2010

2011

2012(upto July)

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

2316

1036

1588

393

Bahrain

1427

1386

1158

470

 

Oman

5322

2372

2922

1494

 

Kuwait

3560

4373

2854

2253

 

Malaysia

105

131

152

65

 

Qatar

2165

3034

3186

2194

 

Saudi Arabia

3826

3139

2330

1889(upto August)

         

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

****

 

 
PIB Release/DL/645

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